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Rugged Outback ventures into action. Image by Subaru.

Rugged Outback ventures into action
Subaru unveils fifth gen of its Legacy-based soft-roader.
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What's the news?

Subaru launched the fifth generation Outback 'soft-roader' at the New York Auto Show.


Higher ground clearance, chunky tyres, flared arches and rugged lower body cladding are the staple giveaways of any Outback and the fifth-gen is no exception. We've also got a hexagonal grille and hawk-eye headlights, which are part of the new corporate nose of the Subaru family. At the back are LED lights housed in attractive clusters.


With a 'comfortable and sporty' design the main consideration, the Outback features a bigger cabin all round with more shoulder-, elbow- and rear legroom on offer. Like the Legacy, the A-pillar has been shunted forward to expand the interior and Subaru claims much-improved quality for the materials used throughout the cockpit. There's also a multifunction three-spoke steering wheel with a dual-gauge instrument cluster, featuring an LCD colour display panel. Blue-ring illumination marks out the higher-spec models and you can opt for a central infotainment touchscreen display as well.


No word in New York on diesel power, but it's like the 'Boxer Diesel' will continue to be available, paired with a CVT automatic gearbox, known as Lineartronic on a manual gearbox. Subaru says, not only does it have the Symmetrical AWD system of most Subarus, it also has X-Mode, an enhanced driving performance programme for greater off-road control and security. Body roll is said to be improved thanks to better rigidity and specific alignment settings for the Outback, while the steering ratio has been quickened to 14.0:1 from 16.5:1 for more agile handling. The ride is improved for greater refinement and there's Active Torque Vectoring thrown in for good measure. The Outback is also 10.6 per cent more aerodynamic than its predecessor, so it cuts through the air better.

Anything else?

Like the Legacy, the Outback will have a number of tech features new to Subaru, such as EyeSight, the company's own camera-based system that assists with preventative braking and active cruise control, plus fog lights that illuminate on sharp turns, blind spot detection with a lane change assist function and rear cross traffic alert, which helps with reversing out of tight driveways.

Matt Robinson - 24 Apr 2014

2014 Subaru Outback. Image by Subaru.2014 Subaru Outback. Image by Subaru.2014 Subaru Outback. Image by Subaru.2014 Subaru Outback. Image by Subaru.2014 Subaru Outback. Image by Subaru.

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