Subaru Outback new car review

Subaru Outback new car review

Subaru Outback new car review

Subaru Outback new car review – Nick Fletcher Car Test Planet

The Subaru Outback is a formidable off-roader which is also good to drive on the tarmac, making it ideal for those whose lifestyle mixes urban and rural activities.
 
It is quite refined to drive, is well equipped, looks smart and classy and Subaru has an excellent reputation for reliability so it ticks many boxes for potential buyers, with prices starting at £32,680.
 
While the 2.0 litre diesel will be the choice of many, those seeking sharper performance can have the 172 hp 2.5 litre petrol model which still offers 40 mpg combined, pretty good for such a large vehicle, and this version – the Outback entry-level model – was the one I tested.
 
It is labelled SE Premium Lineartronic and has CVT auto transmission with all wheel drive, and delivers a top speed of 130 mph and a 0-60 mph time of 10.2 seconds – quick by class standards.
 
The combined fuel economy figure is 40.4 mpg.
 

Underway, this engine pulls smoothly and quietly and the CVT box changes with minimal fuss. Continue reading

Subaru XV New Car Review

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Subaru XV New Car Review

The battle is intense in the small SUV sector, so how does this one rate?
•••
Most manufacturers are battling hard for sales in the lucrative small SUV sector dominated by the Nissan Qashqai, and the latest contender to challenge is Subaru with its revised XV model.

It is a tough sector, with opposition including Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3, Hyundai ix35 and Suzuki Vitara, but a substantial make-over for the Subaru XV now gives it a much sharper edge. Last year saw stage one of the re-vamp, with chassis and suspension tweaks and a new touch screen infotainment system. And now stage two has just taken place, including re-styled headlamps and front bumpers, LED tail lights and a boot spoiler.

The overall effect is a smarter looking, better to drive SUV which benefits from Subaru’s tough dependable reputation and generous equipment levels. There is a choice of a 2.0-litre petrol engine or a 2.0-litre diesel, with a manual gearbox standard and a CVT auto an option petrol models. All have all wheel drive.

My test model was the flagship SE Premium with a 145 hp 2.0 litre diesel engine and costing £26,995. Top speed is 123 mph, the 0-60 mph nippy at 9.3 seconds. Fuel economy is 52.3 mpg combined and then came a surprise! Normally you can seldom get close to any manufacturer’s official fuel economy figure, often you can be up to 20 per cent short. But over 500 miles of city driving, rural roads and motorways, I actually EXCEEDED Subaru’s official figure without even trying! I got 54 mpg, and that is impressive.

The engine is smooth and additional noise insulation means the latest model in also quieter. The manual gearsift is slick and precise and the revised suspension gives very good ride quality, yet is still firm enough to minimise body roll on the corners. The handling is composed and on twisty roads, the XV is fun to drive, with precise steering giving excellent feedback. With higher ground clearance than most rivals, the all-wheel-drive XV is also more capable off-road.

The XV also scores well for its looks. It has a more potent, more substantial appearance than the opposition and can turn a few heads. Inside, the dashboard has a simple, logical layout with central touch screen for most functions. Standard kit includes sat nav, Bluetooth, USB port, radio/CD, leather upholstery, 17-inch alloy wheels, roof rails, keyless entry and push-button start,

There is a lot of space for passengers both front and rear and also a large, practical boot of 380 litres capacity, boostable to 1,270 litres by folding the rear seats.

FOR: pleasing driving dynamics, and a gold star for its real-world fuel economy.

AGAINST: On the move, touch-screen was so reactive it was hard to make precise adjustments.