Subaru has revealed an all-new version of its Outback crossover – complete with boxer diesel engine, four-wheel drive, and greater levels of space and comfort.
Now in its fourth generation, the Subaru Outback is a crossover in the original sense, being halfway between an estate car and an off-roader – a concept copied by vehicles such as the Audi Allroad. It is built on the same platform as the latest Subaru Legacy.
Bigger and more practical
The new Subaru Outback is bigger than its predecessor in every dimension, with an increased wheelbase and more interior room.
Subaru claims an improved level of quality throughout, and better refinement – with details including double door seals to keep wind and road noise out, power adjustable front seats and leather upholstery as standard, and dashboard dials that are illuminated even in daylight.
Boot space is up to 526 litres minimum – a 67-litre increase – and 1,677 litres maximum, while on-board storage has also been improved by 39 litres. The glovebox can apparently swallow 31 CDs, and the centre console a further 22 CDs – that’s a lot of music.
Loads of kit, increased safety
Standard equipment includes 17-inch alloy wheels, self-levelling suspension (handy for hauling heavy loads), dual-zone air conditioning, Bluetooth, six-CD stereo autochanger, automatic lights and wipers, power sunroof and cruise control.
Safety kit is also comprehensive, with six airbags, stability control, hill start, alarm and immobiliser, plus a redesigned braking system that claims to offer a 30% faster response. The new Outback’s structure also incorporates a series of circular links to increase strength, while deformable structures protect pedestrians and occupants in a crash.
Boxer diesel now more efficient
The new Outback is powered by a revised development of Subaru’s unique boxer turbodiesel engine. Combined with a new six-speed manual gearbox and four-wheel drive, this 2.0-litre unit produces 148bhp and 258lb ft of torque (pulling power). It’s capable of whipping the Outback from 0-62mph in 9.6 seconds and onto 125mph.
Modifications make the engine 1.5kg lighter than before, while changes to certain items, including the turbocharger and the glow plugs, improve its efficiency; the Outback emits a relatively parsimonious 167g/km CO2 and returns a claimed 46.3mpg.
Subaru’s symmetrical four-wheel drive system divides power 50-50 front and rear under normal circumstances, but can quickly shuffle it around as conditions, driving style and grip levels require. The Outback is likely to prove surefooted in all but the most extreme weather as a result.
Pricing and UK availability for the new Subaru Outback have not yet been confirmed, but the vehicle is expected to hit European showrooms by the end of the year.
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