– Article/photos by Rod Fuller –
Subaru’s 2018 Outback, sticks to its ‘tried and true’ formula of a superbly capable mid-sized AWD SUV family wagon that lets you ‘do more’. Whether it’s ferrying the kids between sporting commitments, or taking the ‘fur babies’ out for a run, the 2018 Outback with sophisticated style and versatile design continues to please driver and passengers alike.
Safety and convenience upgrades with minor styling changes distinguish the 2018 Outback from previous models. Keeping everything good about Outback, Subaru has improved/added features, making what’s an attractive and well-proportioned wagon, even better. As a daily driver, it just ticks all the boxes.
I drove the 2.5i Premium, with 2.5 litre (129kW 235Nm) Boxer engine and Auto Start Stop. Seven speed CVT transmission with X and Si drive modes and symmetrical AWD. Fuel economy lists as 7.3l/100km combined. I liked the display that shows how much fuel is being saved when the Auto Stop feature activates and its much smoother restarting than before.
Riding on 225/60R18 Bridgestone tyres (with a full size spare), Outback is some 60mm higher than its sister sedan Liberty; that extra ground clearance makes it just that little bit easier to get in and out of the vehicle, as well as making it easier to get to places when the track gets rougher.
Inside, leather seats (heated in front) with power adjustment/memory settings, and lumbar support for the driver (yes!), plus a power sunroof. Rear seat passengers enjoy exceptional head and leg room as well as reclining seats. There’s a quality feel to the interior, enhanced at night by subtle ambient lighting giving a sense of refinement.
Cargo volume is very good with a capacity of 512 litres with the rear seats up and 1801 litres with them folded down. Plenty of room for everyone and everything, as well a power tailgate and ‘one touch’ fold down of the rear seats.
Apple Car Play/Android Auto is now standard across the range with Siri compatibility for 2.5i Premium, featuring on a new eight inch central display that is simple and easy to operate. Two USB ports are provided front and rear and two 12V in the front. But disappointingly no 12V in the rear, so the power lead for the car fridge on family picnics, will have to be a long one to reach the 12V in the front.
Subaru’s third generation Eyesight driver assist system features on all 2018 Outback and includes Lane Keep Assist. With higher resolution stereo cameras and colour recognition, Eyesight’s performance is optimised. Allowing improvements in Pre-Collision Braking performance and Adaptive Cruise Control, enhanced pedestrian avoidance, brake light recognition and an increase from 30km/h to 50km/h maximum speed for Eyesight to “step in” to help avoid an accident. In addition to Eyesight, 2.5i Premium features Vision Assist with front and side monitors, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert and adaptive headlight driving beam making your drive experience that much easier. Outback retains its five star ANCAP rating.
Outback 2.5i Premium is an attractive and versatile vehicle, with all the space and quality features you might ask for in a mid-sized SUV wagon. Pricing starts at $47,500 drive away and Subaru now offers up to a five year unlimited km warranty, capped price service program and roadside assistance.
Looking at a wagon for your next novated lease? Outback provides a compelling case as it delivers a satisfying and pleasurable drive every time you push the start button. Subaru Outback, its better and lets you do more.
What does it look like as a Novated Lease?
|Variant||2.5 I Premium|
|RRP (including GST)||$42,240|
|Annual Savings with a Novated Lease||$2,755|
This data is from the 2018 Novated Leasing Guide produced by Fleet Auto News.