KZN farm­ers’ favourite com­mute up­dated

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING -

SUBARU South­ern Africa sales have re­mained re­silient through­out the tough eco­nomic cli­mate of 2017, post­ing YOY sales growth of 10% in a mar­ket that barely grew by 1,8%.

This re­silience is largely due to a strong and loyal cus­tomer base who place their trust in Subaru over and over again, with the Pi­eter­mar­itzburg deal­er­ship con­sis­tently rated among the top Subaru deal­er­ships in SA.

Subaru own­ers do not, as a rule, worry overly much about de­sign, but they do de­mand space. A 512-litre boot more than dou­bles to 1801 litres with the seats folded down, pro­vid­ing space for any­thing from bags of cat­tle feed to polo sticks.

The most sig­nif­i­cant de­sign up­dates ap­pear at the front of the Out­back with a re­vised bumper de­sign that has sharper edges and less ac­cen­tu­ated fog lamp sur­rounds. Larger front cladding now en­hances pro­tec­tion from the on­slaught of mud and stones, es­pe­cially for when the ve­hi­cle is driven off road, some­thing that Out­back own­ers tend to do a lot of the time.

A the front, the new Out­back sports the hexag­o­nal grille with only the first blade picked out in chrome, while the two below are now fin­ished in a matte black coat.

The new mir­ror hous­ings have been de­signed with in­te­grated LED turn sig­nals as well as a new side view cam­era for ne­go­ti­at­ing curbs and steep drops.

The Out­back rides on new 18-inch wheel de­signs, with a two-tone con­trast of high gloss sil­ver and black in­lays.

Subaru has also added two new colours to the Out­back range, namely Crim­son Red Pearl and Wilder­ness Green Metal­lic.

Un­der the hood

The en­gines on the two Subaru Out­back vari­ants in South Africa re­main un­changed, with the 2.5i-S ES mak­ing 129 kW and 235 Nm and the flag­ship 3.6R-S ES mak­ing 191 kW and 350 Nm, sus­tain­ing 90% of its peak torque be­tween 2 000 and 6 000 rpm.

The re­sult of this is an ex­cep­tion­ally re­spon­sive en­gine no mat­ter the speed.

En­gines are rea­son­ably ef­fi­cient too, with the 2.5i-S ES re­turn­ing 7,7 l/100 km and the 3.6R-S ES giv­ing a claimed 9,9 l/ 100 km.

Both en­gines are mated with Subaru’s stan­dard Lin­eartronic CVT (con­tin­u­ously vari­able trans­mis­sion) with a seven-speed man­ual mode and pad­dle shift con­trols be­hind the steer­ing wheel.

The CVT now of­fers an even smoother re­sponse thanks to a re­worked ECU.

As with all Subaru’s sold in South Africa, the Subaru Out­back com­bines its 213mm ground clear­ance, the Sym­met­ri­cal All-Wheel Drive (AWD) and Ac­tive Torque Vec­tor­ing sys­tems for an ag­ile drive over var­ied ter­rain.

The most no­tice­able dif­fer­ence to the in­te­rior de­sign, is the all-new seven-inch In­fo­tain­ment sys­tem.

The sys­tem is car­ried through to the Out­back from the all-new Im­preza and XV mod­els that were launched in South Africa in 2017.

The voice-con­trolled sys­tem now uses two mi­cro­phones and is sig­nif­i­cantly bet­ter at han­dling voice calls,

The sound is ex­cel­lent thanks to an eleven-speaker sys­tem and am­pli­fier by Har­man Kar­don.

The Out­back comes with a three-year or 75 000km full main­te­nance plan and a five year or 150 000km war­ranty.

The Main­te­nance plans are ex­tend­able up to 5 years / 150,000kms at time of pur­chase.

Out­back prices

2.5i-S ES R579 000

3.6R-S ES R649 000

PHOTO: QUICKPIC

The lat­est Subaru Out­back boasts a slew of re­fine­ments in­clud­ing bet­ter voice recog­ni­tion but can still tame with quiet aplomb any mud the Mid­lands can dish up.

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