New 2021 Subaru Outback on sale now priced from £33,995

Subaru’s off-road inspired estate has entered its sixth generation, with fresh styling, an all-new platform and a host of extra technology

The new Subaru Outback is available to order in the UK now. Prices start from £33,995 and, when the first examples reach dealerships later this month, it’ll take aim at other high-riding estates such as the Audi A4 Allroad and the Skoda Octavia Scout.

The sixth-generation Outback has moved onto the latest version of Subaru’s Global Platform (SGP) architecture, which the Japanese brand says has substantially improved the car’s ride quality, handling and crash safety.

Unlike with the old Outback model, buyers now have three trim-levels to choose from, called Limited, Field and Touring. The entry-level Limited model comes as standard with 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, LED fog lamps, fold-out roof rails and keyless go. Inside, there’s also a new 11.6-inch portrait infotainment system in place of the old car’s seven-inch unit.

Prices for the Field and Touring variants start from £37,995 and £39,495 respectively. Full specifications for these two models are yet to be confirmed, although we do know that the cheaper Field will come with water-repellent synthetic leather upholstery. Touring models will get fixed roof rails and Nappa leather upholstery.

Every version Outback will also come with a new facial recognition camera, which can identify the driver, then automatically adjust the seat position, door mirrors and air conditioning to their preferences.

Elsewhere inside, the new Outback has an extra 10.8mm of space between the front and rear seats, as well as an extra 7mm of shoulder room up front. The boot has also grown by 10 litres to 522 litres, and there’s a handful of new cargo hooks, plus a net to tie down any loose luggage. The tailgate can be opened and closed hands-free.

New 2021 Subaru Outback: platform and safety

Subaru claims the new Outback is the safest car in its class. The estate’s body now features more high-tensile steel and redesigned impact zones, which are 40 percent more efficient than the old car’s. It also now has more strengthening beams throughout its chassis and body, to better protect the occupants in the event of an accident.

The new SGP architecture also adds plenty of safety technology, including adaptive cruise control, a traffic sign recognition system, an intelligent speed limiter and a lane departure warning system which vibrates the steering wheel if the driver strays over the white lines.

To add further substance to its claims of improved safety, Subaru has introduced a new driver monitoring system, which works off the interior camera and will alert the driver if it thinks they’re distracted or fatigued. Reverse automatic braking is another new standard feature, which helps prevent damage when parking.

Subaru says its new platform has benefited the Outback’s driveability, too. The car’s key load points are considerably stronger than before, while the front suspension is 70 percent stiffer and the rear subframe is twice as rigid. Subaru says the improvements have reduced body roll by 50 percent and significantly improved straight-line stability.

Subaru also claims that its new architecture has made the new Outback more capable off-road. Torsional rigidity is up 70 percent and the car now has 213mm of ground clearance, as well as approach and departure angles of 19.7 and 22.6 degrees respectively.

New 2021 Subaru Outback: engine and drivetrain

The new Outback is powered by a revised version of Subaru’s trademark flat-four petrol engine. The new unit shares the same basic design as the old car’s, although displacement has increased from 2.4-litres to 2.5-litres. Subaru also says that 90 percent of the engine’s components have been updated or improved. 

Performance specs are yet to be confirmed but, as the engine is an updated version of the old car’s unit, we expect it’ll have a similar output of 173bhp and 253Nm of torque - the American market version of this engine produces 180bhp. The upgrades should see an improvement over the old model’s 40.4mpg fuel economy figure, though.

Like in the outgoing Outback, the boxer engine is mated to a CVT transmission. However, it now features variable ratio control with paddle shifters, meaning the driver can ‘shift’ the ratio of the CVT like an eight-speed automatic gearbox.

Four-wheel drive comes as standard, along with an active torque vectoring system and a four-stage drive mode selector which includes specific programmes for tarmac, dirt, snow and mud. Every model also has a two-tonne towing capacity

Hungry for more Subaru news? Read all the latest on the next-generation WRX here

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