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Outback diesel goes automatic

Automatic for the people: Subaru will offer a CVT auto in its popular Outback diesel early next year, in response to demand from rural areas.

Subaru Outback diesel gets a CVT, but Forester diesel will have to wait

15 May 2012

SUBARU will add an automatic transmission to the diesel version of its popular Outback crossover range from the first quarter of next year.

The 2.0-litre diesel will be available with Subaru’s ‘Lineartronic’ continuously variable transmission (CVT) for the 2013 model year, marking the first time Subaru has offered an automatic diesel in Australia.

Diesels account for about 20 per cent of Outback sales.

Subaru Australia national corporate affairs manager David Rowley said there has been strong demand for the Outback diesel CVT, in particular from rural and regional customers.

“The feedback we are getting from our dealer network and surveying our own customers, there is some pent-up demand for the CVT,” he said.

Mr Rowley said Subaru would also like to offer a CVT with the diesel variant of the Forester SUV, but that is unlikely to happen before the new Forester arrives here in 2013.

“It’s just too late for the current generation, but in terms of the next generation car, we are very interested in getting that option if we possibly can, as soon as we can.” The CVT transmission already appears in petrol versions of some of Subaru’s passenger-car range, including the Impreza and the related XV crossover.

Mr Rowley said the Japanese car-maker has no immediate plans to introduce diesel versions of other vehicles in their passenger range, such as the mid-size Liberty and the Exiga people-mover.

In January this year, Subaru improved the fuel efficiency of the 2.0-litre turbo-diesel versions of both the Outback and Forester, which now achieve a combined cycle result of 6.0 litres per 100 kilometres, down from 6.4L/100km.

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