2021 Subaru Outback on sale in Australia in March, from $39,990

January 7, 2021

Following confirmation of the 2021 Subaru Outback for Australia, the local arm has now confirmed the full lineup details, specifications, and prices ahead of its official launch in March.

Three model grades will hit the Aussie market, spanning from the Outback AWD, AWD Sport, and AWD Touring. These will replace the outgoing 2.5i and 2.5i Premium naming structure. All three variants feature a new 2.5-litre flat-four petrol engine, showcasing direct injection. It produces 138kW and 245Nm, up from 129kW/235Nm in the outgoing 2.5i.

Despite overseas markets being offered an even newer 2.4-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder, developing 194kW and 376Nm, Australians will not be offered this unit. PerformanceDrive understands this is because of production-related reasons from the factory in Japan. As a result, the new Outback will be one of the least powerful petrol SUVs in its respective segment.

As a double-whammy piece of bad news for us driving fans, Subaru is continuing with its CVT auto transmission as the only option. It is an updated unit though, featuring “greater ratio coverage” for improved take-off acceleration, and an eight-speed manual mode. Subaru says that over 80 per cent of the components in the gearbox have been revised.

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All variants will be presented with an impressive suite of safety technologies as part of Subaru’s EyeSight Driver Assist system. Much of the tech will mean the new model is set to be one of the safest SUVs in the class. Functions include lane-keeping aid, autonomous emergency steering and braking, speed-sign recognition, rear cross-traffic alert, and driver monitoring. There’s also a new passenger seat cushion airbag, which pushes the front section of the seat upward to reduce forward movement of the waist.

Other innovative features include special safety measures to withstand the new Mobile Progressive Deformable Barrier (MPDB) crash test, as well as a new stop-start system with ‘Change of Mind Control’ that promises to restart the engine within 0.2 seconds.

Thanks to the adoption of the new Subaru Global Platform, the 2021 Outback is larger, offering a bigger cabin than ever before. The cargo area also presents a wider opening than before, and the key interior dimensions are increased for improved passenger comfort. Speaking about the new model, Blair Read, Subaru Australia general manager, said:

“Based on customer feedback, we’ve made a conscious decision to take Outback considerably up market, confirming its status as the flagship in the Subaru range. The aggressive rugged design, along with the suite of luxury features, technology, infotainment and safety inherent in every Outback will only add to its rock-solid reputation for value and whole-of-life costs.”

The new model will go on sale in March as mentioned, with prices starting from the following (excluding on-road costs). See further below for the highlight standard features of each variant:

2021 Subaru Outback AWD: $39,990
2021 Subaru Outback AWD Sport: $44,490
2021 Subaru Outback AWD Touring: $47,790

Outback AWD features

  • Lineartronic CVT with manual mode
  • Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (AWD)
  • X-Mode (2 mode)
  • 11.6-inch tablet-like infotainment screen
  • Subaru Intelligent Drive (SI-Drive)
  • Next generation EyeSight Driver Assist technology featuring new stereo cameras for improved range, advanced Lane Centring Function featuring lead car follow functionality, Autonomous Emergency Steering, Lane Departure Warning featuring haptic feedback (vibrating) steering wheel and Speed Sign Recognition with Intelligent Speed Limiter functionality
  • Driver Monitoring System
  • Subaru’s Vision Assist
  • SRS passenger seat cushion airbag
  • 2000kg braked towing capacity
  • Self-levelling LED headlights with auto off (dusk-sensing)
  • Integrated front LED turn signals and Daytime Running Lights (DRL)

Outback AWD Sport features, over and above AWD

  • Water repellent sports seat trim
  • Satellite navigation
  • Exclusive to this variant, unique black exterior highlights for a more rugged look, including door mirror caps, front grille, front fog light surround, front and rear bumper guard, shark fin antenna and rear badging
  • 18-inch alloy wheels with dark metallic finish
  • Tough ladder-type roof rails
  • Additional Vision Assist features including a Front View Monitor and Side View Monitor to aid visibility in tricky situations
  • Heated seats for both front passengers and rear outboard passengers
  • Hands-free powered tailgate
  • Sports pedals

Outback AWD Touring features, over and above AWD Sport

  • Nappa leather accented seat trim
  • Electric sunroof
  • 9 Harman Kardon speakers, subwoofer and amplifier
  • Driver Monitoring System including – auto door mirror adjustment and auto driver’s seat adjustment
  • Single CD player
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Dual memory driver’s seat
  • Door mirrors with auto-dipping (passenger side), auto power-folding and position memory functionality
  • Door mirror caps – satin finish
  • 18-inch gloss finish alloy wheels
  • Roof rails with integrated cross bars – silver

Brett is the editor and founder of PerformanceDrive. He's obsessed with driving, having played with Matchbox cars until he was tall enough to drive a real one. After initially working as a mechanic, Brett earned a degree in journalism and entered media as an editorial assistant at Top Gear Australia magazine. He then worked at CarAdvice. His dream is to live next door to the Nurburgring in Germany.