2010 Subaru Outback – Click above for high-res image gallery Before there was such a thing as a CUV, there was a jacked-up four-wheel drive wagon called the Subaru Legacy. A few special editions later, the Legacy Outback edition birthed the stand-alone Subaru Outback in 1995. The precedent was set, establishing the wagon as polymath, master of numerous disciplines: durability, capability, wide range, ease of use and maintenance on-road and off. The styling, however – well, you weren't really buying a Subaru for its styling. Autoblog went to Montana to drive the fourth-generation 2010 Subaru Outback, and all we needed was one look to realize there's finally a Subaru for the rest of us. Then we drove it, and it just got better. Follow the jump to find out why. %Gallery-68989% Photos Copyright ©2009 Jonathon R. Ramsey / Weblogs, Inc. Subaru might be less known for the character of its cars than for the kinds of characters who buy them. The Japanese automaker does its job so well that when someone says "I own a Subaru," it rarely comes as a surprise – your internal dialogue replies, "Ah, of course you do... that explains a lot..." While that might be something to chortle at, Subaru has done so well with its cars and its characters that the company has posted the lowest sales decline of any automaker this year at just 0.8%. It also sold more cars in the U.S. in June of this year than it did in June of 2008, one of only two makers to do so. What does one do after it succeeds? Keep working. And with the 2010 Outback, Subaru went to work on everything, but it's the styling that makes the biggest impact. See, Subaru wagons are not unlike camels: When you need a ride that can go out and stay out, enduring with little-to-no assistance over testing terrain, and keep you comfortable along the way, you can't go wrong with a Subaru. Or a camel. It's just neither are stylistically compelling. To our eyes, that's changed with the 2010 Outback. It will certainly attract the brand's usual characters; but much more importantly, it has character. It's not a lozenge with cladding – it's a properly designed vehicle with significantly contrasting planes, lines and details. So much so, in fact, that our first reaction to it was, "That's a good looking car." Outside of the mid-90s WRC Imprezas, that's a line we've yet to uttered when discussing a Subaru. It's easy to go astray when trying to make a car's surface more three-dimensional. The Outback doesn't do that. The flares on the hood, the pronounced arch cutouts, the sharpened kink from the greenhouse to the body, along with the Outback's overall increased squareness – not to mention the polygon headlights – works well in photos and even better in person. You can now get all of that sweet, nutty Subaru-ness in a traditionally handsome package. None of this is revolutionary; you can see …
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|MPG||22 City / 29 Hwy|
|Transmission||Lineartronic 6-spd CVT w/OD|
|Power||170 @ 5600 rpm|
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