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Car reviews - Subaru - Outback - 5-dr wagon range

Overview

Subaru revises its popular Outback wagon range for the 2007 model year

8 Sep 2006

THERE is a reason why Subarus dominate the rural landscape. For many, the economical "boxer" engines and all-wheel drivetrain provide just the right combination for soft-road duties. Outbacks have established themselves as the preferred snow vehicles, wagons for young farming families and must-haves for urban types that want a getaway vehicle at weekends but cannot abide large SUVs. Reliability and durability are also key Subaru traits. Based on the Liberty wagon, the Outback is beefier, offers 200mm of ground clearance and the lower body plastic panels offer a reasonable degree of protection for modest off-road jaunts. The choice of either a smooth, free-revving 2.5-litre four or 3.0-litre six also gives buyers a broad spread of power options. But is it as good as the Liberty wagon? Read on.

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Model release date: 1 September 2006 to 1 September 2009

Previous model

Subaru Outback

Released: Sep 2003
Ended: Sep 2006
Family Tree: Outback

The third-generation Outback model was bigger, stronger and initially came in 2.5-litre four-cylinder models only in base, Luxury and Premium variants. The engine developed 121kW at 5600rpm and 226Nm at 4400rpm and provided a reasonable degree of performance for the medium wagon when mated to the five-speed manual. A four-speed Sportshift was also available. Perhaps the big attraction of the 2.5-litre Outback is its fuel economy, a respectable 9.1L/100km on the combined cycle. It could also go just that little bit further off-road than the Liberty wagon, upon which the Outback is based thanks to its slightly elevated ride height and beefier plastic side cladding. Despite its "soft-road" prowess, it was never designed to go bush. A 3.0-litre boxer six-cylinder provided more power but also cost more.

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