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Out and about with the Subaru Outback (sponsored)

The Subaru Outback is the perfect choice for drivers who rack up cross-country miles as well as short journeys

There can scarcely be a sterner test for a car than family life – the daily grind of the school run and the commute to the office, but also the longer journeys that can take the children across the country and back in a weekend (and in all weathers). This is where the Subaru Outback comes into its own.

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Tom and Annie, who live on the outskirts of Warwick with their children, rely heavily on their Outback. The couple have acted as glorified taxi drivers for their children plenty of times – taking their daughter to play football matches the length and breadth of the country, and using the estate’s large boot to ferry their son and his worldly possessions down to university life in Southampton.

These longer journeys are where the Outback’s cutting-edge safety equipment gives the couple real reassurance – not just the maximum five-star Euro NCAP safety rating, but also the hi-tech systems that guard Tom and Annie against having accidents in the first place.

Tom already believes that the car has saved him from a nasty accident or two. “The safety kit I really like on the car is the blind spot monitoring,” he says. “Everyone thinks they’re a good driver but it only takes a split-second of lapsed concentration and then you can have a crash. On the Subaru, when there’s a hazard in your blind spot, a light illuminates in the mirror to tell you if a car is there. It’s certainly saved me a few times.”

Annie is impressed by how easy it is to manoeuvre the Subaru when she takes the car into town. “The number of jokes about my parking have reduced now that we have the reversing camera, plus front and side view monitors,” she says. “The display on the central screen makes it super-easy to park, even in a tight spot.”

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But her real highlight is EyeSight, Subaru’s twin-camera-based safety system, which watches the road for hazards and keeps the car a steady distance behind the one in front when you’re using cruise control. And even when you’re in charge of braking and acceleration, it’ll warn you or even provide braking assistance, to help you avoid a collision.

“It’s easy to get tired on the longer journeys,” she says, “and that sometimes results in the odd lapse in concentration. But EyeSight is always looking out for you. The adaptive cruise control is absolutely outstanding for longer motorway journeys. I just set my cruising speed and distance to the vehicle in front and the car does the rest; it brakes and accelerates all for me.” Annie rates the pre-collision braking system highly as well; this gives warnings and can even provide braking assistance to help you avoid an impact.

Perhaps the cleverest bit of all is that the Subaru keeps this technology bubbling under the surface; like the car’s trademark Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. It’s all there to make sure the Outback delivers Tom, Annie and family safely to where they need to go, whenever they need to go there.

“All of the tech doesn’t mean that the car feels like a robot to drive,” says Tom. “It’s really comfortable on long journeys, helped by the refinement of the petrol engine. And we also know that the Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system allows us to go anywhere, no matter what the terrain or weather. The Outback really does everything we ask of it.”

To find out more about the Subaru Outback, click here

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Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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