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STYLING | 7 out of 10
“It’s a properly designed vehicle with significantly contrasting planes, lines and details”
“The previous car was much more svelte-looking”
Car and Driver
“Interior [gets] a thorough going-over as well”
Road & Track
Subarus have always been known for their styling, but not necessarily in a good way. With the previous generation of Outback Subaru, consumers were somewhat surprised to get an uncluttered exterior, but the latest 2010 Subaru Outback marks a return to stylistic confusion.
Many reviews surveyed by TheCarConnection.com question some of the new styling elements on the 2010 Subaru Outback; Kelley Blue Book reports that “gone are the sleek lines, car-like styling and handsome two-tone wheel arches,” replaced by a “more SUV-like appearance.” The new Outback Subaru, which is available in base, Premium, and Limited trims, “has lost a bit of its signature Subaru styling” along the way, according to Road & Track, but they think that the “more upright grille and highly carved fender flares will become new Subie signatures.” TheCarConnection.com’s editors hope not, as they indicate that the front-end styling is the least successful part of the redesign.
Car and Driver feels that the car’s new, larger proportions throw off the aesthetic, claiming “the previous car was much more svelte-looking, and its styling was more cohesive.” On the positive side, Autoblog reviewers assert that the new 2010 Subaru Outback is “handsome, which means you can get all of that sweet, nutty Subaru-ness in a traditionally handsome package.”
While reviewers are torn regarding the Outback Subaru’s new exterior design, the interior gets a much warmer reception. Car and Driver feels that the 2010 Subaru Outback’s new interior “design is attractive and makes no glaring missteps in ergonomics, fit, or materials.” The look of the materials sits well with reviewers also, as Autoblog reports that, “of all makers, Subaru has come up with an ersatz textured metal trim that actually feels and sounds just like metal.” Kelley Blue Book reviewers continue the love fest surrounding the 2010 Subaru Outback’s interior, observing that “the addition of a dash-mounted electronic parking brake allows Subaru engineers to remove the center-console handbrake handle, creating more space for water bottles and latte cups.” Overall, the swooping new interior is a step in the right direction for Subaru, and it’s hard to find fault with any single element of the layout.
The 2010 Subaru Outback is now more crossover than wagon, and a few styling elements just strike the wrong chord.