The powertrain lineup remains exactly the same, but nearly everything else receives an update.

Subaru, which is now officially the overall corporation’s name, continues its very busy year by unveiling a major refresh for the 2018 Outback. The latest version of the brand’s popular high-riding wagon will debut publicly at the New York Auto Show on April 12, and it’ll go on sale this summer.

The design of the refreshed Outback follows the updated Legacy and Crosstrek in Subaru’s move to a more chiseled appearance for its models. Sharper corners for the headlights create a more angular look at the corners of the front end, and the result is a generally more rugged appearance. A revised fascia has larger grille openings and sculpting that accentuates the big fog lights. The firm also claims the new “front cladding enhances protection from mud and stones.” The tweaks retain the vehicle’s 8.7 inches (221 millimetres) of ground clearance.

2018 Subaru Outback Refresh

Driving the 2018 Outback might be a little more engaging. For example, revisions for the electric power steering make its response more linear, and the brakes reportedly have “a more direct feel,” according to Subaru. Retuned dampers also allegedly offer a smoother ride.

The Outback continues to be available with the same engine lineup. The 2.5-litre boxer four-cylinder still makes 175 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque. The 3.6-litre flat-six has 256 hp and 247 lb-ft of torque. A continuously variable transmission is the only available gearbox, but the company claims that it has a smoother response from a retuned control unit. All trims of the 2018 Outback have Subie’s torque-vectoring all-wheel drive system.

Subaru also adds a little more tech for drivers to enjoy. The available LED headlights are now steering responsive for extra light while cornering. The firm’s EyeSight safety assistance suite get High Beam Assist, too.

2018 Subaru Outback Refresh
2018 Subaru Outback Refresh

Inside, the Outback should be more comfy, too, thanks to higher quality materials. A 6.5-inch infotainment screen is now standard, rather than the previous 6.2-inch unit. A larger eight-inch display comes on higher trim levels, replacing the existing seven-inch monitor. Sound insulating glass in the front row and the new shape of the outside mirrors also reduce wind noise in the cabin.

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The Outback was Subaru’s third bestselling vehicle in Canada in 2016 with deliveries totaling 11,255 examples. Through March 2017, the high-riding wagon continues to place third the automaker’s sales in Canada with a volume of 2,331 units.

Subaru will also give the refreshed Crosstrek its North American debut at the upcoming New York Auto Show. Like the Outback, the compact crossover has a more angular face. Its 2.0-litre boxer four-cylinder receives a slight power bump to 152 hp, too.

Source: Subaru

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