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Subaru Outback

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Subaru Outback Review, For Sale, Colours, Interior & Specs in Australia

The Subaru Outback first rolled on to Australian roads in 1996, right at the beginning of the off-road-ready craze that was about to sweep the nation.

As a more wagon-focused SUV, the Outback continues to enjoy a more car-like experience than many of its so-called competitors, sacrificing little in the practicality stakes. The Outback has grown, both in size and in range, from a two-model line-up in the mid-1990s to a range of petrol and turbo-diesel offerings across five trim levels. One feature remains constant across the range, however – Subaru’s all-wheel-drive system.

Current prices range from $42,690 to $56,990 for the Outback AWD and Outback AWD Touring XT.

Subaru Outback Towing Capacity

The Subaru Outback has maximum towing capacity of 2400kg for the latest model available.

Year Body Type Braked Capacity from Braked Capacity to
2024 SUV 2000kg 2400kg
2023 SUV 2000kg 2400kg
2022 SUV 2000kg 2400kg
2021 SUV 1500kg 2000kg
2020 SUV 1500kg 2000kg
See All Towing Capacity for Subaru Outback

Subaru Outback Q&As

Check out real-world situations relating to the Subaru Outback here, particularly what our experts have to say about them.

  • Why is there a strange noise coming from my 2018 Subaru Forester and what can I do about it?

    You've tackled this in the appropriate manner, giving the dealership from which you bought the car every chance to make it right. But that hasn't happened, so now is the time to talk to Subaru's customer service division at head office. 

    The good news is that the problem has been logged as a pre-existing condition, so it will be covered by your new-car warranty even if the car is technically out of the warranty period. Also, Subaru has not ignored the problem nor refused to accept it exists, so that's a positive, too.

    If for some reason, Subaru wants to abandon you and your problem (which won't happen given its approach thus far) then you could talk to the ACCC. Australian Consumer Law has some fairly rigid rules regarding products that aren't fit for purpose. This, however, would be your last resort.

    It would bother me a little that the car was making a weird noise from the front suspension, and I think you've probably got a case for not wanting to drive the car until it's fixed. This could be where you tackle the customer service division for the loan of a different car until yours is fixed. I don't think that would be an unreasonable request and may hasten the problem's resolution.

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  • I want to buy a new Subaru Outback. I've been warned there are problems with the CVT auto transmission in some older models. Is there an issue with the newer models?

    Subaru has a long history with the CVT transmission, and it hasn’t always been clear sailing. The first Subaru to feature this transmission was the Justy in the late 1980s and while we saw the similar Sherpa model, Australia never got the CVT transmission. In fact, the Justy had so many transmission problems that it was dumped from world price-lists in about 1995.

    Our first taste of the Subaru CVT was in 2009 with the launch of the fifth-generation Liberty and Outback models which featured a CVT on four-cylinder petrol versions of the car.

    The CVT has since been extended to the brand’s Impreza, Forester, XV and even the sporty WRX line-up.

    And, yes, there have been issues reported by owners. While catastrophic failures have not been widely documented, the Subaru CVT’s overall behaviour has been criticised on a number of levels. Those include a jerkiness to forward progress (particularly in low speed and light throttle conditions) harsh shifting, shuddering under acceleration and a delay when selecting gears from Park. In some instances, a reflash of the electronic control module has improved things, for other cases, Subaru has introduced a completely new, improved software package.

    Part of the reason Subaru has copped so much flak over the CVT is that the symptoms it displays are often the death-knell for other types of transmissions and consumers- rightly – have been worried. To counter this in the USA, Subaru extended the drivetrain warranty of 1.5 million cars with CVTs from five years and 100,000km to 10 years and 160,000km.

    But even if total transmission replacements don’t seem common, do you want to live with this gearbox? For many people the answer is no. But to be fair, most of the problems seem to have occurred on pre-2018 models and later CVTs appear to be better units.

    In the case of the Outback you’re interested in, with the update of that model in 2018, the CVT was revised with a revised torque-reduction control to improve upshift clarity, a short-pitch chain was used for lower noise and a revision to the shifter was made to improve shift feel (although we suspect that’s feel through the shifter itself, not the way the transmission feels when it selects a gear).

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  • Does the 2021 Subaru Outback Touring have any electronics issues?

    Subaru is firmly committed to the CVT (Constantly Variable Transmission) concept as it gives a theoretical efficiency advantage over conventional transmissions. The catch is that to make the CVT feel less alien, many car-makers (including Subaru) engineer in electronic `ratios’ which kind of sidesteps those theoretical advantages.

    It’s true that Subaru CVTs have experienced some reliability problems in the past, but in the case of the Outback, that appears to mainly affect vehicles built between 2010 and 2015. After that build date, things improved dramatically on the reliability and durability front, not to mention the driveability and comfort offered by the CVT. So we wouldn’t be too concerned about this aspect of the vehicle. Given that you’re buying a brand-new vehicle, you’ll get the full five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty. And as proof of Subaru’s faith in the CVT concept, for the 2018 facelift of the Outback, the CVT got a seventh `ratio’ and a shorter-pitch chain to reduce cabin noise. So a brand-new Subaru CVT should represent the best the concept has ever been.

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  • What car should I buy to tow a trailer?

    While turbo-diesels aren’t perfect for everybody, when it comes to towing trailers, they do a pretty impressive job. The combination of a torquey diesel engine with an automatic transmission is a pretty handy one when you have a decent sized trailer hooked up. The caveat with a modern diesel, however, is that if most of your driving is urban running about, then the diesel is probably not for you. That’s because the emissions system on a modern diesel (the particulate filter) needs regular longer runs at freeway speeds to avoid giving trouble. But if, as you say, you tow a trailer often, then that should provide the load on the engine the diesel requires to remain trouble-free.

    The good news is that the dominance of the SUV right now means that just about every car-maker has a mid-sized SUV in its showrooms right now. So really, you’re spoiled for choice. I’m not surprised the X-Trail is found a bit wanting at times; even brand-new, that version of the petrol-engined X-Trail could feel a bit underdone. You’ll be amazed at how good newer vehicles have become.

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See All Subaru Outback Q&As
Disclaimer: You acknowledge and agree that all answers are provided as a general guide only and should not be relied upon as bespoke advice. Carsguide is not liable for the accuracy of any information provided in the answers.

Subaru Outback Models Price and Specs

The price range for the Subaru Outback varies based on the trim level you choose. Starting at $42,690 and going to $56,990 for the latest year the model was manufactured. The model range is available in the following body types starting from the engine/transmission specs shown below.

Year Body Type Specs Price from Price to
2024 SUV 2.5L, —, CVT AUTO $42,690 $56,990
2023 SUV 2.5L, ULP, CVT AUTO $39,050 $61,490
2022 SUV 2.5L, ULP, CVT AUTO $37,950 $59,620
2021 SUV 2.5L, ULP, CVT AUTO $33,660 $54,010
2020 SUV 2.5L, ULP, CVT AUTO $32,890 $54,010
See All Subaru Outback Pricing and Specs

Subaru Outback Colours

There are nine colours on offer in the Outback range including 'Ice Silver Metallic', 'Crimson Red Pearl', 'Sapphire Blue Pearl,' 'Brilliant Bronze Metallic,' 'Crystal White Pearl', 'Storm Grey Metallic', 'Autumn Green Metallic', 'Magnetite Grey Metallic' and 'Crystal Black Silica.'

  • Ice Silver Metallic
  • Crimson Red Pearl
  • Sapphire Blue Pearl
  • Brilliant Bronze Metallic
  • Crystal White Pearl
  • Storm Grey Metallic
  • Autumn Green Metallic
  • Magnetite Grey Metallic
  • Crystal Black Silica
To confirm current colour availability, please check the manufacturer's website.

Subaru Outback Dimensions

The dimensions of the Subaru Outback SUV vary according to year of manufacture and spec level.

Year Body Type Height x Width x Length Ground Clearance
2024 SUV 1675x1875x4870 mm 213 mm
2023 SUV 1675x1875x4870 mm 213 mm
2022 SUV 1675x1875x4870 mm 213 mm
2021 SUV 1675x1840x4820 mm 213 mm
2020 SUV 1675x1840x4820 mm 213 mm
The dimensions shown above are for the base model. See All Subaru Outback Dimensions

Subaru Outback Accessories

All Outbacks come standard with LED headlights, LED fog lights and LED running lights, they also all have roof rails, privacy glass and 18-inch alloy wheels. Inside there’s an 11.6-inch central touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, they all have dual-zone climate control, power front seats, a proximity key, push button start, 'X-Mode' drive modes and paddle shifters.

Stepping up to the Sport grade adds sat nav, a power tailgate, heated front seats and sports pedals.

The Touring grades gets a nine-speaker Harman Kardon sound system. The rest feature six-speaker stereos.

Subaru Outback Accessories

Subaru Outback Boot Space

The Outback's boot capacity is 522 litres.

Subaru Outback Boot space

Subaru Outback Fuel Consumption

The Subaru Outback is available in a number of variants and body types that are powered by —, ULP, PULP and Diesel fuel type(s). It has an estimated fuel consumption starting from 7.3L/100km for SUV /— for the latest year the model was manufactured.

Year Body Type Fuel Consumption* Engine Fuel Type Transmission
2024 SUV 7.3L/100km 2.5L CVT AUTO
2023 SUV 7.3L/100km 2.5L ULP CVT AUTO
2023 SUV 9L/100km 2.4L CVT AUTO
2023 SUV 9L/100km 2.4L PULP CVT AUTO
2022 SUV 7.3L/100km 2.5L ULP CVT AUTO
2022 SUV 9L/100km 2.4L PULP CVT AUTO
2021 SUV 6.3L/100km 2.0L Diesel CVT AUTO
2021 SUV 7.3L/100km 2.5L ULP CVT AUTO
2020 SUV 6.3L/100km 2.0L Diesel CVT AUTO
2020 SUV 7.3L/100km 2.5L ULP CVT AUTO
* Combined fuel consumption See All Subaru Outback Pricing and Specs for 2024

Subaru Outback Engine

There are two engines on offer in the Outback range - a 2.5-litre naturally aspirated four cylinder petrol engine making 138kW and a new turbo-petrol four cylinder making 183kW.

Subaru Outback Wheel Size

The Subaru Outback has a number of different wheel and tyre options. When it comes to tyres, these range from 225x60 R18 1 for SUV in 2024.

Year Body Type Front Tyre Size Front Rim Rear Tyre Size Rear Rim
2024 SUV 225x60 R18 1 225x60 R18 1
2023 SUV 225x60 R18 1 225x60 R18 1
2022 SUV 225x60 R18 1 225x60 R18 1
2021 SUV 225x60 R18 1 225x60 R18 1
2020 SUV 225x60 R18 1 18x7 inches 225x60 R18 1 18x7 inches
The dimensions shown above are for the base model. See All Subaru Outback Wheel Sizes

Subaru Outback Interior

All Outbacks have premium feeling interiors with plenty of soft-touch surfaces, The entry-grade Outback has cloth seats, the Sport grade has water repellent seat material and the top-of-the-range Touring has leather upholstery.

Subaru Outback Interior

Subaru Outback Seats

The Outback has five seats.

Subaru Outback Seats

Subaru Outback Speed

The 0-100km/h time for the turbo Outback is about seven seconds while for the non turbo the sprint time is about 10 seconds. Top speed for the non-turbo is around 205km/h, with the turbo hitting approximately 210km/h.

Subaru Outback Range

The range of the Outback is between 700-860km.