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Subaru Outback

Motoring Review

The new Legacy Outback diesel is a prime example of a brilliant car that deserves to show up on your shopping radar.

This car pleasantly surprised me by not being as awful as I thought it would be. I love Subaru, as any regular reader would know, but the idea of a boxer diesel engine mated to a CVT gearbox sounded as appealing as grating my face on the sidewalk.

Subaru has mastered the CVT gearbox, though. I’m not fond of these gearboxes for various reasons, none of which reared their ugly heads while testing this car.

A lot of it is down to the engine. It’s a silky smooth turbocharged unit that delivers 110kW and an impressive 350Nm of torque. It feels more powerful than the figures suggest and is more than brisk enough for inner-city driving. A claimed fuel consumption figure of 6.5 litres/100km gives it a theoretical cruising range of around 1 000km, which means a lot to those of us who hate disrupting a great road trip for fuel.

This is definitely the perfect car for people who prefer driving rather than flying to their holiday destination, as it was obviously built around the needs of the modern family unit. It can easily fit five people in supreme comfort, while having enough power in reserve to tow whatever lifestyle accessory they fancy.

A great deal of time has also been spent making it as safe as humanly possible. I’m sure all the family men out there will appreciate this frequently overlooked, yet highly important attribute.

As far as complaints go, there’s not much to write about. I wish the centre console was a bit more interesting, but it’s a personal issue. It’s a joy to use, ergonomically speaking, and has a genuine quality feel, but I want it to mimic that same robust and muscular design found on the exterior.

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