Subaru Outback Touring NSW
Last year we took a Subaru Outback for a weekend trip to Perisher Ski Resort and found it to be an ideal vehicle for snow trips. This time we took one to the Central West region of NSW to visit the farm and with intentions of heading to Wyangala Dam to do some riding a sea doo. However plans don’t always work out as expected.
The vehicle we took was the 3.6R Outback with the 3.6 litre horizontally opposed 6 cylinder Boxer engine. The output is about average for the competitors at 191 kW @ 6000 rpm and maximum torque of 350 Nm @ 4400 rpm. The difference being the qualities of the boxer engine and its low down responsiveness that makes driving easy.
First up we hitched a friend’s sea doo onto the back for the trip. This is an ideal toy for the Subaru as it tows without fuss. Next we filled the spacious boot with all our gear, filled up with fuel and headed off. Even though the Outback forsakes the upright style of recent SUVs for a more wagon style, there is still plenty of room for luggage.
It was early morning when we left and even though it was late summer it was unseasonably cold, so on went the front seat warmers to make the seats even more comfortable. It was also a good time to appreciate how good the LED headlights were. Low beam provided great coverage, high beam was excellent and the adaptive driving function really is a practical feature when cornering in tight spaces.
Surprisingly there was a heap of traffic on the M4 heading west, but we hooked up the iPhone to Apple Car Play, dialled in our favourites and settled in for the drive. Unfortunately through the mountains we drove into a heavy storm.
It’s definitely weird weather were having, but the benefits of Subaru Symmetrical AWD system meant that driving was safe and secure through the wet roads, even when there was sheets of water running across the road. As soon as it started it finished and we weren’t far away from our first stop at Lithgow McDonalds for a coffee.
Driving this way through the mountains has been a pain for a few years now as the roadworks slows traffic as well as the ever changing speed limits. After a well-earned coffee, and a check of the trailer we set off again for the second half of the drive. From Lithgow onwards you can set cruise control and settle in.
One thing we noticed was just how smooth and quiet the Outback is cruising the highways. There is no fuss or complaint and the H6 engine allows cruising without any hunting between gears. It also allows pretty good fuel economy. The 6 speed Lineartronic™ CVT is matched well enough to the engine characteristics to extract the best efficiency. If I wasn’t conscious of the trailer on the back it would be easy to forget it was there.
Outback AWD Capability
We arrived at the farm around mid-morning, unhooked the trailer and had another coffee. A theme seems to be developing here, coffee or tea at all stops. Must be getting old!
We take a lot of our test 4WDs to the farm as it provides real world experience in a repeatable scenario to drive the vehicles. However if we take an AWD SUV we limit the places where we take them as they really can’t cope with the rough terrain. The Subaru Outback goes much further than almost any other AWD SUV, apart from a Discovery Sport, and almost as far as many 4WDs.
Its AWD history is obvious and its capabilities means that it is a truly practical vehicle for the adventurous families. While taking careful consideration of the fact that the Outback is a press vehicle and not our own, we used the Subaru to round up some sheep for shearing, inspected some boundary fences and generally just had a ball driving around the farm.
It’s stunning just how capable the Outback is.
However too much work is never much fun, so we headed into the local village of Cargo (population 200) to try out a new coffee shop that had recently opened. Called Timber Tails, the shop was a combination of local crafts, antique and new timber furniture and trendy niknaks. The coffee was pretty good and very friendly service. Its great to see small country towns and villages getting this type of facilities.
The next day we hitched up the SeaDoo and headed to Wyangala day, some 80km away. However here is where the story takes a turn. We anticipated spending the day relaxing at the recreational park there, but on arriving found it to be closed. If only there was a way of letting people know, oh wait there is, the internet. But all was not lost as we simply headed into Cowra for lunch and to take in the local delights.
The region from Cowra to Orange is full of local produce stores, excellent wineries and other attractions. The trip to Wyangala meant that we couldn’t partake of these delights this trip as much as we would have liked unfortunately. There are also plenty of places to stay ranging from camping grounds, cute little B&B’s through to Hotels and Motels.
So we headed back to the farm and as it was getting late in the evening simply chilled there around an open fire and a BBQ.
Next morning we hitched uop again and headed back to Sydney. Again the Outback provided luxurious and comfortable transport.
So our thoughts are:
So my overall thoughts about the Subaru Outback 3.6R are:
- Even though it has a more classic wagon shape there is more than enough room for a family of five and luggage for trips away
- It is among the most capable AWD SUVs in the segment, for the adventurous families
- It is a first class touring vehicle as well as suburban wagon
- Safety features abound
- It has a subtle degree of sophistication and luxury far beyond its price of $49,140 MLP*
*MLP – Manufacturers List Price includes GST and LCT but excluding statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. See your dealer for RDAP. Does not include price of any options.
Model Subaru Outback 3.6R
Model Price $49,140 MLP
Engine 3.6 H6 Boxer
Drivetrain 6 Sp CVT AWD
Power 191 kW @ 6000 rpm
Torque 350 Nm @ 4400 rpm
Safety 5 Star ANCAP
CO2 230 g/km
Economy ADR 9.9 L/100 km
Servicing Fixed Price Lifetime
Tow Rating 1800 kg
Tow Ball Rating 180 kg
Warranty 5 Yrs / Unlimited km 5 Yrs Roadside Assist