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Subaru Outback is an assured drive

SUV’s may be the flavour of the new car market but one vehicle that breaks the mould is Subaru’s high-riding all-wheel- drive Outback wagon – in fact, behind the Toyota Prado and Toyota Kluger it’s the third best-selling large all-wheel drive. And there are now 25 players in the large 4WD market. As I said earlier the Outback has a very loyal following and owners have nothing but praise for its serviceability and performance. A five-seater the Outback comes in four-cylinder petrol and diesel form and in a highly-specified six-cylinder 3.6 R at $49,149. I’ve just driven the latter – upgraded for 2018 with minor styling updates, new vision assisted features including Lane Keep Assist, steering responsive and adaptive control headlights and refinement inside including changes to the central colour touch screen. The latter is more engaging with enhanced infotainment system, the screen bigger and mimicking a large tablet device – although some aspects of these new colour touch screens can be distractive when driving. The flat-six engine in the Outback 3.6R is particularly torquey and with a six-speed CVT automatic the performance is strong especially in
the engines mid-range where you do most of your driving – on and off road. A constant all-wheel- drive the Outback is assured, great on a wet road with excellent electric power steering and well shod with 60-series tyres on 18-inch alloy rims. New front and side camera technology is welcome, so too the steering responsive headlights. With five star safety the only negative is a three year warranty and slightly higher service costs. I’m David Berthon

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