New engine but no turbo for all-new Subaru Outback, NZ prices announced ahead of on-sale February
Search Driven for Subaru for sale
There are no really big surprises with the all-new Subaru Outback, revealed here in New Zealand specification for the first time.
That's partly because Subaru has stuck to a winning formula. Outback was one of the original crossover-style SUVs and has been a top-seller for the brand for 25 years. The new model stays close to the template. While it's a whole new generation, you still couldn't mistake it for anything other than an Outback.
But it's also partly because this model has been on sale in the United States since last year. The Kiwi-spec model is essentially the same shape, seemingly with a few detail changes (like those angular wheelarch flares).
The biggest difference from the US model is under the bonnet. NZ isn't getting the much-talked-about 2.0-litre turbo engine offered there: it remains a US-built model for domestic sale only.
In fact, the range has been simplified to three models, all powered by a 90 per cent-new 2.5-litre boxer-four engine, with seven per cent more power (138kW) and 4 per cent more torque (245Nm). No sign of a hybrid "e-boxer" engine option at launch and as previously reported, the six-cylinder powerplant has been discontinued.
The Subaru Lineartronic Transmission (SLT) has been extensively revised (80 per cent of structural parts changed) and now has a broader ratio-spread, with lower takeoff gearing improving acceleration and a taller top end improving fuel efficiency. Every model has an eight-step mode. Towing capacity is up to 2000kg.
The wheelbase is longer (exact figures to be confirmed) and the cargo opening is wider. In the cabin there's a new 11.6in touch screen arranged in a portrait/vertical orientation, making it look more like a smartphone or tablet.
Subaru's EyeSight driver-assistance system continues, but now features lane centring, autonomous emergency steering and lane-keep, speed sign recognition and pre-collision braking.
The Vision Assist package includes blind spot monitoring, lane change assist, rear cross traffic alert, reverse automatic braking and EyeSight Assist Monitor.
A new passenger-seat cushion airbag pushes the front of the seat in a crash, preventing forward movement of the occupant and minimising contact with the dashboard.
The standard Outback is $49,990. The X-model introduced in the previous generation with water-repellent seats, heated seats front/rear, front/side view cameras, power tailgate and special trim will be $54,990.
The top Touring model gets Nappa leather (black as standard, but tan or ivory as alternatives), Harman Kardon audio, power sunroof, heated steering wheel, silver roof rails with integrated stowable cross bars, and gloss finish for the alloy wheel (other models are grey). It will cost $57,490.