Subaru Outback 2.5i
Swiss Army Knife
What at first glance almost looks like a facelift is the newly redesigned Subaru Outback. For many customers, that would be an alternative to the four-wheel drive versions of the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series or Mercedes C-Class if only there were more engine variants.
Subaru and especially the top model Outback have always been extravagant. And a real alternative if you didn’t want to jump into an off-the-shelf SUV at its mercy. Because the Japanese have always offered an unusual design paired with a patented all-wheel drive, plenty of space for the whole family and long-distance characteristics. But the times when you drove against premium competition from Europe with several engine variants are gone, because here the sharpened pencil was used as a joke. Because in Europe, the Outback is now only available in one reserve, and that’s at the lower end of the segment range. The 2.5-liter boxer engine produces a modest 124 kW / 169 hp and a controllable torque of 252 Nm at 3,800 rpm, which is transmitted to both axles via a continuously variable CVT automatic transmission.
In America things are different. Although there is no longer a three-liter six-cylinder boxer with 245 hp or even a top model of 3.6 liters with 169 kW / 260 hp, there is at least a turbo version with more zest for action and performance of it all. The combination of an upper middle class wheel drive itself requires. The American Subaru Outback 2.4 Turbo produces 169 kW / 260 hp the same as the European Outback at once and also shines with a maximum torque of 376 Nm, which is constantly available between 2,000 and 4,800 tours. Too much power would be well suited for the European model to fight against all-road versions of the Audi A4 / A6 or all-terrain models of the Mercedes C / E class.
With a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter engine, you don’t even have to try and generously consider the boxer four-cylinder’s usual smooth performance and smooth coordination with the continuously variable automatic transmission, which steals all-wheel drive. run a combination of some of its movements despite the eight switching stages implanted in it. Driving performance is solid; but for a family station wagon with a length of 4.87 meters not more than that. From a standstill it goes to 100 km/h in 10.2 seconds and the top speed is 193 km/h. It’s not good, but it would be wrong to call the 1.7-ton combination of four-wheel drive a lame duck, because if you step on the gas and switch the manual shift gate, you can be on the road very quickly if you don’t listen to the slightly filtered sound of the four-cylinder – sucker it’s disturbing. Consumption: 7.4 liters Super per 100 km, with the new plastic tank providing a volume of three liters more.
What? The Japanese would be stronger if the difference compared to its predecessor is greater. A new platform, other axles and a revised overall package are good for the five-door, although 21.5 centimeters of ground clearance is always visible when cornering at speed, and the external handling is noticeable but very good in the limit zone. In addition, a well-functioning power steering can provide more feedback from the road surface. But the tuning of the springs and fluids and the noise level on rough roads are better than before. However, convertible driving programs are not entirely different.
Skip ahead is also used for interior. With a wheelbase of 2.75 meters, the space is good, the seats are comfortable and if the steering wheel and its 18 control buttons weren’t from the last decade, it would be at the level of the German top league. It’s not just one detail that’s unlocked here: the electric tailgate opens and closes in just over four seconds – before taking almost twice as long. After a little getting used to it, your fingers just slide through the operating levels of the new 11.6-inch screen, which makes the round analog clock behind the steering wheel easy to look old. Cargo space ranges from 561 to 1,822 litres.
Subaru makes it easy for its customers and where there is a problem with the car portfolio, there are also as few differences as possible in the equipment. The Subaru Outback is very well equipped in all its versions. In addition to the new 11.6-inch control display in the middle of the dashboard, the basic Trend for 40,890 euros offers, among other things, electric seats, heated seats in the front and back as well as a heated steering wheel with LED lights. Most customers should opt for the top-of-the-line Outback Platinum, which costs at least 45,990 euros and offers details such as an audio system, leather seats, a glass roof and various driver assistance systems.
The Subaru Outback Exclusive Cross looks more rustic, which not only gives off-road visuals, but also a black and green roof rail that can withstand a load of up to 318 kg when standing – ideal for use as a roof tent. . And with the Subaru Outback’s all-wheel drive, you should be able to get to many small lakes or clearings in the woods, even in the dirt. The hard-wearing imitation leather seats, which offer good lateral support, are also a little more rustic inside. Now what we need is a more powerful turbo engine and, in the medium term, a plug-in hybrid drive.