Best AWD SUV under $50,000 - Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium

RACV RoyalAuto magazine

The previous Outback was buried mid-pack in last year’s awards. But a new model rises to the top thanks to a range of improvements, including fuel consumption, and significant price reductions. Judges also rewarded Outback’s lengthy features list with an equal best-in-class standard equipment score.

Subaru has paid attention to safety with Outback, achieving the highest ANCAP score of any Subaru to date. The latest version of Subaru’s EyeSight driver assistance technology is fitted to Outback, making driver interaction with the vehicle easier.

Outback’s infotainment system has been upgraded. The user-friendly touch-screen includes Pandora connectivity, sat-nav and voice recognition for several functions.

Outback shines in Design and Function. This means good seating, user-friendly ergonomics and the highly practical nature required in a SUV. It’s also a high achiever when it comes to fit and finish. Cabin and cargo space have increased, and access to the load area is via a powered tailgate. Plus there’s a full-size spare wheel.

The 2.5L boxer engine delivers solid though not class-leading performance, but it’s matched to a CVT that is one of the best on offer.