2021 Subaru Outback is a refined, safe and practical crossover

The 2021 Subaru Outback arrived in South Africa at the start of this year, giving customers an option of two variants – the entry-level Field (R699,000) and the flagship Touring (R729,000). The off-road-capable station wagon/crossover is an efficient and improved crossover compared to previous versions. Let’s discuss what makes the 2021 Subaru Outback a good choice for families that occasionally take the wild route:

With 4,850mm of length and the black roof rails with green accents, the new Outback is easily noticeable on the road. The automaker has added bigger 18-inch black metallic alloys offering a beneficial 213mm ground clearance - something the Outback required badly since Subaru made it to conquer the beaten paths easily.

The long wheelbase of the crossover makes it a great loader with a 522-litre boot space (seats intact). Fold them down, and you can make use of a vast 1,267 lire boot capacity. Loading and unloading the stuff have been made easier through a hands-free tailgate system. The interior is also roomy for both average height and taller individuals. However, parking and manoeuvring tight spots can be tricky.

Like other Subaru models, the interior of the Outback does not excite much. Traditional facilities like the infotainment and instrument cluster displays are there, along with electronically-controlled and heated front seats. The base model comes with synthetic leather seats with the option of silver fabric seats. On the other hand, the Touring offers complete Nappa leather upholstery. Genuinely, the faux leather does not feel cheap and offers sufficient skeletal frame support.

At the centre of the dash you will find the 11.6-inch Starlink infotainment display that is highly capable, offering Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support along with navigation and radio functionality.

You can start the crossover with the push of a button to alert the naturally aspirated 2.5-litre Boxer engine. It sounds a lot noisier than the 2.0-litre unit the automaker offers, but it only fires 500cc extra power. Subaru says the mill can generate 138kW and 245Nm – which is again not very thrilling. The engine mates to the eight-speed CVT transmission. Even if you try to push it to the limits by engaging the all-wheel-drive, you will not feel spirited.

Subaru claims the Outback returns 7.3-litres/100km, which isn’t bad for such a big utility vehicle. The Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive proves itself very capable in the trickiest of off-roading conditions. The engineers have also added a useful onboard X-mode terrain management system, ideal for under acceleration or cruising. It conserves the fuel better while giving the mill adequate energy to do the essential driving tasks.

Perhaps, the best thing about the 2021 Subaru Outback is the variety of advanced standard safety features, which we do not find in the SUVs of this price range. We are talking about Auto Vehicle Hold, Adaptive Cruise Control, Automatic Pre-Collision Alert, Lane Departure, Lane Keep Assist, and Hill Descent Control.

The EyeSight Driver system is another excellent safety feature that displays a message on the instrument cluster when drivers take their eyes off the road.

The 2021 Subaru Outback is a mildly exciting but very competent off-roader that is well equipped, safe, refined, and practical. Don’t let the station wagon looks fool you; it has some power and great safety features.

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