Subaru fires back — finally — with a family friendly diesel self-shifter
A diesel engine in a Subaru Outback makes sense, even more so with a CVT to save gear changes
IN Subaru’s own admission, this is the most important and significant car of its past decade.
This, the diesel automatic version of its large-SUV player, the Outback, is the first time the company has had a gun big and suitable enough to fight on equal terms with some powerful rivals.
‘‘ It’s the missing piece in the engine-transmission puzzle that we have longed to bring to the market,’’ Subaru Australia managing director Nick Senior says.
He says the biggest SUV sector is the large class, comprising players such as the Hyundai Santa Fe, Ford Territory, Holden Captiva, Toyota Prado and Volkswagen Alltrack. The petrol-diesel split is 45-55 and of the diesel models, a whopping 94 per cent sold have automatic gearboxes.
Subaru’s Outback diesel has only a manual gearbox. Until this week.
‘‘ It’s held us back,’’ Senior says. ‘‘ But we predict the diesel auto model will lift monthly sales from 220 to 350.’’
So though outwardly a variation of the existing Outback, this is a model carrying big expectations.
Keenly priced and with strong 55 per cent resale value, the Outback is almost always on the shopping list for five-seater SUV wagons. This new automatic model improves the odds. It costs $42,490 as the 2.0D version with standard 17-inch alloys, paddle shift auto, satnav and cruise control.
The Premium model adds