If you like Practical Caravan on Facebook, or you follow us on Twitter or Google+, you’ll have seen that a few weeks ago our colleagues at What Car? were looking for people to come to our offices for an exclusive preview of the brand new Subaru Outback. And as a model with tow car potential, we promoted this too, in case any of you thought this might be a candidate for your caravan holidays.
So, now that the embargo has lifted, it’s time to take a look at the brand new, fifth generation Subaru Outback, which goes on sale in the UK from 1 April 2015, OTR prices ranging from £27,995 to £32,995.
UK buyers can choose from two engines: a 148bhp/258lb ft torque 2.0-litre turbodiesel and a 163bhp/173lb ft torque, naturally aspirated 2.5-litre petrol unit. You’ll be able to have either the CVT gearbox or a six-speed manual if you opt for diesel power, the CVT the sole transmission available on the petrol model. Those who go touring all year round will be pleased to learn that all models in the new Subaru Outback range are four-wheel-drive.
SE and SE Premium are the two trim levels offered in the UK. Cruise control, heated front seats, a rear view parking camera, automatic LED headlights with headlamp washers and a 7in touchscreen infotainment system with sat-nav and smartphone connectivity are all included in the basic, SE spec. The super useful powered tailgate, plus leather upholstery and keyless entry are among the extras you get with the SE Premium trim.
So, what tow car potential might this new Subaru Outback have? While it’s hard to be sure without hitching a caravan to the back of one, we can get a feeling from the numbers. Kerbweights for the range go from 1583kg for the petrol model with entry level trim, up to 1691kg for the SE Premium specced diesel with an automatic gearbox. The official towing capacity figures supplied by Subaru are 1800kg for the diesels, 2000kg for the petrols.
This means that the lightest in the range has an 85% match figure of 1345kg, while for the heaviest, a caravan of 1437kg would be an 85% match, this being the caravan-to-car weight ratio recommended for safe towing.
In addition, you’ll be pleased to know that the Outback has a 60/40 split folding rear seat which can folded flat using a lever in the boot, handy for caravan holidays. The total cargo volume available is 1848 litres, this reduced to 599 litres under the tonneau cover when all the seats are up.
The new range will face stiff competition when it launches, from both four-wheel-drive estate cars as well as from SUVs, the likes of the Skoda Octavia Scout and the Mazda CX-5 probable rivals.
We’ll learn more about the brand new, 2015 Subaru Outback when it goes on sale in a few months.
The total cargo volume available is 1848 litres