The Subaru Outback has gone from a relatively low seller, selling just 55,000 units in 2009, to over 180,000 units last year, with each successive year seeing a sales increase. To continue the momentum, the 2018 Outback received a handful of changes aimed at enticing buyers. Included in this refresh are revised front and rear fascias that are bolder and more rugged, with the front feature grille openings that are both wider and lower than before. Furthermore, “the front cladding enhances protection from mud and stones when the vehicle is driven off pavement.”
However, the outside isn’t the only part of the Outback getting a fresh update. Underneath the Outback’s skin, the crossover receives the brand’s EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, High Beam Assist and, on the Limited and Touring trims, Steering Responsive Headlights.
Subaru also made some refinements to the Outback’s chassis and suspension, tuning it to offer a smoother ride and better brake and steering response and feel and fitted it with a revised electric power steering system that provides a “more linear response to driver input.” Subaru also made the Outback quieter with a new chain for its Lineartronic CVT, some adjustments to the engine timing to “reduce powertrain noise,” and reshaped exterior mirrors to help reduce wind noise. Going further, the Outback also receives new sound-insulating glass for the front side windows.
Inside, the Outback gets new premium materials and a redesigned center infotainment center anchored by an available 8-inch display screen — albeit one that is not Apple CarPlay or Android Auto capable. These changes include the addition of genuine stitching around the dashboard, seats, and door panels. There’s also a new interior color option called Titanium Gray to go along with the existing Slate Black and Warm Ivory choices.
What isn’t changed are the Outback’s engine options, which include a 175-hp 2.5-liter flat-four and a 3.6-liter flat-six that produces 256 hp. Both come coupled to the aforementioned CVT and Subaru’s Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system, which features Active Torque Vectoring.
The 2018 Subaru Outback will make its world debut at the 2017 New York auto show and will begin hitting dealerships later this summer. Subaru hasn’t released any pricing information yet, so stay tuned.