2021 Subaru Outback review: Wagon can tackle the city and country

This car is an adventurous family favorite and the latest version will not disappoint.

The Subaru Outback has been a favorite of the rugged Australian family for over 25 years, with a new model landing earlier this year. Some wagons, some SUVs, and this crossover all-wheel drive are qualified for proper dirt roads in relation to significantly improved cabins, more technology, and better safety. I tested the mid-spec sports version.

First impression

Ian: Having a car called the Outback on my driveway causes testosterone levels to rise rapidly. Ready to grow a beard and go to the bushes.

Jules: It’s the masculinity of four wheels. It looks sturdy and ready for adventure. But it’s not the sleek and stylish SUV most mothers want.

Ian: But think about diversity. The school runs luxury, weekend camping vacations and trips to the snow. The Subaru Outback does more than anything else I can think of for less than $ 50,000.

Jules: What is our version?

Ian: A sports model running for just under $ 50,000. The entry-level outback is about $ 45,000 and the out-of-range touring is about $ 53,000, both drive away.

Jules: Is ours called a sport because it is more sporty and more powerful?

Ian: Well, no. It’s called Sport because it has dark wheels, mirrors and badges, water-repellent seat trim, black roof rails and green flashes on the inside and outside.

Jules: Does green mean sporty?

Ian: It adds a bit of flair, but no, it’s not a performance car.

Jules: Anyway, I like the fact that it looks like a big wagon, not a huge, top-heavy SUV.

Living space

Ian: Subaru is late to receive notes on cabin modernization, but the new Outback is a big improvement.

Jules: A huge iPad in the center of the dash … amazing.

Ian: It’s a vertical 11.6-inch monitor that helps Subaru lose many buttons and leave a clean dash and center console.

Jules: However, you need to navigate through some menus to find what you need. Audio, car settings, navigation.

Ian: It takes time to learn, but shortcut buttons are useful. The speech recognition hit rate wasn’t very high, but it worked fine with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Jules: There are still suitable buttons for climate and stereo volume. Well done Subaru, it’s good to hit them right away.

Ian: It is a spacious cabin with high quality. The seats are solid, but they are electric, heated and very luxurious. As much as I love the flagship nappa leather, these water repellent finishes are just as good for family life.

Jules: Green stitching on doors, dashes and seats adds the long-awaited color. As with charging a wireless phone, ambient lighting is a good idea.

go to work

Ian: The Outback is classified as a large SUV, but its dimensions and weight feel more user-friendly and awkward.

NSules: Is it basically a jacked-up wagon?

Ian: Maybe. You feel like you’re riding as high as a regular large SUV, but maneuvering and parking feels easier.

Jules: I agreed. The Outback doesn’t feel as daunting as its rival’s large SUV, so I’m surprised that there aren’t many large wagons. I’m a big fan.

Ian: It is also a quiet and sophisticated cruiser. Among other driver aids are radar cruise control and automatic emergency braking.

Jules: It monitors your eyes to check if you are looking at the road and warns you if not.

Ian: Great for stupid text messages and quitting driving. It told me that I was talking to the kids in the rearview mirror for too long, and that I was looking in both directions at the junction when I didn’t stop completely. It’s a little annoying.


Jules: Easier to park than a large SUV, the parking camera picks up the front, rear and sides of the car and has a hands-free power tailgate. There are no complaints here.

Ian: Well, while the Mazda CX-9 has an 810L and a Kia Sorento 821L, the boots are only 522 liters. On the positive side, the Outback has a full size spare.

Sunday run

Jules: Despite the name of the sport, it rides like an SUV, not a sports wagon.

Ian: It’s sometimes a bit elastic and has some body rolls in the corners, but it’s balanced and the steering is sensitive. I think it feels safe, safe and always comfortable.

Jules: It surprised me when we took it off-road. In dirt mode, I could easily climb a rutted, dusty track and never hit the bottom.

Ian: Its minimum ground clearance of 213mm is useful. You can’t find low-range gear in the outback, but Subaru goes even more off-road than you would most expect. The wheels did not rotate during the unsealed road trip.

Jules: The engine doesn’t have much guts.

Ian: According to Subaru, the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder is 90% new, but the output is only 7% higher than before.


Jules: The backseat is heated and reclines. The snowfield is here!

Ian: It’s not a 7-seater, but it has excellent rear space.

Jules: Security is a big draw card, and prices under $ 50,000 are good value.

Ian: The servicing will be nearly $ 2,500 in five years, but we have returned a fair 8.2L / 100km.


Jules: I prefer more sophisticated styling, but the Outback is an affordable and notable all-rounder.

Ian: It’s an excellent product with great prices, powerful off-road chops, comfortable cabins, and impressive technology.

Subaru Outback Sports Vital

price: Drive away for about $ 49,400

Warranty / Service: 5 years / unlimited km; $ 2449 in 5 years

engine: 2.5 liter 4-cylinder gasoline, 138kW / 245Nm

safety: 8 airbags, automatic emergency braking, blind spot and lane keeping assistance, radar cruise, rear cross traffic alert

thirst: 7.3L / 100km

Spare: Full size

boot: 522L

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