Subaru’s Outback can trace its history back to the mid 70’s and the first real crossover wagon, the Leone. Through the evolution of the Liberty Wagon in the late 80’s then finally to the first Outback wagon in 1996.
Subaru can lay claim to starting the trend of crossover wagons and to this day retains a special place as the only vehicle with full time AWD. Having owned first a Leone then a Liberty with air suspension, I can attest to just how good these vehicles are.
The latest Outback takes the crossover concept to a new level.
The new models comes in three variants, the Outback, Outback Sport and the Outback Touring. There is one engine, a revised 2.5L Boxer engine mated to an 8 slot CVT.
Some previous Subaru Outback reviews
- Subaru Outback gets even more specification in the new model
- 2019 Subaru Outback 3.6R Review
- 2019 Subaru Outback Spring Drive Sydney to Byron Bay Video Review
- Drive into Spring Subaru Outback from Coffs Harbour to Byron Bay Part Three
- Drive into Spring With a Subaru Outback Port Stephens to Coffs Harbour Part Two
- Drive into Spring: Sydney to Port Stephens in Subaru Outback, Part One
- 2019 Subaru Outback – Touring Central West NSW
- Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium Best Feature Radio Review
- 2018 Subaru Outback 3.6R Review
- 2018 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium Review
- Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium AWD SUV Review
- 2015 Subaru Outback Premium Review
What does the latest Outback look like?
Think evolution rather than revolution. The existing Outback is a stylish wagon and the new model adds subtle touches such as the wheel arch cladding, revised hexagonal grill, C shaped DRL’s. LED fog lights and rear combination light cluster, push fuel filler cap, integrated door mirror, 20mm wider rear cargo door and 18 inch alloy wheels on all models including a full size spare.
One really clever feature is the rear camera washer, eliminating the need to get out and wipe the camera at times.
There is a choice of nine colours include the new Autumn Green Metallic and Brilliant Bronze Metallic.
What about the interior of the Outback?
In the past Subaru have had their moment of design atrocities, not so of late? The interior of the Outback is a sophisticated, luxurious stylish design with some key improvements.
These highlights include:
- High Definition 11.6-inch head unit Centre Information Display – centralising and simplifying many controls, with vertical orientation and operation like a smartphone
- Largest Outback cabin to date – with key interior dimensions increased, including larger, wider-opening cargo area
- Auto windows for all windows,
- Heated front and rear outer seats
More details are in the model walk below.
Subaru Outback full model walk details
- ABS anti-lock brakes with four-wheel discs and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD)
- Active Torque Vectoring
- Adaptive Driving Beam (ADB)
- Auto Vehicle Hold (AVH)
- Brake Assist
- Child seat anchor points – ISOFIX
- Curtain airbags – full length
- Daytime Running Lights – LED
- Driver Monitoring System1, with:
- Distraction warning
- Drowsiness warning
- Facial recognition
- Driver’s knee airbag
- Dual front airbags
- Dual front side airbags
- EyeSight driver assist system2 – latest generation, with new features for Outback:
- Autonomous Emergency Steering
- Lane Centring Function
- Emergency Lane Keep Assist
- Speed Sign Recognition/Intelligent Speed Limiter
- Eyesight Assist Monitor
- Lane Departure Warning with steering wheel vibration
- Lane Departure Prevention
- EyeSight improved features:
- Pre-Collision Braking System
- Adaptive Cruise Control
- Other EyeSight features:
- Pre-Collision Throttle Management
- Lead Vehicle Start Alert
- Manual Speed Limiter (new for Outback)
- Conventional Cruise Control
- Fog lights (LED) – front
- Front passenger seat cushion airbag
- Front seatbelts with pretensioners and load limiters
- LED headlights – steering responsive and wiper-activated
- Rear door child lock
- Rear view camera with washer
- Reverse Automatic Braking (RAB)
- Seatbelt indicator lights – all seats
- Side intrusion bars
- Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive
- Three-point A/ELR rear centre seatbelt
- Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
- Vehicle Dynamics Control electronic stability control
- Vision Assist features:
- Blind Spot Monitor (BSM)
- Lane Change Assist (LCA)
- Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)
- Wiper de-icer for front wipers
- X-Mode (2 mode)
- Bluetooth/AUX/voice command compatible six-speaker audio touchscreen system
- Climate control air conditioning – dual zone, with rear vents
- Cargo security blind – one touch operation
- Centre Information Display – High Definition 11.6-inch 1920 x 1080 static touch head unit
- Cup holders – four
- Door bottle holders – four
- Electric parking brake
- Fabric seat trim
- Height and reach adjustable steering column
- Immobiliser security system
- Leather trim gear shift
- Leather steering wheel with audio, Multi-Information Display and cruise control buttons
- LED cabin lights – including cargo area
- Multi-Information Display
- Paddle shift gear change
- Power steering
- Power lumbar support – driver seat
- Power mirrors – heated and power-folding
- Power windows with auto open/close
- Powered seats – driver and front passenger
- Push button start
- Rain sensing windscreen wipers
- Rear seats lever activated fold function
- Rear seats recline function
- Remote central locking
- Seatback storage pockets
- Two remote central locking keys
- USB ports – front and rear for recharging of multiple devices
- Vanity mirrors
- 12 Volts power sockets – front glovebox and cargo area
- 60/40 split/fold rear seat
- 18-inch alloy wheels – full-sized alloy spare; wheel finish unique to variant
- 213 mm ground clearance
- Chrome look front grille
- Colour-coded mirrors and door handles
- Filler cap – push-type, using electronic lock/unlock
- Privacy glass (rear)
- Rain sensing wipers
- Rear roof spoiler
- Rear wiper
- Roof rails, with integrated stowable cross bars (AWD and AWD Touring variants only)
- Shark fin style antenna
- Silver under guards
- Wheel arch cladding – front and rear guards
- Active Grille Shutter
- Active Valve Control System (AVCS)
- Auto Stop Start
- Auto tailgate unlock
- Cruise control – adaptive option with EyeSight2
- Electronic throttle control
- Keyless entry
- Lineartronic Continuously Variable Transmission
- SI-Drive (two-mode)
- Smart key
- Subaru Global Platform
- Five-year unlimited kilometre warranty
- 5 litre Direct Injection horizontally opposed boxer engine – 138 Kilowatts of power at 5,800 rpm and 245 Newton metres of torque at 3,400 to 4,600 rpm.
OUTBACK AWD SPORT ADDS:
- Crystal Black painted door mirror covers and shark fin antenna (unique to variant)
- Heated front and rear outboard seats
- Black exterior highlights
- Light sensing headlights – auto on/off
- Powered cargo door with handsfree sensor and memory function
- Premium finish leather steering wheel
- Roofs rails (fixed ladder type) – black with green highlights (unique to variant)
- Satellite navigation – factory-fitted, powered by TomTom
- Matte black rear badge finish (unique to variant)
- Sports pedals
- Vision Assist extra features: Front View Monitor and Side View Monitor
- Water repellent seat trim3 with green stitching (unique to variant)
- Wheel finish unique to variant – dark metallic finish
OUTBACK AWD TOURING ADDS (TO AWD SPORT SPEC):
- Auto power folding door mirrors with auto dipping functionality for the passenger side door mirror
- Driver Monitoring System1 adds auto driver seat and door mirror adjustment
- Dual memory driver seat
- Electric sunroof
- Harman/kardon nine-speaker sound system – with sub-woofer + single CD player (located inside centre console)
- Heated steering wheel
- Nappa leather accented seat trim
- Satin finish door mirrors
- Silver highlight roof rails with integrated, stowable crossbars
- Wheel finish unique to variant – gloss
Outback Engine and Drivetrain
Outback is powered by an almost completely revised 2.5L 4 cylinder boxer engine that produces 138kW @ 5,800 rpm and 245 NM @ 3,400 to 4,600 rpm and drives through a revised CVT with an 8 step manual mode.
Every Outback features the premium Active Torque Split AWD that distributes optimal torque to the front and rear wheels, depending on road surface and driving conditions.
They also feature dual-mode X-MODE that enhances Outback’s AWD off-road performance.
One mode is optimised for snow and dirt, the other for deep snow and mud.
X-MODE functions are incorporated in the Centre Information Display (CID) monitor. Operation is made easier through intuitive touchscreen control.
Changes and the new SGP now allow an impressive towing capacity of 2000kg and a tow ball weight of 200kg.
Unladen ground clearance is 213mm, putting that into perspective the Toyota HiLux Rogue has a ground clearance of 216mm just 3mm more than the outback.
What about Safety for the Outback?
Safety has been a key factor for Subaru as they were the first manufacturer to have a 5 star ANCAP rating across all models.
Outback is packed with safety features and is perhaps the best equipped vehicle in its class and well beyond its price point.
We have provided a separate article of the key Outback safety features HERE, but a few points worth mentioning are:
- Latest generation EyeSight® driver assist package
- Subaru Driver Monitoring System (DMS)
- Subaru Vision Assist technologies
- front passenger seat cushion airbag – Outback now has eight airbags
- Reverse Automatic Braking (RAB)
- Visibility – Outback is designed so that even nearby small children can be seen by the driver, including at the rear,
- Active Torque Split AWD
OUTBACK MY21 PRICING*
|OUTBACK MY21 MANUFACTURER’S LIST PRICE*
|Outback AWD Sport
|Outback AWD Touring
*Prices are Subaru (Aust) Pty Limited’s Manufacturer’s List Prices only and include GST on the list price but exclude dealer delivery charges and all other government and statutory charges. For the drive away price of Subaru vehicles consumers should be advised to contact their local authorized Subaru dealer.
Subaru Outback MY21 Final Thoughts
I’ve always been a fan of the Outback, for obvious reasons, and the latest model takes an exceptionally good vehicle and makes it even better.
For the price it’s an absolute bargain and you’ll get nothing that has the same level of safety and comfort features anywhere near that price in its competitors.
We will have full drive reviews shortly