The new 2021 Subaru Outback will arrive in Australia in late February in three grades. The price of entry that will be $2,550 higher than the wagon it replaces.
The all-new Subaru Outback will move “considerably up market,” according to Subaru Australia general manager Blair Read.
The “conscious decision” to shift the Outback to a more premium position coincided with the release of pricing for the 2021 Outback, which arrives in Australia next month in all-new sixth-generation form.
Commencing at $39,990 before on-road costs, the 2021 Outback range will shrink to three variants, all sharing one 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine – down from six variants across three engines for the outgoing fifth-generation model.
The new grades will be known as Outback AWD, Outback AWD Sport, and Outback AWD Touring. Subaru today confirmed some specifications for the trio of variants.
All new Outbacks use a “90 per cent new” 2.5-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine that makes 138kW of power and 245Nm of torque – up 9kW and 10Nm respectively.
An optional 2.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine producing 194kW/375Nm was not taken up for Australian buyers in news that has received mixed opinions.
The outgoing optional two-litre turbo diesel and 3.6-litre six-cylinder petrol engine options have been deleted. A CVT automatic is the only gearbox on the new vehicle.
Buying a base model Outback is now $2,550 more expensive than last year, with the new entry-grade Outback AWD offering what Subaru labels a “considerably up-specced” vehicle compared to the outgoing 2020 2.5i base grade.
Priced at $39,990 before on-road costs, the Outback AWD, which wears familiar body cladding, will feature an 11.6-inch vertical touchscreen infotainment system as standard on a modernised interior.
A broad suite of semi-autonomous safety features will be standard range-wide, including forward AEB, intersection AEB and reversing AEB, as well as lane keeping assistance with lane centring, emergency steering assistance, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, driver eye detection, and speed sign recognition with intelligent speed adjustment.
From the base grade, it’s a $4,500 step to the mid-range Outback AWD Sport ($44,490 before on-road costs). The Sport wears a number of distinctive exterior design highlights that make it the most youthful looking vehicle of the range.
Exclusive to the Sport is a black pack for the exterior that sees a black finish applied to the mirrors, grille, skid plates, and mirrors. The alloy wheels are also refinished in a dark grey colour. The black roof rails sport green tab highlights.
The Outback AWD Sport also picks up a power tailgate with opening-height memory, along with satellite navigation, water-repellant sports seat trim, and heating for the front seats and rear outboard seats. You also score front and side view cameras.
When compared to the previous mid-range 2.5i Premium grade, the 2021 Outback AWD Sport is $550 dearer.
Atop the 2021 Outback range is the new $47,790 Touring grade which represents a $2,650 decrease in price when compared to the previous Outback 3.6R flagship – noting that the 3.6R had a more sophisticated six-cylinder engine.
The 2021 Outback AWD Touring brings a number of luxury features to the table, including Nappa leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, sunroof, and a nine-speaker Harman Kardon stereo with a subwoofer and amplifier – plus a CD player for old-school buyers.
Outside, you’ll identify the flagship Touring by its gloss silver alloy wheels and silver-finished roof rails with integrated, stowable crossbars.
All Outback grades are capable of two-tonne braked towing as reported by Chasing Cars in late 2020. All models are also fitted with Subaru’s dual-function X-mode AWD system.
While the CVT automatic transmission carries over from the fifth-generation Outback, Subaru says that “80 percent of the structural parts are improved,” while there is an eight-speed simulated manual mode with paddle shifters in all variants.
The 2021 Outback is also the first Subaru with a body structure specifically designed to score highly in more rigorous mobile progressive deformable barrier crash testing.
However, the lack of a centre airbag may impede the 2021 Outback’s chances to retain a five-star ANCAP safety rating.
The more upmarket positioning of the new Subaru Outback will see it compete more squarely with the Volkswagen Passat Alltrack, which returns to the Australian market this year.
All prices listed are before on-road costs.
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