No drop in price, but kit list is meatier now.
The venerable Subaru Outback has been given a revision for 2018, offering better kit dollar-for-dollar than previous model years. Prices for the mildly-revised SUV-estate start at $36,240 (before ORCs).
The range starts with the Outback 2.5i CVT ($36,240) before ascending to the Outback 2.0D CVT ($38,740). Move further upwards and you get the 2.5i Premium and 2.0D Premium ($42,640 and $45,640 respectively), before capping off with the Outback 3.6R ($49,140). All prices exclude various on-road and delivery costs.
For the 2018 model year, the Outback has been given a very mild aesthetic refresh, resulting in a new grille and front bumper (no really, it’s new), as well as new wing-mirrors with integrated LED indicators. The whole range now gets a new set of alloys, measuring 18-inches across the range, sans the 17-inch units for the diesel models.
The 2018 Outback also gets two new colours to choose from, those being ‘Crimson Red Pearl’ and ‘Wilderness Green Metallic.’ Premium models gain LED headlights (for both high and low beam), replete with swivelling function that follows the direction of travel, as well as active high-beam assist.
Inside, the 2018 Outback benefits from a redesigned centre console, that is now far more intuitive to use (especially on the move) and looks more premium in its presentation. A new set of infotainment screens also find their way on (6.5-inch as standard, 8.0-inch units for Premium variants), both getting Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard. On Premium models, satellite navigation also finds its way on as standard kit.
Two USB ports have been added to the rear for device charging, while there’s a new steering wheel where you’d expect one to be. Safety has been given a high-priority too, with all models getting Subaru’s proprietary EyeSight advanced driver assistance technology (encompassing lane-keep assist, pre-collision braking, pedestrian detection, and intelligent cruise control). On Premium variants, front-facing and sideways cameras have been added to aid low-speed manoeuvrability.
Subaru’s refresh of the Outback might not seem that extensive on the surface, but that’s only because a great degree of focus has gone to aspects that aren’t immediately discernible. The suspension and steering have been retuned, to reduce body roll and provide greater linearity, respectively. Further, the brakes have also been adjusted to make them less jumpy, a bugbear in the outgoing model.
They’ve even tweaked the Lineartronic CVT automatic for the base petrol model, which now has seven ‘fake’ gears to simulate a regular torque-converter automatic, while there’s the promise of smoother shifts between Park, Drive, and Reverse. The 2.5-litre lump remains the same, with 129kW/235Nm, while the 3.6-litre also soldiers on with an unchanged 191kW and 350Nm. The diesel, lastly, has also been left alone, so that continues to make 110kW and 350Nm.