Subaru Outback, The Next Generation, Quietly Arrives in Europe
Subaru sells really well in the USA, the company enjoyed sales of 611,938 in 2020 which is actually 12.59% down on 2019 due to the global pandemic. Nevertheless, it demonstrates how well the brand performs in the second-biggest car market in the world. In the UK Subaru sold 951 vehicles. Not over one specific month, but for the entire year of 2020. Even in good times, Subaru has always been a bit of a niche brand in the UK and no-one really knows why. It is a complete mystery. But Subaru never gives up, the all-new generation Outback was launched two years ago for the Americas. And only now has it reached European covid-19 ravaged shores.
The other Subaru mystery also centers on why the Outback is only offered with a naturally aspirated engine for European markets. Buyers in the USA get a full-blooded turbo-charged variant as a model option. The 2.4-litre naturally aspirated engine packs in 180bhp which is comparable to some VW turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engines. Subaru’s US only turbo-charged variant packs in 260bhp, which makes much more sense.
Turbo-charged engines offer better efficiency but more importantly more power and by proxy more revs. Day-to-day, you may not use all that power but it is better to have it than not. Subaru has upgraded the European spec boxer- engine and says that it is 90-percent new in comparison to the previous generation. The CVT gearbox is designed to recreate the pulling power of an 8-speed automatic transmission.
The new generation Outback is all about interior refinement. Subaru has improved the quality of the materials and sound insulation. The ride and handling have been improved by an order of magnitude of 50 percent. For the USA Subaru is also debuting a Wilderness Edition, a 4×4 variant that features higher ground clearance, bigger tyres and rugged exterior styling.
UK and European prices have yet to be announced but expect to pay a £2k premium over the last-gen Outback.