Currently reading: New 2021 Subaru Outback: 4x4 estate priced from £33,995
Sixth-generation off-roader gains new turbocharged boxer engine, tech and safety upgrade
James Attwood, digital editor
2 mins read
7 May 2021

The new, sixth-generation Subaru Outback SUV will land in UK dealerships later this month, promising "driving fun, all-around safety and above-average resilience".

Priced from £33,995 and available in a choice of three trim levels, the Outback will go on sale from 27 May with a substantially overhauled version of the previous car's 2.4-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder boxer engine, producing 180bhp. In the US, range-topping cars get a more powerful 2.4-litre turbocharged unit with 256bhp, but that's not yet confirmed to be offered here.

The starting price represents a premium of only around £200 over the previous-generation car.

Both engines will be powered through an eight-speed CVT gearbox, which has been retuned to give performance comparable to a conventional eight-speed automatic, and uses lower-viscosity oil and new hydraulics to give 22% less power loss than the previous car's gearbox.

The new version of the durable off-roader comes with Subaru’s four-wheel drive system as standard, along with systems such as active torque vectoring and hill descent control. It also features improved ground clearance over the previous generation.

The Outback is built on the latest version of the Subaru Global Platform, which the firm claims has been optimised to make the model 70% stiffer in torsional and front suspension rigidity than the previous generation. Body roll has been reduced by 50% as a result, and Subaru promises both improved straight-line stability and quicker, more responsive steering. 

The firm also claims it offers improved crash protection, with a number of new safety features, while off-road ability has been enhanced with an increased ground clearance of 213mm and a new 'X-Mode' that contains pre-congifured driving settings for snow and mud.

The interior has been reworked, with certain trim levels gaining seats covered in a water-repelling material. There is also a revamped infotainment system, with a tablet-style 11.6in screen on all but the entry-level trim. There is a claimed 2143 litres of storage with the rear seats folded down.


Subaru Outback review

New Subaru platform targets Europe with 'class-leading' safety tech

Analysis: Subaru staying in Europe despite 2020 "disaster"


Find an Autocar review

Read our review

Car review

Subaru's all-paw, full-sized estate has all the charms of its predecessors, but lacks the overall finesse shown by the Skoda Octavia Scout and Seat Leon X-Perience

Join the debate

Add a comment…
xxxx 7 May 2021

Last chance, already on the red alert due to cvt only option

simonleecarter 30 March 2021

I just don't "get" current Subarus.

Ugly, old-fashioned, thirsty and expensive.

Once upon a time they were extremely unusual in offering 4WD so I could see the appeal to countryfolk. But now everyone offers this...

chandrew 30 March 2021

As others have said, a very appealling car let down by a horrible drivetrain. In the US - a market where Subaru have been achieving some astonishing growth figures - they're compared against other non-premium vehicles. Here in Europe they were often bought by people who could have bought the Volvo or Audi equivalents (or even a Range Rover) but knew the Subaru performed better and was far more discrete. Very good cars for getting from one end of your estate to the other. Certainly Outbacks of old would have had more off-road time than most SUVs, and probably be more capable than most of them.

Hopefully they will move to an electronic drivetrain in the next revision as I'd love to return to the brand.

Find an Autocar car review