Subaru Outback 2.5i

Field AWD

Subaru Outback, 2021, front
Subaru Outback, 2021, side
Subaru Outback, 2021, rear
Subaru Outback, 2021, dashboard
Subaru Outback, 2021, interior

LONG seen as virtually indestructible, the Outback is not a car that you see a lot of in the UK, so it provided a lot of interest while parked up. Firstly the relative novelty value, secondly the number plate Su13aru and thirdly, it looks pretty good.

It has been around for a long time, 25 years in fact, and has become a staple for those who love full fat off-roaders or those in semi-rural locations, who may need that kind of capability in remote country lanes.

Subaru says the latest version is simply, the toughest, most rugged, most capable SUV ever produced. It certainly looks the part.

So, rugged and to be honest a little bit agricultural in the past, the latest model is something else altogether. It is the most refined model yet with sharp exterior design and an upmarket interior, dominated by a tablet-style touchscreen, very much in the Volvo mould.

There are three versions, Limited, Field and the range-topping Touring. All are packed with equipment with this mid-range Field model offering goodies such as the latest version of the Subaru Eyesight safety technology, which features facial recognition that detects tiredness in the driver and can remember the driving preferences of five users.

Sitting on the Japanese car maker's new global platform it looks like an estate car on steroids, with it's high ground clearance and sitting on 18-inch alloy wheels, it has a rugged yet sophisticated appearance.

It has coupe-like styling featuring smart lights clusters with LED daytime lights and privacy glass, offset by large wheel arch protectors and protection to sills and bumper and integrated roof bars. It looks more European than ever, which is clearly what Subaru is hoping for.

It is a big car, easily seating five occupants in comfort, and with good head and legroom and good all round visibility.

It is powered by a 2.5-litre Boxer engine mated with the now familiar Lineartronic transmission. Economy is not what this is about, although at around 33mpg for a 2.5-litre engine pulling such a hunk of metal is not too shoddy. That power also gives it a two-tonne towing capacity.

Acceleration is brisk for this kind of vehicle and it hits 60mph in just over 10 seconds, and although I am not a huge fan this type of transmission, the eight-shift paddles behind the steering wheel give the chance for a more sporty drive. It is a comfortable ride

Though much more sophisticated, it really is designed as a workhorse with features such as fatigue-reducing water repellent leather-style seats on this model and hard-wearing and washable boot space. But there are plenty of creature comforts including eight-way powered and heated front seats, climate control, heated and powered door mirrors, and aluminium pedals.

In practical terms, luggage stowage space is huge with 60/40 split rear seat operated by a release lever and accessed via a powered, hands-free tailgate.

The boot also offers underfloor storage and other stowage spaces include centre console box, front cup holders, door pockets with bottle holders.

As before, the car features Permanent Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and X-MODE. Using the touchscreen, the driver can switch modes to negotiate snow, dirt, or gravel, or a mud mode for soft conditions where lesser vehicles get stuck. When X-MODE is activated, Hill Descent Control automatically maintains a constant speed when travelling downhill.

Inside the car, the cabin offers a commanding driving position that ensures optimum visibility. It has a high-end feeling and is much improved on what went before. The touchscreen is very much the brains of the car and controls major functions like navigation, connectivity for smartphones and infotainment

Today's vehicles are so safe, but the Outback is one of the safest with the EyeSight Version 4.0 which includes adaptive cruise control, lane assist and centering assistance, plus lane sway and departure warning.

In addition, it features collision alert, and pre collision braking, plus blind-spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert. Not to mention the full complement of airbags.

FAST FACTS

Subaru Outback 2.5i Field AWD

Price: £37,995

Mechanical: 169ps, 2,498cc, 4-cylinder, petrol engine driving all wheels via CVT transmission

Max Speed: 120mph

0-62mph: 10.2 seconds

Combined MPG: 32.8

Insurance Group: 17

C02 emissions: 193g/km

Bik rating: 37%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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