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Subaru Outback 3.6R wagon updated for 2018

It’s no surprise to learn that Subaru’s best seller is its high-riding Outback wagon – nearly 11,500 found homes here last year – a popular family skewed wagon, an alternative to the more upright and boxy type SUV’s. The Outback first arrived in 1995, the name says it all – a constant 4WD wagon with an elevated ride height it’s been a Subaru favourite for a long time. The model range just updated – I drove the top-spec 3.6-litre six-cylinder CVT automatic model at $49,140, slightly re-styled with new alloy wheel designs, welcome changes to the central display colour touch screen, a suite of new vision assist features including lane keep assist and several new colours. The flat-six engine is strong and torquey by nature and with a CVT automatic transmission overall performance is very satisfying. The big plus is steering responsive headlights and adaptive driving beam which automatically adjusts brightness and high beam range. The latest Subaru Outback 3.6R is a class act.
Having said that, given Subaru’s high reliability and serviceability record its surprising they only carry a three-year/unlimited warranty whereas many competitors now offer a five or six year warranty. Service costs are also higher than many others. The latest Outback 3.6R premium has risen $400 in this latest model but it does offer extensive equipment and technology for the money. Owners also tell me they are extremely happy with the model and it has a high loyalty rate – buyers happy to upgrade every few years to the latest model. I’m David Berthon

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