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Independent road testing of Subaru's All-Wheel Drive Outback by the NRMA has shown fuel consumption far better than its traditional four-wheel drive com petitors.
An All-Wheel Drive, dual-range, manual transmission 2.5-litre Outback underwent a series of three city and highway fuel consumption tests. These covered an average of 200 km city and highway cycles.
The average fuel consumption was 10.3 litres per 100 km city and 7.6 highway. Combined fuel consumption was 9.0 litres/i 00 km.
This puts the Outback at a considerable advantage over Toyota's Landcruiser Prado, Mitsubishi Challenger and Nissan Pathfinder.
The manufacturers' own quoted figures for the vehicles are:
|City cycle L/100km
Source: Australian Standard 2877 for city and highway cycles. Figures may vary under independent testing.
The Outback's climate control air conditioning was used throughout the testing and the NRMA testers also used cruise control where possible during the highway cycles.
The NRMA used a variety of major and minor Sydney roads during city cycle testing. Their report said: "The mix of roads used by the NRMA was designed to offer a diverse range of driving conditions that the average motorist is likely to encounter whilst driving in and around the city of Sydney."
For the highway cycle, the NRMA used the F3 expressway between Sydney and Newcastle.
Subaru General Manager, Mr Nick Senior, said: "With fuel prices so high we're getting consistent customer feedback in our showrooms that fuel consumption is a major issue.
"There is a genuine increase in the number of customers with thirsty, heavy duty four-wheel drive vehicles visiting Subaru dealerships looking for a more economical All-Wheel Drive.
"We are fortunate to be able to offer a choice of either the 2.5-litre Outback or the 3.0-litre H6, which is ideal for those coming out of heavy-duty four wheel drives that don't want to compromise on power, yet still want a much more economical vehicle."
Mr Senior said an Outback 2.5-litre is about 30 per cent more economical around town than a Prado four cylinder, according to A52877.
"We're pleased to point out that while we offer the safety benefits of All-Wheel Drive, we don't have the downside of our competitors, which is heavy fuel consumption," he said.