Sun | Jun 16, 2024

2024 Subaru Outback: Where versatility meets uncompromising safety

Published:Sunday | May 12, 2024 | 12:05 AM

Kareem LaTouche

Automotives Coordinator

The Subaru Outback has, over the years, forged a reputation for itself as a vehicle built to bridge the gap between urban practicality and off-road adventurism. The 2024 Outback Limited, fitted with Subaru’s renowned Eyesight system and a capable 2.5-litre engine, embodies that mission perfectly.

Heritage and Design

Originally a more rugged trim level of the Subaru Legacy, the Outback struck out on its own in the mid-90s. Though it retains a station wagon form factor, its design has evolved to include higher ground clearance and a bolder aesthetic. Despite being shaped like a station wagon, this vehicle is deceptively large, offering impressive space for both passengers and cargo. In true Subaru fashion, substantial roof racks offer additional carrying capacity, perfectly suited for weekend escapades.

Interior: Spaciousness, Tech, and Comfort

Stepping inside the 2024 Outback Limited, you’re greeted by a cabin focused on comfort and refinement. Fabric seats offer both breathability and lumbar support, while the driver and front passenger enjoy the additional power adjustment option. The first thing your eyes will likely lock onto is the massive centre console display, housing Subaru’s intuitive infotainment system. It functions flawlessly with Android Auto and, notably, can operate entirely via Bluetooth if you prefer not to plug your phone in. You’ll find USB-A, USB-C, and auxiliary ports, making it easy to charge and connect devices.

Rear passengers aren’t left out – dedicated air conditioning vents provide comfort, and the spacious seats recline, a thoughtful touch for longer voyages. Subaru’s legendary practicality presents itself in the form of a cavernous trunk space, and a full-sized spare tyre reassures in the event of a puncture.

Infotainment, Audio, and the Eyesight Advantage

The Subaru Outback Limited’s infotainment system is a highlight, responding quickly and intuitively to inputs. The integrated sound system delivers a pleasing audio experience. I was able to play my songs on Spotify, and the screen reflected the information just as it would on my phone.

However, the star of the show is unquestionably the Eyesight driver assistance suite. Bundling adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning with steering assist, and pre-collision braking, Eyesight genuinely reduces driver fatigue and enhances safety. An attentive system even monitors your driving habits, suggesting breaks if it senses you may be distracted. At one point my eyes were not focused on the road and it gave me a visual and audio alert to ‘keep eyes on the road.’

Cargo and Practicality

The Subaru Outback has always been about utility, and the Limited is no exception. The boot is massive, providing 32.6 cu.ft. with all seats in place. Folding the rear seats flat opens up an even more generous cargo area with a completely flat load floor. Whether it’s camping gear or a trip to the furniture store, the Outback handles it with ease.

The Driving Experience

The 2024 Outback Limited with its 2.5-litre naturally-aspirated engine produces 182 hp and 176 lb-ft of torque, using a CVT transmission. Suspension focuses on soaking up bumps and isolating the cabin from road imperfections, resulting in a relaxed, almost floaty ride. Subaru’s symmetrical all-wheel-drive system delivers confidence in challenging conditions on pavement or light trails, with minimal to no body roll.

Eyesight’s safety features come into their own on longer drives, with the lane departure assist subtly guiding you back if you drift. A useful display on the centre console even shows real-time vehicle angles and power distribution. For a little extra pep, ‘Sport’ mode is easily accessed via a steering wheel button, while an “Intelligent” mode encourages better fuel economy.

Competition and Conclusion

The 2024 Subaru Outback Limited competes in a field including the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, and Mazda CX-5. It stands out with its blend of ruggedness, comfort, and advanced safety features. If your lifestyle demands a car that’s reliable, spacious, and ready for anything, the Outback Limited with Eyesight is definitely worth a test drive.

Price of tested model: $10.5m

Engine: 2.5 litre

Horse Power: 182

Torque: 176 lb-ft of torque

Transmission: AWD

Fuel tank: 70 litres

Gas consumption: 9.8 litre per 100 km

Body Type: Mid-size SUV

Competition: Toyota Rav4, Nissan X Trail, Honda CR-V

Vehicle was provided courtesy of Kingston Industrial Garage Ltd, 923-6479,