The Subaru Outback features four-wheel drive systems, off-road capability better than the usual 4x4, and extra ground clearance in an estate like body. Previous generations have established the vehicle’s reliability and quality, making it the go-to model for anyone in need of a family car and a workhorse at the same time. The latest generation draws heavily from the Legacy Tourer. It sports more refinement compared to the previous variations.
The Subaru Outback offers both petrol and diesel engines. The diesel comes out as the better performer. The 2.0-litre engine is at 150bhp and offers the better pulling capability. The 0 to 62mph sprint is reached in 9.7 seconds—an adequate time considering the limitations of the vehicle. The diesel engine also offers fuel economy at 47.8mpg; plus it’s able to tow unbraked trailers that weight as much as 750kg. It’s definitely the vehicle and engine for anyone in need of a heavy-duty vehicle.
Extra traction occurs from the Outback’s all-wheel drive, guaranteeing safety when driving on snow, ice, or wet roads. Along everyday road conditions, the Outback is able to catch up through responsive steering.
The Subaru Outback comes in three trim levels: SE, S, and SE NavPlus. The NavPlus obviously comes with satellite navigation. The others offer six airbags and full time four-wheel drive. Petrol engines come with the continuously variable transmission or CVT gearbox, while the diesel engines are partnered with a six-speed manual gearbox. The S trim comes with standard equipment such as CD stereo with MP3 connection, a six-disc CD autochanger, gear change indicator, and steering wheel controls that manipulate the stereo. You can also get heated front seats, climate control, front and rear electric windows, fabric upholstery, and 60/40 split and fold rear seats.
The petrol engine is a 2.5-litre unit at 167bhp. Although it has more horsepower over the diesel, it actually goes much slower to reach the 62mph sprint at 10.4 seconds. This can be credited to the CVT automatic gearbox that advertises smooth transitions between gear shifts. Unfortunately it is unable to fulfill such a promise. The heavier 3.6-litre six-cylinder petrol may have been up to the job, but no one really went for it so it was discontinued from the range.
The 2.0-litre diesel is the only better option. But even with its stronger power and capability, the diesel tends to be noisy except when going on motorway speeds. The 2.0 D engine disappoints as well with its limited slip differential. Traction comes at the cost of a front wheel or rear wheel slipping, when more power is given towards the other wheels. And although the Outback performs well along every day driving conditions, it has a problem giving enough weight and feel on the more demanding roadways. The vehicle also has trouble going through tight corners and doesn’t provide enough grip. A VDC or vehicle dynamics control stability system is what keeps things in check so that the car doesn’t go out of control from reduced engine power or braking individual wheels.
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