Subaru’s Outback has hit a following with buyers in this country, while being more a cross over vehicle and essentially a jacked up station wagon it’s mysteriously classed as a large SUV which puzzled me more after parking it in the garage next to my Captiva and seeing the size difference.
Never the less its popularity is growing and after spending a week in it I can understand why, as the Outback offers a good amount of space and versatility for families, has decent road manners and is packed full of safety features including Subaru’s excellent Eyesight system.
The Outback is powered by a 2.5L 4 cyl boxer engine developing 125kW and 250Nm mated to the 4cyl engine is CVT transmission.
The engine is tractable and will easily keep up with traffic and will cruise effortlessly cruise on the speed limit. Although at times at part throttle it feels like it has a flat spot although I think that’s more to do with CVT trying to find the highest ratio for fuel economy sake I found it rather annoying as you sometimes had to peddle the Outback more than you should have to.
Most of the time the Outback is well behaved and the CVT pose less of an issue while the 2.5L boxer is a cracker of engine I feel it lacks a bit of torque for the size of the car specially when going up hills. I’m a little bit pickier then most people so I’m sure others won’t be as put off or notice the CVT as much as I do.
The Outback is extremely comfortable to drive and ride in, the suspension does a great job of soaking up the bumps and there is no harshness or crash transmitted into the cabin.
There is very minimal lean when cornering, the steering is sharp and has a good weight and feel to it even at slow speed making it extremely easy to park in tight shopping centre car parks that most Outback’s will spend a good amount of time in.
The leather seats and comfortable and relatively supportive the Outback would make a nice comfortable highway cruiser. Leg and head room in the front is great and the electric adjustment on the seats makes it easy to find the perfect position driver seat also has a memory setting if you share the driving with somebody else.
Subaru has done a good job on the rear seat packaging and there was a good amount of head and legroom and there seems to be enough room for a couple of cars seats, I have 2 teenagers and they never complained once about the lack of room during the week.
Boot space is great at 512 litres which expands to a smidge over 1800 Litres with the rear seats folded I specially love the levers in the back near the tail gate which fold the rear seats down.
Storage space is aplenty with a decent sized centre console a storage tray at the bottom of the centre stack with a 12v out and USB outlets. Bottle holders and map pockets on the front doors, 2 cup holders in the front and bottle holders in the back.
The Outback comes packed full of technology, the adaptive cruise control works extremely and it will even tell when the car in front of you has moved off at the lights.
With full Bluetooth connectivity it was extremely easy for me to connect up my phone and live stream music. It does have in some built in aps such as Pandora but that is a bit redundant since Pandora isn’t around in Australia anymore.
But with Blueooth connectivity and android auto and apple capabilities I had no issue live streaming my music via Spotify, the sound from the audio system is rather good and too me seemed an improvement over the previous model, the satnav works great and was exceptionally easy to use.
Its no surprise the Outback has received a 5 star safety rating as it is fitted with Subaru’s Eyesight which one of the best safety systems going around and the Outback comes standard with a long list of safety features. Including Collision Avoidance, Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (SAWD), Vehicle Dynamics Control system (VDC) featuring: Electronic Stability Control (ESC) , Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) , Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) , Brake Assist, Traction Control System (TCS), TCS Limited Slip Device, Active Torque Vectoring system,
4-wheel disc brakes, Hill Start Assist – forward and reverse, Electronic parking brake, Hill hold switch.
It gets bonus points for the standard fit rear view reverse camera but then looses them for not having any form of parking sensors which I find damn annoying as times it’s hard to judge distance just by the camera alone.
The Outback scores bonus points for the standard fit reverse camera, but strangely there are no front or rear parking sensors which is something that I think should be standard fit on all cars so it loses points for that. While camera works fine and is extremely clear is it sometimes hard to judge depth when parking in tight spaces.
After a week the only downsides for me is the lack of torque combined with a CVT geared towards economy then performance means it does feel a little sluggish at times.
With plenty of space and room, a long list of safety features and great comfort levels the Outback makes a perfect case for the average family car, whether it be for around town or for long distance cruising and really should be on your list.
For more info on the Outback or the rest of Subaru’s range check out their website http://www.subaru.com.au or get down to your local Subaru dealership.
Outback 2.5i Premium
Price: From $47,281
Engine: Boxer 4 cylinder petrol engine 129kW 235Nm
Drive: Symmetrical All Wheel Drive Active Torque Split
Transmission: Lineartronic™ CVT