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Subaru Outback wins top US award


The new generation Subaru Outback has been named Sport/Utility of the Year by leading US automotive magazine, Motor Trend

Subaru’s all-new Outback – the latest version of which went on sale in New Zealand August – has been named Sport Utility Of The Year by American motoring magazine, Motor Trend.

An expert panel of 11 road testers were involved in the judging, and the magazine praised the Outback for being “spacious, tough, thoroughly modern, and exceedingly capable”.

The crossover saw off some stiff competition from the likes of the Volvo XC60, Audi’s Q5, the Lexus RX450h and Mercedes-Benz’s GLK350. When the final votes were tallied, the Outback won by 10 to one.

Motor Trend editor-in-chief, Angus MacKenzie, said: “The 2010 Subaru Outback offers a unique combination of comfort, efficiency, versatility and value. It boasts car-like refinement, drivability and gas mileage on the road, yet is as capable in the rough stuff as all but the most off-road focused sport utilities. Thoughtfully engineered, cleverly detailed and competitively priced, the Subaru Outback is a terrific all-rounder with broad appeal.”

To judge contenders for the award, Motor Trend's editorial staff conducted a three-phase testing process, including a full tech check and weigh-in, then track testing to establish baseline data for acceleration, braking, and handling.

Phase two involves three days of road loops offering a range of road surfaces and traffic conditions to evaluate ride and handling, engine and transmission smoothness and responsiveness, wind and road noise, and ergonomics.

A dirt-track section tests traction, stability, and braking control systems. In phase three the judges debate and deliberate. This year, the editors updated and expanded the judging criteria to six new categories: Design Advancement, Engineering Excellence, Intended Function, Efficiency, Safety and Value.

Motor Trend's Sport/Utility of the Year is only open to all-new or substantially upgraded vehicles that have gone on sale in the 12 months from November 1 of the previous year.

The new, fourth-generation Outback is longer, wider and taller than the model it replaces.

It has similar power trains to the new Legacy, including Lineartronic CVT (continuously variable transmission) automatic gearbox and six-speed manual transmission options with the four-cylinder Boxer engine model, plus the choice of a 3.6 litre six-cylinder horizontally opposed engine with five-speed automatic.

See new and used Subaru Outback for sale here.

Auto Trader New Zealand