OzRoamer 2022 AWD SUV $45,000 – $60,000 COTY Award

The mid-size AWD SUV segment is a very crowded segment with models from almost every manufacturer. The choices are as diverse as they are plentiful. Again we only looked at the AWD versions as OzRoamer is all about exploring buyers adventurous spirit.

OzRoamer 2022 AWD SUV $45000 - $60000 COTY Award

The list of possible nominees included Audi Q2 40 TFSI QuattroAudi Q3Renault KoleosHonda CR-VMitsubishi OutlanderNissan X-Trail, VW Tiguan and Jeep CherokeeToyota RAV 4 Edge and Mazda CX-5.

Our final three nominees are:

  • Hyundai Tucson
  • Subaru Outback
  • Kia Sportage

Subaru Outback 2.5i Touting 2022 front qtrSubaru Outback – Winner

Subaru’s Outback can trace its history back to the mid 70’s and the first real crossover wagon, the Leone. Through the evolution of the Liberty Wagon in the late 80’s then finally to the first Outback wagon in 1996. It is now in its sixth generation.

Subaru Outback 2.5i Touting 2022 profile

Subaru Outback Model Range

Launched in early 2021 the latest model comes in three variants, the Outback, Outback Sport and the Outback Touring. One key feature is that 99% of the safety features can be found on the entry model.

More details and a model walk can be found HERE

Subaru MY21 Outback AWD Touring Interior

Subaru Outback General thoughts

More wagon styled than upright SUV, the Subaru Outback has evolved over the years to a stylish premium SUV with little features that stand out.

The interior of the Outback is quite spacious with a sophisticated, luxurious stylish design with some class leading features.

Driver ergonomics are excellent.

There is plenty of room and easy access to the rear seats and boot room is huge.

All models come with a practical high definition 11.6-inch head unit Centre Information Display – centralising and simplifying many controls, with vertical orientation and operation like a smartphone

Little features such as auto windows for all windows, automatic headlights and high beam and auto wipers, heated leather front and rear outer seats on Sport and Touring make for a luxurious ambience.

One really clever feature is the rear camera washer, eliminating the need to get out and wipe the camera at times.

Subaru EyeSight® Driver Assist technology with nearly twice the field of vision, a Driver Monitoring System to help reduce driver fatigue, and Vision Assist combine with full time Symmetrical AWD to be the safest vehicle in class. More Safety information can be found HERE

MY21 Outback AWD Exterior Front Tracking

Outback Engine and drivetrain choices

Outback is powered by an almost completely revised 2.5L 4 cylinder boxer engine that produces 138kW @ 5,800 rpm and 245 NM @ 3,400 to 4,600 rpm and drives through a revised CVT with an 8 step manual mode.

Every Outback features the premium Active Torque Split AWD that distributes optimal torque to the front and rear wheels, depending on road surface and driving conditions.

They also feature dual-mode X-MODE that enhances Outback’s AWD off-road performance.

One mode is optimised for snow and dirt, the other for deep snow and mud.

X-MODE functions are incorporated in the Centre Information Display (CID) monitor. Operation is made easier through intuitive touchscreen control.

2022 Subaru Outback Touring central scfreen

Outback Pricing*

Outback AWD$40,690
Outback AWD Sport$45,190
Outback AWD Touring$48.990

*Prices are Manufacturer’s List Prices only and include GST on the list price but exclude dealer delivery charges and all other government and statutory charges. For the drive away price of Subaru vehicles consumers should be advised to contact their local authorized Subaru dealer.

Subaru Outback Final thoughts

In a crowded segment full of excellent choices the Outback stands apart.

Smooth and quiet on road, turn off the main roads to explore and the Outback is ready for whatever adventures you want.

Outback has best in class AWD capability, towing capacity, comfort and safety all for a stunning price.

What is good?

What is not so good?

  • Selectable adaptive cruise control
  • Technology user interface easy to use
  • AWD and towing capability
  • Central screen clarity in direct sunlight
  • NO HUD
  • No turbo version

Subaru Outback Best Model Pick

Our pick of the range is the top spec Touring version with a full complement of safety and comfort features. It’s also the best value for money.

Subaru Outback 2.5i Touting 2022 front engine


Subaru Outback Touring AWD

Model Price$48,990 MLP*
Engine2.5L Boxer 4 Cyl
DrivetrainCVT 8 Step manual mode, Active Split Torque AWD with X-Mode
Power138kW @ 5,800 rpm
Torque245 NM @ 3,400 to 4,600 rpm
SafetyFive Star ANCAP (tested 2021)
CO2 Emissions168 g/km
Economy ADR7.3 L/100km
Servicing12 Months / 12500 km  (62,500 KM) Capped Price Service Plan
Warranty5yr/ Unlimited km with 5 Yr. conditional roadside assist

*MLP Includes GST and LCT but excluding statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. See your dealer for RDAP. Does not include price of options. Some features mentioned in the article are options. RDAP means Recommended Drive Away Price (without options but including all other charges)

Subaru Outback 2.5i Touting 2022 rear qtr

Overall Rating    


Behind the Wheel9
Ride and Handling9
Fit for Purpose10
AWD/Towing Capability*10 – AWD 5/5 – Towing 5/5
Value for Money10

*Towing and AWD capability is measured against similar vehicles in the same class.

2022 Subaru Outback Touring boot

Outback Dimensions

Overall Length4870mm
Width / Height1875mm / 1675mm
Unladen ground clearance / wading depthUp to 213mm / TBA mm
Approach / Rampover / Departure (degrees)TBA
Fuel Tank  / Turning Circle63 Litres / 11.0mts KTK
Boot Capacity Max / Min (L)1711 / 522
Kerb Weight /  GVM / GCM1661kg / 2200kg / 4200KG
Towing Capacity / Tow Ball rating2000kg / 200kg

2022 Kia Sportage GT Line

Kia Sportage – Finalist

Now in its fifth generation with an all new design, that was launched late in 2021, the Kia Sportage has been a perennial favourite here at OzRoamer. A previous award winner, the Sportage combines a multitude of great qualities that make it a continuing sales success.

The all-new Sportage starts with the ‘S’ version and moves through ‘S’, ‘SX+’ and GT-Line trims.

Obviously as you walk through the model range more comfort and safety features are added.

More details and a model walk can be found HERE

The latest Sportage is the best yet, obviously. It continues the stylish theme with subtle improvements to the front grill, headlights and profile to bring a sophisticated design to market.

Inside the trend upmarket also continues. The overall feel for the driver is excellent, even for taller drivers.

The entry models can feel a little bland especially when compared to the GT Line interior. There is a significant difference between them. As is the case with safety features.

Kia’s persistence with Australian suspension tuning continues to pay dividends with smooth and responsive ride and handling.

Rear seat room is a little restricted for taller passengers but boot room is generous.

Sportage is good for urban and dirt road exploration but not to venture too far.

For AWD, the 2.0 diesel with a re-engineered 8-speed automatic transmission is offered across all trims and the new torquey 1.6 petrol variant matched to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (7DCT), available in SX+ and GT-Line.

Pricing for the Sportage AWD is from $43,500 through to $52,370 MLP*

Sportage has been a favourite here at OzRoamer for many years and is a multiple award winner in previous years. It remains amongst the best in class.

The latest model continues Kia’s tradition of taking a good vehicle and making it even better.

2022 Kia Sportage GT Line

What is good?

What is not so good?

  • Fresh styling
  • Technology user interface easy to use
  • Localised suspension tuning
  • Need GT Line for all the goodies
  • No Hybrid version
  • Adaptive Cruise control not selectable

Hyundai Tucson 2021

Hyundai Tucson – Finalist

The all-new Hyundai Tucson arrived in May 2021, ushering in futuristic styling, segment-first technology, and a range-wide optional N Line pack. 2022 Tucson improves its standard for safety technology.

Tucson comes in three models, Tucson (FWD only), Elite and Highlander, with an N Line option pack available on all of them.

There is also a choice of three engines, a normally aspirated petrol, a turbo petrol and a turbo diesel engine. There is 2WD and AWD choices as well as three transmissions that are aligned to engine choice.

More information about the models can be found HERE

2022 Hyundai Tucson Highlander (1.6T&2.2D)

The all new Tucson is amongst the most stylish of designs in the segment, bringing a clean, sleek, well-proportioned exterior to market.

Inside it has a driver focused integrated ambience. I particularly liked the tablet design of the driver instruments. It’s unusual but points to the future of such design.

The central stack again flows well and driver ergonomics are well thought out.

The Highlander obviously has all the bells and whistles and is priced accordingly. However the lower models don’t feel like poor cousins. The N Line option pack adds more bling.

Tucson and Sportage may be close cousins but they each display distinctly different characteristics.

Tucson’s ride and handling has improved in the latest model to rival any in the segment.

Elite and Highlander have a choice of a 1.6 turbo with seven-speed DCT and all-wheel drive, or a 2.0 turbo-diesel with eight-speed automatic and AWD, both with shift-by-wire pushbutton gear selection and shift paddles.

AWD Tucson versions are priced from $43,000 through to $53,000 MLP*

The latest Tucson is by far the best yet. It’s on road composure provides excellent driver engagement and if your budget runs to the Highlander, you will be cocooned in comfort and luxury.

Think of the AWD capability as an additional safety feature, rather than providing the ability to go anywhere your adventurous spirit desires, then the Tucson will provide many years of satisfying ownership.

What is good?

What is not so good?

  • Style and design
  • Turbo Petrol and Diesel engines
  • Refined ride and handling
  • Low towing capacity
  • No Hybrid version
  • Prices starting to get up there

*MLP Includes GST and LCT but excluding statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. See your dealer for RDAP. Does not include price of options. Some features mentioned in the article are options. RDAP means Recommended Drive Away Price (without options but including all other charges)