Subaru has axed up to $4000 from the price of its popular Outback model range, an upgraded 2013 version of which is now available with a range of engine, drivetrain, chassis, equipment and cosmetic improvements.
The biggest saving applies to the top-shelf Outback Diesel Premium manual variant, which now costs $42,990 plus on-road costs (down from $46,990) as part of the MY13 update.
Entry-level Outback Diesel models also receive a price cut and specification upgrade, with the cheapest (still manual-only) diesel-powered Outback now priced at $39,990 plus ORCs (down $1000 from $40,990) and fitted as standard with factory satellite-navigation.
The most basic petrol-powered Outback also costs $500 less than before, with the 2.5i auto now priced from $38,490 plus ORCs, while prices for the 2.5i Premium auto six-cylinder 3.6R Premium auto remaining unchanged at a respective $42,990 and $57,490.
The base Outback 2.5i auto is available with an option pack, which for $1500 more ($39,990 plus ORCs) adds leather trim, factory navigation, rear air-conditioning vents, a powered driver’s seat, electroluminescent gauges and colour information display.
As part of the MY13 upgrade, all Outback 2.5i variants feature Subaru’s more efficient new FB-series horizontally-opposed boxer engine, which debuted here in the Forester in 2011 and, in 2.0-litre form, exclusively powers the latest Impreza.
Designed to deliver more mid to low-rpm torque, the fresh boxer engine is matched with Subaru’s latest Lineartronic continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), which is claimed to be quieter, lighter and more compact.
In the MY13 Outback 2.5i and 2.5i Premium, the engine produces 127kW (up 3.3 per cent from 123kW) and 235Nm of torque (up 2.6 per cent from 229Nm) and returns combined fuel consumption of 8.0L/100km (down 3.6 per cent from 8.3L/100km.
The MY13 Outback also comes with a revised all-wheel drive system that employs signal inputs from the VDC electronic stability control system - including steering wheel angle, yaw rate and lateral acceleration - to more precisely distribute torque between the front and rear wheels, improving handling and stability.
Subaru says the revised suspension bushings also improve stability, noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels, while new spring and damper rates aim to control roll speed. A thicker front anti-roll bar is fitted, along with extra cradle frame welding and sub-frame support, while a lighter rear upper arm assembly is said to be thinner but stronger.
On the steering front, the MY Outback benefits from a non-contact torque sensor to improve steering response, revised steering reduction gear construction to reduce NVH, a new cannon mount bushing to aid responsiveness and, for diesel models, new electric power steering control logic in the engine control unit to improve steering performance.
Other MY13 additions include the EyeSight driver assist system – featuring improved collision avoidance capability in corners and with slow-moving pedestrians – and a colour information display for 2.5i Premium models.
All MY13 Outbacks come with a new grille and foglight-surround, new-look alloy wheels and, for Premium models, a colour information display. All EyeSight-equipped Outbacks feature front sun visor extensions and automatic headlights and wipers.
For MY13, the Outback’s electric park brake switch is relocated to the centre console, while the SI-Drive controls are moved to the steering wheel on Outback 3.6R Premium models and new exterior paint colours include dark grey metallic, deep sea blue pearl, Venetian red pearl and burnished bronze metallic.
“Outback represent tremendous value and fuel efficiency, whether with petrol or diesel power,” said Subaru Australia Managing Director, Nick Senior.
“We’ve added to the specification while reducing price on some variants, which makes Australia’s original crossover wagon an even more compelling package.”
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