When we reviewed both the Subaru Outback 2.5 and 3.6-litre 6-cylinder back in 2018, we found that the 3.6-litre model was far smoother, obviously more powerful and used little more fuel than the 2.5-litre model. It was a no-brainer that the 3.6-litre Outback was the better car.

Then, Subaru dropped the 3.6-litre model and we reviewed the new 2.5-litre Outback X in 2021. A great car, but I still lamented the power and smoothness of the 3.6.

Now, Subaru has released details of the Outback 2.4 XT Turbo, effectively slotting the WRX’s motor into the car. At last, the Outback will get some of its mojo back.

As a bonus, the increase in power from 138kW to 183kW has meant that towing capacity has increased from 2,000Kg to 2,400Kg. The brand’s Managing Director Wallis Dumper says this extra pulling power is a huge bonus for New Zealanders who need a vehicle to support their adventures and hobbies.

“We know that Kiwis love a holiday trip around our beautiful country, and that towing items like trailers or boats are some of the best ways to enjoy all our lakes, and seaside spots. The Outback 2.4T will provide that extra turbocharged driver enjoyment getting to the destination and also the knowledge that they can comfortably tow their toys to the places they would rather be.”

New Zealand will receive two model variants – the flagship Outback Touring 2.4 XT Touring and the outdoor adventurer Outback 2.4 XT. Both Outback models have transmissions with revised Subaru Lineartronic Transmission (SLT) gear/differential ratios to suit the increased power delivery and towing performance.

The more powerful 2.4-litre turbocharged, four-cylinder boxer engine boosts the Outback 2.4 XT’s output to 183kW and 350Nm of torque. The All-Wheel Drive 2022 Subaru Outback range in New Zealand is currently available with a naturally aspirated 2.5-litre boxer engine with 138kW of power and 245Nm of torque.

The Outback 2.4 XT’s larger powerplant speeds up the turbocharged car’s 0-100km sprint time to 7.5 seconds – 2.1 seconds faster than the current Outback 2.5, which clocks 9.6 seconds for the 0-100km dash.

Pricing will be revealed closer to the launch of the Subaru Outback 2.4 XT in New Zealand.

The Outback Touring 2.4 XT is the most technologically advanced and luxurious Outback of all time, says Subaru, with Nappa leather accented seat trim, electric sunroof, heated steering wheel, Harman Kardon audio, and a rear power tailgate with hands-free badge sensor.

This premium variant includes an 11.6″ tablet-like touch screen with satellite navigation, as well as a Driver Monitoring System (DMS) with facial recognition to detect driver drowsiness or distraction. The DMS can recognise up to five drivers to personalise the driver’s seat, wing mirror and air conditioning preferences.

Built for getting off the beaten track, the dual function X-Mode has deep snow and deep mud settings, which allows the Outback 2.4 XT to traverse almost any terrain, claims Subaru. It features satellite navigation, a rear power tailgate with hands-free badge sensor and black roof rails with green tie-down points.

Along with the rest of the Subaru of New Zealand model range, the new Outback 2.4 XT Turbo variants are equipped with our clever crash avoidance technology EyeSight as standard.

Mr Dumper adds that the Outback is Subaru’s top-selling model in New Zealand and has been for years.

“Outback makes up over 40% of our total sales and these figures have not diminished after the discontinuation of the 6-cylinder Outback 3.6 model. By introducing the new Outback 2.4 XT to our line-up, we can now offer Kiwis the most powerful Outback yet, in terms of it having the highest tow rating ever for this model,” he says.

Mr Dumper says: “Our Kiwi customers will be very happy to hear that the Outback 2.4 XT Turbo’s target time for New Zealand is December. We are working overtime with the Subaru Corporation factory to make the 2.4XT’s arrival a reality.”

“We are always focused on delivering on what our customers want from our model range and the Outback 2.4 XT Turbo was top of their requirement list, so that’s what we’re concentrating on delivering to them.”

“While the Outback 2.4 XT is expected in December, those Kiwis wanting one to tow their toys away for the summer holidays will need to order theirs to be first in the queue, as we expect limited arrivals this side of Christmas. We are also expecting extra fees to be applied to most new petrol engine cars early next year, as part of the government’s ambition to be carbon neutral by 2050.”

“Our understanding is the that the government is introducing the Clean Car Standard (CCS) fees from January 1st and the Outback 2.4 XT model will incur additional costs. We are awaiting urgent clarification from the Government Transport Department and will be as transparent as possible when we have the information to hand. CCS will not only affect Subaru, but the entire NZ automotive industry and the reality is that come 2023, many new petrol engine cars may cost customers thousands more than they do today.”

To support this change, the Subaru of New Zealand team have worked with Subaru Corporation to secure extra 2.4 XT models in 2022 to satisfy customer demand and help them avoid paying more fees than they need to.

Mr Dumper continues: “To the best of our knowledge, at the time of writing, any vehicles crossing our border after December 31st, 2022, will have the CCS fees applied. We have limited stock available, therefore respectfully ask potential customers to get in touch with their local Authorised Subaru Centre to put down a deposit – or register to be kept informed about pricing, the specific arrival timing and the imminent CCS deadline.”

To register to be kept informed about the all-new Outback 2.4 XT, and to be the first to hear about its pricing when it’s announced, please visit https://www.subaru.co.nz/outback-2.4t

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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 www.usa2nz.co.nz. 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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