2010 Subaru Outback – Click above for high-res image gallery

Subaru is a historic two-timer. For the second year in a row, the Japanese company has claimed Motor Trend magazine's coveted Golden Calipers for its SUV of the Year award – the first time any automaker has managed to do so. The company's new-for-2010 Outback has evidently picked up where last year's Forester left off, and we understand why – it's a dynamite all-around package.

The lifted Legacy did face some stiff competition, including vehicles we've enjoyed driving recently – players like the Audi Q5, Volvo XC60, Lincoln MKT, and Mercedes-Benz GLK. But from where we sit, the Subie's most formidable opposition for the award were all premium priced offerings, and the Outback is a more affordable jack-of-all-trades with few compromises – especially now that Subaru's engineers have seen fit to let out the back seat a bit. In any case, you can check out the official press release after the jump or read our review of the Outback by clicking here.

[Source: Motor Trend]

Subaru Outback Named MOTOR TREND's 2010 Sport/Utility of the Year(R)

- Subaru First Automaker with two consecutive MOTOR TREND Sport/Utility of the Year Titles -

CHERRY HILL, N.J., Oct. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Subaru of America, Inc. today announced that the Subaru Outback has been named MOTOR TREND's 2010 Sport/Utility of the Year.

The Subaru Outback's victory follows the Subaru Forester's win for the 2009 award, making Subaru the first automaker to win two consecutive MOTOR TREND Sport/Utility of the Year awards.

MOTOR TREND editor-in-chief, Angus MacKenzie, said, "The 2010 Subaru Outback offers a unique combination of comfort, efficiency, versatility and value. It boasts car-like refinement, drivability and gas mileage on the road, yet is as capable in the rough stuff as all but the most off-road focused sport utilities. Thoughtfully engineered, cleverly detailed and competitively priced, the Subaru Outback is a terrific all-rounder with broad appeal."

"We are doubly proud and honored to receive the MOTOR TREND 2010 Sport/Utility of the Year award for the second consecutive year," said Thomas J. Doll, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Subaru of America Inc. "To win the 2009 award for the Forester was wonderful enough, but to have won for the 2010 Outback this year is truly an outstanding achievement. The Subaru Outback is an icon of performance and capability and was the original SUV alternative. Now with its improved power, economy and increased dimensions it is the complete package."

Speaking to Subaru of America's sales success as the top performing automaker of 2009, Doll noted, "The success of our business is founded not only on our outstanding products, but also on the commitment and dedication of our retail sales network and great sales and marketing programs. We are absolutely thrilled that MOTOR TREND has added their validation to the Subaru brand."

Priced from $22,995, and produced at Subaru's zero-landfill plant in Lafayette, Indiana, the all-new Subaru Outback is available with either a 170-hp 2.5-liter four cylinder boxer engine or a 256-hp 3.6-liter six-cylinder boxer engine. The 2010 Outback is built on an all-new platform featuring a 2.8-inch longer wheelbase (now 107.9 inches) that improves ride and interior space, especially rear seat legroom. The 2010 Outback also features increased hip and shoulder room.

Living up to Subaru's legendary safety record, the Outback offers cutting-edge safety technology, including Subaru's ring reinforcement safety system, front, seat-mounted side, and side-curtain airbags and ABS. Subaru Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) system, which incorporates stability and traction control systems with a roll-over sensor, is also standard equipment.

The Subaru Outback was recently named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS).

To judge contenders for the award, MOTOR TREND's editorial staff conducted an exhaustive three-phase testing process. Phase one of the process includes a full tech check and weigh-in, then full track testing to establish baseline data for acceleration, braking, and handling. Phase two involves three days of road loops offering a range of road surfaces and traffic conditions to evaluate ride and handling, engine and transmission smoothness and responsiveness, wind and road noise, and ergonomics. A dirt-track section tests traction, stability, and braking control systems. In phase three the judges debate and deliberate. This year, the editors updated and expanded the judging criteria to six new categories:

-- Design Advancement - well-executed exterior and interior styling;
innovative vehicle packaging; good selection and use of materials.
-- Engineering Excellence - total vehicle concept and execution; clever
solutions to packaging, manufacturing and dynamics issues;
cost-effective tech that benefits the consumer.
-- Intended Function - how well the vehicle does the job its planners,
designers, and engineers intended it to do.
-- Efficiency - low fuel consumption and carbon footprint, relative to
the vehicle's competitive set.
-- Safety - a vehicle's ability to help the driver avoid a crash, as well
as the secondary safety measures that protect its occupants from harm
during a crash.

-- Value - competitive price and equipment levels, measured against those
of vehicles in the same market segment.

MOTOR TREND's Sport/Utility of the Year is not a comparison test and is only open to all-new or substantially upgraded vehicles that have gone on sale in the 12 months from November 1 of the previous year. MOTOR TREND looks for the pick of each year's crop of new SUV's, and does not revisit vehicles that have been on sale for the past few years.

About Subaru of America, Inc.

Subaru of America, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. of Japan. Headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J., the company markets and distributes Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of approximately 600 dealers across the United States. Subaru boasts the most fuel efficient line-up of all-wheel drive products sold in the market today based on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fuel economy standards. All Subaru products are manufactured in zero-landfill production plants and Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. is the only U.S. automobile production plant to be designated a backyard wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. For additional information visit www.subaru.com.

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