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March 24, 2021

The All-New 2021 Subaru Outback is Coming and Here's What We Know So Far

The first quarter may have been quiet for all-wheel drive specialist Subaru, but they’re making up for it big time. After the official Philippine launch of the first-ever Evoltis in April, it’ll be followed a month after by the all-new 2021 Outback.

According to sources inside Motor Image Pilipinas, the exclusive distributor of Subaru in the Philippines, the May launch date is still tentative. The reason? Subaru is one of the carmakers hit by the global chip shortage, and this could have an impact on the Outback’s production run in Gunma, Japan.

Previously, Tan Chong International Deputy Chairman and Managing Director Glenn Tan confirmed that the all-new 2021 Outback will be made available with just one engine, and that’s with the normally-aspirated 2.5-liter flat-4.

Interestingly, while it continuous to carry the same FB25 designation as its predecessor, the tuning is different from the North American version. It’ll generate less power than before—169 horsepower versus 182 horsepower, but torque is higher at 252 Nm compared to 238 Nm. As with any other Subaru, the transmission’s a Lineartronic CVT driving all four wheels.

For those who’re holding their breath for the turbo, sorry, but the turbocharged 2.4-liter FA24 will not be made available. Still, the 2.5-liter holds well on its own with a zero to 100 km/h time of about 9 seconds, and a towing capacity rated at 2,000 kilograms.

More importantly, the Outback will also migrate to the Subaru Global Platform or SGP. The same platform that underpins the likes of the Subaru XV, Forester, and Evoltis, it’ll help boost the torsional rigidity by 70 percent, and rear subframe rigidity by 100 percent. This should make for a comfortable, rattle-free ride, while also ensuring world-class protection for its occupants.

Speaking of protection, the Outback will debut the latest-generation EyeSight 4.0 driver assist technology. Picking up where the previous EyeSight left off, this version will add Lane Departure Warning with vibrating steering wheel alert, Adaptive Cruise Control with full-speed range functionality, and Autonomous Emergency Steering which helps the driver execute evasive control while assessing the presence of other vehicles using the cameras and sensors.

Now comes the more interesting part: the Philippine-spec Outback will look different from the North American version. It’s worth remembering that the Outback destined for the North American market is made in Layfette, Indiana, the same place where the Evoltis (aka Ascent) is assembled. However, for global markets, including the Philippines, the sourcing will remain from Japan.

Visual differences are minor, but noticeable. The grille, for example ditches the all-black appearance of the North American version in favor of something with more bright work. Then, there’s the bumper which is different with its aluminum-finished overrider and fog lamp garnish. Even the front fog lamp’s different, looking more roundish than bar-like. At the back, the housing for the rear fog lamp’s also been changed.

When it comes to specs, Motor Image Pilipinas hasn’t revealed anything specific yet, but Mr. Tan did give one hint and that’s the nappa leather interior.

Thanks to that tidbit of information, it becomes easy to deduce which Outback model is coming to the Philippines, and that’s the fully-loaded Touring variant.

Aside from the nappa leather interior, key features of the Outback Touring include a large tablet-style 11.6-inch center display, a 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, and a touch-free power tailgate with logo sensor. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto also come as standard. It’s also expected to debut is a Driver Monitoring System with facial recognition. Thanks to this, the Outback can pre-adjust the seats and side mirrors based on the mug of whoever’s driving, while also detecting possible signs of driver inattentiveness or drowsiness.

As always, pricing is a closely guarded secret, so Motor Image Pilipinas hasn’t revealed anything specific yet. However, the figure being floated around by insiders is around P 2.5 million to P 2.7 million. If that’s true, it’ll put it at the same price as the previous generation Outback 3.6R-S. While the new Outback doesn’t have the grunt of the flat-6, it does have way more standard features. Do you think that’s a fair trade?


  1. Subaru cars look like it's designed by nuns in a convent. Dull, boring and old.

    1. But for me, Subaru cars look like it is designed by GODS. Cool, Sporty, New and PREFECT for someone like me.

  2. Where's the turbo!?! For the price of Php2.5M to Php2.7M i'd rather wait for the new Kia Sorento which will most likely be lower priced. Also, the new system in detecting drowsiness and inattentiveness is annoying as can be seen in the various reviews on youtube.

    1. But for that money, I rather buy a fully loaded Subaru Outback rather than wait for a new Kia that can BLOW UP IN FLAMES!


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