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The 2018 Subaru Outback

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The 2018 Outback has better ground clearance compared to the Impreza. PHOTOS | ROLAND D.NASASIRA

Car manufacturers have continually improved the technology in each new model they produce. For example, in the latest cars, adjusting the seat is as easy as pressing or holding a button.

This convenient feature is also available in the 2018 model Subaru Outback. One noticeable difference in the 2018 Outback from its predecessors is its shorter length compared to previous models. 

Additionally, the 2018 Outback has better ground clearance compared to the Impreza. The car also has hard plastic black skirtings on the front and rear bumpers to prevent damage when driving onto raised pavements. The boot can be opened and closed with just the press of a key and is spacious enough to carry approximately five average-sized bunches of bananas. 

A unique feature is that the driver’s door allows you to set the boot door to open to a specific height. The boot door is also fitted with a rear-view camera used for reversing and for a wider view of the car’s surroundings, especially in traffic jams. In the case of a flat tyre, the car also has a built-in pressure pump. 

Aesthetically, the 2019 model Outback features a honeycomb grill with a hidden front-facing camera, 17-inch alloy rims, and automatic daytime running and fog lights. When driving at night, the Outback dims its headlights automatically when oncoming motorists flash full lights at you, allowing you to safely navigate ahead.


During my three-hour test drive of the four-year-old car, I started at Naguru, then drove through Kololo, Nakasero, Yusuf Lule Road, Jinja Road, and back to Naguru via Lugogo.

Mujib Tusuubira, a car dealer at, says the 2018 Outback costs Shs85m, including taxes. The newer the year of manufacture, the higher the price. 


The Outback’s interior features heated seats for backseat passengers, evenly distributed air conditioner vents, and USB charging ports positioned at the back end of the middle console. 

The door handles are leather-coated, and the dashboard is a beautiful combination of wooden trims, silver lining, and strong leather that protects the underneath of the windscreen from splitting or breaking due to hot temperatures. The driver and passenger legrooms are also accommodating for users of all postures.

The centre of the dashboard features a seven-inch smart touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, and navigation capabilities. The handbrake is located next to the gear lever on the centre console. To engage it, gently lift it until it lights up red, indicating that it is activated.

To disengage, gently press it downward. There is also a view button that, when pressed, provides a wider view around the car using its multiple cameras, two of which are positioned behind the rearview mirror.

Driving modes

The 2019 Outback has different driving modes; X, intelligent, sport, and SI. Each mode affects acceleration. When I test-drove it, I preferred the X mode. It reduces tyre spin when driving downhill, providing better control of the car with minimal pressure on the brake pedal. When I reached Yusuf Lule and Jinja Roads, I switched to the SI mode, which accelerated very quickly.

Equipped with a 2500cc engine, the 2019 Outback also has cruise control and lane-keeping features. You can set it to follow the car ahead of you, allowing for hands-free operation as it maintains a safe distance. When the vehicle approaches the car ahead, it brakes automatically without you needing to touch the brake pedal.

This is, however, scary because it stops when it is almost ramming into the vehicle ahead. It is safer when set to the top within a given safer distance from the car being trailed. 


During traffic jams, the car has an auto start and stop feature to save fuel and reduce emissions. This feature is indicated by a button labelled A on the driver’s side, just below the steering wheel. Additionally, the car is equipped with paddle shifters located behind the steering wheel that allows you to switch between manual and automatic transmission.

It also has seat memory features for two drivers, which automatically adjusts the driver’s seat when you enter the car. The car also displays fuel consumption in mileage. After a three-hour test drive in slow-moving traffic, the car covered an average of 4.6km per litre, with a total distance travelled of approximately 20km.


The Outback is equipped with blind spot assist features, which are activated when there is another motorist that you may not be able to see clearly, especially when they are following you. If you are attempting to overtake and are unsure if there is a car behind you, the car will sound an alarm as a warning. 

Additionally, at night, the rearview mirror automatically dims itself if a motorist trailing you flashes their high beams. One downside of the Outback though is that it does not have provision for a spare tyre.