More Tech, Same Money – Just How Will the Next 2018 Model Year Subaru Outback Do That?


The Outback name has been used by Subaru since 1994; it brought a model to the market that was intended to be something a little different to the SUV’s and wagons – for those people that wanted to make statement – something along the lines of “I’m different”.

It kinda worked too; 23 years later and it’s still here, still offering something different from the masses of SUV’s that just seem so popular. The problem is precisely that though… it’s still seen as something ‘different’ and not mainstream. You’d have to say though, aside from that, the Subaru Outback is great.

Subaru unveiled the new 2018 model year Outback recently – April of this year, and while it hasn’t changed too much, you can clearly see that Subaru have given it an update and refresh, but it’s more than skin-deep – plenty of mechanical upgrades and changes as well.

The New Outback from Subaru is coming soon


1. Coming Soon
2. Same Engines
3. Complete Update
4. Safety First
5. Finally?

Despite the unveiling, we aren’t expecting to see the new Outback for a while yet, we’d expect a full dealer roll-out around September, once they’ve ironed out all the crinkles.

As for pricing, the Outback still remains extremely competitive, the base model should be in the region of $26,500 – $27,000 including destination, and that’s not a bad price when you consider what you’re getting.

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Same Engines

So what are you getting for your money? That’s a good question!

We know that Subaru aren’t going to change the engines, so that means a choice of two, both Boxer’s. The base model will have the 2.5 liter Boxer flat-four which has 175 horsepower and 174 pounds of torque, while the higher specification models will get the option for the 3.6 liter Boxer flat-six – this makes a much more fun 256 horsepower and 247 pounds/feet of torque. That’s almost sporty.

As you’d expect, the Outback sends the power to all-four wheels and uses a CVT (Constantly Variable Transmission) style automatic transmission – Subaru have been using the CVT for years and have really got it right, it’s virtually seamless, we’d have to say that it’s now probably one of the best on the market.

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A complete update from Subaru for the 2018 Outback

The overall styling of the Outback has received an update, they’ve incorporated elements from the rest of the line-up, giving the Impreza, Legacy and Outback a family-look. This has had the effect of making the Outback look a little more aggressive, both the front and rear fascia’s have been updated, as has the front grille and headlamps. There’s also some new cladding at front which gives the Outback a rugged appearance – we’d guess it’s there to offer some protection when off-roading, but truthfully, it’s more cosmetic than functional (or at least looks that way).

There’s a choice between 17-inch and 18-inch wheels (depending on the trim level) – the base and Premium will sit on the 17-inchers while the Limited and Touring will ride on the !8’s. All models will get the roof-rails with retractable crossbars except for the fully-loaded range-topping Touring which has low-profile rails and detachable crossbars.

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Much work has gone in to re-engineering the CVT, door mirrors, side-glass and wheel wells to improve the sound intrusion – nothing screams ‘low-budget’ quite like a healthy dose of wind noise as you’re driving along, hopefully, these little refinements will make a huge difference.

Subaru have also updated and improved the chassis and suspension to give a smoother (and quieter) ride, it seems that they are trying to bring the Outback up into the premium market without raising the price too much – good on them if they can pull it off.

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Safety First

To aid their quest to make the Outback just that little more special, Subaru have plenty of equipment fitted, not least the Subaru EyeSight suite of safety technology and functions.

Sure, some of it isn’t going to find a home in the base model, but most of it is optional – quite often you’ll find that manufacturers won’t sell you some tech unless you’ve already handed over more dollars for the next trim-level up – Subaru don’t seem to play that game.

The EyeSight system will be available across the board (the Touring trim has it as standard), it can include: steering responsive headlights with automatic high-beams, adaptive cruise-control, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warnings, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alerts. All Outback’s will have a rear-view camera as standard fitment, along with an updated and improved Tire Pressure Monitoring system.

We’ll also get an updated interior; a redesigned center-console, 2 USB ports for the rear seats, new materials and colors for the trim, an improved air-conditioning system (much more efficient), the very latest Subaru StarLink with Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Tom Tom navigation and a 6.5” touchscreen, although you can upgrade that to 8-inches.

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Overall, the new 2018 Outback has been significantly updated, although it doesn’t look that way – trust us though, it’s a very different car from the 2017 Model Year.

If you are thinking of buying an Outback, we’d advise you to hang on just these last few months for the updated model, even if Subaru were adding some extra numbers in the price it would be worth it, so to pay the same for a much better model … it’s a no-brainer.

What do you think to the new 2018 Subaru Outback? Have Subaru got it right again? Is there anything that they have missed? Why not let us know in the comments – it’s appreciated.

Also read about the 2018 Subaru Crosstrek
  • X-Ray

    Will the 2018 Subaru retain the CVT (non gearbox) transmission?

Editor's rating
4.6 overall
  • Safety4.7
  • Performance4.6
  • Design4.5
  • Features4.7
  • Fuel economy4.3

The car will be changed significantly in terms of exterior and interior design. However, it will be the same in technological way.

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