Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

{Adept from the Beaten Track to the Bitumen} {Track to the Bitumen}; It May Be a Workhorse but Doesn't Look like One

Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

{Adept from the Beaten Track to the Bitumen} {Track to the Bitumen}; It May Be a Workhorse but Doesn't Look like One

Article excerpt

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 Coolio's 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 here in Australia 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 the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Comfort

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.

It allows even tall adults to stretch out in comfort and coupled with springy, supportive seats makes for a rather pleasurable ride.

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. We drove the 2.5-litre manual base model which is rather richer in offerings than competitors but naturally a little short on delivery when compared to other Subaru models in the class.

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

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