Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Track to the Bitumen; It's a Workhorse but It Doesn't Look like One

Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Track to the Bitumen; It's a Workhorse but It Doesn't Look like One

Article excerpt

Byline: vani naidoo

It was 1995. The year when wide leg pants made a return, belly-button rings were all the rage, Toy Story was breaking records at the box office and Gangsta's Paradise ruled the airwaves.

It was also the year Pope John Paul II apologised to women for the injustices committed against them in the name of Christianity, South Africa won the rugby World Cup unifying a nation torn apart by apartheid and John Howard became leader of the Liberal Party, taking his first steps to replacing Paul Keating as prime minister.

And somewhere between the launch of Yahoo and the acquittal of OJ Simpson, Paul Hogan appeared on US television with his Australian drawl recounting the virtues of the newest addition to the Subaru family - the Outback.

A pioneer of the crossover vehicle, the Outback was the Japanese manufacturer's answer to slumping sales due in part to a lack of entry in the SUV market.

With little money to spend on their latest offering, Subaru added body cladding to the Liberty wagon, raised the suspension, made it all-wheel drive and filmed a Crocodile Dundee-like commercial with Hogan speeding happily through the Australian Outback.

Now, some 15 years and more than 70,000 sales later, the Subaru Outback has evolved into a vehicle of quality at home both hurtling through the Nullarbor and prancing across Sydney Harbour Bridge.

This Outback is 65mm longer, 50mm wider and almost 70mm higher than the previous edition which equates nicely to more leg, shoulder and head room.

There is more room in the back of the wagon, too, making already generous cargo space a touch more extravagant and there are plenty of little nooks and crannies to help with storage.

The instrument panel is sharp, detailed and funky with brush metal textured insets adding some interest to the black dash.

Trim is modern but I would probably go for something other than the suede finishing as it proved rather hot especially during humid days.

The Outback may be a bit bigger and heavier, but you wouldn't be able to tell that from the ride which is actually more refined, efficient and economical. …

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