As I indicate to pull off the N7 to deliver the new Subaru Outback back to HQ, my kilometer counter reads 4,025. Seven days ago it had 3,005 kilometers, which results in me doing just over 1,000 kilometers of joyous motoring. Not every car gets the same test but it just so happened that I had a pretty busy week with work travels taking me south and a colleagues wedding taking me north. This gave me ample opportunity to familiarize myself with the new Outback and see how capable it is. My test vehicle was the €44,995 SX version, which has the Lineartronic CVT transmission that delivers 7 seamlessly smooth forward gears. Manual lovers can opt for the €41,995 SE version but when you see the spec as standard on the SX, there really is only one choice.
Subaru has had automatics in the past and in particular the 2.5-litre petrol auto Outback was a good seller, but with our stringent emission laws increasing Subaru had to go with the masses and mate a diesel powertrain to an all-new gearbox. The 2.0-Litre Boxer Diesel delivers approximately 150 horsepower and produces 166 g/km of CO2. The impressive part is for a car of this size the Outback can deliver 44.8mpg and this, unlike some cars, is an achievable figure on a motorway cruise. The next party piece for the Outback has to be its amazing versatility. It’s a luxury family estate with real world off-road capabilities sitting 200mm clear of the ground.
As mentioned previously a wedding brought me up north to the picturesque lakes of Gartan, CountyDonegal and I was glad of the Outback’s rugged stance over some challenging roads. All too often I spotted severe dips that had been kissed by numerous sump bolts but none posed an issue for the Outback. In looking at the Subaru you would expect it to be a little soft through the corners because it sits so high but it’s perfectly balanced on newly revised suspension. Subaru’s rally background made them masters at positioning engines low for the best center of gravity and this transpires in the way you can corner in such a big car.
Had we encountered wintery conditions (It is Ireland) the symmetrical all-wheel drive system would have called upon the active torque splitter to deliver the right amount of power to each wheel that needed it most, once again delivering reassurance. Inside, the leather seats are supportive and comfortable and the cockpit is well appointed leaving you under no illusions that your €44,995 has been spent wisely. I really enjoyed my time in the Outback and if there was to be one gripe and a small one might I add. I would have preferred just a little more power. Weighing in at 1,624kg it’s not a light car and even when you use the paddle shift to change down to overtake you could do with a shade more horsepower. That said it’s an epic motorway cruiser with practical off road capabilities. Those looking for more power would have to place a special order for the rather impressive WRX STI, which we will test soon. Watch this space!
[table “189” not found /]