Outback AWD Sport

Automatic CVT | AWD | 2.5L Boxer Petrol Engine
Outback AWD Sport
Crystal White Pearl
Ice Silver Metallic
Autumn Green Metallic
Sapphire Blue Pearl
Magnetic Grey Metallic
Crystal Black Silica

Key Features

  • Water repellent sports seat trim*
  • Satellite navigation
  • Exclusive to this variant, unique black exterior highlights for a more rugged look
  • 18” alloy wheels with dark metallic finish

Features

  • Includes Outback AWD features, plus:
  • Water repellent sports seat trim*
  • Satellite navigation
  • Exclusive to this variant, unique black exterior highlights for a more rugged look, including door mirror caps, front grille, front fog light surround, front and rear bumper guard, shark fin antenna and rear badging
  • 18” alloy wheels with dark metallic finish
  • Tough ladder-type roof rails
  • Additional Vision Assist features including a Front View Monitor and Side View Monitor to aid visibility in tricky situations
  • Heated seats for both front passengers and rear outboard passengers
  • Hands-free powered tailgate
  • Sports pedals

Outback AWD Touring

Automatic CVT | AWD | 2.5L Boxer Petrol Engine
Outback AWD Touring
Crystal White Pearl
Ice Silver Metallic
Brilliant Bronze Metallic
Crimson Red Pearl
Storm Grey Metallic
Autumn Green Metallic
Sapphire Blue Pearl
Magnetic Grey Metallic
Crystal Black Silica

Key Features

  • Nappa leather accented seat trim
  • Electric sunroof
  • 9 Harman Kardon® speakers, subwoofer and amplifier*
  • Driver Monitoring System including - auto door mirror adjustment and auto driver’s seat adjustment*

Features

  • Features build upon the Outback AWD and Outback AWD Sport, including:
  • Nappa leather accented seat trim
  • Electric sunroof
  • 9 Harman Kardon® speakers, subwoofer and amplifier*
  • Driver Monitoring System including - auto door mirror adjustment and auto driver’s seat adjustment*
  • Single CD player
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Dual memory driver’s seat
  • Door mirrors with auto-dipping (passenger side), auto power-folding and position memory functionality
  • Door mirror caps – satin finish
  • 18” gloss finish alloy wheels
  • Roof rails with integrated cross bars – silver

Outback AWD

Automatic CVT | AWD | 2.5L Boxer Petrol Engine
Outback AWD
Crystal White Pearl
Ice Silver Metallic
Brilliant Bronze Metallic
Crimson Red Pearl
Storm Grey Metallic
Autumn Green Metallic
Sapphire Blue Pearl
Magnetic Grey Metallic
Crystal Black Silica

Key Features

  • Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (AWD)
  • 2.5L horizontally-opposed direct injection Boxer 4-cylinder, petrol engine Lineartronic® CVT with manual mode
  • X-Mode (2 mode)
  • 11.6” tablet-like infotainment screen

Features

  • Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (AWD)
  • 2.5L horizontally-opposed direct injection Boxer 4-cylinder, petrol engine
  • Lineartronic® CVT with manual mode
  • X-Mode (2 mode)
  • 11.6” tablet-like infotainment screen
  • Subaru Intelligent Drive (SI-Drive)
  • EyeSight® Driver Assist technology featuring new stereo cameras for improved range
  • Driver Monitoring System*
  • Subaru’s Vision Assist
  • SRS passenger seat cushion airbag*
  • 2000kg braked towing capacity*
  • Self-levelling LED headlights with auto off (dusk-sensing)
  • Integrated front LED turn signals and Daytime Running Lights (DRL)

Outback

Available in these colours

Crystal White Pearl
Ice Silver Metallic
Autumn Green Metallic
Sapphire Blue Pearl
Magnetic Grey Metallic
Crystal Black Silica
Crimson Red Pearl
Brilliant Bronze Metallic
Storm Grey Metallic

Disclaimer: The selected colour is available on Outback AWD, Outback AWD Sport and Outback AWD Touring

Disclaimer: The selected colour is available on Outback AWD, Outback AWD Sport and Outback AWD Touring

Disclaimer: The selected colour is available on Outback AWD, Outback AWD Sport and Outback AWD Touring

Disclaimer: The selected colour is available on Outback AWD, Outback AWD Sport and Outback AWD Touring

Disclaimer: The selected colour is available on Outback AWD, Outback AWD Sport and Outback AWD Touring

Disclaimer: The selected colour is available on Outback AWD, Outback AWD Sport and Outback AWD Touring

Disclaimer: The selected colour is available on Outback AWD and Outback AWD Touring

Disclaimer: The selected colour is available on Outback AWD and Outback AWD Touring

Disclaimer: The selected colour is available on Outback AWD and Outback AWD Touring

11.6" infotainment screen

To make it even easier to select entertainment and view navigation, a high-resolution 11.6″ touchscreen is standard. Wireless Bluetooth®¹ pairing and hands-free smartphone operation allow for safe and easy access to music, podcasts, and more.

1. Bluetooth® is a registered trademark of Bluetooth SIG Inc. System functionality is subject to the Bluetooth® wireless technology specification of individual device. Subaru Outback AWD Touring shown

Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™

Every adventure deserves its own soundtrack. So, Subaru have integrated Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ connectivity¹ into the Subaru Outback, all on a big, responsive touchscreen.

1. Compatible Apple® or Android™ device required. Subaru Outback AWD Touring shown

Smart key and push-start ignition

With the key in your pocket, handbag or gym bag, you can enter your Outback by a simple pull of the handle – and to lock just place your index finger on the groove. Keys still in the car when trying to lock? Not a worry, an audible alert will let you know.

Subaru Outback AWD Touring shown

Command everything from the driver’s seat

With voice command you can choose the audio source, change between music tracks and even control the air-conditioning.

Subaru Outback AWD Touring shown

Nappa leather accented seat trim

Whether you’re heading out on the trail or out on the town, the Outback AWD Touring delivers sophisticated style and refined comfort, and features Nappa leather accented seat trim for a soft sumptuous feel and premium look. Packed with helpful upgrades like heated front seats, the Outback AWD Touring can makes every drive more enjoyable and relaxing.

Subaru Outback AWD Touring shown

Dual zone climate control with rear vents

Keep your cool and maintain the peace with dual zone climate control.

Subaru Outback AWD Touring shown

Hands-free powered tailgate

Hands full? No worries Subaru have got you covered with a hands-free powered tailgate. Placing an elbow, or your body close to the sensor around the rear badge (while in possession of the smart key) will enable touch-free opening of the tailgate, providing convenience you won’t want to live without. Hands-free powered tailgate is a standard feature on Subaru Outback AWD Sport and Subaru Outback AWD Touring variants only.

Subaru Outback AWD Touring shown

Second pair of eyes

Subaru’s renowned technologies include the unrivalled ‘Driver Assist system’ called EyeSight®. EyeSight® is your second pair of eyes that monitors the road ahead and recognises potentially dangerous driving situations. Using three-dimensional images captured by stereo cameras mounted behind the front windscreen, EyeSight® provides audible and visual warnings to prompt the driver to take action. Depending on general visibility, it has a length of vision up to 130 metres. Apart from these built-in driver alert functions, EyeSight® will also apply automatic braking intervention, when necessary, to help avoid or reduce the severity of a detected frontal collision.

Subaru Outback AWD Touring shown

EyeSight®

Through more than 30 years of development and many real-world tests and evaluation, EyeSight® has been developed to respond to many individual market’s traffic conditions. With multiple incredible features, EyeSight® works with Subaru’s acclaimed collision avoidance and collision protection technologies, working together to provide improved protection for you and your family.

Subaru’s Driver Monitoring System

Watching out for you, this innovative new system monitors the driver’s face for signs of fatigue or distraction and provides an audible and visual warning if it detects signs of fatigue or that the driver is not focused on the road ahead. The system is also clever enough to recognise the face of up to five registered drivers and will sync each driver’s preferred settings including air-conditioning and MID display settings. Subaru Outback AWD Touring can also sync each driver’s and door mirror position. Now that’s clever!

Driver Monitoring System performance and capability dependent on environmental and technical conditions. Refer to Owner’s Manual for full details. Subaru Outback AWD Touring shown

Subaru’s Vision Assist

Subaru’s Vision Assist is advanced technology that gives you greater awareness of the world around you.

Reverse Automatic Braking (RAB) senses and alerts you when it detects an obstacle behind you that you’re at risk of hitting. Plus it can even step in to apply the brakes in the event that you don’t.

Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) features sensors that let you know when there’s something in a blind spot to help make lane changes safer.

Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) can warn you that another car is approaching when reversing out of a car space. Cutting-edge technology to help keep your family safe.

Safety without compromise

Safety starts with an improved chassis and a body frame reinforced to increase frontal, side and rear crash safety. Designated crumple zones are designed to direct impact energy away from the reinforced passenger safety cell, while SRS¹ airbags – including dual front, dual front side, dual curtain, driver’s knee and front passenger seat cushion are designed to protect occupants. The Boxer engine sits low in the engine bay, and is designed to help protect occupants by sliding below the cabin – not into it – in the event of a severe frontal collision.

1. SRS: Supplemental Restraint System. Effective when used in conjunction with seatbelts.

Subaru Intelligent Drive (SI-Drive)

Every adventure is different, so Outback was designed to embrace each situation. Subaru Intelligent Drive (SI-Drive) technology lets you choose between distinctly different modes to fit your mood. Like Intelligent (I) mode, with its smooth, well-balanced response and fuel efficiency focus. Or, select Sport (S) mode for lively performance.

Subaru Outback AWD Touring shown

18" alloy wheels

On slick city streets or outback roads, redesigned 18″ alloy wheels on the Outback will have you rolling in style.

Subaru Outback AWD shown

Integrated front LED turn signals and Daytime Running L

Integrated front LED turn signals and Daytime Running Lights (DRL) enhance the Outback’s rugged design.

Subaru Outback AWD Touring shown

Front and rear USB ports

Running out of battery can make a long road trip feel a lot longer. Which is why there are two quick-charge USB ports in the front and another two in the rear. To all the rear passengers out there: between these and the new directional rear air-conditioning vents, you’re road-trip ready.

Subaru Outback AWD Touring shown

Signature tail lights

The redesigned Outback features signature C-shaped rear tail lights, ensuring you stand out from the crowd.

Subaru Outback AWD Sport shown

All wheels, all of the time

The sign of a true performer, is good balance. And when it comes to driving a Subaru, superior balance equals superior vehicle control. That’s why Subaru has built its reputation on its Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (AWD) system and a symmetrical drivetrain that deliver an innate sense of balance from the ground up. Symmetrical AWD delivers engine power to all four wheels simultaneously. Having power distributed across all four wheels, rather than two on conventional vehicles, gives you twice the traction capacity. So under acceleration there’s more grip for cornering and more capacity to keep on track through the corners.

Ultimately, having the driving force spread across all four wheels means greater control and confidence under all conditions. The traction and control delivered by Symmetrical AWD is further enhanced by the Outback’s suspension. The wide track rigid front suspension produces more responsive steering and cornering, while the double wishbone rear suspension ensures a smooth, controlled ride with outstanding handling, comfort and quietness. For you, the driver, it all adds up to an agile and responsive vehicle with optimum balance, control and confidence in a variety of driving conditions.

Overseas model shown

Think outside the Boxer

Consistent across the Outback range is the famous Subaru Boxer engine that has been designed to sit lower and flatter in the engine bay than traditional engines. Due to this unique design, it delivers low levels of noise and vibration to the cabin, while the lowered centre of gravity improves stability, cornering and traction with the road. Coupled with the Outback’s symmetrical drivetrain, this configuration delivers superior handling confidence, better balance, smoothness and ultimately, outstanding driver enjoyment. The intelligent drive systems incorporated into the Outback include an Electronic Throttle Control system (ETC) which seamlessly translates commands from the driver’s right foot to automatically select the optimum throttle position for an effortless performance.

2,000kg braked towing capacity

Hit the road with Subaru Ambassador, Andrew Daddo in the Outback. From the open freeway to some steep winding roads, we showcase the amazing towing ability of the Outback, in its element towing a heavy load.
The braked towing capacity¹ has increased to 2,000kg – that’s 500kg more than the equivalent engine in the previous generation Outback, and 200kg more than the larger 3.6-litre engine from the previous generation.

1. Towing capacity is subject to regulatory requirements, tow bar and vehicle design and towing equipment limitations. Requires fitment of optional tow bar accessory. Ask your Retailer for details of Genuine Subaru tow bar capacity and availability details. Always refer to your Owner’s Manual for towing instructions.

Subaru Outback AWD shown

X-Mode makes rough terrain easy

With Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and X-Mode, coupled with Subaru’s famous Boxer engine and 2,000kg braked towing capacity¹, Outback is ready to take you there.

1. Towing capacity is subject to regulatory requirements, tow bar and vehicle design and towing equipment limitations. Requires fitment of optional tow bar accessory. Ask your Retailer for details of Genuine Subaru tow bar capacity and availability details. Always refer to your Owner’s Manual for towing instructions. Subaru Outback AWD shown

Protection Pack

Protection Pack includes:

  • Cargo Tray
  • Cargo Step Panel (Resin)
  • Carpet Mat Set
  • Weather Shields

Price is Subaru Australia’s Special Fitted Recommended Price. Actual price may vary between retailers. Ask your retailer for their final price. Fitted RRP is the Recommended Retail Price. The Fitted RRP includes the price of the accessory item (excluding government stamp duty), installation (if necessary) and painting (if necessary). Government stamp duty charges will appear in the Driveaway price of the vehicle after they have been added to the vehicle.

Explorer Pack

Explorer Pack includes:

  • Cargo Tray
  • Cargo Step Panel (Resin)
  • Tow Bar
  • Carpet Mat Set
  • Weather Shields

Price is Subaru Australia’s Special Fitted Recommended Price. Actual price may vary between retailers. Ask your retailer for their final price. Fitted RRP is the Recommended Retail Price. The Fitted RRP includes the price of the accessory item (excluding government stamp duty), installation (if necessary) and painting (if necessary). Government stamp duty charges will appear in the Driveaway price of the vehicle after they have been added to the vehicle.

Discover Subaru’s leading 96% safety rating features

Remember Dick Tufeld? No, come on, you do. Dick was the voice of the robot in the 60s TV series Lost In Space. “Warning! Warning! Danger Will Robinson!”

If Dick were alive today, I might have suggested to Subaru they use his voice as part of their EyeSight® Driver Assist system. Every time I see that dashboard light up and an alarm sound, I think of Robot.

Subaru’s recent leading 96% rating for Safety is all about a fundamental principle of safe driving: situational awareness. There is no substitute for an alert driver, but that driver needs help. Cabin visibility is better than ever, for example. The way your side mirrors tilt to make sure you don’t miss objects or people close to the ground when reversing*. They call that Primary Safety – the first of the four pillars.

But where Subaru has made extraordinary progress is in Preventative Safety. EyeSight®, a pair of cameras located behind the windscreen are seeing things you often cannot.

Also, importantly, it’s watching you. The Driver Monitoring System*.

The one I really like is the “Keep Your Eyes On The Road” signal. I couldn’t help it. On a very quiet rural back street, I deliberately turned my head away, without losing focus, until it lit up.

Come on car, I was still looking!

Years ago, I joked with a mechanic as he plugged his laptop into the car management software that one day, we’ll get behind the wheel and cop a critique of our clothing. “Don’t like that tie.”

Says the flashing dashboard. “Pink’s not your colour.” “And those wide lapels – so 90s.”

Well, we’re not quite there, but I admit to feeling offended if my Outback doesn’t say “Hello Bill”.

The other one I like is when it tells me I left something in the back seat. Oh, that would be my mother-in-law. Did you have to remind me?

Given the nature of today’s road accidents, EyeSight® is so much more than a nagging robot. The really cool stuff is evident when you encounter obstructions that pop up during roadworks. That’s where you realise your Outback can see things that are not supposed to be there and gives you a gentle tug on the steering wheel, or a flashing signal and alarm.

“It’s alright ,” I find myself saying, “I’m on it.”

But the day will come when you are not. We all like to think we’re better drivers than we really are. Even great drivers make mistakes, lose concentration, or face unexpected incidents. EyeSight® is there to help manage those moments.

Mind you, I’m yet to take up the suggestion from another Subaru owner to drive at a brick wall, knowing the car will stop itself. It’s not a trust issue. It just seems like a stupid thing to do.

But for once, those salespeople weren’t kidding when they said, “this baby has all the bells and whistles!” Most of them are telling you when there’s danger, Will Robinson.

I confess, and I’m not ashamed to talk about it now, I had a real thing for the six-cylinder Outback of the past decade or so. I’m sure the feeling was mutual. The way it comforted me in its warm seats and tranquil surrounds, guided me through those high-speed corners without a hint of doubt, carried all my stuff faithfully to camp sites and lugged timber and tools from the hardware store.

The love just grew naturally over time, as all great relationships do.

Subaru has always been clever at producing cars that are immensely enjoyable to drive without compromising their practical features. It’s simply the Symmetrical All Wheel Drive philosophy.

Everyone who makes the transition gets it. There has never been a better example than the Outback. When a car handles so well without sacrificing luxury, space and versatility, that six hour run down the coast with the family and luggage actually becomes part of the holiday, not just a means to get there.

Anyway, this year, my loyalty was tested. With a wink of its EyeSight® and the siren call of a Harman Kardon sound system, it seduced me. The 2021 Outback.
Surely, I couldn’t be happier than I was with my liberated 3.6?

Wait till you get hold of that cheeky 2.5, they said.

Well, confession number two, and what goes on the road, stays on the road. I was unfaithful.

2021 Outback dazzled me with a new array of preventative car safety features. It talked to me. No, I mean talked to me. Look, call me fickle, but that kind of intimacy is hard to reject. I felt like it knew me from the first “hello.”

But here’s the thing – aside from an amazing sound system with unrivalled separation and clarity – I’ve never felt safer in a Subaru, and that’s a big deal for the brand that tops car safety ratings in Australia .

They have taken the handling and power delivery to new levels. This engine is tuned differently to the previous 2.5s. No-one is pretending it has the outright numbers the six produced, but it’s how the power is transmitted, down below, just when you need it, with a throaty, reassuring voice.

I also couldn’t believe how they upped the ante with handling. I’ve tested all Subaru models for years on racetracks, dirt roads and winding, climbing highways. The new Subaru Outback has amazing grip for a wagon – especially when it also offers the clearance to take its talents off road. The suspension tuning is remarkable, and the horizontally-opposed Boxer engine provides a low centre of gravity.

The Subaru Global Platform has delivered a versatile, luxurious drive coupled with exceptional responsiveness to give you that all-important confidence.

Not that I’m the controlling type, but let’s say that I’m totally committed, and when you get it on the road, so is the 2021 Outback.

It’s a sad but common sight in Australia – our national symbol bounding into your vision as you travel at high speed on a dark, lonely road. What happens next depends on so many factors, each holding your life, and others, in the balance.

Aside from the obvious distress of killing the animal, this all-too-common scenario is one of the reasons why Subaru’s world-leading car safety ratings are so important.

I can’t stress enough the value of advanced driver training – the type that emphasises safety. Your vigilance, concentration and skill cannot be compromised even when you’re driving Australia’s safest car.

The best, most cautious drivers must expect the unexpected. What the Car Safety Ratings do is give you confidence to make better decisions.

Subaru was the first brand in Australia to achieve 5-star safety across the range . Since then, it has applied the latest technology to four “pillars” of protection: Primary, Active, Preventative and Protective.

The Protective strategy is the last resort, for the stuff you have little control over. Kangaroo territory.

A lot of roos can be spotted in the reach of Subaru’s extraordinary steering responsive headlights – just another of their cool ideas – but some roos have a nasty habit of racing up to a road just as a car passes, without pausing to give you a sighting.

A few years ago, my wife and I had a heart-stopping experience in our Outback late at night on the Princes Highway, just north of Batemans Bay. I was at the sign-posted speed of 100km/h on a long straight and suddenly, leaping from dense roadside bushes, not one, but two kangaroos landed in front of us.

Armed with All-Wheel Drive, I figured that with a slight turn of the steering wheel under hard braking I could stay in my lane and probably avoid the first, much larger animal. Passive safety would have to take care of the rest. A sad outcome for the young roo trailing behind, but Subaru’s impact protection enabled us to keep driving to our destination with only the front bumper assembly needing to be replaced. The impact bar had done its work.

Every case is unique. Sometimes you don’t have any time to respond. You brace and let the Subaru Global Platform do its thing: the shock-absorbing ring-shaped passenger safety cell that protects the cabin, crumple zones, multiple airbags, headrests and safety belts. Faced with an unavoidable collision, Subaru’s top-scoring performance in the latest ANCAP* testing gives you a the best chance of living to talk about it.

ANCAP* safety score of 91% for Child Occupant Protection. 84% for Vulnerable Road User Protection.
Subaru is proud of its most important safety vision yet – working towards zero fatal road accidents in a Subaru vehicle by the year 2030.

Of course, the best way to survive a collision is to avoid it. In that department, Subaru’s 96% rating is way ahead of its rivals. But that’s another, rather unusual conversation…with your car.

 

Bill Woods

Subaru Ambassador

Why choose an Outback?

Why choose to water your tomato plant in a heatwave? Why choose prawns over flathead or Apple over Android? You can choose between a puppy and a kitten, AFL or NRL, golf or tennis? And, you can choose an Outback. 

 I’ve heard it said for the important decisions, we should choose with our hearts, for a full heart is the key to our happiness. My practical father might say, ‘Choose with your head you Goose, your hearts got no brains.’   

 He might have something there, but not when it comes to choosing the family wagon. 

 I like to think of the Subaru Outback as a very smart heart choice – one of the rare times in a major family purchase where I don’t have to choose between practicality and style. To put things in perspective, we have three kids, two dogs and the occasional cat.   

 We need everyday space for everyday things like shopping and schoolbags and golf clubs. Then, there’s special occasion space, to carry all those things we probably don’t need to take with us on holidays. Boot space for bags, roof space for surfboards, floor space for feet and spare shoes. Secret spaces for things we don’t want to see like phones and their chargers.   

And, it’s a large-sized SUV disguised as a wagon, or is that the other way around? Well, with the Outback, I choose both.   

 I choose a vehicle my eighty-year-old parents can get into and out of without grunting. Sheesh, I choose that myself as well.   

 I don’t have to creep up to steep driveways and worry about scraping things because the clearance of this SUV is fantastic – and when there is a worry about the state of the road – or off road – it’s a simple case of dialing the family wagon into X-Mode. (I announce X-Mode to the kids in a fairly absurd TV Voice over voice. “Kids, we’re going into X-Mode.  I like to think they think I’m a cack.)   

 I choose to tow, as well. Pretty much whatever I want: a trailer, or a boat or even a horse float: It’s my choice, right? 

 And there are reasons to choose the Outback that you don’t have to think about – and these are my favourite reasons.   

 Safety is key for Subaru, and always has been.  With the Outback we have driver assist innovations like Eyesight® and Vision Assist. They’re like a peace of mind passport for the entire family. The in-car infotainment pleases everyone – Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.* The rear camera has saved me where my depth perception would otherwise have failed, I may have run over surfboards or bikes or cricket bats that have no place being left about to fear for their safety. 

 How can you not choose a family SUV that easily accommodates your golfing fourball and their golf bags? We all agree it’s the car of choice for golfing getaways because it’s classy, inside and out and there’s enough car chargers and USB bits to keep everyone happy. 

And. And. Maybe best of all – I have convinced my four-year-old neighbour that I am a Magic Man by opening the boot simply by casting a spell on the family car – without touching it. The no-touch sensor opening for the tailgate is a neat trick.*

 It’s more than that. It’s genius.  

 About as smart choosing the Subaru Outback.   

 

Andrew Daddo

Subaru Ambassador

Are Outbacks Wagons or SUV?

‘It’s a Wagon.’ 

‘SUV’  

‘Wagon!’ 

‘SUV!’ 

It’s the old devil v angel routine – one on each shoulder and the wickedest thing is, they’re both right.   

The Outback is a wagon disguised as an SUV, or maybe that’s the other way around? 

It’s an SUV when I visit my friend with the steep driveway, for there is no fear of scraping the front on arrival, or the rear on departure. Not even the tow bar. My mate’s got a wagon, and he can’t do that, so that’s one point for SUV given the ground clearance.  

But then, my wife and I can see over the top of the wagon with ease. You know the drill, you arrive at your friends place with the steep driveway and before going in you have the chat across the car. ‘What’re their kids names, again? Really? Surely that’s the dogs’ name.’ So, given we can converse across the top of the Outback, that would make it more of a wagon.   

Interesting, isn’t it? 

There’s the interior space of an SUV without the loaf of bread like drivability up the freeway on a windy day. To be fair, that’s more Kombi than SUV, but you get the idea. Given the Outback is flatter and more streamlined than a typical SUV, it seems to drive more like a sedan: less drag, you know? But it’s definitely not a sedan because I can climb into the boot looking for lost golf balls without feeling as if one of my kids might turn practical joker and shut me in. Not that they would – or could – because the Outback* has the automatic boot button, so it’s a nice, smooth open and close. Given my spy like reflexes, I’d be out before getting stuck because just slowing the process of the boot stops the automatic close and the joke would be over. Mooohahahaha. 

The cabin space is massive, by the way. I always get tagged for driving to golf – four sets of clubs in the boot (there’s one guy I’d like to put in there, too) and there’s a stack of legroom for four adults as well. I’m not convinced there’s room for all of their stories, but that’s a subject for another day.  

We’re past the pram stage, but I’m confident we would have managed easily with our big old pram, and certainly the kids bikes. As they got older we went for the bike carrier which is a must if you’re wanting to take everything with you on holidays.  

So internally, it has a distinct SUV feel, which is magic, because if I was after a sports car, I’d be surprised to find myself in the Outback. Having said that, it does have the gear changing paddles, soooooo… Sports SUV, maybe?  Sports Wagon? 

The worst thing to say about the Outback is possibly the best thing. It’s absurdly practical.  It’s literally perfect for the whole family, regardless of who is using it – and given all the safety features, it’s perfect for our Learner and P-plate drivers. 

But is the Outback a wagon, or an SUV? 

It’s practically both.    

Actually. It is both. Wagon and SUV. Maybe it depends who you’re bragging about your Outback to.   

 

Andrew Daddo

Subaru Ambassador

How to drive your Outback off road

‘Do it, Dad. Do it.’ 

‘I don’t know, Son. I just don’t know.’ 

Dad, come on! Put this bad-boy all-wheel drive SUV into X-Mode.’ 

Let’s back up a moment. On the road south from Crescent Head is another, less inviting turn off. It heads to a beach where the wind and the waves were almost certain to be on the ‘epic’ side of ‘fully sick.’ With boards on the roof and thoughts of grandeur in our heads, we were on a surfing type safari. 

But then, I had been down this road before (the surf safari and this particular road) in a less appropriate vehicle. To be fair, it was a wagon from the 60’s, and things hadn’t ended particularly well.   

So now, faced with the exuberance of youth and a head full of future surfing memories I was pressed to re-enter the fray. ‘I’ll do it,’ said my son, swatting my hand away from the screen. And he did. Just like that. He pressed the X-Mode button. 

Woo-hoo! We were off. 

I’m not sure what I thought would happen. Maybe there’d be bells or whistles or a ring-a-ding-ding. A clown might jump down from the roof rails, a marching band could emerge from a pothole. But there was nothing, just a light that indicated “X-Mode” was activated.  

To be fair, I’d done the reading. At my heart, I’m my father’s son and a car nerd so whilst I haven’t committed the entire 500 or so pages of the owners’ manual to memory, I was excited about “X-Mode” for it basically turns the Outback SUV into a beast that can go “out back.”   

The Outback already has full time Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, but with “X-Mode” engaged, rough or treacherous or simply slippery conditions are sorted. The road ahead was no issue. The brakes, CVT and Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive all work together to ensure that me and my son with the fresh mullet haircut are free to chase the bombs rolling in from the Pacific Ocean. 

With nothing to fear, I was a little surprised to feel a few butterflies bashing into the walls of my guts.  

What if the waves are actually as good as he suspects? What if we can actually get to them without any genuine sense of worry? At 213mm, the ground clearance is excellent, this gnarly dirt road with potholes and mud and sand is no longer a reasonable excuse to hang back and talk up the old days when I was a charger.   

Oh, God. I might actually have to try and surf, that would be a disaster. 

So, with fingers crossed we went. The road was worse than I remembered, but more fun. It was actually great fun. We went deep, as the saying goes. And whilst the surf wasn’t quite what we expected, the drive in and out more than made up for it.    

 

Andrew Daddo

Subaru Ambassador

How to fill an Outback for a family road trip

Ah, the family road trip – so fondly remembered by parents who seem to have forgotten what it was like to be kids in the back seat with legs and backs sticking to vinyl.    

Our kids won’t remember them like that: Nope, those days are long gone.   

The road trip is back (as if it ever went away) and the way of the world is to take EVERYTHING in your family wagon! Which is fine. Given last year was pretty rotten, fingers crossed this is the time to spread our wings a little. Nothing pleases parents more than happy kids, so pack the car and spread the joy. And, as my friend Charlie likes to say, ‘Better to have than to want.’ 

That’s why you’re glad you’ve got the Subaru Outback because there is room for all the stuff you need, and a stack of stuff you won’t but will take, anyway. Just in case.  

What’s the secret to packing your family SUV or wagon? Step one, if you’re not using the tow bar, put it aside for a moment because you’ll probably whack your shins on it. 

Next, open the boot, which, if your keys are in your pocket and you’re standing behind an Outback AWD Sport or Outback AWD Touring, you can do with a wave of your hand or elbow. Defined in the brochure as a ‘cargo volume,’ it is massive. Hard things with square edges go in first, like Lego. Or maybe it’s more of a jigsaw.   

Where do you put the esky, or the box with snacks in it? Maybe last? Probably on the right-hand side near the 12v outlet if it’s a plug-in powered esky.   

We’ve got three kids, so the back seat is full of bodies – if it weren’t, we’d utilise the quick release split fold rear seats for long things. Golf clubs, maybe. Not fishing rods, there’s a bit of a stink to them so they go up top on the roof with the surf boards. If we are going camping, the spade will go up there, too. Or a canoe. We don’t have a canoe, but if we did… 

Did we say the Subaru Outback is a great camping car? It is. AWD and all that. A bit of off road is fun for everyone. It’s definitely a family holiday car, and as you’ll find, it’s a road trip car as well.   

Soft things go in after the hard things, filling the gaps like mortar.   

There’s a bunch of hidey-holes for important things you can’t forget but may not remember where you’ve hidden. (Straps for the surfboards usually live in the pouch on the back of the front driverseat but may well turn up in one of another five locations throughout the car.) Drink bottles in the drink holders, everybody gets one. It’s like an episode of Oprah. “YOU get a drink holder. YOU get a drink holder. YOU get a drink holder.” Just don’t forget to pack the drinks. 

Bikes? You want to take bikes? Attach your bike holder to your tow bar. Or, if you don’t have rods and boards, put them up on the roof. Or, have boards on one side, bikes on the other. There’s an embarrassment of space up there for people to admire how much stuff you’re taking away on holiday. 

Seriously, there’s room for pretty much anything. 

And then, before you know it, you’re done. You’re a legend. You’ve got everything! And this time you remembered to pack the family car outside the garage, because it was a bit of a pain trying to get out of the garage with everything on the roof last time.  

The wagon is an artwork, so you take a photo. Bikes, boards, tent, shovel, rods, fly spray, hair spray, sunscreen, bags, toiletries, food, esky – what else could there be? 

The family. WHERE ARE THE KIDS? 

This is about the time I usually stomp through the house cajoling all and sundry to move toward the family’s SUV in happy, holiday tones. I try, anyway. Inevitably, there’s one who won’t budge. ‘My phone. It’s out of charge. Daaaaad, can we wait a bit longer while it like, charges?’ 

‘Let’s go,’ I say, knowing full well there are multiple USB ports in the car. I go through the Oprah thing again. ‘You get a USB port. You get a USB port…’ You can imagine how much fun I am to travel with?   

The front of the center console has two USB ports, and any last-minute things can go in the centre console box. The Outback is actually massive on the inside.  Like a really well-appointed living room with wheels – and aircon front and back.   

There’s no toilet, though. So, whilst the driving experience has definitely changed since we were sliding around playing ‘corners’ in the back seat, some things remain the same. At the moment you clear the traffic and point your nose onto the highway and engage Adaptive Cruise Control, someone’s going to say they’re busting.   

It’s a road trip, what more would you expect.  

 

Andrew Daddo

Subaru Ambassador

What are the safety features in an Outback

Hand on heart, amongst the myriad of reasons we chose the Outback, the most pressing was safety. Not for me, of course!  As an old-fashioned bullet-proof hero type with a penchant for wagon styled adventure, things like the Pre-Collision Braking System and Driver Monitoring System were like something out of a sci-fi movie. 

Nooooo, not for me, I was thinking about my kids and wife.   

Hate to brag, but we’ve got one hell of a family and I adore every single one of them – even the dog who’s decided to dig up the front garden in search of some long forgotten (the cat) treasure. 

Our kids are in the formative driving years, as in 21 and under. Whilst they’re good drivers, they’re also inexperienced. And they’re confident inexperienced drivers which makes me even happier the car they get to drive is literally packed with features to protect them – whether they’re highway driving or scraping the beautiful new rims on the gutters around town. 

Can you have a favourite wagon or SUV safety feature?   

If you can, my hero (he says with hands clasped across his chest in a swoon) is the EyeSight® Driver Assist System. You’ve seen the cameras mounted on the inside behind the top of the windscreen on other Subaru’s and wondered what they’re all about. It’s definitely a “from the future” technology that’s needed now. The Pre-Collision Braking System and Brake Assist can help the driver slow down or come to a complete stop if an obstacle is detected in front of the wagon. It goes off with flashing red lights and an alarm and gets everyone’s attention, which is fantastic. 

My Mum kind of gets it, but it all seems a bit Jetsons to her, so I just tell it like it is.  “The camera’s see what’s ahead and the wagon reacts accordingly.  If there’s an obstacle detected ahead and the driver doesn’t take action, the car slows – often quickly.’ It’s an explanation that covers other things, too.  

The Pre-Collision Throttle Management restricts engine output to reduce acceleration when required and the Adaptive Cruise Control helps you avoid cruising up the rear end of the learner driver in front of you if you’re not paying complete attention. In fact, this may be my new favourite feature. Can I have two? 

Best of all is that Adaptive Cruise Control, can maintain a speed set by the driver, but slows to the speed of the vehicle in front should you be going faster than them. You can even set the distance from the car in front for added safety. It’s good for you, and most definitely good for the other car as well.   

Wow, that’s four favourite car safety features. Too much? 

Then, if that’s not enough, there’s the camera pointing back toward the driver.  No, it’s not for driving selfies, it’s the Driver Monitoring System* (DMS). Using an infrared LED camera, the system is watching out for the driver. As the name suggests, it’s monitoring the driver’s face for signs of fatigue or distraction. It has the ability to gently remind the driver to keep their mind and eyes on the prize if they begin to wander.   

Surely the DMS was designed by a parent with a recalcitrant teenager who wouldn’t be told to pay attention – not my teenagers, of course, who are basically perfect. 

But if they weren’t, I love the idea of looking out for them even when I’m not around to actually be there. That’s the vibe I get from Subaru, and it’s probably the same kind of feeling my Dad had 30 something years ago when I drove down the driveway with a long-haired uni mate on a cross country odyssey from Melbourne to Perth in my-brand-new-to-me Subaru Sportswagon.   

Dad actually chose the car, even though he let me think I did.  At the time, it was ahead of the safety game, which is a lot like the new Outback.  

Is it selfish to want to sleep at night when the kids are away in the family wagon? I don’t think so. We want the very best for our children, and whilst we know things happen on the road we can’t help, we know with the Outback, they’re literally as protected as they can possibly be. So is the dog.   

As for the cat… that’s an entirely different story.   

 

Andrew Daddo

Subaru Ambassador

Find out why Outback has incredible visibility

When I first heard people talk about the “visibility of the Outback,” I got it immediately.

At first, I thought it was just me. But then, the more I mulled it over, the more the chatter made sense.  If you drive an SUV like the Outback, you want to be seen. Deep in the places that tickle your fancy, you’ve suspected folks like to pull up at the lights next to you and have a gawk at the dude rockin’ the family wagon.  And there you are, snugly seated between the roof rails and the muscled up wheel arches.   

Stuff like that never seemed to happen in the Magna.   

In a moment of weakness, I did mention something about it to my wife, who said (again) that I was a buffoon (worse) and the visibility was a safety feature.   

Stifling a giggle I said, ‘Jeez Louise (her name is not Louise), it was a joke.’ 

‘Ah, no it wasn’t,’ smirked Jacquie. 

Of course, she’s right. As much as I like the idea of people looking into the wagon, it’s the looking out that’s the kicker. There is, without question, excellent visibility in all directions from the cockpit of the Outback. Blind spots are minimized as are line of sight obstructions.  There’s this marriage of vehicle safety and vision – maybe it’s the vision of safety – where the body pillar widths are minimized for maximum access to the world outside the vehicle.   

Just on the driver visibility, whilst the family car safety aspect is paramount for the dudes rockin’ the family wagon (or is it an SUV?) there’s another bonus. That is the free, old-fashioned entertainment for the co-travelers.  Also known as windows, on family drives to holidays and memories, there is no greater show on earth than what scoots past once we’re off the highways and into an Aussie detour.   

I love the way the countryside changes without us even knowing, from bush to beach to farmland to isolated country towns – there’s always something to see. And most definitely things to imagine – you just have to free your mind. There’s an empty small-town oval with a white picket fence – and that’s you trundling in from the northern end, a fresh cherry in your hand, seam pointed for the slips. “Hooowzat!”   

Kangaroos under trees, emus in the sun.  ‘Do you reckon the bulls talk to the cows across those fences, Mum? Do you reckon the bull’s a bit boring, and that’s why the cows are way over the other side of the paddock?’  What about the shops you have to stop at?  The views you haven’t got time to pull over for and the clouds that look like something they’re not?   

What good are games like “eye-spy” with silly little windows you can’t enjoy the view from?    

The vision is serious, too. Subaru have a commitment to ensure the driver can see a child of an average one-meter height from a certain distance from every front, side and rear window. It’s about family and safety and being around for family adventures. It’s things that highlight how important car safety is to them. 

The rear camera’s a savior for parking, but there’s more at play here, as well.  Did I tell you we got a puppy?  She’s called Sunday because she arrived on a Sunday, and she’s quicker than our dog Spud, who looks like a potato.  We love the dogs and want to keep loving them.  And the skateboards and bikes and footys and netballs and everything else that gets left out and laid about in the obstacle course of life. And obviously, the kids – everyone’s kids – whether it be driveways or shopping centers or busy school zones.   

When you look at the dude in the Outback, you can be certain he can see you, too.   

 

Andrew Daddo

Subaru Ambassador

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