1996 Subaru Outback- the 1st year

the 1996 was the first year for a fully realized Outback with the 2.2L or 2.5L engine. The Outback model was introduced in 1995 as a trim level of the 2.2L Legacy with 2 tone paint and special cloth, and the 96 model got the 2.5L engine with the automatic transmission or the 2,2L with the manual. All models got the 2 tone paint, raised ground clearance and raised roof that immediately came to identify the Outback.

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1996 Subaru Outback
1996 Mica Ruby Subaru Legacy Outback
mica ruby 1996 Outback Subaru
they all had the gray lower accent

Paul Hogan starred in a series of very popular ads for the Legacy Outback that ran 1995-2002. The Outback wasn't really the world's first sport utility wagon.

1996 Outback Specifications and options
transferable 3 yr/36,000 miles bumper-to-bumper, 5 yr/60,000 Powertrain
Manual transmission: MSRP $22,490 including destination
Automatic transmission: MSRP $23,290 incl. destination
Manual transmission
2.2 liter, 135 hp, sequential multi-port fuel injected, single overhead cam  boxer engine with Hill-holder clutch 
economy: 23 city, 30 highway regular unleaded fuel recommended 
15.9 gal. fuel tank 
30,000 mile tune up spark plug change interval, 60,000 timing belt replacement 
Automatic transmission:
2.5 Liter 155 hp, dual overhead cam, sequential multi-port fuel injected engine (new for 1996) 
economy: 21 city, 26 highway, Premium unleaded fuel recommended
15.9 gal fuel tank 
Towing capacity - 2000# 
30,000 mile tune up 
60,000 timing belt replacement and  spark plug change interval 
Standard features:
all-wheel-drive with 7.3 ground clearance 
Power rack and pinion steering, variable assist
Power windows, locks, mirrors 
Cruise control 
Air conditioning 
Fog lights with stone guards (new for 1996) 
Auto off headlights 
Alloy wheels, 5 spoke 15" 
Brakes: anti-lock brakes, 4 channel  with 4 wheel discs: 10.7" vented front with dual caliper pistons, 10.5 solid rear 

Overall Length:185.8"
Width: 67" 
Height: 63"
Turning radius - 37 ft

Dual airbags, anti-lock brakes, front and rear crumple zone, door beams, re-inforced roof and steering column pillar

More Standard features 1996 Outback
Bubbled roof (raised roof line) new for 1996 
am/fm/cassette with 4 speakers, 80 watts 
cup holder (2 in front) 
front interval wiper 
rear wiper, washer, defroster 
tilt wheel 
tinted glass
roof rack 
mud flaps 
floor mats 
chromed tailpipe tip 
height adj. driver's seat with lumbar
height adj. front shoulder harness 
front headrests (no rear headrests in '96) 
rear bumper cover
rear cargo mat 
cargo area cover 
cargo area acc. plug 
cargo light
front acc. plug (ashtray/lighter was optional)
storage bin above spare tire
Options for 1996 Outback
Tweeters (2 for $100) 
Single CD in slot beneath stereo ($420) 
CD Changer under front pass. seat ($595?) 
Keyless entry -unlocks all doors at once ($225) no alarm is available 
Ashtray and lighter ($80)
Cold weather package ($400) heated seats, mirrors, 
engine block heater 
lluminated visor mirrors ($100) 
Dual overhead map lights ($100) 
Rear spoiler - color matched to body ($290) 
Leather interior ($1295)
1996 Outback Colors
All with lower grey accent and grey cloth 
Mica Ruby (medium red) 
Glacier White 
Deep Saphire (dark blue) 
Spruce Pearl (dark green) 
There was no Limited model in 1996
There was no factory sunroof in 1996


Subaru Outback with optional rear gate bar, 1996 model
this one has the optional chrome gate bar (handle)
all 1996 Subaru Outbacks had gray lower accent
notice the raised roof line? 1996 was the first year for it and it quickly became an important Outback style.
Previously Subaru has used the raised roof on other models 1990-1994.

Notice it says Legacy on the left? The Outback was a model of the Legacy line. There were many sedan and wagon models of the Legacy, some were called Outbacks and other Legacy,  and it got confusing. In 2008, they started to only use the Legacy name on sedans and the Outback name on wagons.
The rear bumper cover/step pad was standard, the chrome gate bar was an option

1996 mica ruby subaruy outback, front view
standard fog lights with stone guards. optional front hood protector. 1997-1999 models had a hood scoop.


15" alloy wheel and mud flaps were standard

every Outback was all wheel drive. Subaru stopped making front wheel drive cars early in 1996, so there are a few 1997 front wheel drives available.

gray was the only interior available.

still going strong (November 2011)

gray cloth, 1996 Outback
this was the only interior. Leather was introduced in the 1997 Limited
height adjustable driver seat, 96 Outback
the driver seat had a manual height adjustment
console for a 96 Outback, automatic transmission
center console. this stereo isn't original
1996 outback cupholder is removable
the cupholder came out at an angle, and comes out for cleaning
removing the cupholder in a 1996 subaru outback
to remove the cupholder for cleaning- push the button and pull the cupholder out. This one has the original stereo
original cassette and optional cd player, 1996 outback
the cupholder removed. Notice this one has the original standard am/fm cassette with the optional CD player below it. 
1996 outback, original stereo
closeup of original am/fm cassette stereo with optional cd player
frameless door windows, 1996 subaru outback
frameless doors were a well known Subaru trait through the 2009 model.
subaru outback rear seat cushion flips forward,
the rear seat cushion flipped up and the seat back folds down

seat cushions flipped up through the 2004 model.
cargo area,  1996-1999 outback
cargo area with standard cargo tray and cargo cover

under floor storage above the temporary spare tire

this is the original window sticker for this car.

1996 Subaru Outback monroney window price sticker

the end