Hyundai has unveiled its all-new Veloster and Veloster Turbo models at the North American International Auto Show. The fresh design was a collaborative effort of Hyundai designers from Seoul, South Korea and the U.S. design centre in Irvine, California. The new Veloster features a comprehensive exterior and interior redesign, powertrain enhancements, and a bevy of new and improved infotainment and connectivity features. The 2019 Veloster begins production in March 2018 in Ulsan, Korea, with Australian market availability in the second half of 2018.

“Our new 2019 Veloster represents an even more compelling offering for young and young-at-heart automotive enthusiasts with more expressive design, involving dynamics and cutting-edge infotainment features,” said Mike O’Brien, vice president of Product, Corporate and Digital Planning at Hyundai Motor America. “When combined with Hyundai’s outstanding value and efficiency, the new Veloster is sure to attract a progressive new group of enthusiast buyers.”

ALL-NEW DESIGN

The Veloster merges the design appeal of a sport coupe with the versatility of an additional passenger side rear door in an asymmetrical two-plus-one configuration for easier rear-seat access. From the front, available LED headlights and LED Daytime Running Lights flank a striking new grille design. Functional air curtains add both a visual design cue and an active aerodynamic function. Hyundai’s signature cascade grille shape has morphed into a strong, three-dimensional design that sets the sport coupe apart.

Much of the redesign is derived from enhanced proportions and volume; the new shape clearly conveys focused dynamic performance, even standing still. Its stance is more muscular, with higher-volume fenders and wheel arches for a more planted appearance. The cowl point and A-pillar are further rearward and now connect the hood line and belt line into an integrated, powerful gesture. Available 18-inch alloy wheels aggressively fill the wheelhouse openings. Further, the roofline has been lowered for a unique profile and a distinctive coupe-inspired essence. The fender line is also more coupe-like, and the rear now has a more aggressive integrated diffuser design. Available LED taillights help complete the rear view with a high-tech appearance.

Also available is a full darkened roof treatment for a high-contrast performance appearance. Veloster’s dynamic rear design has a distinctive glass hatch and center-fascia chrome exhaust tips, with a single outlet for the 2.0 litre model and dual-outlets for the Turbo model.

The asymmetrical design carries through to the interior, with a driver-focused layout and on the Turbo model, a contrasting colour environment that visually separates the driving cockpit. Each trim level has unique colours, materials, and accents, further differentiating each model with varying hues and textures.

2.0 LITRE ENGINE

The Veloster 2.0 litre 4-cylinder engine uses the Atkinson-cycle for superior efficiency and lower emissions.

The 2.0 litre engine delivers a peak output of 110kW at 6,200 rpm (estimated) and maximum torque of 179Nm at 4,500 rpm (estimated). The Nu 2.0-litre also features Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing, an electronic throttle control, variable induction and innovative anti-friction coatings. The engine is coupled to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed electronically-controlled automatic transmission. Three driver-selectable modes include Normal, Sport, and Smart, according to changing driver preferences.

1.6 LITRE TURBOCHARGED ENGINE

The 1.6 litre turbocharged, direct-injected four-cylinder engine produces 150kW at 6,000 rpm (estimated) and 264Nm. of torque from 1,500-4,500 rpm (estimated). In addition, there is an over-boost function that raises peak torque output to 274Nm under maximum acceleration. Engine tuning maximises low- and mid-range torque, for optimum acceleration under daily driving conditions.

Veloster Turbo is paired with either a standard six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed dual clutch transmission (DCT). Both transmissions were developed in-house by Hyundai. The Veloster Turbo seven-speed dual-clutch transmission features steering wheel-mounted paddle-shifters and SHIFTRONIC® transmission gear control. In addition, all Veloster Turbo models feature Active Sound Design, which enhances intake and exhaust powertrain sound character inside the cabin for a more visceral driving experience, especially during spirited driving. Turbo models also offer three selectable driving modes, including Normal, Sport and Smart, according to driver preferences for engine, transmission and steering feel.

TORQUE VECTORING CONTROL

All Veloster models offer Torque Vectoring Control (TVC). This active cornering feature utilising capabilities from the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and powertrain control systems, allows Veloster to improve dynamic cornering during more enthusiastic driving. TVC uses wheel-speed sensors coupled with ESC algorithms to apply precise braking force to the inside front wheel during spirited cornering. This active braking redirects power to the outside front wheel in the turn, reducing wheelspin for enhanced cornering grip and corner-exit acceleration. Overall, this provides Veloster drivers with an incremental margin of cornering precision during enthusiastic driving.

Furthermore, Veloster Turbo features a quicker-ratio steering rack and revised steering calibration to match.

DUAL CLUTCH TRANSMISSION (DCT)

Hyundai’s EcoShift DCT takes the benefits of a manual transmission, such as low fuel consumption, and blends these with automatic transmission benefits, such as high comfort levels and driving ease. In addition, the DCT enables direct connection for high efficiency and uninterrupted torque transfer during shifts. The DCT also incorporates Hyundai’s Hillstart Assist Control (HAC), designed to minimise rolling backwards on steep ascents.

TURBO MODEL SPORT-TUNED DYNAMICS

Veloster Turbo models are fitted with a McPherson strut front suspension, coil springs, gas shock absorbers and front stabiliser bar. The rear suspension is a lightweight independent multi-link design with a stabiliser bar to further control body roll. The rear suspension uses gas-pressurised shock absorbers for ride comfort with excellent control. Veloster features electric power steering that adjusts assistance to changing driving conditions while improving fuel economy over a conventional steering system. 18-inch alloy wheels are available with Michelin® Pilot Sport 4 tyres.

ADVANCED STANDARD SAFETY

Veloster offers advanced active safety features, including standard Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA), which uses the car’s front-facing camera to detect an imminent collision and avoid impact or minimise damage by braking autonomously. Three additional systems also utilise the front-view camera to boost safety and convenience: Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), High Beam Assist (HBA) for the available LED headlights, and Driver Attention Warning (DAW).

By sensing road markings, LKA helps to prevent accidental lane departure by helping to steer the vehicle as required. HBA automatically controls the high beam headlights by dimming and illuminating them automatically as needed with approaching traffic, while the Driver Attention Warning system monitors a spectrum of driver-related characteristics to detect driver fatigue or careless driving.

Veloster radar systems also assist with the available Blind-Spot Collision Warning (BCW) to detect approaching vehicles from the rear that may be obscured from view and alert the driver of their presence during lane changes. The Rear Cross-Traffic Collison Warning (RCCW) detects when another vehicle may have entered the car’s rearward path, such as when backing out of a parking spot, and provides a driver alert. Veloster Turbo also offers available Smart Cruise Control for additional driver convenience.

All Veloster models feature a rearview camera with dynamic guidelines for superior parking visibility. Velosters have an exceptional level of standard safety features highlighted by a Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) system, which optimally manages ESC (Electronic Stability Control) and the Motor-Driven Power Steering (MDPS).

VSM works to control two effects. The first is when a driver accelerates or brakes on a split-mu surface (slippery on one side, dry pavement on the other) and the vehicle wants to pull in one direction. VSM detects this condition and sends a signal to the MDPS to apply steering assist to counter this force. VSM counters the pull and automatically provides counter steering. VSM reacts the same way during sudden lane changes or fast cornering.

All Veloster models feature six airbags—including dual front, front seat-mounted side-impact, and front and rear side curtain airbags. Velosters also features a state-of-the-art braking package. The package includes four-wheel disc brakes and an Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) including Brake Assist, which provides maximum braking force when a panic stop is detected, and Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), to automatically adjust the braking force to front and rear axles based on vehicle loading conditions.

ADVANCED INFOTAINMENT AND CONNECTIVITY

Veloster offers a full suite of sophisticated technologies paired with user-friendly functionality to keep passengers informed and entertained. The premium infotainment system offers various advanced connectivity features, including Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™. Also available are SiriusXM® Radio, HD Radio and next-generation Blue Link® LTE-powered connectivity. The standard seven-inch color LCD display includes AM/FM/MP3 touchscreen audio, auxiliary input jacks, and Rear View Monitor. The available floating-design eight-inch touchscreen navigation display includes next-generation Blue Link, traffic flow and incident data via HD radio, and Infinity® premium audio with eight speakers, including a subwoofer and Clari-Fi ™ music-restoration technology. Smartphone integration is also included in the premium system.

A Heads-Up Display system is available, projecting a virtual image onto the transparent panel mounted behind the instrument panel and helping the driver to keep his or her eyes on the road. With a generous projected-image size and outstanding luminance, the Heads-Up Display ensures both excellent day- and night-time visibility. Information projected includes speed, navigation instructions, cruise control, Lane Departure Warning and audio system information. When in Sport mode, the system projects more driver-focused information including RPM, KPH and transmission gear. Deployed vertically by a simple touch of a button beside the steering wheel, the display disappears into the dashboard when not in use.

Customers expect to be connected to their electronics at all times, so Veloster comes standard with a multifunction seven-inch touchscreen display. Veloster audio/navigation systems also offer:

  • Available Qi wireless-charging capability
  • Available eight-inch display audio or audio/navigation system
  • Multi-touch screen with menu swipe function
  • Available HD Radio® capability
  • “Eyes Free” Apple Siri® integration for iPhone
  • Navigation map and music split-screen display function
  • Navigation map with enhanced junction-view lane guidance

Veloster Turbo features standard Infinity Premium audio with eight speakers, including a subwoofer, passive radiator and external amplifier. A SiriusXM® Satellite Radio interface is integrated into the head unit and features channel logos and data services.

Veloster also offers available smartphone wireless charging. To charge a device, simply place a compatible smartphone on the wireless-charging interface located in the center console storage, recharging without the need for cables. The system indicates when the phone has fully charged, reminds occupants to remove their phone when exiting the vehicle, and detects when a foreign object is in the recharging area that could interfere with charging. The system is fully compliant with WPC’s Qi standard for ease of use.

NOTE: All specifications and features mentioned in this article relate to the U.S. market

Hyundai has redefined the affordable small sports sedan category in Australia with its dynamic and desirable Elantra SR Turbo. Latest in Hyundai’s growing series of performance oriented, locally optimised SR models, Elantra SR Turbo becomes the flagship of Hyundai Motor Company Australia’s (HMCA’s) three-tier, sixth-generation Elantra range.

Built on the advanced new platform underpinning the next-generation i30, Elantra SR Turbo combines sporty capability that matches its aggressive good looks, impressive levels of comfort and refinement. The new Elantra SR Turbo’s suspension has been further optimised for Australian conditions by HMCA’s respected in-house chassis and suspension tuning team.

New Elantra SR Turbo’s headline feature is its potent 150kW/265Nm turbocharged 1.6 T-GDi engine, shared with its Veloster SR Turbo stable mate and offering substantially increased performance over the 2.0-litre MPi engine in Elantra Active and Elite.

However, there is much more to Elantra SR Turbo than its sporty engine.

Elantra SR Turbo standard features include:

  • Athletic new looks boasting an aggressive body kit, unique twin-spoke alloy wheels and unique headlight and tail-light treatments
  • Perforated leather-appointed upholstery and sports front bucket seats with exclusive red contrast-stitched interior trim (striking all-red seats are a $295 option), flat-bottomed multifunction steering wheel, alloy pedals, and sports instrumentation
  • Unique-to-Elantra SR Turbo multi-link independent suspension with bespoke Australian sports-tuned dynamics
  • Six-speed manual transmission or optional smooth-shifting and sporty 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission with steering-wheel mounted paddle-shifters
  • Heightened levels of advanced safety and technology equipment together with standout convenience features
  • Convenience and connectivity features including Bluetooth, Apple CarPlayTM and Android Auto compatibility

“We’re excited about Elantra SR Turbo,” says Hyundai Motor Company Australia Chief Operating Office, Scott Grant. “All-new Elantra has been internationally acclaimed for its design and is surely one of the best-looking models in our range. With its aggressive body kit and unique styling features, SR Turbo takes those good looks to the next level.

“Elantra SR Turbo is a refined, sophisticated and comfortable small sedan with impressive sporting ability – it’s a car that represents great value for money and one that can confidently challenge the leaders in its category from every perspective. We’re very proud of it.”

Elantra SR Turbo: In Detail

Australian-Focused Dynamic Tuning

Elantra SR Turbo’s new platform was designed and developed in Europe and refined at both the iconic Nürburgring Nordschleife in Germany and at Hyundai Motor’s Namyang Research and Development Centre in Korea. Its ride and handling was honed further in Australia by HMCA’s respected and highly credentialed chassis and suspension tuning team led by General Manager Product Engineering, Hee Loong Wong (aka ‘Wongy’).

“Apart from introducing its more versatile multi-link independent suspension, and new front brakes and steering, the new platform gave us a broad selection of new parts and components to work with,” says Wongy. “This was a successful and particularly satisfying tuning program, not least because Elantra SR is a sporty driver’s car, one that we enthusiasts appreciate.”

Local optimisation work involved months of exhaustive real-world testing over thousands of kilometres comprising every imaginable Australian road surface. Closed-circuit high-speed handling tests also were performed locally. For Elantra SR Turbo, HMCA’s acclaimed ride and handling team was joined by damper and chassis engineers from Hyundai Motor’s Namyang R&D Centre in Korea together with respected and experienced motorsport and road-car chassis engineer, David Potter.

In all, the team exhaustively assessed myriad combinations of 28 different front dampers, 28 rear dampers, three rear anti-roll bars and 10 different sets of springs. The results, says HMCA Senior Product Planning Manager and chassis tuning team lead test driver Andrew Tuitahi, speak louder than words.

“Elantra Active and Elite are everyday cars designed to be easy to drive with high levels of ride comfort in and around town,” says Tuitahi. “With Elantra SR Turbo we’ve been able to maintain the core around-town driving comfort we achieved with Active and Elite, while also letting the car display more sporty and playful characteristics on the open road.

“We’re happy with the compromise we’ve been able to achieve between sporty dynamics, ride comfort and improved steering feel,” says Tuitahi. “The main goal was to deliver a car that was comfortable and fun to drive while giving the driver the ability to balance the car either through the steering or the pedals.”

“A lot of the parts choices we made in terms of spring and stabiliser bar rates were designed around driver engagement and connection with the car.”

Tuitahi says Elantra SR Turbo’s new multi-link independent rear suspension was key to the team’s desired balance between sport-oriented control and ride comfort.

“The multi-link rear definitely allowed us to wind up the levels of control, giving faster recovery from big bumps without sacrificing too much by way of reaction to small bump input and potholed surface discomfort. The slight compromise in ride comfort affords much more in terms of dynamic drive characteristics – for better turn-in, mid-corner response, bumpy road performance and mid-corner bump recovery.”

Tuitahi says HMCA’s localisation program also contributed to a further improvement in the Elantra SR Turbo’s new steering system. “The new platform’s steering has less power assistance, and a faster rack resulting in a reduced 2.57 turns lock-to-lock,” he says.

Another key factor in the overall success of the Elantra SR Turbo tuning program involved an almost infinitesimal change to the rear anti-roll bar.

“It wasn’t until very late in the tuning process that I think we really nailed our objectives by securing yet another rear stabiliser” he says. “Despite being only 0.5mm thicker than some of the other bars we had been working with, the new bar helped us give the front end more initial bite and more grip to drive out of corners. In fact, I would go so far as to say it transformed the car.”

Suspension tuning facts:

  • 50 separate suspension combinations evaluated
  • 28 front dampers built and tested
  • 28 rear dampers built and tested
  • 10 sets of springs tested
  • 3 rear anti-roll bars tested

Drivertrain

The potent and flexible 1.6-litre T-GDi turbocharged engine powers the Elantra SR Turbo. Its turbocharger helps the 1.6 T-GDi Gamma engine produce impressive maximum power and torque figures of 150kW @ 6,000rpm and 265Nm from 1,500-4,500rpm. Those maximum figures are 34 per cent and 38 per cent up respectively on those delivered by Elantra Active and Elite’s 2.0-litre MPi petrol engine.

The 1.6 T-GDi engine also boasts direct injection technology, Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing, electronic throttle control, roller timing chain and innovative anti-friction coatings. Transmission choice is six-speed manual or 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT), with DCT-equipped Elantra SR Turbo’s incorporating paddle-shifters mounted on the new flat-bottomed multifunction sports steering wheel.

Also exclusive to DCT-equipped Elantra SR Turbo is Hyundai’s driver-actuated Drive Mode Select system with Normal, Eco and Sport modes. Each mode has been optimised for steering and gearchange parameters mapped to suit the 1.6 T-GDi engine. Combined fuel economy with six-speed manual transmission is 7.7L/100km, while DCT-equipped Elantra SR Turbo combined economy is 7.2L/100km.

Chassis

Elantra SR Turbo debuts the advanced new platform underpinning the next-generation i30. Shown at this year’s Paris Motor Show, the next-gen i30 will launch in Australia in the second quarter of next year. The new platform brings multi-link independent rear suspension, larger 305mm x 25mm ventilated front brake rotors (+25mm diameter and +2mm thickness) and a quicker steering rack with 2.57 turns lock-to-lock (vs 2.66 in the torsion bar-equipped Elantra Active and Elite).

Elantra SR Turbo’s new multi-link independent rear is distinct from the coupled torsion beam axle rear suspension found in its stablemate Elantra Active and Elite variants. Front suspension is by tried and tested MacPherson strut.

Exterior

Elantra SR Turbo augments All-new Elantra’s award-winning Fluidic Sculpture styling with a muscular new full body kit, SR-specific badging, bold twin-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels and unique headlights and tail-lights. Its deep front sports bumper and unique deep grille with piano-black surrounds and offset red ‘Turbo’ badge further accentuate Elantra’s SR Turbo’s athletically broad stance.

Revised dusk-sensing HID Bi-Xenon slimline headlights with red inserts enhance Elantra SR Turbo’s aggressive front styling, while its LED Daytime Running Lights have been relocated to above the large fully functional air intakes which encourage airflow and reduce turbulence around the front wheel housings.

Sculpted deep side skirts also contribute to Elantra SR Turbo’s sporty style, handsome profile and exemplary aerodynamics. The slimline tail-lights feature ultra-modern signature graphics unique to Elantra SR Turbo, while the sports rear bumper incorporates a diffuser and ‘SR’ badge.

Interior

Elantra SR Turbo’s striking interior emphatically confirms the new Elantra range flagship’s strong performance credentials and premium standards of fit, finish and materials. Elantra SR Turbo also is comprehensively equipped with an impressive range of exclusive comfort, ergonomic, convenience and connectivity features.

Exclusive to Elantra SR Turbo, the form-fitting front bucket sports seats incorporate generous side bolsters and embroidered ‘Sport’ logo. Black perforated leather-appointed upholstery with contrasting red stitching is standard, while striking red upholstery front and rear – as well as on the door trims -- is a $295 option. Red contrast stitching also features on the sculpted split rear bench seat, flat-bottomed multi-functional steering wheel and gearlever gaiter.

The driver’s seat is 10-way electrically adjustable (including two-way adjustable lumbar support), the front passenger seat is height adjustable and, for the first time in Elantra, both front seats offer three-stage heating. The sports instruments cluster incorporates newly repositioned fuel and engine temperature gauges. Additionally, a large 3.5-inch TFT LCD display incorporated in the instruments binnacle features a digital speedometer and trip computer.

The red highlights throughout the cabin – and especially the optional full-red upholstery and door trim inserts – contrast dramatically with Elantra SR Turbo’s standard black pillars, headlining, dark charcoal metallic painted trim sections and door handles, and carbon-fibre effect door and dashboard trim inserts.

Other unique standard features in Elantra SR Turbo’s upmarket and sporty cabin include alloy pedals and a power-operated sunroof with manually retractable sliding privacy and sun protection screen. In addition to the 7-inch touchscreen audio system with MP3, digital iPod, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlayTM and Android Auto connectivity it shares with Elantra Active and Elite variants, Elantra SR Turbo exclusively features steering-wheel mounted phone controls.

Safety

Like its Active and Elite stablemates, Elantra SR Turbo comes standard with Hyundai’s benchmark passive and active safety features including six airbags and impressive suite of Electronic Stability Control features, all of which have helped the sixth-generation Elantra achieve a maximum 5-star ANCAP safety rating.

Important additional new sensory safety features exclusive to Elantra SR Turbo include Blind Spot Detection (BSD), Lane Change Assist (LCA) and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA).

Elantra SR Turbo: Key Specifications

Key specifications above Elantra Active and Elite models:

  • 1.6 Turbo-GDi engine (+38kW & 73Nm)
  • 17-inch twin-spoke alloy wheels
  • Larger front brake discs (+25mm diameter/+2mm thickness)
  • Multi-link independent suspension with bespoke Australian sports-tuned dynamics.
  • Drive Mode Select (DCT only) - Normal, Sport & Eco modes
  • Sensory Safety features including:
  •      -Blind Spot Detection (BSD)
  •      -Lane Change Assist (LCA)
  •      -Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)
  •      -Front parking assist system (4 sensors)
  • Twin exhaust tips
  • HID Bi-Xenon headlights (sports design)
  • Sports body kit (front/rear bumpers, side skirts, radiator grille)
  • Sports tail-light design
  • Alloy sports pedals
  • Black headlining
  • Carbon-fibre effect dashboard/door inserts
  • Dark charcoal metallic painted dash panels and door handles
  • Red-stitched interior upholstery
  • Sports front bucket seats with extended bolsters and ‘Sport’ logos
  • Sports steering wheel (flat-bottomed) and supervision cluster
  • Electrically adjustable driver’s seat (10-way including lumbar)
  • Heated front seats
  • Power-operated sunroof
  • Steering-wheel mounted paddle-shifters (DCT only)
  • USB power outlet in centre floor console storage compartment
  • Distinctive new exterior colours exclusive to Elantra SR Turbo: Sparkling Metal, Phoenix Orange and Blazing Yellow
  • Optional: Red leather upholstery

Elantra SR Turbo: Pricing

Engine Transmission Price
1.6 Turbo-GDi Petrol 6 Speed Manual $28,990*
7 Speed Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) $31,290*

*All prices are Manufacturer’s List Price. Price excludes dealer delivery and on road costs.

Option Pricing:

  • Metallic / Mica paint: $495
  • Red leather upholstery: $295

My Drive this week was the Subaru Outback. The Outback is one of the early trend setters; it was one of the first, if not the first jacked-up wagon with underbody strengthening for off-roading, and it proved popular enough that many car companies have now copied the idea, bringing out similar models themselves. The Outback I’m looking at today is now in its fifth generation, and Subaru continues to refine the model, gradually improving all the little niggles people have pointed out on previous models. The result is a car that comes pretty close to perfect, although unfortunately is not quite there yet.

Let’s start with the exterior. Subaru has played it safe, choosing not to mess with the design mostly. The headlights and front grille have been reshaped a little, while the same can be said for the rear taillights and bumper design. Not much more to talk about here so let’s go inside. Here, it’s a different story. The interior has become a little bit more upmarket, although the quality of the materials used are a lot better now. The instrument cluster adopts the “two-dial, one screen” design being used by virtually everybody on the market, while the centre console has gone for a gloss black look with touch-sensitive buttons used to operate the infotainment system on its large LCD screen. While it’s better than previous generations, the processor is significantly underpowered, leading to delays between screen transitions in some cases, especially when using the navigation system.
The seats are supportive and there’s plenty of leg room in the front and back. The front seats offer a fair bit of adjustment in multiple directions, however the back seats can only be folded flat to add more room to the cargo space at the back, although at 512 litres it’s already quite decent.

There’s three engine options – a 2.5 litre four cylinder petrol, a 2.0 litre four cylinder turbocharged diesel, and a 3.6 litre six cylinder petrol. All of them are paired with a CVT automatic gearbox, although the diesel engine can also be mated to a six speed manual. My test car today is the diesel with CVT automatic, and at least from the spec sheet, I suspect this combination will be the pick to go for. The diesel produces 110 kilowatts of power and 350 Newton-metres of torque from as low as 1600 RPM. While this is really early in the rev range, the Outback diesel somehow still manages to have pretty bad turbo lag off the mark. This is the only stain on an otherwise excellent score sheet. Once you’re moving, the engine and CVT are both responsive. The CVT holds the engine in its most efficient rev-band for the application, but floor the pedal and it switches to a simulated old-fashioned transmission with fixed gears to eliminate the “droning effect” most people hate about CVTs. Not the most efficient way of accelerating, but a great way to get everyone on side.
Being a Subaru, power goes to all four wheels. Being an off-road car, Subaru has added a new thing called X-Mode, which combines hill descent control with active torque vectoring. While I wasn’t able to test it in the limited time I had the car, the idea is to carefully go down unsealed hills with lots of holes and other unsmooth terrain automatically.
Handling on sealed roads however was pretty decent, considering the jacked up nature of the Outback. At high speed the Outback is still reasonably quiet and generally a nice place to be.

The Outback is divided into two variants for each engine type – a base model and a Premium grade. Standard features on the base model include climate control air conditioning with rear air vents, cruise control, automatic wipers and headlights, electric parking brake, leather steering wheel with paddle shifts and a six speaker audio system with Bluetooth support. While the petrol models also get engine idle stop-start and Subaru’s Eyesight driver assist system standard, these are missing from the diesel model for some reason, which is a real shame. Premium variants add electrically adjustable front seats, a large sunroof, folding mirrors, proximity keyless entry, LED headlights and satellite navigation with support for the Pandora music streaming system.

The cheapest Outback variant is in fact the diesel manual, which starts from $35,490 dollars. Add $2,000 for the CVT automatic and $6,000 for the Premium variant. The Outback is on sale now.

April 25th 2015
Albert Malik