After giving us a teaser a few weeks ago, Subaru has gone full-on with the details around the all-new Outback model, due in February 2021.

One thing we’ve noticed straight away: gone is that awesome, smooth, 3.6-litre boxer engine that we last tested in 2018. Such a great engine and not far off the fuel economy of the 4-cylinder, this is a sad loss for the Outback range. All models will be powered by a ‘90% new” 2.5-litre, 4-cylinder boxer motor.

Subaru of New Zealand’s Managing Director, Wallis Dumper says: “Outback has outperformed all other Subaru SUV models over the bulk of the last 25 years in New Zealand and we expect the evolution of our largest model will continue this momentum.”

“Subaru has made a conscious decision to take the Outback considerably upmarket, confirming its status as the flagship in the Subaru range.  In fact, this entirely new Outback is fondly referred to as the greatest Outback of all time. It’s certainly the biggest, safest, most technologically advanced and luxurious Outback ever!”

“The aggressive, rugged design, along with the suite of luxury features, technology, infotainment and safety inherent in every Outback will only add to its rock-solid reputation for value and whole-of-life costs,” Mr Dumper says.

The simplified three-variant range features the Outback, Outback X and Outback Touring, with Subaru’s Symmetrical All Wheel Drive remaining standard across all models.

The entry level Outback variant is considerably ‘spec’ed-up’ and adds an impressive array of features in comparison to its predecessor.

The MY21 Outback includes:

  • A 90% new Direct Injection 2.5 litre Boxer engine – nearly 7% more power (138 Kilowatts) and 4.2% more torque (245 Newton Metres).
  • Best-ever Outback braked towing capacity – 2,000 kilograms.
  • Largest Outback cabin to date – with key interior dimensions increased and including a longer wheelbase and larger, wider-opening cargo area.
  • High Definition 11.6” Touch screen head unit infotainment system – centralising and simplifying many controls, with vertical orientation allowing intuitive operation similar to a smartphone or tablet.
  • Refined Subaru Lineartronic® Transmission (SLT) – Paddleshift, with greater ratio coverage.
    • 80%+ of the structural parts are improved for better driving.
    • Increased ratio coverage from 7.0 to 8.1, which improves take-off acceleration and aids fuel efficiency.
    • 8-speed manual mode in every Outback.
  • Dual function X-MODE – Peace-of-mind on unsealed surfaces is enhanced by offering set-and-forget throttle control in mud, snow and steep unsealed surfaces – for even more fun driving in the rougher stuff.
  • Fourth generation EyeSight® Driver Assist system – with multiple new features including:
    • Lane Centring Function.
    • Autonomous Emergency Steering.
    • Emergency Lane Keep Assist.
    • Speed Sign Recognition with Intelligent Speed Limiter.
    • Lane Departure Warning with steering wheel vibration.
    • Lane Departure Prevention.
    • Pre-Collision Braking System with expanded support for collision avoidance at intersections.
  • Subaru’s Vision Assist featuring:
  • Blind Spot Monitor (BSM).
  • Lane Change Assist (LCA).
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA).
  • Reverse Automatic Braking (RAB).
  • EyeSight Assist Monitor.
  • Passenger seat cushion airbag
    • In the event of a frontal collision, this airbag is designed to push up the front section of the seat, helping to prevent forward movement of the waist. This can prevent the body from sinking below the seatbelt and improve the restraint protection performance, helping to reduce chest injuries.
    • Suppressing the front passenger’s leg movement minimises contact with the instrument panel and can reduce leg injuries.
  • Driver Monitoring System – uses facial recognition technology to help monitor and ensure attentiveness behind the wheel (first launched in the 2019 Forester).
  • Subaru Global Platform – offers significant dynamic, safety and efficiency gains, underpinning a formidable suite of new Subaru technologies.
  • First Subaru specifically designed to withstand collision impacts under new Mobile Progressive Deformable Barrier (MPDB) testing.
  • Auto Stop Start with Change of Mind Control – fine-tuned to restart within 0.2 of a second.
  • Durable and stylish exterior cladding.
  • Grey finish for alloy wheels.

Outback will have a Recommended Retail Price of $49,990*.

The new mid-range Outback X adds multiple features to the Outback specification, including:

  • Water repellent seat upholstery.
  • Heated front seats.
  • Heated rear outboard seats.
  • Handsfree powered tailgate with memory height function.
  • Front View Monitor (FVM).
  • Side View Monitor (SVM).
  • Black exterior highlights (exclusive to the Outback X variant).
  • Roof rails with green highlights.
  • Satellite navigation.
  • Dark metallic finish for alloy wheels.

Outback X will have a Recommended Retail Price of $54,990*.

The range-topping Outback Touring builds further on Outback X specification, including:

  • Black Nappa leather accented seat upholstery, with tan or ivory as an alternative leather colour option.
  • 9 Harman Kardon® speakers, subwoofer and amplifier; CD player located in centre console box.
  • Electric sunroof.
  • Heated steering wheel.
  • Silver roof rails, with integrated stowable cross bars.
  • Gloss finish for alloy wheels.

Outback Touring will have a Recommended Retail Price of $57,490*.

Full New Zealand specifications will be released in line with the 22nd February 2021 on-sale date.


Outback AWD$49,990*
Outback X AWD$54,990*
Outback Touring AWD$57,490*

*Recommended Retail Pricing (RRP) includes GST. On road costs and accessories are not included.

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Fred Alvrez
How on earth to start this? I've been car/bike/truck crazy since I was a teen. Like John, I had the obligatory Countach poster on the wall. I guess I'm more officially into classic and muscle cars than anything else - I currently have a '65 Sunbeam Tiger that left the factory the same day as I left the hospital as a newborn with my mother. How could I not buy that car? In 2016 my wife and I drove across the USA in a brand-new Dodge Challenger, and then shipped it home. You can read more on We did this again in 2019 in a 1990 Chev Corvette - you can read about that trip on DriveLife. I'm a driving instructor and an Observer for the Institute of Advanced Motorists - trying to do my bit to make our roads safer.


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