Subaru is claiming a world first with the revised Outback range – it’s mated a 2.0-litre Boxer engine to a CVT gearbox.
The result is a two-pedal diesel Outback that emits 166g/km CO2: it will launch on 1 November, priced from £31,495.
Now, there are several points in the above that you may not like – ‘CVT’ and ‘£31,495′ being prime amongst them. To see if they’re the major hindrances some may fear, MR is right now driving the new Outback to see if it’s worth the money.
Subaru has at least revealed how it justifies the price tag of the new 2.0D SX Lineartronic. On top of the auto gearbox, 17-inch gunmetal alloys, UV protection glass, xenon headlights, heated seats, Bluetooth and climate control are thus prime draws – but we can’t help but notice neither leather seats nor sat nav are standard.
Standard four-wheel drive is a key selling point for the practical types who buy the Outback, particularly as it has a centre diff with viscous LSD. They’ll appreciate 200mm of ground clearance, plus self-leveling rear suspension that will let them load the 526-litre boot with a mass of detritus.
Pity it’s not a bit more fuel-efficient: 44.8mpg is so-so for a diesel, and 166g/km isn’t any better than average either. The manual is a bit greener (and cheaper too, at £29,995) but the BMW 3 Series xDrive range beats it with ease: 57.6mpg combined and 129g/km CO2, Subaru – for the manual and the auto…
And the CVT? Conventional wisdom has it they’re not good. At all. Subaru begs to differ, claiming it’s a world first because only it could do it, not because nobody else thought the combination would appeal.
We’ll bring you news of what we think, and our impressions of the enhanced 2014 model year Outback, soon…