With the Outback being the bestselling model of Subaru, it is only understandable that the carmaker keeps it updated each and every time. And as expected, the Outback remains fresh and nice, thanks to several tweaks and revisions for 2018 model year which debuted at the New York Auto Show.
Up front and outside, there are not many changes with the 2018 Subaru Outback though some subtle facelifts can be noted. For instance, its front fascia now comes with wider openings, while the headlights boasted of a redesign with their all-new LED running lights. Its body cladding has been made slightly beefier as well in order for the panels to stay free from dents and rock chips.
Beneath the sheet metal, the company also decided to make a few improvements. One good example is the suspension dampers made softer. The car’s electric power steering is changed as well to make it smoother, while the brakes were altered to have a more linear feel to them. The CVT or continuously variable transmission now has a brand new chain to ensure a more silent operation, and this noise abatement also continues with the revised engine timing which helps reduce noise once it accelerates.
The perks of NVH continue with the insulating glass for its front side windows and the thicker well materials for the rear wheels.
Inside, the Outback is not that bad, although it was criticized because of mediocre materials. However, this is no longer the case for the 2018 Outback Subaru, made possible by the new materials used for its interior as well as the redesigned center console. The higher end models also come with new details on stitching complemented by the gloss black trim. Its AC can cool the cabin faster and even more evenly, while the clock is upped a few sizes larger to make it more readable for everyone inside.
The maligned Starlink of Subaru has also enjoyed a few upgrades. Its base touchscreen has been changed from 6.2 inches to the current 6.5 inches, while its premium system is now at 8.0 inches. There are also Android Auto and Apple CarPlay included in the 2018 model. Its voice recognition system gets a second microphone for better performance and the occupants of the rear seats will surely appreciate the 2 USB ports. It is also possible the upgrade the system over the air with the use of the tethered Wi-Fi connection.
A few new apps are also now available. There is Yelp which bring the reviews straight on the infotainment system, eBird that lets you check bird sightings in the area, Glympse which allows you to share your current location in a real-time manner, and Best Parking which searches for and compares rates for parking around town.
There is a standard backup camera, with the guidelines now moving with its steering wheel. There is also a new headlight system that is responsive to steering which moves those low beams in turns for a better view of the road ahead. Once again, EyeSight is made available which offers safety systems such as adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, lane keep assist, and lane departure warning.
The powertrain options stay the same. You can get 175hp at 2.5-L in base, Limited, Touring, and Premium models. For those who prefer additional power, there is 256hp, 3.6-L H6 available in Touring and Limited Trims.