Choosing between the Subaru Sports Tourer and Outback depends on lifestyle.
The output figures of 150PS at 3,600rpm and 350Nm of torque at 1,800rpm are the same for the Subaru Sports Tourer and the Outback; both with the non-optional, 5-speed manual gearbox. However, the Outback R has a top speed of 124mph, which is 2mph less than the more executive car and, at 8.8 seconds, it is 0.3 seconds slower in completing the 0-62mph dash, which is neither here nor there but noticeable, nonetheless as it doesn’t seem to be quite as eager and the top end.
Nor is the difference of 1mpg (or thereabouts) in the combined fuel economy, a big deal. The figures for the Outback are 39.8-, 55.4- and 48.7mpg for the urban, extra-urban and combined, respectively; with emissions of 153g/km. These are good numbers but the most impressive aspect of the Boxer Diesel is the noise... or lack of it.
Apart from the initial start-up the Boxer Diesel runs very smoothly and quietly. It eats up the miles with ease and is perfectly equipped to become playful on country lanes. It stays flat on fast bends, thanks to the upgrades to the suspension and the Subaru Vehicle Dynamics Control (SVDC), which is a standard feature of the diesels. It can be switched off for extra play but generally allows enough fun for most people, before intervening.
Like most Subaru's, the Outback has the symmetrical AWD system, which helps when it comes to sticky situations. But there is more, the Outback has a limited-slip differential for extra control and ability.
The Outback comes with ABS plus EBD and a full set of airbags including front and rear curtain cushions. And, for the diesel versions, the brakes have been uprated with slightly larger discs than those in the petrol-engined cars.
Choosing between the Subaru Sports Tourer and Outback depends on lifestyle. The Sports Tourer is more of an executive car, while the Outback is the one for more outgoing types. Either way, the Boxer Diesel is the best choice and the best of both worlds.30 September 2008
Subaru Outback Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Subaru Outback 2.0D R|
|Colour||Diamond Grey Metallic|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||8.8 Seconds|
|Top Speed||124 mph|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||55.4 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||TBA|
|Price (when tested on the 30/09/08)||£22,495|