In a congested metropolis like Manila, a Subaru is often relegated to traversing urban city streets. And why not? These well-made, meticulously designed, all-wheel drive vehicles are made to move everything from families to cargo in the most comfortable and safest way possible. But more than an everyday commuter, a Subaru is also created to experience life’s biggest adventures in the great outdoors. For those who have a penchant for long journeys, soft-roading, and maybe that occasional glamping experience, we’re talking about the 2024 Subaru Outback 2.5i Touring.
Subaru is renowned for producing some of the most practical and well-designed vehicles on the market. This statement applies to not only its bestselling SUV, the Subaru Forester, but also to its range of performance cars, such as the Subaru WRX and BRZ. In fact, if there is one thing that I find to be unique to Subaru, it is the brand’s consistency in offering up cars that are reliable and can satiate an enthusiast’s drive for power and precision.
For this drive, we decided to do something out of the ordinary. Instead of keeping to the bustling city streets of Metro Manila, we took the 2024 Subaru Outback to where its inner personality could shine — from the usual urban enclave, straight into the wild.
It was a long, early morning drive to the camping grounds of Rizal, allowing the Outback to warm up and stretch its legs. Running with a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder Boxer engine and seated on 18-inch alloy wheels, it cruised effortlessly through both city and provincial roads and delivered just the right power without missing a beat. Its handling, maneuverability, and control are what you would expect from any Subaru. It rolls solidly with you at every turn, empowering you with a sense of confidence, no matter the road condition.
What’s great about the new Outback is that it is not only equipped with Subaru’s symmetrical all-wheel drive technology, but it also features Active Torque Split and X-MODE for added off-road capabilities. Because of this combination of performance-driven features, the Outback took to the uneven terrain with ease, including a moderately rocky river-crossing and sloping dirt road climbs. In addition, it had a more refined suspension package that delivered riding comfort for light trails. All that on full stock and zero modifications!
Apart from driving capabilities, a must-have when traveling out of the city is staying connected, at least for purposes of navigation, if nothing else. One of the highlights of the Subaru Outback was the large 11.6-inch infotainment display that generously had everything you need to see in full color. Perhaps 90% of all control points are integrated into the touchscreen, including climate control, music, connectivity, and general settings. The entertainment suite is complemented by a premium Harman/Kardon audio system for the most enjoyable in-car listening experience.
The biggest win to finally have wireless Apple CarPlay (and Android Auto) as a standard in a Subaru. While it took a bit of tinkering before the system would automatically sync with my device, it worked seamlessly and without delay once it recognized my iPhone. This was extremely important to have, especially because we were traveling into areas with low to no signal. Once the destination was set, it was able to maintain the navigation for up to a considerable point even after data signal went offline.
Touching on safety, the latest award-winning EyeSight technology is still the best in driver assist systems anywhere. In addition to its rapid response alerts, the safety suite features a 360-degree camera view around the vehicle for spotting obstacles, a tire-pressure monitor, emergency braking, lane departure alert, and reverse sensors, among others. It also has automatic, steering responsive headlamps that support you wherever direction you need to go.
The drive back into the city highlighted the versatility of the Subaru Outback as it entered back onto paved highways. As well as it did on unfamiliar, off-grid territory, it smoothly slipped back into its dedicated habitat, the urban jungle. While it’s rare for a Subaru to be treated to offbeat trails, they prove to be vehicles that can perform as well on adventure trails when given the right opportunity. Equipped with the latest performance and safety features, 2024 Subaru Outback gave us a taste of what it can do and what it is ready for as it pushes the boundaries on and off the trail. Quite frankly, it is a refreshing, more refined change to the heavily suited rigs that we are normally used to.