There is always something exciting about sitting in a new car and experiencing what it has to offer. Some things will never be forgotten like the new car smell or the enjoyment of the first time you sit in the drivers seat, adjust the mirrors and make yourself comfortable.
What about the expectation when the first opportunity comes to put your foot down and feel the power of the engine. These are all things in the forefront of our minds when we are when we are making decisions about buying a new car.
It was these things that I was looking forward to, as my flight from Brisbane touched down in Melbourne. I had never driven a Subaru Outback, so I was pumped to be able to spend a couple of days driving one around and being able to pass on to you what these vehicle have to offer.
I have been to Subaru Docklands on a number of occasions and I am always impressed with the premises and the customer experience they provide. The sign of a good operator is the professionalism offered to all those that they deal with.
So after a quick chat, one of the team ushered me to the car I would be driving for the next couple of days, the Subaru 2015 Outback 3.6R.
This is when my experience began. How many times was I going to have the opportunity to have a couple of days to get to know a car as well as figure out what all the buttons and extras do? I don’t know anybody that doesn’t like doing that. “I wonder what this button does?” “Oh okay, it does that! I wonder how this works?” I was going to have two days to discover and experiment.
It is always comforting to know that things don’t have to change to be better. Subaru has been matching their ever-reliable Boxer engine with their Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system for as long as I can remember. The Outback comes with three motor options; a 2.5L petrol 4-cylinder with CVT, a 3.6L petrol 6-cylinder with CVT (the test car), and 2L turbo diesel with 6-speed manual/CVT options.
The Subaru’s new generation Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) with manual mode and produces 191kW of power at 6000rpm and 350Nm of torque at 4400rpm. In combination with the 3.6L engine, it provides a very smooth power delivery as well as savings at the bowser.
The first opportunity to put the foot down was impressive. People that know me well know that I am anything but a lead foot. It is nice to have the power when you need it and the 3.6L powerhouse certainly provides that in a quiet, powerful and smooth manner.
It is important to mention the Symmetrical All-Wheel drive system. Many manufacturers offer an AWD system, however theirs are generally based on a predominantly front wheel drive system. Subaru’s system however has power being delivered in a balanced manner to all four wheels. This provides outstanding grip and control especially in low grip situations (wet or muddy roads, dirt roads etc.). Another benefit of Subaru’s AWD system is that it detects if a wheel is slipping (within one revolution of the tyre) and transfers torque from that tyre to those that have grip and this is not limited to one wheel. By this I mean that if traction is only available to one tyre, you still have a chance of getting moving.
There is no lack of features in the Outback 3.6R. It certainly provided me with plenty of opportunities to press and discover. Standard features are Duel Zone climate control system including rear vents. Heated front seats with a leather trim. The driver and passenger seats are 8-way power controlled, with the driver seat also having duel memory and electric lumbar support. Smart key operated with push start ignition, which also incorporated a rear hatch assist (opened and closed the tailgate automatically). Not to mention the electric sunroof, power folding and heated side mirrors and the rain sensing front windscreen wipers.
All of this before you even get to the integrated infotainment system, which includes satellite navigation, AM/FM radio, CD player, 12 harman kardon speakers including a subwoofer and a 7” touch screen. It is also MP3, WMA, iPod and Pandora compatible and offers Bluetooth wireless technology for hands-free mobile communication and audio streaming.
There are a few more features that I would like to expand on a little more. Rear view reverse camera – It lets you see not only what is behind you in terms of obstacles, but provides a graphic to show the line of the vehicle and its intended path. It was also a fantastic tool to line up the tow ball when we put the boat trailer behind the car.
EyeSight Driver Assist System – Cameras mounted at the top of the windscreen capture a three dimensional image of the road ahead and provide warnings and assistance to the driver. This may be in the form of pre collision braking, pre collision throttle management or lane sway or a lane departure warning. Great piece of mind when it comes to the safety of you and your family.
Adaptive cruise control – With the assistance of the EyeSight Driver Assist System the adaptive cruise control not only maintains the speed set by the driver but also monitors the distance between your vehicle and the car in front. You can select a distance and the EyeSight system will maintain that distance and regulate the vehicles speed inline with traffic flow.
X-Mode – This mode assists you by controlling your speed for you on steep descents so you can focus on pointing the vehicle in the direction you want to go.
The look and feel of the Outback 3.6R is not lost on the outside either. The 18” alloy wheels compliment a very stylish design that belies the family orientation of the vehicle. It had significant storage space in the rear for to hold everything a family holiday may entail and plenty more with the rear seats down.
The reason for my visit to Victoria was to do some boat testing for Warragul Marine in Warragul. This also provided the opportunity to put a boat behind the Outback and see how it may affect it. Like most anglers, it is important that my vehicle can not only get my family safely from A to B but also me and my boat to my desired angling destination.
I towed a Savage 455 Scorpion boat package on a braked trailer from Warragul to Lake Narracan and back and to say that it didn’t affect the cars performance would be an understatement. It dealt with towing this medium sized boat with ease.
Safety and Subaru go hand in hand and the Outback 3.6R has a 5-star ANCAP rating, as do all Subaru vehicles.
If you want to experience the Subaru Outback 3.6R, or any of the other vehicles in the Subaru range, contact Dale Baxter from Subaru Docklands on (03) 8698 3422. Ask him about the Subaru AWD Experience (See V&TFM October 2014 issue, http://issuu.com/fishingmonthly/docs/vtfm_oct2014 ), which is a great way for you to understand what these vehicles are about and what they are capable of doing.
|Engine||3.6L horizontally opposed Boxer petrol engine|
|Transmission||Lineartronic CVT with manual mode|
|Safety Rating||ANCAP 5-Star|