Review: Subaru Outback

Julie Marshall gets to grips with the all-wheel drive Subaru Outback
Subaru OutbackSubaru Outback
Subaru Outback

The first few days of our time with the Subaru Outback coincided with the arrival of Storm Babet in October.

And despite the Outback being more than capable of tackling just about anything thrown at it we decided to stay put and wait it out.

As the skies cleared and the sun came out we packed up a picnic and headed off to the coast for a breath of fresh air.

Subaru OutbackSubaru Outback
Subaru Outback

Our 150-mile return journey along mainly A roads and motorways was comfortable and relaxing but it was when we got to our destination on the Yorkshire coast that the Outback came into its own.

The muddy, rutted track we went along proved no hardship for the rugged Outback and we had no fears of getting bogged down - unlike some others we witnessed.

The Outback, now in its sixth generation, is a great all-round family car.

There’s more than enough room for five, the boot is huge, and there’s bags of safety kit installed.

Subaru OutbackSubaru Outback
Subaru Outback

The rear seats fold 60/40 and the flat load area can take up to 522 litres of cargo: integrated roof rails are fitted for when you need even more carry-space

At the time of the launch in 2021 a spokesman for Subaru said: “The sixth generation is our most technologically advanced, luxurious, and safest yet.”

The all-wheel drive Outback is powered by a 2.5-litre horizontally-opposed Boxer petrol engine which delivers 166bhp and 186lb/ft of torque.

It’s not particularly quick off the mark with the 0-62mpg dash taking 10.2 seconds and the CVT transmission sounds a bit harsh when under acceleration but they are minor considerations.

Outback is available in three trim levels, Limited, Field and Touring - we drove the Touring with an on-the-road price of £42,490.

Ground clearance is 213mm and the Outback is capable of towing up to 2,000kg.

When the going gets tough the driver can engage X-Mode and switch between snow/dirt or snow/mud for added traction.

Subaru intelligent drive also allows you to adjust throttle and transmission responses depending on your driving style or terrain.

When driving there are alerts for when the driver is sleepy or distracted, is reversing, overtaking or being overtaken.

When you include adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, lane departure warning, a self-cleaning reversing camera, parking sensors and a whole host of other bits of kit it seems where safety is concerned the engineers at Subaru have left very little to chance.

They’ve also paid careful consideration to the height of the windows and the thickness of the pillars to aid visibility.

The first thing you notice when you climb into the car is the 11.6in tablet-like vertical infotainment screen which is really striking. You can drag, swipe touch and use your voice to control it.

It is the go-to place for the climate control, smartphone connectivity, sat nav and the DAB radio but there are also physical controls which make these functions easier to use without taking your eyes off the road.


Subaru Outback

Price: £42,490

Engine: 2.5-litre boxer

Power: 166bhp

Torque: 186lb/ft

Transmission: CVT

Top speed: 120mph

0-62mph: 10.2 seconds

Economy: 33mpg

CO 2 emissions: 193g/km

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