2010 Subaru Outback Review

The Subaru Outback has been an all time favorite amongst Kenyans ever since it was introduced to this market back in 2004. In essence the Subaru Outback is the same as the Subaru Legacy save for suspension and engine variations. The Subaru Outback is a very capable off-road vehicle.On the tarmac, there are few station wagons that can keep pace with the Subaru Outback and off the tarmac, it can go toe-to-toe with the best 4x4s.

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Detailed Review

The Subaru Outback has been an all time favorite amongst Kenyans ever since it was introduced to this market back in 2004. In essence the Subaru Outback is the same as the Subaru Legacy save for suspension and engine variations. The Subaru Outback is a very capable off-road vehicle, a fact that is sometimes lost to a casual observer. The Subaru Outback is a 5 seater crossover – a slot between a station wagon and a 4×4 – and it does an excellent job at both. On the tarmac, there are few station wagons that can keep pace with the Subaru Outback and off the tarmac, it can go toe-to-toe with the best 4x4s.

The Outback is in a class above the Forester and actually all other Subarus except the now defunct Tribeca. There is a 7 seater replacement for the Tribeca in the works but before it arrives, the Outback reigns supreme. In the local market we could not find a true competitor to the Subaru Outback. We looked at the Honda CRV, Toyota Rav4, Nissan X-Trail and the VW Tiguan but these are not quite there. They are more comparable to the Forester than the Outback. The only worthy competitors we could find are the Audi Allroad Quattro and the Volvo XC70 which are not very common on our shores.

The 2010 Subaru Outback falls in the fourth generation BR series that were in production from 2009 to 2014. The BR generation is radically different from the previous generations in terms of design and technology. The frameless doors have been phased out, the double sunroof has been replaced by a single sunroof, the plastic body claddings have been trimmed, the ground clearance has been increased, the parking brake is automatic and the body length has been increased. All these radical changes were received with mixed feelings from the traditional Outback base who lamented at the loss of the machismo the Outback was known for. Their prayers were answered in 2015 when the Outback was refreshed and its iconic masculine looks brought back. Overall even with this misgivings, the 2010 Subaru Outback is a superior car that enjoys best-in-class safety ratings.

In the Japanese Domestic Market(JDM) where most Kenyan imports are sourced from, the 2010 Subaru Outback is available with 2 engine options, these are the 2.5L EJ25 Engine and the 3.6L EZ36 Engine. There is a 2.0L DOHC Turbodiesel engine available in the European markets but since its not prevalent in the JDM, we will not cover it in this review. There are 2 transmission options available; a 5 speed automatic and a 6 speed manual most common in the 3.6R Outback.

The 2010 JDM Outback comes in 5 grades, these are the; 2.5i, 2.5i L Package, 2.5i S Package, 3.6R, and 3.6R SI Cruise. Below are the specs for each.

2010 Subaru Outback 2.5i – This is the base package that comes with the 2.5L EJ25 engine 17Inch alloy rims, SI Drive, keyless, dual climate control, non-xenon headlights, cloth trim and manual seats
2010 Subaru Outback 2.5i L Package – This is luxury package that comes with all the features of the 2.5i plus Navigation, power seats, reverse camera, steering function control buttons, cruise control, xenon headlights, Bluetooth, optional sunroof and optional leather seats
2010 Subaru Outback 2.5i S Package – Comes with all the features of the L Package plus Subaru Eyesight – This grade is only available from late 2010
2010 Subaru Outback 3.6R – This comes with all the features of the S Package plus the 3.6L EZ36 Engine(Eyesight is only available from late 2010)
2010 Subaru Outback 3.6R SI Cruise – This is top of the line Outback that comes with all the features of the 3.6R plus SI Cruise – The SI Cruise is an advanced form of cruise control that monitors vehicles ahead and automatically adjusts speed to maintain a safe distance.

Legroom & Space
The BR series Outback is far spacious and roomier than the previous generation. Thanks to an increase in length and height, the Outback now boasts of some of the best legroom and headspace. The boot space has also been slightly squeezed to free up space for sitting. At the first row, both the driver and passenger are afforded good legroom and the seats recline far back enough to accommodate the tallest of persons. We recommend to go for automatic seats as they are more functional and comfortable than the manual seats. At the second row, the seats have executive-class legroom with the exception of the middle seat that is restricted by the transmission tunnel.

Cabin Storage
Cabin storage is essential for storing items such as smartphones, beverages, goggles, handbags etc. For the 1st row the 2010 Outback has 2 cup holders, door panel storage , a storage shelf below the dashboard, a glovebox and the center-box. For the second row, the storage is on the front seat jacket pockets and door side pockets.

2010 Subaru Outback Boot Space
The 2010 Outback has a large boot that can carry sizeable luggage. It can comfortably accommodate luggage for a family of 5. The rear seats can also be folded down to create extra boot space than can carry bulky items such as a large fridge, cooker, etc.

Other Extras – Infotainment Screen, Navigation(Optional), Smart Start, 7 Airbags,

As we noted earlier, the BR series Outback has a trimmed exterior as compared to previous generations. The plastic claddings that gave the Outback its strong features have been removed. All grades come with dual exhaust and 17Inch alloy rims.

2010 Subaru Outback Fuel Consumption
2010 Subaru Outback 2.5L Fuel Consumption: 11.0 km/L (On Average)
2010 Subaru Outback 3.6L Fuel Consumption: 9.7 km/L (On Average)

2010 Subaru Outback Acceleration 
2010 Subaru Outback 2.5L accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 10.4 sec.
2010 Subaru Outback 3.6L accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 7.6 sec.

2010 Subaru Outback Fuel Tank Capacity: 65 Litres

2010 Subaru Outback Ground Clearance
The 2010 Subaru Outback has a ground clearance of 8.7 Inches(221mm). This is excellent ground clearance that is actually better than most of the so called crossovers such as the X-trail. The Outback is suitable for all driving conditions in Kenya be it on-road or off-road.

2010 Subaru Outback Stability and Handling
Even with its raised suspension, the 2010 Subaru Outback is a very stable on the road. The self-levelling rear shocks do a great job at keeping the car on the road around sharp bends. The brakes are precise and do a good job at controlling the car under hard braking. The higher rated 3.6R feels more sure footed and nimble thanks to its tonnes of BHP and upgraded brakes.

Service and Maintenance Costs
Minor Service(Done after every 5000kms can be done by any reputable petrol station) – Air Cleaner, Oil Filter, Engine Oil
Major Service(done after every 20,000kms has to be done by a competent garage)-Air Cleaner, Oil Filter, Fuel Filter, Plugs, Front Brake Pads, Rear Brake Pads(If available), ATF Oil, Engine Oil, ATF Filter

Spare Parts Availability, Cost & Where to buy
A few years ago, Subaru spares parts were expensive and hard to find in Kenya, but things have changed. Subaru parts especially service parts are now affordable and easy to find both in Nairobi and other major towns. However, specialty parts such as the gearbox, engine components and sensors can get very expensive and hard to find. For a list of Subaru Spare Part dealers in Kenya, follow this link

2010 Subaru Outback Reliability
The driving conditions in Kenya are significantly different from those in Japan and Europe. Reliability reviews done for those markets largely do not apply to the Kenyan market. There are differences in roads, fuel, climate, spares, and technical expertise. To give you accurate and reliable local insights, we interview experts such as mechanics and car dealers, who have in-depth knowledge of the Kenyan market. We also test the cars ourselves. Our aim is to give you the right information to enable you make an informed decision when buying a car.

The Subaru Outback is acclaimed the world over as one of the most reliable cars. The 2010 Outback is no exception, it inherits engines from the previous generation that are bullet proof. The introduction of new technologies such as the SI Drive, SI Cruise, and Eyesight, has added a layer of complexity but overall this does not affect its reliability. These systems when used correctly do not fail, but when they do, they can be expensive to repair. We recommend that you insure your Outback comprehensively as even minor damages can be very expensive to repair.

Always follow the recommended guidelines as per the Owner’s manual. To download the 2010 Subaru Outback Owner’s Manual click here

Resale Value – Good

Comparable Cars: Audi Allroad Quattro, Volvo XC70

Cost of Ownership
Purchase Price: From Ksh.1,200,000
Comprehensive Insurance: Average Ksh. 48,000/ per annum- Or
3rd Party Insurance: Ksh. 7,000/- per annum
Change of Tyres(If neccessary) Ksh. 60,000/- for 4 Tyres
See Latest Subaru Outback Prices here

What we like about the 2010 Subaru Outback
1. Spacious and Comfortable
2. Excellent on-road and off-road performance
3. Top notch reliability

What we don’t
1. Lack of a 3.0L or 2.5L Turbo option to bridge the power gap between the 2.5L and the 3.6L

The 2010 Subaru Outback is an excellent car that is worth its money. We would have loved to see either the 3.0L DOHC or the 2.5L Turbo brought back in the BR lineup. This to bridge the crucial power gap between the mild 2.5L and the powerful 3.6L. But overall, the 2010 Outback is a superior car that is as reliable as a horse.

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