SHIFT­LESS SE­LEC­TION

Subaru fires back — fi­nally — with a fam­ily friendly diesel self-shifter

Herald Sun - Motoring - - News - NEIL DOWL­ING neil.dowl­ing@cars­guide.com.au

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.

VALUE

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

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