Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

26 September 2013

South Africa: Subaru Outback 2.0D Lineartronic - Crossing Over

analysis

When is a station wagon an SUV? Or, when is a SUV a station wagon? Subaru's Outback is too rugged to be considered a mere estate, and not rugged enough to be a proper SUV. But it does offer some of the most appealing elements of both - and a new turbodiesel engine has added further lustre.

Nobody would argue that South Africa is SUV country. But because the popularity of these vehicles has as much to do with their macho image as it has with our love for the great outdoors, you'll see bigger herds of all-terrainers in Sandton, Ballito and Claremont than in the Kruger, Sabie Sands or the Cederberg.

Subaru's Outback isn't as obviously rugged as mainstream, full-size SUVs. But it's clearly not your average station wagon (or estate car, as posh folk prefer to call them), either. Instead, the Outback straddles both genres.

Yes, you'd be forgiven for considering the Outback an estate at first glance. That's because it's effectively a Legacy station wagon on steroids - the same elongated silhouette, the almost bulbous front end, the roof rails. Up close, though, it's bigger and taller than you think, with that 218mm ground...

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