Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

Off Road with Style; Better Looking and Cheaper Options to Go Up Country

Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

Off Road with Style; Better Looking and Cheaper Options to Go Up Country

Article excerpt

What matters most

What we liked: Infotainment system, outstanding pricing proposition across all grades, spacious cabin with improved finishes, Eyesight functionality.

What we'd like to see: Longer servicing intervals, interior and exterior styling improved but still conservative, Eyesight on diesel models.

Warranty and servicing: Three-year unlimited kilometre warranty. Capped price servicing is available for the life of the car, and prices are listed for the first five years or 125,000km. Intervals are every six months or 12,500km. Average price is 2.5i - $429, 3.6R - $516 and 2.0D - $425 (m), $422 (a).

Verdict: 4.5 stars

By Grant Edwards

THE new Subaru Outback has come in from the wilderness with a swagger.

Better looking and cheaper than ever before, the family favourite is primed for an assault on the sports utility vehicle market.

Leading the renewed charge is the price-leading diesel that starts form $35,490, while the previous 2.5-litre petrol base model will begin at $35,990 - which is $3k less than its predecessor.

Yet the biggest news comes at the top end of town. The range-topping 3.6R variant is down a whopping $10,000 to $47,990.

Price reductions are, in part, due to the upcoming free trade agreement with Japan and a more favourable exchange rate.

Key criticisms have also been addressed, with improvements in cabin comfort and a vastly improved infotainment set-up.

Comfort

Giant strides have been made with materials and cabin quality.

Subaru needed to make ground in this area, and the improvements are up there with the Europeans.

Across the dash is noticeably upmarket, and thankfully the touch-screen system has been overhauled. Whereas the old entertainment unit was clunky and difficult to navigate, this latest inclusion is intuitive, more smartphone-like by swiping, pinching and flicking to find your way around the audio, phone, apps and sat nav settings.

There are 15.7 and 17cm (up-spec models) colour touch-screens which raise the tone, and premium variants also come with a choice of ivory or black.

Driver visibility improves with the A-pillar moving forward (which has also contributed to aerodynamic gains).

The driver has an uncomplicated set-up, with two analogue instruments flanking a colour display which can be changed to feature various trip information and a digital speedometer. Longer, wider and higher than the outgoing model, four adults will find there is ample space and you can fit three across the back seat if required.

On the road

Drive train changes are limited, with lower fuel consumption across the two petrol and one diesel engine range.

Most notable is the stiffer performance and agility in the corners. Across some nasty corrugations the Outback impressed with limited reverberations felt through the steering wheel. …

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