First ride: The new Subaru Outback

768 km on the clock and the new outback already looks badly worn. Mud splashed over the repositioned exterior mirrors, the wheel arches are smeared with mud and small branches on the underbody can be dragged over the forest path. Well It's just a SUBARU. You use it like that. Or?

Slush more fun, but less consumption

First ride in the new SUBARU Outback

Just different. Simply pragmatic. At SUBARU they asked their own customers and learned nothing new at the same time. Of course, the drivers of a SUBARU appreciate its longevity, its robustness, its practical talents and this touch of higher education and dropout attitude. The Volvo among the Japanese. But I would have estimated that without a customer survey as well.

With the new Outback, you have now made a little more effort and also pack a shovel of style, feel and comfort on top of it. The famous all-wheel drive and the boxer engine are there anyway.

Test drive Subaru Outback 20 driving report boxer

Mud more haptics

60% of the assemblies are new in SUBARU's “new Outback”. The small Japanese automobile manufacturer is not a fan of major revolutions. Small evolutionary steps are more of SUBARU's thing. The only moderately chrome-plated radiator grille, for example, goes well with this. Small optical fine-tuning, big effect.

In addition to a fresh look, the new Outback also received a new package of assistance systems for the first time, based on a stereo camera from the supplier Hitachi. Including an emergency braking assistant and an assistant against unwanted lane changes. SUBARU calls this new one Assistance system package "Eyesight" and brings for the first time a safety gadget on board, which is installed nowhere else.

So far, one focused rather on the technical values ​​under the sheet metal.

All-wheel drive, symmetrically designed and always in use, plus a boxer engine and a stepless automatic transmission. These are the classic elements of a SUBARU. The Outback is no exception. But the Outback is now the first SUBARU, which can convince in the interior by good feel. The completely soft foamed dashboard contributes to the good impression as well as the new door panels with soft upholstery. In the seats one recognizes the Japanese origin again. You just always sit a little too high. However, the thigh pad finally seems to have reached the required length for Europeans. In addition, SUBARU has refreshed the multimedia system neatly (Click here to learn more about the multimedia system) and the service refined. The look of the entire center console has made a big step forward.

The rest is characterized by a good sense of space. Even though the sixth generation of the Outback cannot avoid the dictates of the wind tunnel and aerodynamics. A SUBARU is always a little different. Customers like to talk about non-conformism. In other words: steeper windows, more space and no fashionable gags. The processing can convince completely. Even when riding through the forest, the outback cannot be lured out of its reserve. It is said to be almost 70% stiffer than its predecessor. Thanks to high-strength steels and newly designed sheet metal forms. The result? Even when chasing over deep furrows in the forest, massive tree roots and nasty gravel roads, it remains quiet in the outback. Nothing creaks there, nothing rattles. No, nothing rattles either.

And traction? The Outback has anyway.

Mud fun, more comfort

While the last SUBARU test cars were all equipped with unusable Yokohama all-season tires of the Geolander type, the test fleet of the new Outback now came on premium winter tires for testing in Slovenia. Frosty temperatures, muddy paths, freezing wet and patched forest roads were not an issue thanks to the choice of tires and the permanently working all-wheel drive. So full concentration on the latest development stage of the continuously variable transmission.

In addition the manageable engine program in the driving report:

SUBARU Outback 2.5i Lineartronic

The petrol engine impresses with its smoothness and disappoints when it comes to pulling through. What goes through as a basic engine in the USA is not suitable for storms of enthusiasm in our latitudes. If you want to write something good about this gasoline engine, you have a hard time. Colorless and without draft, it sends its 175 hp and 235 Nm to the automatic baptized Lineartronic. In turn, she does her best not to let the engine roar excessively. The development steps of the CVT machine are considerable. Those who do not allow themselves to be rushed will experience the advantages of a CVT. Always on the move with minimum speed, always only as much speed as necessary. When driving briskly, the transmission now automatically changes to a “virtual” mode with six “gear stages” programmed via software. This way of working makes the SUBARU CVT currently the best continuously variable automatic!

Test drive Subaru Outback 103 driving report boxer

SUBARU Outback 2.0D Lineartronic

It is currently the only boxer diesel engine in the world. The 2.0 liter four-cylinder turbo diesel from SUBARU has an output of 150 hp and a power of 350 Nm. Together with the Lineartronic, the Outback can now be moved relatively quickly and yet without speed orgies. In contrast to the petrol engine, the Lineartronic in the Outback brings 7 steps to work. This makes better use of the narrower speed range of the diesel. With the diesel and its 350 Nm of power, something like “pulling through” can also be experienced on the autobahn.

The 2.0D Boxer Diesel - Photo: Manufacturer
The 2.0D boxer diesel - Photo: manufacturer

driving behavior

Regardless of whether it is diesel or gasoline, both Outback versions benefit from a more direct steering ratio and the stiffer body. New shock absorber settings and a new axle geometry allow the Outback to maneuver around curves on asphalt almost as nimbly as a normal station wagon. The ground clearance of 20 centimeters is a real argument off-road. Because the outback marches smoothly over bad paths and, thanks to its permanent all-wheel drive and the X-Mode off-road program that is active up to 40 km / h, digs through mud pits that many other SUVs would be ashamed of. It also brakes itself downhill thanks to its “hill descent control” integrated in X-Mode.

Test drive Subaru Outback 96 driving report boxer

Slush place

Crossover or SUV? Combi with four-wheel drive and lush ground clearance? The Outback has already been a crossover, as one did not know in the marketing of German premium brands, how to write this term and what it should be good for.

In the everyday life of its owners, the Outback fulfills the function of an egg-laying woolly milk pig. Thanks to its five seats, 559 liters of trunk volume, up to 2.0 tonnes of trailer load and a payload of up to 518 kilograms, the Outback is a real family station wagon. Or a family SUV. Or the ideal crossover. You know what I mean, right?

Test drive Subaru Outback 106 driving report boxer

Mud cheaper

Instead of being more expensive, which would have been expected due to the better feel, the ingenious technology and the much more pleasant CVT, the new Outback was “cheaper”. More assistance systems, five stars in the Euro-NCAP crash test and plenty of space - the Outback 2.5i starts at € 36.440. The 150 hp diesel is available for the same price.

This will not be able to crack the half-million mark in vehicle sales as in the US in 2014, but more than 0.2% market share should be already in the end of 2015!

subaru eysight 05

Slush more crossover

Subaru already had crossover and SUV station wagons, others did not even know what that was. And behind the wheel of the new Outback you can feel both the developmental advantage and the benefits of a technically well-equipped SUV.

In terms of engines, if you wanted to achieve the success of the United States in Europe, you will have to do a little more. A larger diesel engine is missing here, 170 hp may be for the four-cylinder and a six-cylinder would give the uniqueness of the SUBARU Outback with a lot of force. SUBARU urgently needs to launch a new generation of engines. In the USA, you won't need them as long as the oil price is going downhill - but for our success, a direct-injection turbo four-cylinder boxer with almost 200 hp would be a real argument!

In principle, only the 2.0 liter boxer diesel remains a real recommendation for us in Germany.


SUBARU Outback 2.0D Lineartronic

For sale: immediately - delivery from March 28, 2015
Base Price: 38.940 €
Engine performance: 150 PS made of 1.998 ccm³
Drive and transmission: Stepless automatic with 7 (virtual) switching levels
Acceleration: na seconds from 0-100 km / h
Fuel consumption: 6.1 liters on 100 km
maximum speed: 192 km/h
Length, width, height, wheelbase 4.815, 1.840, 1.605, 2.745 mm

What would the blogger order ??

There are no two opinions - clearly the diesel. And even if the Lineartronic first requires getting used to it, in the end the convenience advantage of the automatic wins.



Compared to the previous versions already used outside of Europe
the current system “Eyesight” completely revised stereo cameras with around 40
Percent better viewing angle and visibility. There are also systems that are available to the driver
such as the pre-collision braking system and the adaptive
Cruise Control. (More information - click)


  1. Press test drive 1
  2. motor-talk
  3. Press test drive 2
  4. The eyesight system in detail
  5. SUBARU STARLINK - multimedia system in detail


All photos: Bjoern Habegger

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