TEST: Subarus nya Outback svår att få mjuk från start • 17 August 2018
Subaru fortsätter att fila på trotjänaren Outback. Bästa nyheterna är Apple CarPlay och en större bildskärm. Och förstås att prislappen för en välutrustad Outback hålls under 400 000 kronor.
New Atlas • 15 May 2018
Named for the wilds of Australia, the Subaru Outback has become popular as the most upscale and family-friendly of the Subaru offerings. For the 2018 model year, the Outback sees a few improvements to what is already a very well-done wagon-style crossover. After a week, we're impressed. Because the 2018 Subaru Outback arrived at this writer's Wyoming abode just in time for our early spring hoorah, we decided to take it camping. It is a Subaru after all, and that's what all of the commercials show people doing with them. Plus, this being Wyoming, the warm spring weekend would probably devolve into a wintry wonderland of heavy winds and snow within a day or two. Get it while you can. From the outset, it's apparent that the 2018 Outback has seen changes for this new model year. The exterior has a more aggressive look, with some beefing up to give the Outback a more crossover-SUV appearance than it had when we drove the 2016 model . The front fascia of the Outback now has a slightly taller grille, heavier-looking bumper, and approach angle highlights. These emphasize muscle for the Outback and are accentuated by the narrower-appearing headlamps with LED running lights. Side mirrors are also narrower to both improve road noise and speed up the Outback's looks. We like the new look for the 2018 Outback, which continues at the rear of the wagon with some beefiness for the hatch and bumper there. Those exterior changes did not come to the interior of the Outback, though, which saw major changes with the new generation introduced for 2015. The 2018 Outback's interior is based on the Subaru Legacy, which is more upscale, comfort-oriented, and roomier than are the interiors of the other Impreza-based vehicles from Subaru. Subaru knows that the buyer of an Outback expects more daily comfort and usability, and designed accordingly. More rear seat legroom, more shoulder room, and more usable cargo space are all part of this generation of Outback. In our week, three kids sat across the back bench seat without issue ... except for the occasional "Dad, he's poking me!" and the like. Our only complaint about the interior of the 2018 Outback is that the climate system tends to be front-focused and the rear doesn't get as much cooling or heating as a result. Even after attempting to adjust. Cargo space in the 2018 Outback is phenomenal and far larger than might be expected. We managed to fit all of the overnight camping gear that a family of five requires, including a 10-person tent, cooking gear, a cooler, cold weather sleeping bags, and the replacement gear we bought when we realized we threw out stuff last fall. It was surprising how much gear will fit inside the cargo area of an Outback. Another change in the 2018 Subaru Outback is with the infotainment. Upgraded to the latest in StarLink tech, the new infotainment in the Outback comes with a 7-inch touchscreen upgrade (standard is 6.2) that now includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The new screen has a new center console design to better integrate the infotainment and to help reduce glare versus the previous rendition. The new infotainment has crisp graphics, faster responses, and a fairly good amount of connectivity. Alongside the new infotainment is the latest in Subaru's Eyesight safety tech. The dual cameras mounted above the rearview mirror are where all of that happens. In most weather conditions, the cameras can still do their job seeing obstacles and other vehicles to avoid collisions. Lane-keeping assist and other options are also available, and work when conditions are conducive. We see Eyesight as one of the best safety systems in the business. The 2018 Subaru Outback is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine in all "2.5i" models. This little boxer-style (opposed piston) engine outputs 175 horsepower (135 kW) to a continuously variable transmission (CVT). All-wheel drive is standard, of course, and Subaru's design and programming for their CVT is very well done and goes a long way towards erasing the performance negativity normally associated with a CVT. In all Outback 3.6R models, such as the Touring trim we tested this year, power comes from a more robust 3.6-liter boxer-style six that outputs 256 hp (191 kW). A similar CVT is used and AWD is still standard. This engine adds a lot more umph to the Outback's get-go and is preferable for most who plan to haul loads (towing is rated at 2,700 lb/1,225 kg) or climb mountains regularly. Otherwise, the 2.5 is enough for general everyday use and occasional "get out there" adventures. Those expecting performance metrics from an Outback, though, are barking up the wrong tree. No matter the engine choice, the Outback is not a race car and does not squeal tires or hurry out of a standstill. Instead, the Outback is tuned for a combination of daily usefulness, "out and about" wilderness adventuring, and fuel economy. On that latter point, the 2.5i models are EPA-rated at 32 mpg on the highway (7.3 l/100km) and the 3.6R models at 27 mpg highway (8.7 l/100km). We averaged 21 mpg (11.2 l/100km) all told in our 3.6R test model, just shy of the EPA's 22 mpg combined estimate. After our week in the 2018 Subaru Outback, we were once again impressed with the excellence that this vehicle brings to market. In inclement weather, it's tough to find anything that's better and in all-around versatility, the Outback shines brightly as a good example of right-sizing. Well done, Subaru.
2018 Subaru Outback Review • 14 March 2018
Since the Outback first rolled off the assembly line 24 years ago, Subaru has delivered the same capable, comfortable, and reliable vehicle. Incremental changes since its debut, including those introduced this year, broaden the Outback’s appeal far beyond its original, outdoorsy target market. Rather than Subaru sweating its new wagon rivals, other mainstream automakers should be concerned the Outback will steal customers from their compact SUV models . The Outback isn’t the most stylish crossover wagon in its class – that honor goes to the Buick Regal Tour X – and entry-level value for money favors the well-equipped Volkswagen Golf Alltrack. However, the Outback’s off-road capability, proven reliability, robust suite of driver aids, and class-leading fuel economy earn our full favor. With SUV ride height and wagon styling, the 2018 Subaru Outback is the best of both worlds. There’s simply no better all-terrain, all-purpose partner under $30K.
2017 Subaru Outback 2.5i Touring Review: The Charm Wagon • 16 March 2017
Is the 2017 Subaru Outback a crossover, an SUV, or – heaven forfend – a wagon? The jacked-up, load-toting version of the Legacy station wagon, the Outback may be hard to pigeon-hole but that hasn’t stopped it selling. Indeed, you could well find yourself questioning the crossover craze by the end of your drive. On paper, the Outback finds itself up against midsize crossovers like Ford’s Edge. In reality, it’s generally shorter in height than those SUV-lite rivals, but ironically has greater ground clearance. Its looks err on the staid side, though many of the sharper edges were smoothed in this fifth generation. For the 2017 model year, Subaru makes some more aesthetic tweaks, and the result is a handsome – if still fairly sober – station wagon. A silver surround to the front grille tries valiantly to give the car some visual glitz, echoed by daytime running lights that leave the Outback looking like a snorting bull. A little more chrome appears on the sides, but Subaru’s enthusiasm for it clearly ran out by the time the designers reached the rear hatch. No matter: the Outback has practicality on its side. A power liftgate is standard on all but the entry-level car, with the ability to adjust its opening height to suit your garage. Roof rails come as standard, and they’re easier to load than on the typical crossover thanks to the car’s lower stance. Subaru offers two engines with the 2017 Outback, a 2.5-liter four-cylinder good for 175 horsepower and 174 lb-ft. of torque, or a 3.6-liter six-cylinder which kicks things up to 256 horsepower and 247 lb-ft. Unusually, the latter is a flat-six, not the more common V6. Both get paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that can feign six real gears if you get handy with the steering wheel paddles. The vast majority of the time, though, it’s easier to let the Outback shimmy through its belts itself. On-road manners lean toward the placid. The CVT prefers to keep the engine from spinning too frantically, while the Outback’s not-inconsiderable curb weight dissuades any attempt to hustle the standard-fit AWD system as you might in the WRX. There’s some body roll in corners but reliable grip. At times, Subaru almost seems to be challenging you to dislike the Outback. The Brilliant Brown paint, exclusively available on Touring trim cars, floats in an odd space between forest green and sick-river brown. Looming at the top of the windshield is Subaru’s EyeSight driver-assist array, a bulky collection of stereo cameras and other sensors that was oddly prone to being defeated by a splash of Bay Area rain. The warning message that front collision protection wouldn’t be weighing in popped up a few too many times for comfort. And yet, there’s an awkward charm to the Outback that wins you over. Despite the uninspiring plastics on the dashboard, everything works with an honesty that doesn’t leave you hunting for buttons or digging through menus. The odd exception is the lack of a media shortcut: if you switch over to the map on the 7-inch touchscreen, you have to jump back to the main menu and then tap through to get to whatever audio is playing. Pleasingly, the tech is standard on the Touring trim, which comes in at $35,995 plus $875 destination. Space in both the front and the rear is excellent, and the trunk is both capacious – 36 cubic feet normally, but more than doubling when the rear seats are down – and readily loaded. The Outback’s 8.7-inches of ground clearance is better than many crossovers or midsize SUVs manage. At freeway cruising speeds the cabin is a hushed and pleasant place to be, with plenty of both storage cubbies and, courtesy of the expansive glazing, natural light. According to the EPA, the 2017 Outback should do 25 mpg in the city, 32 mpg on the highway, and 28 mpg combined. In my own, mixed driving I saw 27 mpg. That’s comfortably higher than what you’d see from the Edge AWD, and slightly better than what Honda’s CR-V AWD will on paper. The Honda cossets a little better, and has more plentiful – not to mention more user-friendly – technology. The Subaru lacks Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, for instance, while the CR-V can be had with both. Conversely, though, the Outback’s space is more usable. Not for nothing are Subaru owners so enthusiastic and loyal to their cars. The company’s line-up may span a broad gamut – from Outback at one extreme, to fire-breathing WRX STI at the other – but one thing is consistent: drivers simply love them. Spend some time at the wheel and it’s not hard to see why: the 2017 Outback wears its honesty on its sleeve and, crossover or wagon or whatever it is, is a better car for it.
Auto Express • 10 March 2017
Final report: our man gets under the skin to deliver verdict on the Subaru Outback estate