2014 Subaru Outback Review [Video]
Back in 1996, way before this current 2014 Subaru Outback was created to revive a flagging model, you might have thought that Subaru’s were, if not everywhere, fairly commonplace. They were a popular choice for families who wanted an off-road estate, and who had a straight choice between Volvos, Land Rovers and the Subaru Outback. But, for whatever reason, sales began to dwindle, falling sharply away to the point that witnessing a Subaru Outback on our roads was almost as rare as seeing a shooting star in the sky. If not as dead as the dodo, then as hibernated as a fox. But Subaru desperately want to change that; after the poor sales of the 2007 Subaru Outback and 2008 Subaru Outback, they want the 2014 Subaru Outback to reclaim its rightful popularity.
Based on the Subaru Legacy, the 2014 Subaru Legacy Outback is tougher, possesses extra ground clearance and, though not an SUV itself, offers pretty much nearly everything that an SUV can offer. Some question whether it’s a 4×4 or an estate, with the answer probably being that it’s a nice mix of the two. It has improved efficiency, bringing it in touch with the collective mindset of 2014 car manufacturers, and is just overall more capable than its predecessor, the 2009 Subaru Outback. Let’s have a closer look.
Okay, so, despite its name, the 2014 Subaru Outback probably can’t tackle incredibly rocky roads with the alacrity and bite of, say, a tank. You have to be somewhat realistic. If you do happen to purposely brawl across rough terrain with it, it would be wise to stick to the more passable routes as opposed to going gung-ho into no-man’s land and putting all your trust in the Outback to get you out of there alive. Instead, let’s focus on what this new 2014 Subaru Outback can achieve.
With a 50mm increase on ground clearance, it has the advantage over cars that only pretend to be consummate off-roaders; wolves in sheep’s clothing, such as the Audi A4, the Skoda Octavia Scout, or the Toyota RAV4. With 200mm of air underneath the bodywork, it’s built and engineered to tackle muddy backroads, slippery cart tracks, and mossy woodland. This is more to do with its potent Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system than anything else. This gives it a 50:50 power split between the front and rear axles – the great thing is that it isn’t a fixed power split. Instead, it’s intuitive and clever, moving power around to whichever wheel can use it best in variable conditions.
Before the Subaru Outback disappeared off our roads, the first generation presented a fairly small vehicle. Not small-small, but certainly modest enough in size to be called small in comparison to the fourth generation model. The new Subaru Outback has been made bigger and meatier, no doubt in a bid to oust its rivals, including the Volvo XC70 and the Audi A6, which is actually much more expensive. The Japanese company know they need to appeal to consumers who are choosing heftier 4×4’s and estates if they are to revive life into their flagging Outback.
Apart from size, its looks are impressive. Looking different and yet similar to the Legacy, it comes with extended wheel arches, as well as a higher 200mm ground clearance that, as well as adding something to the design, also adds even more to its off-road capabilities. If anything, we can say that the 2014 Subaru Outback is classier than the previous versions, has a more up-market feel, and now has a greater focus on efficiency, with carbon effect accents adding to the doors. The instrument dials have been smartened up too, and there is now a contemporary colour display on the dash. And space wise? There is a mighty 1677 litres worth of room in the boot with the rear seats flipped over. Awesome.
2014 Subaru Outback deals start at £30,000 and pretty much hover around that range, with only one engine to choose from, the 150PS 2.0 litre Subaru Outback diesel the only variant on offer. You can choose between a manual and automatic gear box, but the petrol-powered Outback’s really did die out years ago in the UK, and Subaru have no desire to bring them back. Still, there are no complaints from us on this front, and standard spec’s include alloy wheels, power-folding heated mirrors, self-levelling automatic HID headlamps, UV-protected glass, as well as silver roof rails. There is also a six-speaker stereo system and a trip computer for consumers looking for some high-tech gadgets. Subaru Outback mpg is typically in the region of 28mpg.
But our real concern lies with what this vehicle can do once it’s out there. Can it do everything off-road? Perhaps not, but what vehicle in this price range can? Can it do more than its affordable (and even more pricier) rivals? Yes. It’s simply the best off-road vehicle you will find of this mould. Is it a 4×4? Is it an estate? Is it an SUV? Perhaps it’s just Superman … Whatever it is, we get the feeling that its identity will be truly sorted with the arrival of the 2015 Subaru Outback. Watch this space.
If you want to get hold of the 2014 Subaru Outback, don’t hesitate to leave us a message on our contact page, or give us a call on 01903 538835 to find out more about our Subaru Outback lease deals.