Friday we drove into the city to meet friends. Saturday we drove to the mountains to meet kangaroos. The Subaru Outback was just at home in the blue gum forests as it was in the concrete jungle. A manageable size and a very capable drive, the Outback fits into nearly any lifestyle.
PRICE AND EQUIPMENT
The 2.0-litre diesel CVT Premium Outback starts at $45,490. It comes with symmetrical AWD, Subaru’s Vehicle Dynamics Control system, paddle shifters, electronic parking brake, rear view reverse camera, dual-zone climate control with rear vents, anti-dust filter, leather steering wheel, voice command recognition, 17-inch alloy wheels, full size spare, wheel-mounted audio, Bluetooth, and cruise, roof rails, 12-volt power jacks, and a seven-inch touch screen, to name a few.
Explore the 2013 Subaru Outback range
If you don’t need a lot of extra features, the non-premium diesel will save some cash, you’ll just have to live without the electric sunroof, leather-trim seats, and eight-way power driver seat with dual memory function.
The 2.0-litre Outback has a turbo-charged horizontally opposed boxer diesel engine, producing 110kW@3,600 rpm and 350Nm@1800-2400. The Lineartronic CVT automatic gearbox provides smooth gear changes, but you can swap to manual mode and use the paddle shifters for more control.
Official fuel combined is 6.5 litres per/100km. Our drive to the mountains and back found 7.2 litres per/100km combined.
Externally the Outback is stylish for an SUV, but it doesn’t turn a lot of heads...well maybe a few, but that could just be from the ungainly bonnet scoop.
The dash is well presented, though the climate control buttons would work better as dials. The seven-inch touch screen and satnav are easy to use, and wheel-mounted audio, cruise, Bluetooth, and voice command give you plenty of control.
With leather-trim seats the interior looks suave, though the seat back nets look cheap compared to the rest of the vehicle. The driver is well supported in the eight-way power seat with dual memory function, and the comfortable rear seats easily fold down to a 60/40 split, extending the boot space from 490 litres, to an impressive 1,690 litres.
The Outback comes with a five-star ANCAP safety rating, and Subaru’s Vehicle Dynamics Control system which includes ESC, ABS, EBD, TCS, TCS Limited Slip Device, and Brake Assist. Seven SRS airbags, a ring-shaped passenger safety cell, and whiplash reduction seats further your safety, while the rear view reverse camera ensures you don’t accidently back over Skippy.
The Outback is all about the option to explore and we honestly enjoyed it. A steady and safe ride during our mountain adventure, it provided enough comfort inside that friends teased us for being pampered at the campsite.
Kids will enjoy gazing out of the sunroof, and with symmetrical AWD, they’ll focus more on the scenery, than any bumps in the road. The Outback is manoeuvrable in the city, cruises on the motorway, and though there’s a bit of sway on gravel, it handles well through dirt and mud. Ground clearance is 213mm – not enough to get you over serious tracks, but plenty of clearance for weekend expeditions.
Though we wish there were a few more perks with the Premium model (heated seats would have been appreciated in the chilly mountains, but we’re just being picky), it is a sturdy all-round vehicle ready to hit the trails and cruise around the city.
The Outback has plenty of space for families, enough off road capabilities for the average adventurer, and solid drivability.