September 07, 2021 By Kevin C. Limjoco Photos by Andréas N. Delos Reyes

2021 Subaru Outback 2.5i-T EyeSight

The Unconventional Valet

The all-new 6th generation Subaru Outback has been released in our market. For the month of September 2021, Subaru Philippines is offering a promotional discount of P50,000.00. Only one heavily-loaded variant will be initially offered. Our test unit came in Brilliant Bronze Metallic with tasteful perforated and stitched black leather interior. The exterior may not be very compelling for non-Subaristi but thankfully the very modern and trick interior more than compensates for the initial impression.

This new Outback is a clear representation of substance over aesthetics. If you can get past the looks, you will be rewarded with a truly comfortable and versatile driver’s station wagon. I think it is the very best station wagon currently offered in our market. The Outback uses the new Subaru Global Platform which is much more robust and scalable compared to its predecessor. We had a 3rd generation 245 bhp / 219 lb-ft Subaru Outback 3.0R in our C! Fastfleet many years ago that had a 5-speed automatic transmission and a soulful flat-6 engine that would accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 8.4 seconds with a 222 km/h top speed but we unloaded it fairly early because of its small cabin, wooden braking, and lack of creature comforts.

This matured all-new generation model, when packaged with the same engine found in the Evoltis, rips through from rest to 100 km/h in 6-seconds flat. Our market does not get that powerplant though yet, instead its gets the updated direct injection 2.5-liter flat-4 normally aspirated boxer engine (90% of the components in the new FB25 are new compared to its predecessor) that is surprisingly quite an overachiever mated to a simulated 8-speed CVT transmission. Acceleration from 0-100 km/h in 8.7 seconds may look lazy but in reality, it is plenty quick through its powerband and it delivers smooth and linear propulsion. Since overall public speeds have come down significantly, what is more important today are interior comforts through technology, space management, quality and execution of materials, fuel efficiency, occupant safety, and versatility. The new Outback has them all.

The brakes (front 12.4-inch vented disc with two-pot calipers / rear 11.8-inch vented discs with single calipers) are more powerful today than in previous generations combined with a suite of active and passive safety measures (Active Torque Vectoring with VDC and X-MODE®) thanks also to the updated Eyesight 4.0 system which now also offers active lane management like Lane Centering together with adaptive cruise control. Even the new tires are excellent. The 225/60R18 100V Bridgestone Alenza H/L 33 are grippy on road and mild off-road while being quiet and communicative. The tires work perfectly with the excellent asymmetrical all-wheel drive whose Active Torque Split system has a 60/40 ratio between the front and rear wheels for a forgiving and confident drive. It is 1.4 inches longer and 0.6 inch wider than its predecessor with a generous 8.7 inches of ground clearance that offers a reasonable wading depth of 430 mm through the fully independent raised suspension (struts up front and multilink at the rear). The hearty roof rack is rated to carry up to 220 pounds in motion and will support up to 700 pounds when parked.

The most obvious new interior feature is the central 11.6-inch vertical infotainment touchscreen that is supposedly similar to the unit used in the Toyota Prius Prime models that we have tested before. If that wasn’t enough, Subaru Philippines made sure that the sound system is the fantastic 576-watt-equivalent GreenEdge® Harman Kardon with 12 speakers AND the screen displays the 360-degree camera. If you have an active lifestyle but you don’t need the hauling capacity and deep off-road abilities of a pickup truck but require a general purpose 5-seater crossover with generous packaging, the all-new Subaru Outback could fulfill all your practical needs with more space, luxury, and ability than the smaller but taller Forester.

Specifications

Engine

Engine Flat-4
Displacement 2498 cc
Cylinder Head dohc 16V
Fuel Injector Direct Injection, Dual Active Valve Control System (DAVCS)
Max Power (bhp @ rpm) 182 bhp @ 5800 rpm
Max Torque (lb/ft @ rpm) 176 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm
Transmission CVT

Performance

Top Speed 210 km/h (130 mph) Governed
0-100 km/h | 0-62 mph 8.7 sec.

Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions

Fuel Milage (km/l) 26 mpg City / 33 mg Highway

Ratings

Price as Tested (PHP) PhP 2,330,000.00 (Special Introductory Discount of P50,000.00 until September 30, 2021)
What's Great The best station wagon in our market, very purposeful, 11.6-inch touchscreen, very comfortable, spacious, sensational audio system, dynamic all-season versatility, comprehensive standard equipment.
What's Not So Uninspired exterior aesthetics, optional 260 bhp turbocharged flat-4 2.4-liter from the Evoltis and Wilderness Edition variant not available in our market.
C! Editors Rating 9.5/10
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