By John Ewing, RACQ
Published: Monday, September 11, 2023
The addition of turbocharged engine variants to Subaru’s impressive sixth-generation Outback SUV makes an even more appealing proposition.
Released in 2021, the sixth generation of Subaru’s Outback AWD wagon introduced fresh styling, a host of new features and several technical upgrades.
New additions include an updated 2.5-litre naturally aspirated Boxer four-cylinder engine, the only powerplant on offer.
The two new turbo models, the Sport XT and better-equipped Touring XT, complement the existing three Outback models and come with a price premium of about $5000 more than their equivalent 2.5-litre siblings, meaning sticker prices of about $52,190 and $55,990 respectively.
The turbo models are visually delineated by dual exhaust outlets, XT badging on their rumps and revised fog lamps featuring LEDs that mirror Subaru’s six-star constellation logo.
Buyers staying with the well-proven and more affordable options can choose from the entry-level Outback AWD, mid-spec AWD Sport and flagship AWD Touring.
A clever and practical feature on all models is a dedicated washer nozzle for the rear camera – a handy extra on an off-road capable vehicle.
Seat trims are unique to each grade, with Nappa leather accents reserved for the Touring and Touring XT.
This is a noticeable step-up in look and feel from the entry model’s black fabric and the grey and black water-repellent synthetic leather trim of the Sport and Sport XT.
The Outback’s cabin presents as well-crafted and upmarket, with soft-touch surfaces, double-stitch detailing, gloss black surrounds, and a vertically oriented 11.6-inch high-definition infotainment touchscreen controlling multimedia and vehicle functions.
The current generation is the largest Outback to date and has a particularly spacious interior.
Regardless of variant, the new Outback offers plenty of standard equipment and up-to-date technology and comprehensive safety and driver assistance features. Naturally, the more you spend, the more kit that will be included on your Outback.
It’s the first Subaru model built to withstand collision impact crash testing using a Mobile Progressive Deformable Barrier.
It’s also the first to include an airbag in the front passenger seat cushion, taking the total airbag count to eight.
On the road
On the road, the Outback proves amazingly comfortable and relaxing, whether being pedalled around town, or chasing down country miles.
It’s an ideal touring vehicle that takes varied conditions effortlessly in its stride.
The car maker’s claim of improved driving stability and ride comfort appear to be vindicated based on our test drive experience.
The engine feels smooth and has enough muscle to deliver solid performance both around town and on the highway, including high-speed overtaking.
The popular Subaru Outback is a polished and ultra-likeable crossover wagon, and with a new turbo engine on offer, it looks set to win even more friends.
|Outback AWD $42,690, AWD Sport $47,190, AWD Touring $50,990, Touring XT $55,990
|Used-car price range
|ANCAP safety rating
|5 stars when new