A solid choice for getting the job done
The fourth and current-generation Outback debuted for model year 2010. It still uses the same “wagon with cheese” recipe it originally debuted with back in 1995, when it famously showed the world just how useful could be a wagon, if you simply gave it all-wheel drive and some decent ground clearance.
That original Outback was a hit everywhere with people who were looking for SUV capability without SUV showy-ness, price, and fuel consumption.
Today that space is pretty much filled by crossovers, and to keep up with the competition, the current Outback is now way more crossover-like.
While it looks more like a crossover, it didn’t quite go all the way. It’s sort of a mixed breed, like a Labradoodle, only in this instance, half wagon, half crossover. What do you think? Do you like it?
I think it’s okay but nothing to lay awake at night dreaming about. I also think it’s a move too far away from the distinctiveness and underdog/overachiever demeanour of the original format. But maybe this is just me thinking like a folk singer. (How many folk singers does it take to change a light bulb? Four. One to change the light bulb, and three to sing about how much better was the old light bulb.)
Of course, the new look was created to give Outback fans a more voluminous interior, and boy did Subaru engineers and designers deliver. While almost the same length as previous models, this generation has a much longer wheelbase, and is also wider and taller.
Net result is over 2,000 litres of available cargo space with the 60/40 rear seats folded flat, and about 970 litres with the seats up. Also, there is no high liftover height to worry about once you throw open the tailgate, so you can easily slide in big, large and heavy items.
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