2001 Subaru Outback Overview

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2001 Subaru Outback Overview

Crossovers are all the rage now, but Subaru led the pack, starting in the 1990s with its rugged AWD Outback. Based on the Legacy, it features a high ride height, large 16-inch tires, up to 68 cubic feet of cargo room, and full-time all-wheel drive, but it offers better safety, stability, and handling than the bulky SUVs. Previous Outbacks suffered from a lack of power, however, but the 2001 Outback adds two new trims with a new H6 engine.

The 2001 Outback comes as a Limited sedan and four different wagons. The sedan, base wagon and Limited wagon feature a 2.5-liter, 165-hp H4 with a 5-speed manual or optional 4-speed automatic. The new 3.0 L.L. Bean Edition and 3.0 VDC wagons feature a 3.0-liter, 212-hp boxer H6 engine mated only to a 4-speed automatic. VDC stands for Vehicle Dynamic Control, and is Subaru's new stability system. Combined with traction control and the superb full-time AWD, handling is top-notch in this trim. The L.L. Bean Edition features a security system and exclusive L.L. Bean materials, but both 3.0 Outbacks are decked out with wood and leather trim, a Momo steering wheel, alloy wheels, an 8-way driver's seat, and automatic climate control. Except for the base wagon, all Outbacks comes with a sunroof, foglights, power features, and keyless entry.

Other changes this year include a standard limited slip rear differential, bigger and more appropriate brakes, and a new temperature display. Sitting 7.3 inches above the ground and reinforced with two-tone body cladding, the 2001 Outback is built for challenging road conditions, if not true off-roading. Drivers like the SUV practicality combined with the car-like handling and high safety record for Subaru. All models but the base wagon have dual front and side impact airbags. The new H6 engine accelerates quickly and easily, and the overall ride is smooth. Drivers don't like the limited legroom, wind noise, the underpowered H4, and lack of rain guards on the windows. The switch for the heated seats is in a poor location, often getting turned on unintentionally.

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