SUBARU OUTBACK 2.5i PREMIUM

Indicative drive away price: $45,679

The latest and greatest fifth-generation Subaru Outback benefits from a range of improvements and significant price reduction across the range. The 2.5i Premium’s list price has dropped by $2000, putting it within striking distance of its cheaper Forester stablemate.

All Outback variants are more fuel-efficient, with official combined consumption for 2.5-litre versions nearly nine percent better than before. Owners of the 2.5i Premium will also be shelling out less for running and repair costs than Forester owners.

Safety is to the fore with the Outback achieving the highest score in ANCAP crash tests of any Subaru model to date. The latest, third-generation of Subaru’s EyeSight driver assistance technology is fitted, and seven airbags are standard.

The Outback boasts good seating, user-friendly ergonomics and has the highly practical nature required in a SUV. The fit and finish exhibits a premium look and feel.

The infotainment and connectivity have been upgraded. There’s a user-friendly touch-screen, along with Pandora app, sat-nav and voice recognition.

Cabin and cargo space have been increased, making it one of the most usefully proportioned models in the class. Access to the load area is via a powered tailgate and the inclusion of a full-size spare wheel rated well with Australia’s Best Cars judges.

The 2.5-litre Boxer engine delivers solid, though not class-leading, and judges noted that the Outback’s CVT is one of the best of its kind, providing fuel and emissions efficiency but with far less engine flare inherent to many such transmissions.

The Outback provides a comfortable and composed ride, while its handling makes for secure, confident and predictable going whatever the road surface and weather conditions. Mild off-road adventures are within the Outback’s capabilities.

SCORE
1ST: SUBARU OUTBACK 2.5i PREMIUM, 878
2ND: SUBARU FORESTER 2.5I-S, 876
3RD: HYUNDAI TUCSON ELITE, 856