Australian buyers have been bashing down the doors at dealers, rushing madly to secure the keys (or keyless fobs) to large SUVs over the past decade without so much as a backward glance. The harsh reality, though, is most of those buyers don’t really need a large SUV. Remember, ‘want’ is vastly different to ‘need’ and these two all-wheel-drive wagons illustrate the flexibility that can be had, not to mention the vastly superior car-like driving experience, by making a more considered, sensible decision.
For many years, Subaru effectively had this segment all to itself in Australia. There were various pretenders to the throne over the years, but the concept of a useful AWD wagon, with bulletproof reliability and genuine dirt road chops was pretty much a one-horse race. The 2016 Subaru Outback 3.6R certainly benefits from decades of ingrained legacy around the now legendary robustness of the Brumby and the Leone, especially in rural areas.
Perception can often be key, especially in relation to an emotional purchase like a family vehicle and Subaru has well and truly earned its reputation in Australia. Now though, Volkswagen stakes its claim for some of that cross-country territory with 2016 Volkswagen Passat Alltrack - and with pricing so close to that of the Outback, it’s a seriously tough decision.