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Subaru Outback 2021: all-new wagon arrives in Australia from $39,990


The sixth generation of Subaru’s Outback wagon has finally arrived in Australia with a long list of standard features and a sharp entry price.

Subaru’s all-new 2021 Outback has arrived in Australia packing a huge amount of safety, tech and off-road features even in the base model, with a starting price of $39,990 before on roads.

The sixth-generation Outback is an all-new model, which now sits on the Subaru Global Platform (SGP) which underpins the likes of the Forester midsize SUV and XV small SUV.

Subaru Outback Sport2021 rear
Subaru has launched the all-new Outback with a starting price of $39,990 before on roads

SGP is said to give the Outback enhanced dynamic capability with increased rigidity also helping the off-road wagon better protect occupants in a crash. 

The Outback will be offered in three grades here in Australia, with the base car now known simply as the Outback AWD ($39,990 before on roads). From there, it’s a step up to the Outback Sport AWD ($44,490 before on roads) and the Outback Touring AWD ($47,790 before on roads). 

What is powering the 2021 Subaru Outback?

All Outback grades on sale in Australia make use of a naturally aspirated 2.5-litre flat-four as our sole engine option which, despite a 9kW and 10Nm power bump to 138kW/245Nm, compared to the previous version of this engine, is down on power compared to an upscale turbo engine offered overseas.

That engine is paired exclusively to a CVT transmission with eight-steps to imitate gear changes, before the power finally reaches the all-wheel-drive system. 

Subaru Outback 2021 left to right, Outback, Outback Sport and Outback Touring
The Outback comes in three grades known as the base Outback (left), Outback Sport (centre) and Outback Touring (right)

Subaru has controversially decided to not supply Australia with the 2.4-litre turbocharged flat-four petrol engine developing 194kW of power and 375Nm of torque, though it is understood that this premium Outback engine is being investigated for a future entry to the local market.

Subaru’s X-Mode is a standard feature on the Outback with a dedicated low-speed terrain function with one mode for light snow and dirt and the other for thick snow and mud.

Despite the abolition of the previous Outback’s diesel four-cylinder  and 3.6-litre six-cylinder petrol engine options, the Outback’s official towing capability is higher than ever at a full two-tonnes braked – which is 200kg more than the fifth generation could tow in any specification.

Subaru Outback Touring 2021 driving
Subaru has controversially decided not to bring the more powerful 2.4-litre turbo engine to Australia

What’s the design like on the Subaru Outback?

Subaru has given the Outback a familiar but refreshed design, that has kept the raised-wagon body style rather than reverting to a more traditional boxy shaped large SUV such as the Hyundai Palisade. 

Sitting at each corner are a set of 18-inch alloy wheels, with each grade offering a different style.

Fitted on every Outback are LED headlights, daytime running lights and fog lights. Roof rails are also standard, with the base Outback and Outback Touring given cross bars which can be stowed away in the wagon when you don’t need them to reduce wind noise.

Subaru Outback Touring 2021 interior
A 11.6-inch touchscreen is fitted in the Outback as standard

What’s new for the interior of the 2021 Outback?

Through the use of clever packaging and lengthening the body by 50m, Subaru has opened up room on the inside to make it more comfortable for adults – including in the backseats where legroom has been increased slightly by 6.1 mm. 

Subaru engineers have fitted thicker windows along with sound deadening in the engine bay and floor to make the Outback a quieter and more comfortable place to be.

Fitted as standard is a huge 11.6-inch portrait touchscreen with wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, with the Outback Sport and Touring variants fitted with a TomTom navigation system.

Subaru Outback Sport 2021 driving
Subaru has chosen to retain the raised-wagon style of the Outback instead of a more traditional boxy large SUV shape

The boot is now even more usable with a power tailgate, on the Outback Sport and Touring variants that opens twice as fast. The  opening has been widened by 21.3 mm and overall space has been increased by 10 litres to 522 litres. 

Subaru has fitted the base Outback with fabric seats, with the Outback Sport upgrading to a water repellent material and heating for the front and outboard rear seats. The top-spec Outback Touring adds Nappa leather along with other niceties such as an electric sunroof.

The Outback Touring grade also adds features such as a nine-speaker Harman Kardon sound system and even a CD player which is hidden away in the centre console. 

Subaru Outback 2021 blue rear 3/4
Most of the best safety features including front and rear AEB are all fitted as standard

Is the new 2021 Outback any safer?

Subaru has used a stronger chassis design for the new Outback that engineers say will keep occupants more safe in side-on collisions, while the cabin has been redesigned to better protect the front passenger’s leg area in a front-on collision. 

Crash avoidance technology such as adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, speed sign recognition and front and rear autonomous emergency braking all as standard.

Subaru also includes their driver monitoring system as standard, which uses cameras to watch for signs of fatigue while you are driving.

Subaru Outback 2021 green driving
The new Outback is built on a new platform that should make it more dynamically capable and safer for occupants in a crash

Upgrading to the Outback Sport does add some handy features such as front and side cameras along with auto-dipping power side mirrors on the Outback Touring but the core safety features are all standard.

The Outback has yet to be officially rated by ANCAP but Subaru engineers said they were ‘confident’ that it would secure the full five-star rating. 

Subaru Outback 2021: prices in Australia

All prices listed are before on-road costs.

  • Outback AWD: $39,990
  • Outback Sport AWD: $44,490
  • Outback Touring AWD: $47,790