Can the 2018 Subaru Outback conquer all three stages of Gold Mine Hill?
After a years-long absence following our trek in an Outback up Cliffhanger, we’re taking a new one off-road! More specifically, we just purchased a 2018 Subaru Outback 2.5i. In this video, we take it up against another TFL long-termer – the 1991 Jeep Cherokee. It’s four-wheel drive versus all-wheel drive, old-school ruggedness versus more modern technology. We know from previous experience the Cherokee can make it up stage three of Gold Mine Hill. But can the Subaru take the challenge head on?
On paper, here’s how the 2018 Subaru Outback stands up. This particular model has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder Boxer engine making 175 horsepower and 174 lb-ft of torque. That engine comes mated to a Continously Variable Transmission. On the up side, that CVT is great for fuel economy. Compared to the previous generation (24 City/30 Highway/26 Combined mpg), the new CVT manages 25 City/32 Highway/28 Combined mpg. However, a CVT hobbles the Outback’s ability to tackle off-road obstacles.
How far can Roman make it up Gold Mine Hill in the 2018 Subaru Outback? Not all the way, as it turns out. While the old-school Cherokee made it up each obstacle, the Subaru ultimately fell at stage three, hamstrung by its CVT.
In the end, we have to hand the trophy to the Cherokee in this old versus new challenge. The Subaru Outback is tremendously capable as an adventure vehicle in most terrain, but its transmission coupled with the four-cylinder engine just didn’t give it the oomph needed to get up the more technical stage three.
Stay tuned to TFLcar.com for more news, views and real-world reviews! Subscribe to The Fast Lane Car and TFLnow for more videos. Check out the video below to see the unboxing of our new long-term Subaru: