After a successful first year on sale, the six-generation Outback range has been given some notable tweaks – and more options could be on the way
Subaru Australia has bolstered its Outback wagon lineup with new grades and equipment for 2022, and is closely considering adding both a 2.4-litre turbo engine and offroad-focused Wilderness trim to the range in Australia this year.
The Outback’s original three-grade range consisting of an entry-level Outback AWD, mid-spec AWD Sport and range-topping AWD Touring has been bolstered with the addition of the Outback AWD Premium Limited Edition that sits above the base model in terms of price.
Prices were also bumped up to a small degree in 2022, with the range now spanning $40,690 before on-road costs for the entry grade, before heading up to $48,990 for the MY22 Touring flagship trim.
Chasing Cars has recognised the attention the Outback has received since arriving in Australia in February last year and is testing one over the next six months and 10,000km to provide feedback on the real-world ownership experience.
When the Outback first launched in Australia Subaru opted to controversially offer it exclusively with a 2.5-litre naturally-aspirated flat four petrol engine mated to a CVT transmission and an all-wheel-drive system.
The petrol engine in question drew criticism from several outlets, including Chasing Cars, for its lacklustre outputs of 138kW of power and 245Nm of torque.
However, Subaru Australia says it is in negotiations to introduce the FA24 2.4-litre turbo flat four which produces significantly more power 194kW and torque 375Nm.
The turbo engine is built in Japan but installed into Outbacks in the United States, though it is theoretically possible that Australia’s Japan-built Outback could benefit from this engine.
Subaru Australia has told Chasing Cars it is also looking to bring the off-road-focused Wilderness range to Australia for the Outback, Forester midsize SUV and XV small SUV.
The Outback Wilderness features a slew of upgrades aimed at increasing off road capability and is available exclusively with the more powerful 2.4-litre turbo engine in U.S. specification.
These upgrades include an increased ride height to 241mm, additional underbody protection, more rugged styling, chunkier all-terrain tyres and revised gear ratios for the CVT.
If negotiations are successful, it’s not clear when the new engine or the Wilderness grade will arrive but it would likely be introduced as part of the MY23 model update.
Kicking off the range at $40,690 before on-road costs the entry-level Outback AWD arrives as standard with LED headlights, daytime running lights and fog lights with all grades complete with 18-inch wheels and privacy glass for the backseats.
Outback AWD and top-spec Touring grades ($48,990 plus on-roads) come standard with roof racks with crossbars that quickly snap into place while the Sport grade ($45,190) has bars that are fixed in place.
The interior prominently features a 11.6-inch portrait touchscreen with wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard, along with a six-speaker audio system and DAB digital radio.
A 4.2-inch screen is placed between the two analogue dials in the instrument cluster and provides a readout for figures like speed and fuel economy.
Subaru equips the Outback as standard with a 10-way power seat with lumbar support and fabric upholstery while the Sport adds heating for the front row and rear outboard seats that are trimmed in a water-repellant material.
The top-spec Outback Touring adds eight-way power adjustment for the front passenger (though no lumbar), a position memory function for the driver, heated steering wheel and Nappa leather upholstery.
Other niceties such as an electric sunroof are also thrown in and the entertainment gets an upgrade with a nine-speaker Harman Kardon sound system and a CD player nestled in the armrest.
Subaru has also equipped the MY22 Outback Touring with manual under-thigh support and a seat cooling function for those in the front row.
The Outback Premium Special Edition ($44,190 plus on-roads) offers select upgrades over the base model including Nappa Leather seats, heated front seats and outboard rear seats, a power tailgate and satellite navigation.
Safety is largely standard across the range though upgrading to the Outback Sport and Touring grades adds side and front cameras. However, the entire range was awarded five stars by ANCAP last year.
Some of the driver assistance technology includes:
All prices listed are before on-road costs.
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