If ever there was a car to make mincemeat of the UK’s pot-holed road network, the all-new Subaru Outback could well be it.
First launched in 1995, the Outback has built a loyal following among those who want that winning mix of practicality, capability and drive-ability. Outbacks are also extremely popular among rural-dwellers who need to tackle tough terrain while also not looking amiss down the golf club. And now, thanks to a new update, the Outback is even more competent, thanks to improved safety technology, better handling and a complete facelift both inside and out.
First thing to note is the new styling, which Subaru says has been ‘redesigned from ground-up’ and is now ‘more tough and rugged than ever’, complete with 18 inch alloy wheels and eye-catching wheel arches.
There’s a bigger windscreen for a more ‘open’ feel, as well as LED headlights, LED front fog lights, and heated seats both front and rear.
As with previous Outbacks, power comes from a 2.5 litre horizontally-opposed Boxer petrol engine - an absolute Subaru trademark - married to a permanent all-wheel-drive system. Meanwhile Subaru says the new Outback is the safest it’s ever built.
As standard across all three trim levels - Limited, Field and Touring - you get Subaru’s cutting-edge ‘EyeSight’ camera-based collision prevention system.
That package includes Advanced Adaptive Cruise Control with Lane Centering Function, Emergency Lane Keep Assist, Speed Sign Recognition with Intelligent Speed Limiter, Lane Departure Warning with steering wheel vibration, Lane Departure Prevention and Pre-Collision Braking System with expanded support for collision avoidance at junctions and crossroads.
Brand new is Subaru’s ‘Driver Monitoring System’, which will alert the driver when distracted or feeling fatigued. Reverse Automatic braking is also a new safety feature fitted as standard, which should stop you colliding with bollards in supermarket car parks.
Meanwhile the car itself is built to last.
A Subaru spokesperson explains how there’s an increased amount of ‘high-tensile steel panel materials for a lighter body and improved protection in frontal, side and rear end collisions by over 40%, allowing the frame structure to absorb energy more efficiently.’
The spokesperson adds:
“The body has been substantially strengthened with a new structural frame and additional beams and sub frames, further enhancing the world's top level collision safety performance, including the Mobile Progressive Deformable Barrier (MPDB) crash test.”
Active torque vectoring, for improved handling and cornering performance, is standard across the range, while improvements to the suspension and chassis not only reduce vibrations through the steering wheel but also put the brakes on body roll and aid ‘absorption performance’ on uneven road surfaces.
The new Outback is also more spacious than previous versions, thanks to a longer overall length.
There’s a generous 522 litre boot, integrated roof rails, and a hands-free power tailgate.
And the cabin is also equipped with a large 11.6-inch full HD infotainment touchscreen. A facial recognition camera can even identify up to five individuals in the driver seat, automatically adjusting the settings for seat position, door mirror angles and air-conditioning preferences.
The new Outback is due to arrive in showrooms from 27th May with prices starting from £33,995.
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