Subaru reckons it can shift 800 of these Outbacks per year, with 60 per cent of them being diesels. While we wouldn't take issue with the extent of their ambition, it's hard to see four out of ten Outback customers turning down the economy and torque of the diesel-engined version. Prices start at around £28,000 for the 2.0D SE variant, which is very reasonable given that an entry level Volvo XC70 opens at over £34,000. That buys you a manual Outback diesel: you do need to add £2,000 (which is quite an ask) for the Lineartronic box. The petrol model starts at around £28,500 with a Lineartronic transmission.
The difference between the entry SE and the SE Premium trim is £3,000 and we suspect that most will be content with the more affordable version. After all, SE customers still get automatic LED headlamps and headlamp washers, cruise control, Active Torque Vectoring, 17-inch alloy wheels, heated front seats, electrically-adjustable driver's seat and privacy glass, as well as a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, incorporating satellite navigation, audio, smartphone connectivity and a rear view parking camera. Petrol SE models also feature an emissions-reducing start-stop system and Subaru Intelligent Drive, which allows drivers to select different engine modes depending on road conditions for improved economy and performance.
Your extra £3,000 for the Premium variant nets you a sunroof, keyless entry and push-button start, 18-inch alloy wheels, leather seats and a powered rear tailgate. Lineartronic models also get the camera-based 'EyeSight' safety system. This monitors the road and traffic ahead for potential hazards and includes autonomous Pre-collision Braking Control and Pre-collision Throttle Management, Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Departure & Sway Warning. The Outback has scored a five-star EuroNCAP safety score, so it's hard to put your family in anything much safer.