The most significant design updates appear at the front of the Outback with a revised bumper design that has sharper edges and less accentuated fog lamp surrounds. Larger front cladding now enhances protection from the onslaught of mud and stones especially for when the vehicle is driven off road, something that Outback owners tend to do a lot of the time.
The Subaru signature hexagonal grille still features three blades but now only the first blade is finished in chrome while the two below are now finished in a matte black coat. The look is more rugged, yet focuses the eye on the Subaru badge and gives the front a more progressive stance. Also incorporated within the front grille, is a camera lens for the new Front View Monitor.
The engines on the two Subaru Outback variants in South Africa remain unchanged. The Outback 2.5i-S ES is powered by the FB25 2 498cc, four-cylinder, Boxer petrol engine, with 16 valves, twin camshafts per bank and variable valve timing. The engine delivers 129kW at 5,800rpm and 235Nm at 4,000rpm.
The flagship model Outback 3.6R-S ES employs the EZ36 3 630cc six-cylinder BOXERÂ® engine, which features four valves per cylinder, double overhead camshafts and variable ignition timing. It's a powerful motor that produces 191kW at 6,000rpm and 350Nm at 4,400rpm, sustaining 90 percent of its peak torque between 2,000 - 6,000rpm. The result of this is an exceptionally responsive engine no matter the speed.
The Subaru Outback is known for its refinement and a quality driving experience in superb comfort. For the MY2018 models, the level of comfort has been taken up another level. NVH levels have been significantly improved: New sound-insulating glass has been used for the front side windows as well as thicker insulation on the rear wheel wells results in a quieter cabin with less wind noise intrusion. Unseen but definitely felt by the occupants, the air-conditioning system has also been improved to distribute air to the cabin faster and more evenly.
The new Outback has also had some improvements to the overall driver feel: the suspension dampers have been tweaked, as has the electric power steering feel and braking feel. Subaru engineers have created a more direct responsiveness for a smoother and more linear driving experience.
The interior of the new Subaru Outback has received a significant aesthetic makeover with a fresher, more contemporary cabin layout. The expansive dashboard is awash with new panel inserts in piano black and silver surround contrasts. This detail is carried from the instrument binnacle to the centre stack and front air vents all the way to the passenger side. The steering wheel has been updated with the new Subaru leather wheel with new multi-function controls for the infotainment system, EyeSightÂ® system as well as the on-board multi-function vehicle display screens. These changes are more appealing to the eye and an improvement on ergonomics and intuitive ease of use of the cabin controls.
The most noticeable difference to the interior design, is the all-new 7-inch Infotainment system. The system is carried through to the Outback from the all-new Impreza and XV models that were launched in South Africa in 2017. Featuring a touch-sensitive panel, the screen is the key to all entertainment, connectivity and Satnav functionality.
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