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Car reviews - Subaru - Outback - Limited 5-dr wagon

The Car

24 Feb 2001

Thick plastic side cladding and bumpers with large integrated foglights turn Liberty into the OutbackOutback has 200mm of ground clearanceThe driver's seatbase angle and height can be adjusted via two large dialsA lumbar support lever is provided on the driver's chairBoth four-cylinder Outback grades offer a CD player, with the Limited upping capacity from one to sixSix speakers are provided throughout the cabinA small cruise control stalk is positioned behind the steering wheelClimate-control air-conditioning is standard on all Outback modelsThe four-cylinder Outback has 15-inch alloy wheels as standardDual-purpose 215/60R1695H Yokohama Geolander tyres are usedThe luggage area is cavernous, allowing for 528 litres with the rear seat up and extending to 1646 with the seat foldedThe new rear suspension design minimises intrusion into the luggage area, saving 134mm of cargo widthBoth the rear seatback and squab split-fold 60/40, providing a long, flat cargo area and a barrier between the front seatsIndependent crash performance of the car indicates safety was a high priority in the Liberty/Outback designDual airbags are standard on OutbackThree-point seatbelts and headrests are provided for all passengersA high quality anti-lock braking system is standard on both Outback modelsRemote central locking is standard on all Outback modelsAn engine immobiliser comes as standard across the Liberty/Outback range and now interfaces directly with the engine management computer (ECU)The non-H6 Outbacks are powered by a horizontally opposed (or "boxer") 16-valve 2.5- litre four-cylinder engine, which develops 115kW at 5600rpm and 223Nm at 3600rpmThe Outback's 2.5-litre engine has a bore and stroke of 99.5mmx79mm resulting in a cubic capacity of 2457ccThe multi-link rear suspension aims to ensure the wagon's handling characteristics are not affected by the heavier mass at the rear endSuspension component intrusion into the cargo area is kept to a minimumLonger springs are used on the Outback raise ground clearance for light-duty off- road workThe Outback Limited's rear shock absorbers use the oscillations of the vehicle to pump oil from a reserve chamber to increase its internal pressure and raise the vehicle height according to the cargo loadThe automatic transmission is 7kg lighter and 33mm shorter than the first generation to provide smoother shift feel and improved shift controlThe manual transmission was also revised for Gen II, with increased rigidity, smoother shift action and improved durability the key improvementsManual transmission Liberty/Outback wagons are equipped with a dual-range transmissionSubaru's all-wheel drive automatic transmission can vary the distribution of torque between 95 percent front and five percent rear wheel drive to a 60/40 ratioThe computer uses sensors to provide information of vehicle speed, engine load, gear range and rotational differences between front and rear wheels to ascertain road and running conditionsIn the manual transmission, a viscous coupling limited slip differential is used to constantly transmit engine power to all four wheelsDuring straight-line driving, the torque split by the differential is 50/50 to front and rear wheelsDisc brakes are used on all four cornersA Bosch 5.3i four-channel, three-phase, four-sensor ABS system is standard across the Liberty/Outback range

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During straight-line driving, the torque split by the differential is 50/50 to front and rear wheels

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