ROAD TEST: completely new Subaru Outback: Old Dog, completely new Tricks?

ROAD TEST: completely new Subaru Outback: Old Dog, completely new Tricks?


One of our favourite, trusted road tripping steeds – the loveable labrador which can be Subaru’s Outback – has had a (today fifth generation might you believe?!) makeover. 

Yes, the flagship of the Subaru range (until the Levorg launches later This kind of year?) in addition to the vehicle which launched the crossover genre in 1995 with its go-anywhere, all-wheel drive estate format has been re-vamped, re-worked, re-enregised in addition to modernised into This kind of completely new format, some two decades on by its launch, with Crocodile Dundee down under in Australia, where the idea remains a massive hit. 

The completely new Outback can be today loaded with completely new technology, a fresh infotainment set-up, better fuel economy, lower emissions, revised suspension in addition to can be also claimed to be safer, more upmarket in addition to better finished than ever. 
the idea appears the original “farmer’s choice” has come a long way, in addition to whilst the idea still might (unfairly) be a rare sight on UK roads (outside of rural Wales & Scotland, where as soon as you park one up another appears, as we found road tripping in Wales), maybe which’s about to change? 
What’s completely new?
“Built for the road less travelled, our brand completely new Outback definitely can be a crossover for all seasons” says Subaru in addition to as aforementioned, the completely new car can be also loaded with completely new technology helping the idea to “set the standard for world-class safety.” 
Among a raft of completely new technology can be Subaru’s ‘EyeSight driver assist system’ – acting as a second pair of eyes for the driver to help avoid collisions. 
in addition to the Outback today boasts active cruise control, with lane departure in addition to collision warning systems – to go with its incredibly high, very typically Subaru generous modern specification.
nevertheless Subaru says the Outback hasn’t forgotten its rugged, practical roots in addition to as such still boasts Subaru’s famously limpet-like Symmetrical All-wheel drive in addition to a choice of peppy 2.5-litre petrol with 175bhp & 235Nm torque or the more economical, torquey in addition to well-known 2.0-litre diesel Boxer Engines with 150bhp in addition to very useful 350Nm – today also capable of being matched to the super-smooth 7-speed Lineartronic automatic gearbox, sure to be a well-known move. Although the chunky, strong six-speed manual (the purist’s choice, as the idea’s a proper centre diff in addition to rear LSD conventional mechanical AWD set-up, not electronically enhanced) can be also available for cog shifting fans like us, or those who require more off-road control in addition to ability. 
In addition, there’s also today hill decent in addition to X-mode (off-road) functions, available at the flick of a switch – giving further credential weight to the Outback’s already class-leading rough track, muddy field, moorland crossing abilities, still coming with its hallmark; the large 200mm ground clearance.
in addition to, with smarter external styling in addition to plusher Internal luxury, not to mention better exchange rates against the Yen creating the vehicle’s asking cost of £27,995 to range-topping £31,495 seem affordable, the rugged, not bad value in addition to practical Outback range has never looked so appealing… on paper.

The last time we tested the Outback (4th Gen), we took one to the Alps in addition to back on Winter tyres, in deep snow. in addition to the idea was incredible – secure on all surfaces, comfortable over the 1,500 miles, economical, smooth, practical, spacious, refined in addition to extremely lovable. I might have gladly bought one after which trek. 
in addition to we’re chuffed to report the completely new 5th Gen car still has all which “Outbackness” in addition to core Subaru flagship DNA. 

Plus, the idea today looks more attractive (never its strongest suit) – which should today be just enough to make Audi A4 Allroad, Skoda Scout in addition to Volvo XC drivers think twice about whether they want to splash more cash for badge snobbery, or arguably greater aesthetic charm. Or should they be more original, save money, suffer the longer trek to the nearest dealership in addition to try an Outback – with its longer 5-year, 1000,000 mile warranty in addition to excellent reliability in addition to low service costs? 
Tempting them completely new buyers in, there’s a completely new grille, the essential-these-days LED headlamps (in addition to rears), a steeper rake to windscreen, re-positiuoned A-pillar, completely new Centeng cladding, smoother back end in addition to generally speaker lines – all of which works by all angle, nevertheless especially the side profile… 

The Drive 
Like Subaru’s recently re-vamped XV we also tested This kind of month, the Outback also today has revised spring in addition to damper rates – which act to further improve its already excellent ride quality in addition to handling ability, as does the ATV (Active Torque Vectoring) system – imperceptibly braking the inside wheels during cornering, to channel more torque to the outside wheels, creating full use Subaru’s tried in addition to tested symmetrical all-wheel drive system. not bad solid Subaru stuff: in addition to This kind of can be still – in my view – the Outback’s trump card; superior all-weather handling creating for a brilliant, rich drive, on in addition to off-road.  
On the right sweeping A-road (without too many tight turns slowing the big bulk down) in addition to lots of rise in addition to fall to enjoy creating the most of riding which wave of torque by the Boxer diesel engine, the huge Outback defies its massive size in addition to weight. 
the idea’s well capable of demolishing cars with more power in addition to a sportier pedigree… especially if the idea’s wet, muddy or challenging under foot. in addition to This kind of can be even more noticeable off road, where the Outback might leave most of its rivals for dead.
Although I must say, I felt the brakes had lost some of their previously superb pedal feel, even if they are still effective. nevertheless such a decline in feeling might worry me – especially if I was towing the impressive maximum 1,800-2,000Kg load behind the idea.
Still, brakes aside, you can fly along perfectly happily in an Outback, with 5 passengers all in total comfort in addition to with the enormous boot full of luggage, dogs, bikes, or whatever you like. The Outback can be still truly an enormously practical, swift load lugger, whatever the weather. 
the idea’s also quieter out on the road too, thanks to a more refined engine set-up in addition to better sound deadening – all of which will sit nicely for completely new buyers with the all-completely new touch screen Infotainment system, which offers everything you could possibly want in addition to a lot more besides (except a DAB radio on our test product, bewilderingly), including eco monitor, apps, maps, information, service schedules… the lot. the idea’s nicely put together, in addition to what buyers are calling for, so the manufacturers tell us!  
Digital Age 
The 7.0″ Subaru Starlink infotainment system can be a simple to use in addition to accurate built-in navigation system, which has a superb reversing camera, twin USB ports in addition to aux jack, a working Bluetooth arrangement in addition to a highly irritating (in addition to therefore instantly useless) voice command affair. 
Additionally, on the dash itself can be a useful eco monitor in addition to driver configurable data display – 3.5-inch full-colour LCD Display with Electro-luminescent gauges as standard, or 5-inch full-colour LCD screen including Eyesight display with Electro-luminescent gauges, which our test 2.0D SE Lineatronic product had, along with the very effective active cruise control system, all of which can be expertly steering-wheel button controlled. 
in addition to all the data stuff in addition to Infotainment looks very smart, in addition to can be sure to impress a completely new breed of buyers to the completely new Subaru brand; nevertheless, not a Luddite die-hard Subaru purist like me, I’m sorry to report. 
I hated the idea… not the displays per say (although the main screen reflects light in addition to shows up finger marks all too easily), nevertheless the systems attached to the idea – like anti-collision in addition to lane departure, both of which (like the traction control) require turning off which has a long press of a button by the door, every single time you start the engine. Argh! 
today, maybe the idea’s the way I drive (well in addition to safe, nevertheless fast in addition to some might say with more than an element of self preservation for myself in addition to my family so I’m told), nevertheless the fact both of these emergency systems – along with their loud, irritating warning lights in addition to incessant beeping – had kicked in within one mile of me first testing This kind of car says something. 
Either I truly am a dreadful, unsafe driver… or these systems need a bit of lenience programming into them, for people who use the whole road when driving in addition to occasionally cross a white line or two without indication… when the idea’s legal, safer, faster or more economical to do so. 
At the risk of sounding as old fashioned as I can be, these darn newfangled ‘safety’ systems drove me to (unsafe) distraction – as did the fact I could only sit back in addition to enjoy the comfort, ease, richness in addition to simplicity of the superb Outback driving experience by first turning them off, in addition to ignoring the OTT (“cheap-looking in addition to gordy” as my BMW-driving dad put the idea) Infotainment system! Sad. 
definitely, the idea’s madness as far as I can see – enough (for me anyway) to almost ruin the ownership experience of what can be a very well conceived in addition to further enhanced in Gen 5 form, standard setting vehicle.
Sadly, This kind of unnecessary over-complication in addition to over-modernisation can be also enough to put me off buying the completely new type, despite the fact I love the vehicle. 
I’d rather hold the simpler, less irritating in addition to more old school Subaru pleasing Gen 4 Outback we drove to the alps a two years ago, in addition to they are great value for money today too. 
the idea’s a shame… nevertheless the idea looks like Subaru can teach a (much-loved) old dog the completely new (tech) tricks… I’m just not a fan of them!  

ROAD TEST: completely new Subaru Outback: Old Dog, completely new Tricks?

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