Subaru To Debut 2018 Outback at New York International Auto Show

  • Revised styling reinforces the rugged character that uniquely identifies a Subaru
  • Premium materials enhance refreshed interior
  • Smoother and quieter ride
  • New multimedia capabilities, including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Nuance voice recognition
  • Newly available steering-responsive LED headlights
(MISSISSAUGA) — Subaru Canada, Inc. (SCI) is pleased to announce that the debut of the 2018 Outback will take place at the New York International Auto Show on April 12, 2017, with models arriving in Canadian dealerships this summer.

Featuring revised front and rear styling for a more robust stance, the 2018 Outback includes significant upgrades to comfort, safety, and multimedia capability. At the same time, many new engineering and design details throughout the 2018 Outback enhance the driving experience as well as the vehicle’s versatility.

As the world’s first sport utility wagon, the Subaru Outback with its rugged styling and increased capability was instrumental in launching the crossover trend more than 20 years ago. Today, the Outback offers impressive interior room, including total passenger volume of 3,061L, with an additional 1,005L of space behind the rear seats, and 2,075L with the standard 60/40-split fold-down rear seats folded. The load floor is nearly flat, and the cargo area features convenient rear seatback release levers.

Numerous details help make the Outback extremely convenient to load and carry cargo or items such as kayaks and bikes. Roof rails with swing-in-place crossbars are standard on all models except for the Premier trim, which features exclusive low-profile roof rails in a silver finish, with available detachable crossbars. All Outback models also include step-style doorsills allow a person to stand firmly when securing objects to the crossbars.

Rugged Good Looks, With an Added Touch of Elegance

The Outback shows a bolder, more rugged looking face for 2018, highlighted by wider, lower grille openings and a new bumper that complements the iconic Subaru hexagonal grille. The C-shaped headlights, parking lights and new horizontal character lines extending outward from the grille subtly suggest the piston motion of the BOXER engine, one of the core pieces of Subaru technology.

The redesigned headlights feature distinctive daytime LED running lights, while the redesigned front cladding enhances protection from mud and stones when the vehicle is driven off pavement. A new high-contrast wheel design on the Limited trim highlights the luxury-class appearance for the 2018 Outback. The 2.5i Touring trim is equipped with standard 17-inch alloy wheels, while all Limited and Premier models offer 18-inch alloy wheels.

More Safety Technology for 2018

A proven safety standout, the Outback adds to its array of driver-assist features for 2018 by including available new steering-responsive headlights (SRH). Available in conjunction with LED headlights, SRH directs the light into turns as the driver steers. Newly introduced for 2017, the High Beam Assist feature that automatically turns the high beams off and on depending on approaching traffic is included on Touring, Limited and Premier models with EyeSight Driver Assist Technology.

More Responsive and Quieter

Enhancements made throughout the Outback chassis include retuned suspension dampers for a smoother ride, along with retuned steering and brake systems for a direct feel and a more enjoyable driving experience. The electric power steering yields a smoother, more linear response to driver input.

To make the Outback even quieter for 2018, the Lineartronic CVT for 2.5i models now uses a quieter short-pitch chain, while adjustments to engine timing under acceleration further reduce powertrain noise. Reshaped exterior mirrors are among a number of enhancements that further reduce wind noise. New sound-insulating glass for the front side windows makes the front seat area quieter and thicker rear wheel well aprons reduce rear seat ambient noise.

Enhanced Comfort Throughout

All 2018 Outback trim lines introduce new premium materials and a redesigned centre console, highlighted by an available 8-inch display screen for enhanced multimedia capabilities. The Touring, Limited and Premier trims feature genuine stitching detail on the dashboard, while the Limited and Premier models also add stitching detail to the seats and door panels along with high-gloss black trim and silver-color bezels for various controls.

In the Subaru tradition, numerous – and sometimes unseen – details enhance everyday comfort. The revised air conditioning system both cools the cabin more quickly and provides a more uniform temperature throughout, while the temperature setting indicator is now located inside the control dial on Touring models and above for more intuitive operation. Interior power remains on for longer after the ignition has been switched off, and the redesigned clock is larger and easier to read for greater convenience.

Rugged Capability

The Outback 2.5i is powered by a 175-hp DOHC 2.5-liter BOXER engine that produces 174 lb-ft peak torque. The active grille shutter system helps to improve fuel economy by reducing wind resistance. The DOHC 3.6-litre 6-cylinder BOXER engine in the Outback 3.6R models produces 256 hp and 247 lb-ft of peak torque, sustaining 90 percent of peak torque from 2,000-6,000 rpm for exceptional response at all vehicle speeds. Both engines are teamed with standard Lineartronic CVT (continuously variable transmission).  The 2.5i engine now comes with a seven-speed manual mode and paddle shifters. The CVT offers a smoother response for 2018, thanks to a retuned electronic control unit.

The combination of standard Subaru symmetrical full-time All-Wheel Drive and active torque vectoring gives the Outback a confident grip in every weather condition. In all 2018 Outback models, Subaru symmetrical full-time All-Wheel Drive is an active AWD system that uses an electronically managed, continuously variable transfer clutch that distributes torque based on acceleration, deceleration and available traction. The 220 mm ground clearance on all Outback models exceeds that of many crossover and SUV competitors.

For driving in challenging conditions, driver-selectable X-Mode optimizes engine output and CVT ratio position, increases active all-wheel drive engagement and uses enhanced control logic for the Vehicle Dynamics Control stability system, all with the intention of reducing individual wheel spin. Engaging X-Mode also activates Hill Descent Control that uses engine braking in conjunction with the braking system to maintain a constant vehicle speed when traveling downhill. The Outback also comes standard with Hill Start Assist.

Four Trim Lines

The 2018 Outback 2.5i will be available in entry, Touring, Limited and Premier trims, while the 3.6R will offer Touring, Limited and Premier trims. The top-of-the-line Premier was new for 2017, featuring the highest luxury content in the model line, plus standard Subaru EyeSight Driver Assist Technology and exclusive design elements. The Premier interior features Java Brown perforated leather-trimmed upholstery, door panels and armrests with contrasting ivory stitching. In addition to all the equipment from the Outback Limited, the Premier includes a unique woodgrain patterned interior trim and piano-black switch panel accents

Subaru Multimedia Upgraded for 2018

The 2018 Outback offers the brand’s latest STARLINK multimedia system with Bluetooth wireless capability, iPod control, smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and more. The top-level system includes navigation with three years of free map updates. All models receive two USB power ports in the back of the centre console for the convenience of rear passengers.

The standard STARLINK 6.5-inch multimedia system is an upgrade from the previous STARLINK 6.2-inch system and offers quicker performance. The available STARLINK 8.0-inch system debuts a new central touch-screen display that provides smartphone-like operation. More smartphone-linked operations improve the multimedia experience while reducing the need to divert the driver’s hands from the wheel or their attention from the road.

Now using two microphones and technology by Nuance, voice recognition is significantly improved in the 2018 Outback. The driver can more easily use Apple Siri or OK Google voice commands, and the system is compatible with multiple languages.

Among the standard features on all STARLINK systems are Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity and audio streaming, iPod control, a USB port and an auxiliary input jack. High-line trims add dual USB ports and other features. Smartphone integration features Aha and Pandora, along with STARLINK cloud applications such as Calendar, Music Player, News and Weather. Apps added for 2018 include:

  • Best Parking locates and compares parking rates
  • YELP delivers crowd sourced reviews of businesses
  • Glympse provides real-time location sharing

Safety Leader with EyeSight Driver Assist Technology

The brand’s award-winning EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, available on most trims, includes adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking and lane departure warning, among other features. The lane keep assist system now activates earlier, at just above 60km/h..

All Outback trim lines come standard with a rear-view camera and new for 2018, the guidelines displayed on the screen move in sync with the steering to provide more accurate vehicle positioning.

Building on its long record as a safety standout the Outback now offers steering-responsive headlights on Limited and Premier trims in addition to reverse automatic braking, which was introduced last year.

Also new for 2018, the SRVD indicator is larger and has been moved from the mirror’s surface to its side. In the higher trims, redesigned LED turn signals in the mirrors are easier to see. Automatic locking doors are also new and improved LATCH anchors make child seat installation easier.

About Subaru Canada, Inc. Subaru Canada, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. of Japan. Headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, the company markets and distributes Subaru vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of 92 authorized dealers across Canada. For more information, please visit or or follow @Subaru_Canada on Twitter.