Subaru’s sixth generation Outback wagon launched in New Zealand yesterday, and according to Subaru, the 2021 Outback is the biggest, safest, most technologically advanced and luxurious Outback ever.

Subaru’s safety focus and sense of luxury are highlighted in the specification lists that are significantly enhanced from the entry-level upwards – beginning with the self-titled Outback, priced at $49,990* Recommended Retail Price (RRP). It now features the stylish and durable cladding that was previously exclusive to the upper range variants, together with a 11.6-inch tablet-like touch screen, power driver and passenger seats, Driver Monitoring System (DMS), 18” grey alloy wheels, smart entry and push-button ignition.

The mid-range Outback X adds adventurer-friendly features, such as, water resistant seat upholstery with green accents both inside and out, 18” dark grey alloy wheels, heated front and rear seats, handsfree power rear tailgate, and sat nav for $54,990* RRP.

Topping the range is the Outback Touring, ($57,490* RRP) which adds Nappa leather seat upholstery, a heated steering wheel, an electric sunroof and Harman Kardon® audio to its feature list.

Subaru of New Zealand’s Managing Director Wallis Dumper says the all-new Outback is a culmination of 25 years of technology, safety and build-quality advancements.“Ever since the initial Outback was launched in 1996, this Subaru SUV has consistently been a game changer and sales catalyst for Subaru in New Zealand. It’s been six years since the last generation update but it will certainly have been worth the wait, as we eagerly look forward to launching this hugely-improved version of our already-popular Outback.”

“Subaru’s engineering prowess All-Wheel Drive is coupled with a more powerful new Direct Injection 2.5 litre Boxer engine. A whole suite of off-road, technology, infotainment, safety enhancements and luxury features have also been added.”

“Our launch marketing campaign reinforces the all-new Outback’s capability by drawing comparisons to the agility of a mountain goat to traverse difficult terrain, and its ability to endure tough conditions. The Outback was the clear winner over the goat each time. The seemingly ridiculous comparison demonstrates the Outback’s capability in a light-hearted but distinctive and memorable way.”

“Like its rock-hopping namesake, our Greatest Outback of All Time refuses to stand still for long and we are excited about the evolution and future of our most spacious SUV model. The New Zealand public are equally enthusiastic, and our 16 nationwide Subaru Authorised Centres have already received strong forward orders since the 2021 Outback was revealed in early January,” Mr Dumper adds.

The three-variant Outback range has all models offering new specifications including:
90% new Direct Injection 2.5 litre Boxer engine – 7% more power and 4.2% more torque.
Refined Lineartronic® Continuously Variable Transmission – Paddle shift, with greater ratio coverage.80%+ of the structural parts are improved for better driving performance.Increased ratio coverage from 7.0 to 8.1 improves take-off acceleration and aids fuel efficiency.8-speed manual mode in every Outback.
Best-ever Outback towing capacity – 2,000 kilograms, with 200kg down ball load (10%).
High Definition 11.6-inch head unit Centre Information Display – centralising and simplifying many controls, with vertical orientation and operation like a smartphone.
Latest generation EyeSight® driver assist package – with multiple new features including: Lane Centring Function, Autonomous Emergency Steering, Emergency Lane Keep Assist, Speed Sign Recognition with Intelligent Speed Limiter. A first for Subaru, it supports adherence to speed limits. It can recognise speed limit signs and visually notifies the driver, while the Intelligent Speed Limiter limits the vehicle speed. This makes it possible for drivers to concentrate more on driving, while preventing speed violations due to missed traffic signs; Lane Departure Warning with steering wheel vibration; Lane Departure Prevention; Pre-Collision Braking System with expanded support for collision avoidance at intersections.
The Subaru Driver Monitoring System (DMS) – helping ensure attentiveness behind the wheel for all three models, with the Touring variant also including the personalisation package.
Subaru Global Platform (SGP) – The combination of the SGP and a new structural frame (full inner frame structure) provides improved occupant protection from all directions, plus significant dynamic, safety and efficiency gains, underpinning a formidable suite of new Subaru technologies.
Largest Outback cabin to date – with key interior dimensions increased, including larger, wider-opening cargo area.
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 off the beaten track.
First Subaru specifically designed to withstand collision impacts under new Mobile Progressive Deformable Barrier (MPDB) testing.
First Subaru to include front passenger seat cushion airbag – Outback now has eight airbags.Auto Stop Start with Change of Mind Control – fine tuned to restart within 0.2 of a second.Reverse Automatic Braking (RAB).Subaru Vision Assist technologies including:Blind Spot Monitor (BSM).Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA).Adaptive Driving Beam (ADB), and;LED steering responsible headlights.
Durable and stylish exterior cladding.Every new Outback is powered by a heavily revised Direct Injection 2.5-litre Horizontally Opposed Boxer engine, with power output improved from 129 Kilowatts to 138kW and torque up from 235 Newton metres to 245Nm.

Outback also builds on its genuine All-Wheel Drive credentials – combining them with a 213mm ground clearance that offers a distinct difference from its largely two-wheel-drive competitor set.

Mr Dumper says: “It’s timely that with the launch of the new Outback we celebrate the model’s 25th anniversary this year and that it has remained the most popular Subaru across the range in New Zealand over this time period.”

“New Outback epitomises all the qualities for which this model has become famous over the last quarter of a century: strength, quality, style, engineering, safety and – of course – fun.”

“The essence of Subaru is encouraging Kiwis to get out and ‘do’ more and we believe Outback is the perfect platform to launch active lifestyles from. It has the largest cabin to date, increasing interior comfort for all adventurers on-board and a wider-opening cargo area allowing even more toys to fit in the boot.”

“The Dual function X-MODE means that if you are heading up ski fields, or through muddy paddocks, the set-and-forget throttle control gives you the peace of mind that the Outback has got off-roading covered,” Mr Dumper says.

For added convenience and safety, the DMS debuts in every Outback variant. A popular feature in the New Zealand Car of the Year Award-winning Subaru Forester, the advanced DMS system has the potential to monitor for signs of driver distraction and/or drowsiness and, if detected, automatically alert them. DMS also recognises driver preferences for air conditioning and some instrument displays in the Touring model. While safety and Subaru are synonymous, sometimes it is the unsung, or unseen, details that distinguish the sheer strength and capability of the brand’s vehicles from the pack.

The strategic use of high-tensile steel and new generation bonding in key areas of Outback’s frame, add to its energy absorbing ability in collisions.

The sixth generation Outback is the first Subaru with a beam and sub-frame specifically designed to withstand collision impacts under the new Mobile Progressive Deformable Barrier testing.

Subaru’s EyeSight driver assist system is further updated to offer occupants even greater security when it comes to road safety. “The EyeSight upgrades include Speed Sign Recognition, which is a first for Subaru. One of our clever crash avoidance technology’s many intelligent components, it helps drivers remain within the speed limits as it recognises speed limit signs and visually notifies the driver,” Mr Dumper explains.“The comprehensive list of safety and driver assist technologies all contribute to this new generation Outback absolutely deserving the title of the Greatest Outback of All Time,” he concludes.

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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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