It’s been a little over a month since I bought my newish car, a 2016 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium. Over that time I have developed a detailed-enough opinion of the car, so I decided to write a review. My previous vehicle was a 2013 dual-cab Toyota HiLux diesel 4x4. This was a work/family vehicle that was more suitable for work than for family, so I decided to look for a car that would be more comfortable, more enjoyable to drive, be easier to park, have a higher safety rating, have the ability to drive on easy level dirt roads/trails and have an above-average predicted reliability.
These requirements pointed me towards the Audi A6 Allroad and A4 Allroad, the Holden Adventra and Tourer, the Skoda Octavia Scout, the Volkswagen Passat Alltrack, the Volvo XC70 and the Subaru Outback.
My concerns on the Audi A6 Allroad was its higher purchase price and higher service and repair costs. The A4 Allroad was slightly too small and had the same higher service and repair costs.
The Holden Adventra had a large boot and adequate ground clearance, but was too old (with a lower safety rating), while the Tourer had inadequate ground clearance, and was too new (and therefore slightly above budget).
The Skoda Scout had inadequate ground clearance and there were too few workshops around for servicing and repairs.
The VW Alltrack also had inadequate ground clearance and below average reliability (based on a personal experience with a 2011 Golf that I had owned for three years).
The Volvo XC70 had adequate ground clearance, however it was slightly too old and had higher service and repair costs.
So at the end of the day, I felt the 2016 Outback would not have the trade offs as the others and would suit us nicely.
In summary here are the top ten "Goods" and the "Not so Goods":
Comfortable (seating and ride)
Reasonably agile (for a high-riding wagon)
Grip (all road surfaces)
Size (not too big, and not too small)
In-built roof rack cross rails (restricted to 80kg)
Adaptable cruise control (works well, even in slow-moving freeway traffic)
Conventional spare wheel (not a space saver)
Cargo cover can easily be stowed away under boot floor
Sunroof (great for venting out heat on warm and hot days)
Rear legroom (just enough room to prevent a three-year-old from kicking the front seat)
NOT SO GOOD
Liftgate is too low (for a 180cm person)
Fuel use could be better (average is 8.9 litres per 100 kilometres)
The door rear-view mirrors switch feels lower quality than the other switches
No Apple CarPlay or Android Auto (a shame since CarPlay was introduced in March 2014)
Service time intervals could be longer