Subaru upgrade Outback wagon and Legacy sedan range
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Subaru New Zealand has upgraded two of its long-standing models, the Outback station wagon and Legacy sedan have both received a mid-life facelift.
The 2018 three-model Outback range has received styling and technology enhancements, some of the latter integrated into the camera-based Eyesight safety technology, such as lane keep assist, helping to avoid crashes by assisting with steering control if the vehicle starts drifting into another lane. It works with a gentle torque loading on the steering wheel, helping the driver steer back into the chosen lane.
The Outback's exterior takes on a new frontal look with revised grille and bumper, and new wing mirrors that improve aerodynamics resulting in further noise reduction. New 18-inch alloy wheels are fitted to each of the three variants. The Legacy also receives a new wheel design.
A suite of vision assist features have been added to Premium Outback models. They include LED steering responsive headlights, high beam assist has been upgraded to adaptive driving beam and there is now front view monitor and side view monitor.
2018 Outback Premium interior
Other interior tweaks on Premium models include lager central display screens and enhanced smartphone connectivity based on Apple CarPlay and Android Auto services
Initial driving impressions during the media launch for both cars on rural roads east of Auckland were of quiet and comfortable motion. The Outback is smooth and has high levels of refinement. On pot-holed sections of tarmac, the Outback's long travel suspension absorbed and contained the hits without in-cabin jolts. The Legacy has large car presence and sophisticated attitude.
A short but challenging off-road excursion tested the Outback's 213mm ground clearance figure, its symmetrical four-wheel-drive system distributed power evenly in low grip muddy surfaces.
Prices for the Outback remain unchanged at $44,990 (2.5i Sport), $49,990 (2.5i Premium) and $59,990 for the Premium 3.6R 6-cylinder model.
2018 Outback Premium
A new leather-trimmed 2.5i Premium model has been introduced into the Legacy range, while a 3.6RS Premium has returned to the line-up.
The Legacy 2.5i Premium is priced at $49,990 while the 3.6RS lists at $54,990. Both variants arrive with a high level of specification, the same as its Outback stablemates.
Both Legacy variants feature Eyesight technology with the addition of lane keep assist. They also get the vision assist features of the Outback.
A tablet-type central display screen - now enlarged to 8in – is integrated into the facia, it features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A new Tom Tom-based satellite navigation is also included on the 2018 Legacy. The Legacy also gets an exterior refresh up front.
2018 Subaru Legacy 3.6RS
Both drivelines in Outback and Legacy remain largely unchanged except for efficiency improvements.
Subaru New Zealand managing director Wallis Dumper says: "When the engineers created an SUV out of a Legacy wagon over two decades ago, little did they know the impact it would have on the future. Today, SUVs dominate new vehicle sales and Outback has simply grown with that evolution of buyer demand and is now our number one selling model, with 44 per cent of all new Subaru's sold in New Zealand being Outbacks.
"The 2018 refresh and upgrades truly adds even more value to the vehicle kiwis recognise as the best large SUV in New Zealand.
"We see our two Legacy models as the ideal large sedans to take over some of the market share created by the demise of the big Aussie 6-cylinders, for starters, the Legacy 2.5i Premium and 3.6RS Premium have a better price point and for less money, buyers get more value, as both models come standard with our all-wheel-drive engineering prowess and the latest version of our award-winning Eyesight driver assist technology.
2018 Subaru Legacy 3.6RS
"Since the Legacy sedan was launched in 2015, the majority of current generation models sold are the 6-cylinder 3.6RS. While the 2.5i Sport model was appreciated, customer feedback that was received was that a higher-spec 2.5-litre model with leather was preferred. We have taken this suggestion on board and now offer the Legacy 2.5i Premium for $49,990, which is one step up in terms of refinement..
"But we know the hero model 3.6RS will really appeal to drivers considering change. The reality being they can now buy a 191Kw powerful 6-cylinder, like a Calais, with all-wheel-drive," Mr Dumper said.