From Towcar Awards 2008

List price: £22,495 (when tested)
Kerbweight: 1580kg
85% Match: 1343kg
Max towing weight: 1700kg
Towball limit: 82kg

AIMED AT at drivers who need 4WD to cope with a bumpy campsite, but don’t want a big 4×4, the Outback does a good job.

Four-wheel drive helped tackle the test hill, even in wet weather. However, the handbrake needed a firm pull before it would hold the outfit, and the engine needed lots of revs to clear the crest.

Punchy and economical

There’s no shortage of punch, as the 30-60mph time of 14.9 seconds shows. It’s economical, too, with an official combined figure of 48.7mpg.

At a steady 60mph the Outback felt stable, but in the lane-change test, it wasn’t firm enough: the caravan started to push and shove the back of the car. In its favour, it does have a decent boot and a proper spare wheel, and the price is good value.

We say

Towing: 3/5
Solo: 3/5
Practicality: 3/5
Buying & owning: 4/5

Verdict: 3/5. Comfortable and capable, but not quite up with the best.

Braking 30-0mph: 12.83m