After a successful first year, the sixth-generation Outback has received its first Aussie range revision, gaining more equipment and a slightly higher price
The Subaru Outback has been updated for 2022 with several new comfort-focused features and a new Premium Special Edition variant.
After launching in February 2021, the Outback has now abandoned its sub-$40K entry point with a small price bump raising the baseline to $40,690 before on-road costs.
The regular range still consists of the entry-level Outback AWD, mid-spec Outback AWD Sport and range-topping Outback AWD Touring, though it will be joined by the Premium Special Edition when the refreshed MY22 range arrives in the first quarter of the new year.
While officially classified as a large SUV, the Outback is essentially a raised mid-size wagon, presenting as a more affordable alternative to rivals such as the Volkswagen Passat Alltrack, Audi A4 Allroad and Volvo V60 Cross Country.
Despite waning popularity of the wagon body style in Australia, the Outback has enjoyed strong sales in 2021, becoming the third most popular large SUV under $70K after the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado and Isuzu MU-X.
Right out the box, the Outback includes a 522-litre boot thanks to its wagon body style along with a huge 11.6-inch touchscreen with wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Despite the huge touchscreen Subaru has retained some physical controls for volume and adjusting temperature and other simple functions.
As standard, the entry-level Outback AWD ($40,690 before on-roads) is fitted with fabric seats, a six-speaker audio system, 10-way power adjustment for the driver’s seat and eight-way adjustment for the front passenger.
To justify the extra $700-$1200 buyers will need to pay for an MY22 Outback, Subaru Australia has added a few extra goodies to sweeten the deal.
New for 2022 is a redesigned rear seatback pocket design and a broader selection of exterior colour choices all on grades, with the entry-level Outback AWD scoring new 18-inch alloys with a black centre cap.
Muscling into the existing range is the new Outback Premium Special Edition at $44,190 (before on-road costs) which builds on the standard Outback by adding black Nappa leather interior trim, heated front seats and outboard rear seats, a power tailgate and satellite navigation.
Upgrading to the Outback AWD Sport ($45,190 before on-road costs) adds water repellent seat material with green stitching and a unique exterior appearance with a ladder-style roof rack, black alloy wheels and a generally more rugged appearance.
The top-spec Outback AWD Touring ($48,990 before on-road costs) adds a nine-speaker Harman Kardon audio system and a CD player if you like to listen to music the old fashioned way, along with Nappa leather seat material and an electric sunroof.
As part of the Touring’s MY22 update, Subaru has added ventilated front seats and a manually adjustable under-thigh extender for the driver’s seat.
You might remember a few months ago the Subaru Outback was crowned as the safest car tested under ANCAP’s strict new testing criteria, which was introduced in 2020.
This is thanks, in part, to a long list of standard-fit active safety features which include:
Subaru continues to offer the Outback with a single-engine option in the 2.5-litre direct-injected flat-four petrol engine producing 138kW of power at 5800rpm and 245Nm of torque from 3400-4600rpm.
The Outback’s flat four is down on power compared to some of its rivals, though a beefier 2.4-litre turbo-petrol version producing 194kW/375Nm is offered in US Outbacks and remains ‘under evaluation’ for Australia.
Subaru pairs the 2.5-litre flat-four exclusively with a CVT transmission and the marque’s symmetrical all-wheel-drive system.
All models come standard with ‘X-Mode’ – a selectable AWD mode with two settings to help drivers tackle light snow and dirt, or thick snow and mud.
The Outback is officially rated to tow 2000kg braked, which is enough to pull most small- to medium-sized caravans.
Subaru says the updated model range will arrive in Australia in the first quarter of 2022.
All prices listed are before on-road costs.
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