New Subaru Outback hits the road with better tech and more capability

NOW in its sixth generation, the 2021 Subaru Outback has landed in Australia and is loaded up with a host of new technology, improved capabilities and some serious refinement.

The range opens with the simply named Outback AWD, with a starting price of $39,990 plus on-roads, ahead of the Sport and Touring variants. An increased towing capacity to 2,000kg is a feature of the vastly improved crossover too.

All models now come with stylish and durable cladding, while more than 80 per cent of the SUV’s structural parts have been improved for better driving performance, with safety and technology at the heart of a vast array of updates.

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These include a new high definition 11.6-inch infotainment system that’s vertically oriented, just like a smart phone. The latest Eyesight driver assistance package is also in place, and includes lane centring and autonomous emergency steering.

2021 Subaru Outback AWD
2021 Subaru Outback AWD

It also features speed sign recognition with an intelligent speed limiter that will keep you at the right speed for the road. Emergency lane keep assist, lane departure warning and lane departure prevention are also included.

Pre-collision braking with expanded capabilities for intersections rounds out the package. It’s also the first Subaru to ever come with front passenger seat cushion airbag, and each variant also has the Japanese car maker’s Vision driver protection package.

This includes blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, adaptive driving beam and LED steering responsive headlights. Reverse automatic braking is also included.

Built on the Subaru Global Platform (SGP), the 2021 Outback range provides improved occupant protection from all directions, plus significant dynamic, safety and efficiency gains, underpinning a formidable suite of new Subaru technologies.

2021 Subaru Outback AWD Touring
Inside the 2021 Subaru Outback AWD Touring

It also features the largest Outback cabin to date, with key interior dimensions increased, including larger, wider-opening cargo area. Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, the new model also scores dual function X-MODE.

Every new Outback is powered by a heavily revised direct injection 2.5-litre horizontally opposed Boxer petrol engine, with power output improved from 129kW to 138kW, and peak torque up from 235Nm to 245Nm.

Combined with significant Lineartronic CVT refinements, including an 8-speed manual mode, it produces a new level of drivability. At a virtual launch event, Subaru noted it hasn’t been offered the popular 2.4-litre turbo engine for the Australian market.

And while that may disappoint some, it’s the sheer amount of refinement that will excite most buyers. All variants score new auto open and close power windows, and there’s improved sound deadening everywhere for quieter ride and enhanced comfort.

2021 Subaru Outback AWD Sport
2021 Subaru Outback AWD Sport

Every model has headlight and rear view camera washers to get rid of dirt and dust when you’ve been off road. Likewise, there’s a full leather steering wheel in every Outback variant. The range-topping Touring model also scores Nappa leather.

Voice commands can be used to control the air-conditioning, Both front seats are power adjusted and heated, and in the AWD Sport and Touring models, the outer rear seats are heated as well.

The Outback AWD and AWD Sport feature a six-speaker audio system, while Outback AWD Touring has a nine-speaker Harman/Kardon system. The hands-free power cargo door on Outback AWD Sport and AWD Touring enables easy, touch-free, opening too.

Simply using your body to shield the sensor on the gate (which is housed in the Subaru logo on the rear tailgate of the car), with the access key in close proximity, enables operation. Even the opening speed of the boot has been improved.

2021 Subaru Outback AWD model range
2021 Subaru Outback AWD model range

Nine colours will feature on the new Outback, including Autumn Green Metallic and Brilliant Bronze Metallic (both new offerings). These are joined by Crystal White Pearl, Magnetite Grey Metallic, Ice Silver Metallic, Crystal Black Silica and Dark Blue Pearl.

The base Outback and Touring variants can also be had in Storm Grey Metallic and Crimson Red Pearl. The 2021 Subaru Outback AWD Sport is priced from $44,490 plus on-roads, and the Touring starts $47,790 plus on-roads.

Contact your nearest Subaru dealer for more information, or visit

Mark Holgate
Mark Holgate
A journalist with more than 24 years experience, Mark Holgate has worked with a number of regional, suburban and metropolitan newspapers, as well as stints with motoring specific publications like Which Car? Motorsport News, Auto Action and Street Machine. He is also a contributor to DriveTribe.


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