The all-new Subaru Outback promises to go more places packed with more technology – and will be available with turbocharged petrol power for the first time.
The sixth-generation model is bigger than before, has a taller ground clearance, better off-road ability, and advanced features to help it handle the daily grind.
It was unveiled overnight at the New York motor show ahead of an Australian showroom arrival set for the distant future of early 2021.
Subaru Australia has confirmed the company will focus early launch timing on the US market, with local Japan-sourced models to come later. For now, 'early 2021' is the best word.
That means it will come with the latest crash avoidance and driver distraction technology, as well as being equipped with a large vertical tablet-style touchscreen in the centre of the dash, and available with a 360-degree “around view” camera.
In addition to a roomier cabin with more space for occupants both front and back, the cargo space has grown to almost two metres in length with the back seats stowed flat, to create more than 2100 litres of carrying capacity.
Comfort and convenience items include 10-way power adjustment for the driver’s seat, USB charge ports for front and back seats, and rear air vents.
In North America, the Subaru Outback will be offered with an updated version of the current 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine (135kW/238Nm) or an optional turbocharged 2.4-litre petrol engine (194kW/375Nm).
Both are matched to continuously variable automatic transmissions and all-wheel-drive.
Price and equipment are yet to be confirmed for Australia but selected technical details have been revealed.
The new Subaru Outback has 220mm of ground clearance (up from 213mm on the current model), a larger footprint, better suspension travel and a more advanced “X-mode” for off-road use.
In the US the towing capacity of the turbo 2.4 is rated at 1500kg, the same as the tow rating for the current 2.5 model sold in Australia.
By comparison, the current model's 3.6-litre six-cylinder can haul 1800kg, while the towing capacity of the existing 2.0-litre diesel is rated at 1700kg.
However, it is unlikely the six-cylinder or the diesel will be offered in the new model in Australia.
New efficiencies from the 2.5-litre four-cylinder has Subaru claiming more than 900km of highway driving range on a single tank in the US, however fuel consumption data has yet to be calculated for Australian models.
Subaru claims improvements to the suppression of noise, vibration and harshness – and “sound insulated glass” – will make the new Outback the quietest in the 25-year history of the nameplate.
This reporter is on Twitter: @JoshuaDowling