The Subaru Outback is proving popular for families so I was very keen to see how it would handle the family duties for my house hold for the week.
The Leather trimmed front seats are comfortable but I would of liked the seat bases to be a fraction longer, front and rear leg and head room was good. Climate controlled aircon worked well and didn’t take long to cool down the cabin.
Boot space was good at 460L which does expand to 1200L thanks to the fold flat rear seats, I did like the handy levers in the back that folded the rear seats.
Instrument panel is easy to read in any light the speedo are ringed is a pleasant blue light which changes to pink when in sport mode.
The LCD screen in between the dials, can display various info from the trip computer and the eye sight system.
Tech levels were right up there the multimedia system with full Bluetooth connectivity was easy to use and didn’t take long to connect up to, it not quite as user friendly as say Holden’s Mylink system but Its still easy to use.
The satnav worked great and in turn was easy to use as well.
The Outback now comes with Subaru’s Eyesight technology which offers such things as adaptive cruise control, autonomous braking, lane departure warning, blind side assistance. It was will also sense when a vehicle in front has moved off and gives you a message on the instrument panel.
With a 2L diesel under the bonnet the Subaru was always going to be pretty decent on economy and it didn’t disappoint with me averaging 9L/100km for my commute.
On the freeway which I seemed to do a bit of in the last week saw it get down to 7.3L/100km.
Performance wise the diesel with 350Nm can be reasonably quick and has no issues at all keeping up with the traffic, the engine is backed by CVT transmission which is probably the best CVT I’ve sampled and really most of the time you don’t notice it at all.
But while being the best CVT I’ve sampled I found at certain times it was lacking compared to a conventional auto, Subaru have done well with the steeped gear points they have programmed in but they still feel a touch artificial to me.
I found the Outback rode rather well seemed to soak up the bumps and there was no hints of anything being transmitted into the cabin, you still did feel some of the bigger bumps but there was no harshness associated with it that you get with some others cars.
Steering was light and offered a decent amount of feel and the Outback was easy to reverse park even in it the tights spots.
The Outback has achieved the maximum 5 ANCAP occupant safety rating and comes with a massive list of safety features including, 7 SRS airbags, Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC), Electronic Stability Control, Traction Control System, Limited Slip Device, Anti-lock Braking System, Electronic Brake Force Distribution and Brake Assist.
Then there’s the a fore mentioned EyeSight® Driver Assist which works using cameras mounted at the top of the wind screen and gives you warnings of dangers ahead and can apply the brakes for you in certain situations really it’s that good and has so many features I could do a separate article on it.
It receives bonus points for having a rearview camera but loses them for having no reverse sensors which doing come in handy when reversing into tight spots.
Overall I found the Outback does offer a decent overall package it has a decent amount of room, a long list of safety features, the diesel engine can return decent economy figures.
Although while the CVT was probably the best sorted CVT I’ve tested to it does fall short of your normal auto in user friendly terms and drive ability (but that would be more of a personal thing as I’m not a massive fan of CVT’s), but it is well tuned to the diesel engine and most of the time you wouldn’t even realise it was a CVT so I will give it a tick which is big coming from me.
If you are looking at something that a bit different to your normal SUV and offers high equipment and safety levels then certainly you should be taking an Outback for a test drive, for more information on the Outback check out their website http://www.subaru.com.au
MY16 Subaru Outback Premium Diesel
Price: from $44,990
Engine: Turbocharged horizontally opposed Boxer 4 cylinder diesel engine 110kW and 350Nm
Transmission and Drive: Lineartronic™ CVT with manual mode, Symmetrical All Wheel Drive
18″ alloy wheels, self-levelling LED low beam with auto off, Daytime running lights, Front fog lights, dusk-sensing Headlights, Rear LED combination lights, Rear LED stoplight.
Blue interior illumination, Cabin and cargo area lights, Illuminated ignition ring Push button,
dual zone climate control with rear vents, Heater ducts for rear passengers.
Electroluminescent gauges, Instrument cluster, One touch lane change indicator, Paddle gear shift on steering column, Twin trip meter (switchable), Steering wheel controls: Audio, Cruise control, Bluetooth, EyeSight.
Multi-Information Display unit (MID) featuring: 5″ LCD screen, Digital speedometer, Journey fuel economy information, Eco-gauge information, EyeSight.
Pull-out cargo area tie down points, Rear retractable centre cushion table with cupholders, Retractable cargo security blind, Seat back pocket – driver and front passenger side, 12V/120W power jacks (x2), Auto-dimming rear view mirror, Boot/tailgate unlock on remote central locking keys, Illuminated sunvisor with vanity mirrors driver and front passenger, Intermittent variable speed front windscreen wipers, Rain-sensing front windscreen wipers with front de-icer. Power rear tailgate with memory function, Smart key and push-start ignition.
Leather Seat trim , 8 way power seat with dual memory driver, 8-way power seat front passenger, Electric lumbar support driver, heated seats , One touch lever folding and reclining rear seat.
Integrated infotainment system with satellite navigation, AM/FM radio, single CD player ,
6 speakers , 7″ touchscreen, Pandora ® compatibility , Bluetooth, Handsfree mobile communication, Audio streaming, Voice command recognition, Auxiliary jack front centre console, USB connections front centre console.
Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (SAWD), Hill hold switch, Electronic parking brake, Rear view reverse camera. Vision Assist featuring: Blind spot monitor, Lane change assist, Rear cross traffic alert, High beam assist, Collision Protection, 7 airbags, EyeSight® Driver Assist system.
Hill descent control, Privacy glass, Rear spoiler, Roof rails with integrated cross bars.