The Subaru Outback is an automotive nameplate used by the Japanese automobile manufacturer Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI) since 1994. The “Outback” name has been utilized on two different Subaru branded vehicles. One of these models is based on the mid-sized Subaru Legacy and the other derived from the hatchback version of the Subaru Impreza. Named after the vast, remote, and arid outback regions in Australia—the name is intended to emphasize the moderate off-road capability of the vehicle.
The Outback station wagon debuted in the United States market in 1994 for the 1995 model year as a derivative of the second generation Subaru Legacy. In Japan, Subaru introduced this vehicle as the Legacy Grand Wagon in 1995, but in most other markets, this model became known as the Legacy Outback. In Australia, Subaru opted to shorten the name to Subaru Outback when launched there in 1996—thus becoming the first market to utilize the abbreviated name. Subaru developed the Outback by adding side body cladding and raising the suspension of the existing Legacy wagon. With the exception of small differences in trim, the Outback shared almost all of its components with the Legacy donor model. In the New England region of the United States, Subaru retailed the Legacy SUS—a similar concept to the Outback, but based on the sedan body variant.