In Subaru’s new Outback, the fourth generation of the Japanese manufacturer’s infotainment system is now available. The modernized system immediately won an award for its design. It’s called the “audio infotainment system” and is part of the standard equipment. In the model variant of the Outback called Platinum, there is also a HiFi system from Harman Kardon, more speakers and an additional subwoofer then ensure better sound.
The new infotainment is somewhat reminiscent of similar systems in the Renault: The on-board monitor with a diagonal of 11.6 inches is positioned on the center console like a tablet in portrait format and is also responsible for operating the air conditioning and seat heating. Not everything has to be done by the finger on the touch-sensitive display. For some basic functions of air conditioning and ventilation there are physical buttons on the left and right of the display. The volume of the hi-fi system can also be adjusted as usual with a rotary switch.
However, everything else has arrived in the digital world. Seven tiles show the way to the submenus, they are drawn large enough so that they can be reached quickly. Further tiles with individual settings can be added quickly, in this way the individualization succeeds immediately. In addition, the Subaru saves various driver profiles, which are automatically switched to thanks to the built-in interior cameras. The vehicle always knows who is at the steering wheel and automatically adjusts the radio transmitter, seats and exterior mirrors when the ignition is switched on.
Telephony, radio and media playback as well as the Bluetooth connection are implemented convincingly and do not bring any surprises. The navigation is from TomTom and does the job well. However, the menus are very limited and you have to do without real-time traffic information. There are also no online services in the new outback. The voice recognition for the identification of navigation targets works properly, so that the new system can be praised overall, although it only offers basic functionality. Since Apple Carplay and Android Auto are supported in the wired version, the system can be upgraded to real-time traffic data from the two American providers in a snap.