Subaru Outback Premium 2.0D CVT: Tow Test

By: Philip Lord, Photography by: Warwick Kent

Subaru Outback Premium WK43093
Subaru Outback Premium WK43121
Subaru Outback Premium WK43145
Subaru Outback Premium WK43149
Subaru Outback Premium WK43155
Subaru Outback Premium WK43163
Subaru Outback Premium WK43184
Subaru Outback Premium WK43191
Subaru Outback Premium WK43554

Luxury and reliability come together in the Subaru Outback Premium.

Subaru has built wagons with all-wheel drive and powered by a boxer engine since the 1970s. New to this theme in recent years is the development of a diesel boxer engine.

Now with the fifth-generation Outback – the second featuring a diesel engine – comes a bigger, more luxurious and more technology-laden model that is also more efficient and cheaper than before.


The Outback Premium, as tested, is the premium model of the diesel range. As a manual, it is $41,490; with the optional CVT, as tested, the price rises to $43,490. Thanks to the recent free trade agreement with Japan, this is still 5.4 per cent cheaper than the previous Outback model.

Standard equipment includes 18in alloy wheels; electric sunroof; powered and heated folding mirrors; front wiper de-icer; heated front seats; keyless entry; leather trim; LED low beam headlights with washers; light sensing headlights – auto on/off; power tailgate; power driver’s and front passenger’s seat with driver lumbar support; push button start; satellite navigation – factory-fitted, with Pandora; smart key; wheel arch cladding – front and rear guards; and X-Mode.

The Outback’s interior fit and finish is very good, and the efforts by Subaru to improve the quality and feel of furnishings has paid off.

While the front seats and the outer rear seats are comfortable and supportive, the centre rear position has a raised cushion and is firm. Sub-teenage children would, no doubt, find this acceptable but anyone else would be shifting in their seat after 10 minutes.

It doesn’t take long to get used to driving the Outback, although the buttons on the lower dash can be hard to see. These are only for minor controls, such as headlight height adjustment and power tailgate adjustment, so it isn’t a deal-breaker.

The cargo area is well-proportioned (except the swept-back tail – a common theme with wagons) and has handy features, such as the levers to automatically drop down the rear seats.                  


Weights and measures

  • Length 4815mm
  • Width 1840mm
  • Height 1675mm
  • Wheelbase 2745mm
  • Ground clearance 213mm
  • Kerb mass 1602kg
  • Gross Vehicle Mass 2130kg
  • Gross Combined Mass N/A
  • Towing capacity (unbraked/braked) 750kg/1700kg
  • Towball (max) 170kg


  • Engine Horizontally-opposed four-cylinder turbodiesel
  • Transmission CVT with paddle shift selectable stepped mode
  • Power 110kW@3600rpm
  • Torque 350Nm@1600-2800rpm
  • Gear ratios
  • 1 3.505
  • 2 2.305
  • 3 1.567
  • 4 1.179
  • 5 0.910
  • 6 0.723
  • 7 0.582
  • Rev 3.407
  • Final drive 4.111

Options fitted

  • Automatic (CVT) transmission; towbar; electric brake controller


  • Fuel capacity 60L
  • Suspension Independent MacPherson strut (front); upper and lower
  • A-arms and coil springs (rear)
  • Brakes Ventilated discs (front); solid discs (rear)
  • Wheels 18in alloy
  • Warranty Three years
  • Roof load 80kg

More information



  • $43,490

Click here to read the full range review of the Subaru Outback

The full test appears in Caravan World #538, June 2015. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!