Relive a new adventure...
The new Subaru Outback will take family outings in its stride and before long it will hold so many memories it will feel like part of the gang.
When it was introduced in South Africa in 1994, the Outback was one of the first cars to be equipped with all-wheel drive (AWD), which means all four wheels are driven all the time. Subaru is the acknowledged industry standard, with Toyota as a significant shareholder (18%) to share technology. It can lay claim to being the original crossover and it remained true to its core as an authentic crossover ever since.
Globally, the Subaru Outback represents the spirit of adventure for which the brand is known - go-anywhere capability, with a premium interior and technology to suit any lifestyle. Few vehicles in the segment can match its 512-litre cargo space which can extend to 1 801 litres with the back seats folded down.
The most significant design updates appear at the front with a revised bumper design that has sharper edges and less accentuated fog lamp surrounds. Larger front cladding now enhances protection when the vehicle is driven off-road, something that Outback owners tend to do quite often.
Incorporated in the front grille is a camera lens for the new front view monitor, which is part of the driver assistance package. Subaru has added two new colours to the range: Crimson Red Pearl and Wilderness Green Metallic.
The engines on the two Subaru Outback variants in South Africa remain unchanged. The Outback 2,5i-S ES is powered by the FB25 2 498cc, four-cylinder, Boxer petrol engine, with 16 valves, twin camshafts per bank and variable valve timing. The engine delivers 129kW at 5 800rpm and 235Nm at 4 000rpm.
We drove the flagship model Outback 3,6R-S ES, which employs an EZ36 3 630cc sixcylinder Boxer engine that features four valves per cylinder, double overhead camshafts and variable ignition timing. It’s a powerful motor that produces 191kW at 6 000rpm and 350Nm at 4 400rpm, sustaining 90% of its peak torque between 2 000 and 6 000rpm. The result of this is an exceptionally responsive engine.
The engine is highly efficient with an official fuel consumption figure of 9,9 litres per 100km. It is mated with Subaru’s standard Lineartronic continuously variable transmission (CVT) with a seven-speed manual mode and paddle shift controls behind the steering wheel.
The Outback combines its 213mm ground clearance with symmetrical all-wheel drive (AWD) and active torque vectoring systems for more agile and capable driving on varied terrain. Torque is distributed to where it is needed most, depending on traction and power to each wheel.
The Subaru Outback is equipped to tackle any adventure thanks to features including convenient retractable crossbars for loading everything from roof carriers, skis, kayaks and bikes without the need for additional cross-bars.
In spite of its adventurous nature, the Outback is refined, with a comfortable, quality driving experience. New sound-insulating glass has been used for the front side windows as well as thicker insulation on the rear wheel wells for a quieter cabin with less wind noise. The air-conditioning system has also been improved to distribute air to the cabin faster and more evenly.
The interior has received a makeover with a more contemporary layout. Not everybody likes a gloss finish due to its tendency to smudge, but we liked the sophisticated dashboard’s panel inserts in piano black with silver surrounds. This detail is carried from the instrument binnacle to the centre stack and front air vents all the way to the passenger side.
The steering wheel has new multi-function controls for the infotainment system, EyeSight driver assistance system as well as the multifunction vehicle display screens.
An all-new 7” infotainment system has been carried over from the Impreza and XV models launched in South Africa in 2017.
The screen is the key to entertainment, connectivity and Satnav functionality. The system is faster and now offers Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smart phone connectivity for safer driving. The voice-controlled system uses two microphones and technology that offers improved interaction with voice calls, Apple Siri or OK Google voice commands. Passengers can connect through two additional USB ports, which are compatible to charge smartphones and tablets, at the back of the centre console for use in the rear seats.
Subaru South Africa launched the globally accepted EyeSight Driver Assist system in 2017 and it is offered on both Outback variants. The award-winning safety system employs stereo cameras to view the front of the vehicle and scan ahead for obstructions or obstacles. The system includes adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, pre-collision throttle management and vehicle lane departure and sway warning. Also standard is blind spot detection and rear cross traffic alert.
Automatic locking of the doors is activated from 20km. The system is designed to unlock the doors when a collision occurs and the airbags have deployed.
Pricing for the 2,5i-S ES is R579 000 and comes with a three year or 75 000km full maintenance plan and a five year or 150 000km warranty.
Pricing for the flagship 3,6R-S ES is R649 000 and it also comes with a three year or 75 000km full maintenance plan and five year or 150 000km warranty.
The maintenance plans can be extended to five years or 150 000km at the time of purchase. The 2018 Subaru Outback is now available at Subaru George.
The globally EyeSight Driver Assist system in action
Ease of entry to the boot as well as automatic closing make errands child's play.
The 7" infotainment system