Written byShaun McGowan
Subaru Outback is the same size, essentially, as Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorento or Toyota Kluger, but people generally regard it as more car-like.
Unlike these three competitors, Outback is limited to five seats (seven for the other three). And unlike Santa Fe and Sorento, Outback is available only with a petrol engine.
Subaru’s most distinctive feature, perhaps, is the Symmetrical All-wheel Drive system - meaning all four wheels transmit drive to the road, all the time. Most competitors tend to offer ‘on-demand’ AWD, which reverts at times to front-drive and is controlled by a computer.
For this reason, Outback tends to be quite surefooted in slippery conditions, including wet bitumen and mud/gravel.
Outback has a cavernous cargo space that is unencumbered by a third seating row. Engine is a 2.5-litre horizontally-opposed four-cylinder offering 138 kilowatts and 245 Newton-metres.
To put this in perspective, Toyota, Hyundai and Kia offer six-cylinder petrol engines in similar-sized vehicles. Toyota’s produces 218 kilowatts and 350 Newton-metres. (That’s 58 per cent more peak power and 43 per cent more peak torque.) The additional performance from six cylinders is not without penalty, however: The Outback offers 16 per cent better fuel economy compared with the Kluger.
Outback’s straight-line performance is therefore adequate rather than spectacular. It seems a shame that Subaru, for reasons known only to itself, has thus far declined to incorporate the 2.4-litre turbocharged engine available in other markets into the Australian Outback range.
Basic features, plus:
Life isn’t linear. Plans change in an instant. Adventures are snatched between busy lives. The lines between work and play are blurred and the Subaru Outback takes it all in its stride. Curated to seamlessly traverse the space between city commutes and off-road weekends, Subaru Outback’s generous spirit elevates very experience. Comfort, safety and practicality blend effortlessly to transform your journey and enable new possibilities.
Not all SUVs are created equal. Some may look the part, but deep down they’re just not up to the task. The Subaru Outback is the real thing. With its sure-footed, wide-body design, excellent visibility, 18" alloy wheels and 213mm ground clearance*, the Subaru Outback’s at home in the corners, on the highway and on gravel.
Inside, experience next level comfort and sophistication, with an outstanding 11.6” infotainment system and sumptuous Nappa leather accented seat trim* which makes every drive an absolute pleasure. And when it comes to performance? While Subaru’s world-renowned Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system is paired with a 2.5L Subaru Boxer engine, to deliver unrivalled flexibility and an impressive 2,000kg braked towing capacity*
Unlike other model ranges, which can be complex and hard to digest, Outback’s lineup is simple: There are three model grades offering slightly different trim and equipment levels, but all featuring the same powertrain. The range is: Base model Outback AWD, then Sport, and Touring.
All grades feature Symmetrical AWD, as well as Subaru’s excellent EyeSight safety system and 11.6-inch infotainment screen, eight-speed CVT transmission, 2000kg tow capacity and dusk-sensing LED headlamps.
‘Sport’ grade adds sat-nav, 18-inch alloys, front and side view monitors, heated seats front and rear (outboard seats only at the rear) and an auto tailgate.
‘Touring’ grade adds leather, an electric sunroof, uprated audio system, heated steering wheel, memory driver’s seat and gloss-finish 18-inch alloys.
Shaun is the founder of Money.com.au and is determined to help people pay as little as possible for financial products. Through education and building world class technology. Previously Shaun co-founded CarLoans.com.au and Lend.