Auto Review: 2018 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium

OUTBACK by name, and outback by nature. It’ been an Aussie favourite since it first arrived as one of the original cross over vehicles. Wait, it’s not a car, it’s a 4WD, no it’s a wagon, or is it.

It’s always had a foot, or is that a wheel, in every camp, and that has been its marker of success. Others have tried, and some failed to take Subaru on in a space that it pretty much invented.

The 2018 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium has grown some bulk over the years though, and it now feels more SUV than straight up wagon like it used to, but that’s a good thing. It’s now an added option in the mid-sized SUV space while still feeling wagon-esque.

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It provides comfortable and refined performance, whether you’re hitting the highway or stuck in the every day commute, and with the addition of some off-road capability, it goes car beyond your average family wagon.

While the only gearbox is the excellent 7-speed CVT, there is the choice of a diesel power plant should you wish to go that way. Our test car though came with the ever popular 2.5-litre 4-cylinder boxer engine.

The 129kW 2.5i engine feels very capable and with 235Nm of torque, has plenty of power, especially in Sport mode, making it easy to do its thing in traffic. There’s also a 3.6-litre 6-cylinder petrol engine option if you need more towing power (an extra 300kg).

Frankly though we feel that the 2.5-litre is powerful enough for your everyday use, as well as those weekends away. Not to mention it is quite economical as well, at a claimed 9.1-litres/100km, although we could only manage 10.3-litres/100km.

The interior of this car is a very nice place to be too, and our Premium variant test vehicle had heated leather seats for those cold mornings, a great driving position, and easy to adjust electric seats.

It also had two seat memory spots to ensure you could always find your favourite spot. Did we mention it’s loaded with technology too, and it’s pretty damn good. The infotainment system is big, both size and feature wise.

It includes fun things such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, voice controlled SatNav, an easy to use touch screen and a great sound system. And if you have trouble connecting via Bluetooth, you can simply plug the phone and it will connect for you.

Brilliant for those less technologically savvy than your average 5-year old, which probably counts for most of us over the age of 30. The system will read your texts to you too, and you can even reply via voice command. No pesky fines for touching your phone.

It comes with a 5-star ANCAP safety rating, and a swag of safety features, including the EyeSight Driver Assist system, which has pre-collision brake assist, adaptive cruise control, lane departure assist and blind spot monitoring.

Not content with that, Subaru has also added rear cross traffic alerts and adaptive driving lights (auto high beam). The storage capacity is huge too. The rear seats fold flat to allow for longer cargo and can be dropped with the lift of a convenient lever.

There’s an automatic tailgate that can be opened using the key fob or a button on the dash and closed at the push of a button. We suspect that if you needed to, you could actually sleep in the back of this vehicle quite comfortably.

The 512-litre standard boot space is more than enough to hold the family’s luggage for a weekend away, or the kids bikes for the drive to the park. Space is definitely not lacking here and with the seats flat, it’s an abundant 1,801-litres.

We have to admit we were kind of disappointed to give the 2018 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium back to Subaru; it ticked a lot of boxes. It rolls out of the showroom at $47,400 plus on-roads, in a choice of 10 colours.

These include Crystal White Pearl, Ice Silver Metallic, Tungsten Metallic, Crimson Red Pearl, Wilderness Green, Platinum Grey Metallic, Oak Brown Pearl, Dark Blue Pearl, Dark Grey Metallic and Crystal Black Silica.

Our test vehicle was provided by Subaru Australia. To find out more about the 2018 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium, contact your local Subaru dealer.


Driving eperience
Exterior styling
Interior look and feel
Technology and connectivity
Family friendliness


Pros - comfort; luxury; technology.
Cons - the cubby hole where the phone should go isn't big enough for a chunky smartphone.
Tony Cavanagh
Tony Cavanagh
Tony Cavanagh has always had a thing about cars. He usually owns two at a time (there may also be a motorbike in the garage as well). Excessive maybe, but a car guy is a car guy. He's driven everything from Minis (the original ones) to V8 Commodores and 4WDs, as well as little go fast Japanese buzz boxes and hot hatches. He loves everything automotive, and doesn't have a clear favourite – yet.


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<strong>Pros -</strong> comfort; luxury; technology.<br> <strong>Cons -</strong> the cubby hole where the phone should go isn't big enough for a chunky smartphone.Auto Review: 2018 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium