Superb Subaru Outback: Armstrongs

I’m sure if you ponder long enough, you will begin to think of a number of family or friends who have owned a Subaru Outback. Ben Selby reports.

Since the late nineties, this rough and ready, go-anywhere wagon has been a firm favourite amongst the Kiwi adventure set and family buyers alike. The essence of the Outback concept remains very much alive in the latest generation, but with a smorgasbord of new technology. Here is what’s what.

The new Outback is available in multiple guises, but my test car, the Outback XT Touring, is the pinnacle of the current Outback range. The Outback XT Touring, retailing from $69,990, is the most luxuriously appointed Outback yet.

Hop inside and you find leather trim and some of the most sumptuous heated/ventilated seats in this segment. Lateral support could be improved but is still a lovely place to sit. Rear passengers also get heated seats and the head and legroom for those in the back is very generous.

Talking of space, another Outback hallmark is the ability to lug all manner of bits and bobs around and with 522L of boot space, you can do just that. You also have a power tailgate which allows for easy load and access and when you drop the second row of seating, you have 1711 litres to play with.

The Outback XT Touring comes bursting at the seams with tech including Subaru’s latest generation eyesight safety system and an 11.6-inch HD touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, Reversing Camera, Sat Nav, a thumping 9-speaker Harman/Kardon sound system and too many other features to list.

On the move, that turbocharged boxer engine gives a strong linear delivery of torque, meaning you can move forward with a meaty amount of acceleration throughout the rev range. It is also the quietest Outback yet. It doesn’t matter where you seem to find yourself, the outside world is drowned out rather nicely as you waft along.

Switching drive modes via Subaru’s Intelligent Drive system is a doddle. Sport mode livens things up, but I was happy remaining in normal mode for much of my drive. The Outback XT Touring wouldn’t be an Outback without Subaru’s proven X-Mode all terrain system, with modes for Gravel, Sand, Snow and Mud available. While I didn’t quite get the chance to go all out in deep mud and snow, the Outback’s ability to deal with gravel and unsealed roads and inclines is mighty impressive.

Factoring in all previously mentioned, the new Subaru Outback XT Touring is a more than ideal tool for ferrying the family around the urban jungle before navigating one’s way to the ski fields and beyond.

The greatest Outback yet? Undoubtedly.

2024 Subaru Outback XT Touring

  • Price: $69,990
  • Engine: 2.4L Turbocharged Boxer Four Cylinder Engine
  • Transmission: 8-speed Subaru Lineartronic Transmission (SLT)
  • Power: 183kW
  • Torque: 350Nm
  • Combined Fuel Consumption: 9L/100km
  • Weight: 1766kg
  • Drivetrain: All-wheel-drive
  • Ground Clearance: 213mm
  • Wheels: 18-inch alloy

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