CHERRY HILL, NJ - Subaru of America, Inc. announced the Subaru Outback has been named Motor Trend's 2010 Sport/Utility Vehicle 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, MSRP, and produced at Subaru's zero-landfill plant in Lafayette, Indiana, the all-new Subaru Outback is available with either a 170-hp 2.5L four-cylinder boxer engine or a 256-hp 3.6L 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, according to the manufacturer. The 2010 Outback also features increased hip and shoulder room.
The Outback offers 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.