“There’s a very strange vibration” Never Can Say Goodbye (The Jackson Five, 1971)
Today the man from the shower is back. Like every Tuesday he has greeted me with exquisite kindness. “Good morning, do you mind if …” I say as I usually do, pointing to the screen. “Of course” he answers, picking up his briefcase and moving so that he can enter. Also, as always, he looks away respectfully as I shower, looking at his newspaper and combing his mustache thoughtfully. When I finish I ask him to please hand me the towel, which he does without taking his eyes off his newspaper. “It seems that this week we are going to have rain,” he says as I dry myself off. “It seems that way, yes” I answer him. Then I have no choice but to push him aside to continue with my morning toilet in front of the mirror. I don’t have too big a bathroom. He asks my permission to sit on the toilet seat «My knees, the humidity … you know? “Of course” I say as I start brushing my teeth. He sits down accompanying himself with a sigh. The mirror returns its reflection to me. Today he seems worried, somewhat sad. I finish rinsing and turn to look at him. “Everything is going well?”
The shower man shrugs. Well, let’s go. Rather, what happens to me is a kind of existential bump. Doubts, you can imagine. » Meanwhile I proceed with the deodorant and hand cream ceremonial. Well, that happens to all of us. But you have a very important job. Do not forget. It’s something that not all of us can say… ”He lifts his hat to scratch himself. “In that you are right. Maybe I wouldn’t have to think so much about things. ” “It’s possible.” I answer. “Well, I have to go.” I conclude. He looks at his watch worriedly. “It’s true, it’s late.” I walk out of the bathroom and close the door just like you asked me to do the first time. I finish getting dressed and as I always do, I open the bathroom door again after a while. It is gone. I grab the keys and head for the door. You don’t see so many people reading the newspaper anymore. Besides, now on Tuesdays I can’t sing in the shower anymore.
When the automotive industry looked to the mirror of SUVs to give birth to a generation of cars inspired by its characteristics, with remarkable success, it was to imitate tall, robust-looking bodies but without inheriting the capabilities to function off the asphalt. Among these manufacturers, some such as Subaru stand out, whose model range has always taken into account the possibility of facing rough roads.
|Analyzed model||Subaru Outback|
|Engine and finish||2.5i Lineartronic Touring|
|Maximum speed||193 Kmh|
|Acceleration o-100||10.2 s|
|Long wide high||4870/1875/1675 mm|
|Maximum power RPM||169 hp 5,000 rpm|
|Maximum torque Nm / RPM||252 Nm|
One of the most important Subaru models in this regard is the Outback. A passenger car with a family body that has all-wheel drive and an elevation from the ground that, along with other characteristics, make it especially suitable for off-road tours. We already had the opportunity to test the previous generation of this Japanese model in its Bi Fuel version. Now we have been able to analyze an analysis of its update.
In this sixth generation Subaru has not renounced that somewhat rough aspect for the Outback bodywork, which at the same time transmits reliability and robustness without falling into the temptation of making a more stylish car with sporty nods as other manufacturers do. There are few aesthetic details that differentiate it from the previous generation, so at first glance it does not seem that we are dealing with a model to which too many changes have been made.
On the front, the headlights have practically the same shape and the grille is still hexagonal, although now it is presented without the plastic edge and only sports two double chrome grilles, one of them with the brand’s logo in the center. The fog lamp block has also been reshaped as well as the lower air intake grille, now in the shape of a honeycomb and with a larger molding that completely envelops it.
Although the profile changes little if the dimensions do. Now the car is 50 millimeters longer, 35 millimeters wider and no less than 70 millimeters high. This greater height also contributes to a greater distance from the ground, 13 millimeters which is a great thing to us but which increases the possibilities of off-road trips. In short, it is a bigger and stouter car with greater capacities to get off the asphalt.
The same thing happens at the rear, the family resemblance is evident but some touches such as the shape of the headlights reveal that we are looking at a renewed model. As in the previous version we tested the roof bars and the large multitude of black moldings and the light gray bumpers at the bottom of the car add that touch of off-road personality in addition to the function of protecting the car when we go out. of the asphalt roads.
Inside the increase in size is not too noticeable, the Outback was already a very comfortable and spacious car to travel. What we did like is that Subaru has improved the quality of the finishes. In general, the materials chosen take into account robustness and resistance more than having a pleasant touch, but even so, the feeling of all the details of the interior is that of a car of a certain category, although there are hard plastics in many corners.
The front seats are comfortable with seats upholstered with a rough material that is pleasant to the touch and has the appearance of being quite long-suffering when it comes to maintaining it. We liked them for how soft they are, important for traveling in bumpy areas, with enough rigidity to hold and wrap the body in curves. Inside, the new vertically arranged screen is particularly striking.
It has also moved upwards, thanks also to the fact that the air vents have been moved to the sides. Most of the functions can be controlled with the touch screen, although the dials for volume and tuning and the temperature controls for the two zones remain. The screen is of good quality and gives a lot of information, for example about the car’s traction system, while the lower part shows the operation of the air conditioning.
The system is compatible with Android Auto and Apple Car Play, important since the system does not have a browser. Information for both systems is displayed at the top of the screen. The change of the system is a success, now it looks much more modern with adequate and informative icons and its operation is fast with a good sensitivity of the touch screen. We still prefer a system with a raised screen on the dashboard, but going up compared to the previous model has improved a lot.
Another aspect inherited from the previous model is the excellent habitability of the rear seats. There is plenty of room for two tall people to travel, and a third does not travel too uncomfortably in the central square. There is plenty of head and leg room and enough to put your feet under the front seats in the outboard seats. A detail that the previous generation also had is that the height of the rear seats is higher than that of the front, so the visibility is better than in cars of a similar category.
For the rear seats we have adjustable ventilation outlets and connectors for USB charging. As we have noted for the front seats, the padding is comfortable and the upholstery feels excellent. They are also reclining seats with which we can modify the inclination of the backrest to travel more comfortable. The rear seats have an armrest that can be folded and that has cup holders.
As for the trunk, the 522 liters of capacity are many although not exceptional since there are family cars that exceed this figure. Like the rest of the car, there are details that show the desire to make a robust and easy-maintenance car if used as an off-road vehicle, such as the very resistant and washable plastic mat for the trunk, the curtain system for covering the same that can remove or the multiple nets and hooks that allow to secure the load or carry small objects without rolling around.
Before facing the test drive and how we usually do, we look at the characteristics of the engine. As is traditional in the Japanese brand, it is a boxer gasoline engine without supercharging, which in this case has dropped to 169 horses with a torque figure of 252 Nm. For the change we also continue with the phase variator system, a technology that Toyota also uses for its own models.
The first impression of this new generation of Outback is that they have wanted to maintain the high feeling of comfort that we enjoyed in the previous one. The car is well soundproofed and the comfortable seats and suspensions, which are very effective in all circumstances, make this car a pleasure to drive for miles. The problem comes with the gearbox system that sometimes revs the engine too much when we need to accelerate so a little more noise is filtered than usual, but at constant speeds it is very quiet.
The Outback’s engine is not particularly spirited, so it is not well suited to sporty driving. The “simulated” gears don’t help much to contribute to the brilliance of the response, yet it still responds quite well if we step on the accelerator. Therefore we will not notice that we lack response when making delicate maneuvers such as overtaking but it will be difficult for us to maintain a good rhythm on twisted roads despite the good work of the suspensions.
It is also a car that consumes a lot if we demand power, so we will have to take it into account. We are left with the impression that a few more horses or a more direct gearshift system would go a long way toward making the Outback feel more sporty. However, its behavior at cruising speeds, as we pointed out when talking about noise, is impeccable and doing many kilometers is not a problem.
Off the tarmac is where the Outback really makes a difference. There is no other family member who can face the obstacles that the Outback can overcome without too much trouble. Riding dirt roads, for example, can be done even at fairly high speeds without having to worry too much, but it is also possible to venture into more difficult and slippery terrain. Driver assistance systems are ready for just about anything.
The Outback remains an excellent car that Subaru has given some interesting brush-strokes to underline its most salient features. It is a robust model designed to work hard off the asphalt but it does not renounce being a very comfortable and comfortable car with great habitability, especially in the rear seats, and a generous trunk that we can put to the test with loads of all kinds.
The engine remains excellent and very reliable even though it has lagged somewhat behind in terms of consumption due to Subaru’s loyalty to its aspirated propellant formula associated with a continuously variable gearbox. Great success in the interior changes, especially in the infotainment system with a large screen that greatly improves the system available to the previous generation.
The new Outback continues in the line of offering a comfortable and spacious car with good off-road capabilities.