We had the top-of-the-range 2.0D Premium Lineartronic on test recently and came away impressed with what the Outback had to offer. This model features the only Boxer diesel engine in the world, and the 110kW of power at 3 600rpm, along with a meaty 350Nm of torque between 1 800 and 2 400rpm, made for decent go when needed, while offering fuel consumption of under eight litres per 100 km at the same time.
There is the downside of slight turbo lag that is not helped by the smooth, traffic-friendly CVT transmission. I didn’t notice it as much as my wife did, but then her little car comes with a peppy turbo petrol engine and double-clutch gearbox.
For R469 000 you get dark-painted 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry and push-button starting, innovative roof rails, which feature built-in cross-bars that can be easily folded across the roof for fitment of a bike rack or roof storage box, contrasting black side skirts and bumper edges and a striking intercooler scoop on the bonnet – along with dark-painted xenon headlight clusters and a black-painted grille.
Safety remains the one element of any Subaru which is most proudly expressed – and in this model you are covered by seven airbags, seat belt warning buzzers for all five seats, a collapsible brake pedal, Isofix child seat anchor points and whiplash-reducing seats.
The Outback’s five-star Ancap and Euro Ncap safety ratings were also achieved thanks to a host of electronic aids, including ABS, EBD, BAS, VDC (Vehicle Dynamics Control) and traction control. It also received the IIHS Top Safety Pick award, something it shares with the rest of the Subaru product offering.
The Outback 2.0D comes standard with a three-year/100 000km warranty along with a three-year/60 000km maintenance plan and makes a strong bid for your family car money. But in this wagon/crossover market there is stiff competition and for R489 000 you can, for example, get an Audi A4 2.0 TDI S tronic allroad.
What the wife says
As the better half of an offbeat motoring journalist and the glue in a motoring-mad family, my wife, Andrea, is constantly exposed to new cars, old cars and even race cars. This is her take on the Subaru Outback 2.0D Premium Lineartronic:
“I did enjoy the interior space on offer, especially when driving the girls and their bags to school and getting Mark and his luggageto the airport. There was one downside: the tailgate opens up high and is heavy, which made using it difficult for me.
The easy driving feel of the Outback, thanks mostly to the CVT gearbox, was also a big plus.