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Journeys : Feb March 2010
He says Darren Moody Driver training for all .drivers. Modern vehicles Expert instructors Individual driving lessons for learners and driver assessment Safety Drive Package includes ROADSIDE ADVANTAGE cover and discounts on vehicle inspections, car insurance and RACT Batteries. Defensive Driver Training with both private and business courses. Hobart 6232 6399 Launceston 6335 5644 Devonport 6421 1944 Burnie 6434 2944 L P 6253 www.ract.com.au September 2009 saw the fourth- generation Liberty/Outback range released in Australia. Designed with the US market in mind, Outback has grow n to a point where it can now seriously be considered as a large family car. While the specifications of the 2.5 litre Boxer engine (see sidebar) are largely unchanged from the previous model, Subar u engineers have managed to lower the fuel consumption by more than 1.0L/100km to achieve a combined cycle of 8.9L /100km for the manual and 8.4L /100km for the CVT, while maintaining an almost identical power output. A diesel version was also released in late November. As you would expect, fuel con sumption is reduced again, achieving 6.4L/100km. Power output from the petrol engine is 123kW with 229Nm of torque. The diesel is a 2.0 litre unit with 110kW and 350Nm. The petrol engine goes about its everyday business with a minimum of fuss, but can be found out with a decent load onboard when traversing hilly terrain. The diesel lacks a bit of driveability below 1500rpm, but after that, with the turbo on boost, the torque takes over and it is onwards and upwards. At this point there isn't a CVT option (Continuously Variable Transmission) for the diesel, but I think it might come sooner rather than later. Both petrol and diesel were supplied with a 6-speed manual and as She says, I thought the shift and clutch combination wasn't fantastic. There was little if any feel in the clutch, causing me to stall both variants numerous times. I did master it eventually. Having also driven the CVT recently I couldn't go past it. Unlike the flat feel of some CVTs, the electronics and calibration of this unit give a pseudo- automatic transmission feel. Paddles are also fitted to the steering wheel to allow manual shifting. Combined with an improved fuel consumption figure, it's hard to go past this option. Despite an above-average ride height, handling characteristics were car-like, giving minimal body roll and confident road-holding. Subaru almost wrote the book on safety acronyms, (see page 33) and the Outback has plenty of them, giving a 5-star ANCAP crash rating. Getting the Outback a little dirty, I tested its off-road capability. With 213mm of ground clearance, good suspension articulation and smart electronics, I managed to crawl up and dow n a couple of quite steep and r utted gradients with a minimum of fuss. Just for the record, Tasmanians love Subarus. Nationally they occupy around 4% of new vehicle sales but doubles in Tassie. Do our road and weather conditions have anything to do with it? Do we want to feel safer in an all-wheel drive vehicle or do we just know a good thing when we drive it? Whatever the reasons, Subar u's latest offering does little to deter loyal ow ners from upgrading or prospective buyers adding one to the garage. The Boxer engine A horizontally-opposed or Boxer engine has cylinders that are separated into two horizontal banks, with the piston action resembling a punching boxer. The Boxer layout offers advantages in weight and size. Length and height are considerably less than an in-line engine. Its centre of gravity is low, meaning better, more stable cornering. The engine layout has optimum balance. Porsche also still use this layout in their current vehicles and VW used it for years in their Beetles and Kombis. 23 February / March 10
Dec Jan 2010
April May 2010