The new Subaru Outback will arrive in the UK at the end of this month with prices starting at just under £34,000. The first cars will land in showrooms from May 27, claiming to offer more luxury, more technology and more safety technology.
Customers will get a choice of three trim levels, with the £33,995 starting price bagging you an entry-level Limited model. Spending £37,995 gets you a mid-range Field model, while the top-of-the-range Touring model will set you back £39,495.
That pricing structure makes the new Outback only marginally more expensive than the outgoing model. That car starts at £33,810 for the basic SE, but prices rise to £36,810 for the more luxurious SE Premium.
According to Subaru, the small price hike buys you a host of improvements, including a new suite of safety gadgets. The company calls its new model “the safest Outback ever built”, thanks in part to an updated version of the EyeSight stereo camera system. That system is the basis of the adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and the pre-collision braking system that is designed to hit the brakes automatically if the driver fails to respond to a hazard.
The car now also comes with a driver monitoring system to alert the driver when they may be tired or distracted, and reverse automatic braking that helps prevents bumps while backing up.
In addition to that, Subaru has also overhauled the 2.5-litre ‘boxer’ petrol engine that powered the old Outback, redesigning “about 90 percent” of the engine components. The continuously variable transmission has also been altered, allowing it to cover a wider range of ratios and reducing the oil viscosity to cut horsepower loss by 22 percent.
As before, the car comes with four-wheel drive as standard, but Subaru says it has improved handling and ride comfort with tweaks to the chassis and suspension. Increased rigidity in the body and suspension has cut body roll in half and vibrations have been cut from the steering, floor and seats.
The company also claims to have improved the car’s off-road credentials, with a revamped X-Mode with hill descent control for use on steep, slippery terrain. A washer jet has also been added to the boot for cleaning the rear-view camera when it gets covered with mud or grime.
Inside, even bigger changes are afoot, with the windscreen and windows moved to create a more spacious cabin. The car is also longer, providing more rear space and a bigger boot, with up to 522 litres of capacity.
Further forward, there’s a new 11.6-inch touchscreen display, while face recognition software allows the car to identify its driver and move the seats, door mirrors and even air conditioning to suit their preferences. Whether that is a standard feature remains to be seen, as Subaru has not yet confirmed full specifications for the UK market.