2016 Subaru Outback 2.0D Premium Review

2016 Subaru Outback 2.0D Premium road test and review.

It’s your lucky day as Behind the Wheel’s Simon Lai and Joel Helmes both take a look at the 2016 Subaru Outback 2.0D Premium. So here’s your 2 for 1…

Priced from $44,990 for the Outback 2.0 Premium the diesel Outback was the last of the Outback range that I hadn’t test driven. You can get the less speccy version for $3500 less.

On top of 2.0D features, the Premium offers 18” alloy wheels,  smart key with push button ignition, a sunroof, high beam assist, heated mirrors, auto dimming rear view mirror, leather seats and Subaru’s awesome safety accessories.

The stereoscopic cameras up front and sensors all around provide blind spot monitoring, lane change assist and departure warning, lane sway warning, brake light recognition, pre-collision brake assist, rear cross traffic alert and adaptive cruise control, just to name a few.

The insides are almost identical to that of other models in the Subaru range in terms of design, creating consistency across the board.

Simple but effective, the layout is presentable and comfortable which includes a larger 7” touch screen with satellite navigation on the dash and powered and heated seats with memory function for driver and passenger.

Comfort is also present on the move with a stable ride and assured steering though no drive mode selections are available in the diesels.

Just like other variants with a similar transmission – ie. Outback, Liberty – is takes some time to find the gears with a slight delay when, say, shifting from reverse to drive.

Other than this minor inconvenience the all round drive is a satisfying experience.

Acceleration is flatter that in the petrol version of course and you do get some noise of the diesel rattle when pushed but there’s plenty of torque on hand when at cruising speed.

On the plus side a diesel engine always provides great fuel economy and the Outback is no different coming in under 9L/100km in my stint at 8.8L. By comparison, let’s see how Joel fared with his consumption…

Thanks Simon, yes I averaged about the same and that meant that after a decent week of getting about I still had three-quarters of a tank of fuel.

There was a couple of things that I noted about this Subaru that I felt were worth a mention. Firstly, I’m not all that happy with where Subaru positioned the clock. Located on the same strip as the climate control display, this area is busy enough without whacking the clock in there!

I was glad to see that the buttons around the infotainment screen had small indents so your finger could feel where the button is, still, I prefer traditional buttons. At least the Subaru Outback has proper volume and tuning knobs.

The reverse camera was really clear, that’s a plus, and I liked the way the headrests can be adjusted on the forward angle too, not just up and down.

Syncing your smart phone is easy and everything around the cabin has a simple but quality feel about it.

Digital radio is a glaring omission though.

Other than that this is a really versatile and pleasing package. It is a little sporty, also has a bit of a luxury feel, decent cabin space and some off-road ability as well.

The Outback 2.0D Premium is typical Subaru. It moves along nicely, handles well (especially given that the Outback is quite tall), the ride is forgiving, steering sharp and turning circle surprisingly small.

NUTS and BOLTS – 2016 Subaru Outback 2.0D Premium

Engine: 2.0L turbo petrol producing 110kW and 350Nm

Transmission: CVT or six-speed manual

Warranty: 3 Year/Unlimited km

Safety: Five stars

Origin: Japan

Price: From $41,990

About Simon Lai 678 Articles
Simon is a writer and sometime contributor to the podcast. He also takes care of video production and product reviews. He met Joel through radio school and has worked with him on other ventures, reading news, producing and presenting radio content for regional networks. Simon doesn’t profess to be a car nut but enjoys driving first and foremost and has a penchant for hot hatches. He helps to provide the everyday-man perspective.

3 Comments on 2016 Subaru Outback 2.0D Premium Review

  1. I have a 2009 manual diesel and I’ve never got fuel economy as bad as 8.8 or 9 litres per 100km. At the moment, I have 510 km up with a little more than half a tank (64 litre tank) left after going up to Bendigo and back and driving around town for a week. That’s about 5.6 litres a 100km. I’ve never had trouble getting the advertised fuel economy, unlike most cars. The fuel economy seems to have deteriorated.

    • Hi Briant. Agree. Just bought a petrol outback and averaging 7.5l per 100km in country driving. Looked at diesel but scared by DPF issues. What’s your experience there? How many km have your car done? And are they city or country high spied driving. Thanks Peter

  2. I am averaging 8.3 l / 100 km in my 2016 petrol 2.5 Outback. I think that is OK for a very roomy 5 seater with AWD and ground clearance. But it all depends on driving style and the condtions. Power is adequate but no more.
    Agree the clock is in a silly place . You can’t turn the radio when you are in reverse and it has a delay before the sound comes on which is just enough to let you start the car and select reverse…. Digital radio would be nice but I would settle for the sat Nav understanding my voice commands.
    Apart from those things the car is a great mix of space, comfort, handling, safety and soft road ability.

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