KZN farmers’ favourite commute updated
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.
2.5i-S ES R579 000
3.6R-S ES R649 000
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.