2013 Subaru Outback Diesel Auto Review and First Drive | CarShowroom.com.au

14 Sep 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on 2013 Subaru Outback Diesel Auto Review and First Drive | CarShowroom.com.au

2013 Subaru Outback Diesel Auto Review and First Drive

The ‘Under $70,000 SUV Large’ segment ran to form last year Toyota Prado was the best-seller, Ford Territory was number two and Subaru Outback was impressively best of the wagon-based models at number eight.

Impressive number eight?

Well considering 45 per-cent of the segment’s sales were diesels and of those, 94 per-cent were fitted with automatic transmissions and the Outback was six-speed manual only – we’d say that’s impressive.

Subaru Outback Diesel Automatic Overview

The Subaru Outback diesel arrives with the 2013 model year updates (revised front-end styling and new-design alloy wheels).

Subaru Outback Diesel Automatic Engine

No changes under the bonnet with the boxer diesel churning-out its 110kW/350Nm with real refinement. For the 2013 model year and the automatic transmission version, that refinement has been ramped-up with extra insulation reducing noise intrusion inside.

Subaru Outback Diesel Automatic The Interior

Subaru Outback Diesel Automatic Exterior Styling

Here’s the thing about styling while Subaru Outback hasn’t won-over some of our colleagues, we rather like its looks. We like the fact Subaru’s stylists have delivered a wagon with curves.

And the tapering around the rear three-quarter again shows some complexity not common in many wagon designs.

Both standard and ‘Premium’ Outback models ride on nice 17-inch alloy wheels.

And with its overall height of 1615mm, unlike some rival full-size SUVs, the Subaru Outback is not going to challenge car-park ceiling heights (it’s never good when you bump those ceiling fire sprinkler pipes).

Subaru Outback Diesel Automatic On the Road

Subaru despatched us to Wagga Wagga and Gundagai in Southern NSW to sample the Outback diesel. Car Showroom drove both the entry-grade 2.0D and 2.0D Premium over a variety of secondary roads, the ubiquitous Hume Highway and some excellent dirt tracks.

Arrival of the diesel automatic Outback coincides with some technical changes underneath new generation Active Torque Split AWD Control reduces tight corner ‘braking’ (an AWD trait) and revised steering and suspension tune, verified in Australian testing, has delivered a 10.7 per-cent improvement in the so-called “Moose Test” (swerve and recover). Subaru says the slightly heavier CVT transmission was the starting point for the suspension revisions.

So over the undulations and twists and curves in the back-roads to Gundagai the Subaru Outback diesel automatic was very cohesive in terms of engine/transmission matching and nicely balanced. The 11.0-metre turning circle was reasonable.

Personally, we’d still like a bit more front-end firmness for sharper turn-in (mostly in compression) but of course the Outback does have good off-road ability and its 213mm ground clearance is important for those who venture off sealed roads.

Naturally the focus was that automatic transmission and, predictably, Subaru’s engineers have done a great job. It’s fuel-efficient and intuitive (the accelerator releases quickly when slowing for better engine braking, it holds gears downhill when it detects a need and when you use more than 65 per-cent throttle it automatically switches to a seven-step with faster shift times and sharper throttle response).

Subaru Outback Diesel Automatic Challenges

A queue has developed in Subaru’s engineering department. The Outback diesel is only sold in Europe and Australia so at this stage, development of Subaru’s impressive camera-based ‘Eyesight’ safety system for these vehicles is in that queue.

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