Since its 2010 redesign, the Subaru Outback has sported bigger roof pillars, wider rear quarter and side windows, and larger front and rear wheel arches. The 2014 edition can look a bit forced, but such "SUV details" make the Outback more attractive to crossover buyers, Subaru says, who won't even consider something they consider to be just a wagon.
Last year, the grille and front end were redesigned to be slightly chunkier and polygonal; a heftier grille is set off by larger fog lights and a bigger opening under the bumper. The differences remain subtle, though, and most likely only Outback aficionados will be able to tell the latest models from those three or four years old.
Until this redesign, a conventional wagon version of the Legacy sedan was offered--as well as the jacked-up, tougher-looking Outback. That Legacy wagon is no longer offered in the U.S. market, though, and the Outback's "SUV details" can make it look slightly like a steroidal cartoon of itself.
There's no exaggeration inside, though. A single instrument cluster faces the driver, with the center part of the dash sweeping down to join the console on the tunnel. Simple, large controls are generally self-evident, and the interior overall is restrained. It's simple and functional, and won't look dated like trendier designs. It's the kind of view from behind the wheel you could imagine living with for a number of years.