The Wrong Fuel Rescue Guide to The Subaru Outback


The Subaru Outback is the amalgamation of the classic family station wagon and the modern mid-size SUV. An off-terrain vehicle, meant for that purpose, that is just as comfortable on the city streets as it is off of them. It’s safe to say that the Outback’s evolution has been as equally as impressive as the great territory it shares its name with. Join us in this Wrong Fuel Rescue guide as we take a look at this versatile vehicle, as well as what to do should you accidentally misfuel your Subaru Outback.


The Wrong Fuel Rescue Guide: History of The Subaru Outback


While Subaru has by no means been the pioneer of station wagons, it can be said that the Outback played a significant role in the popularisation of them – at least through the mid-90s to mid-2000s. With the Outback, Subaru managed to uncover a market outside that of middle-class, suburban families. And with over two million units sold in the US alone, it’s not difficult to see why the station wagon is so immensely popular.


Since the Subaru Outback’s inception in 1994, there have been six generations through which the Outback has seen a great deal of changes. The Outback was initially based on the second-generation Subaru Legacy L-wagon and was famously marketed as a smart and rugged alternative to larger SUVs by Australia’s very own Paul Hogan. The first-generation model closely mimicked that of the Legacy, though it slowly began to find its own character with a 7.3-inch clearance, a raised roof, and chunkier tires introduced in 1996.


Subaru would continue to base the next-generation Outback off the preceding generation’s Legacy L-wagon lineups, though it would officially spin off as its own model with the release of the second generation. The second-gen Outbacks, between 2000 and 2003, were longer and wider than their predecessors and, notably, introduced a 3.0-litre EZ30, six-cylinder engine that was only available to the sportier Alcyone and SVX lines at the time.


The third-gen Outback was unveiled in 2003 for the 2004 year and was once again increased in just about every possible dimension while sporting a new exterior look that got rid of the soft lines of the previous two generations. A third engine option was added to the mix in the Outback XT—a turbocharged 2.5-litre flat-four that produced 250 horsepower.


The fourth generation Subaru Outback (2009-2014) saw a dramatic increase in size, with the width expanding by 3.6 inches while the wheelbase grew by 2.8 inches, changes which ultimately resulted in a bigger interior with more cabin space and subtly made the Outback compete with SUVs, albeit indirectly. It was also during this time that Subaru introduced a diesel engine in this line for the first time, namely the Outback 2.0D.


The fifth generation saw slight increases to the wheelbase and length, and even though small (0.2 inches, 0.6 inches, and 0.7 inches respectively), it still resulted in significant growth in interior space – 105.4 cubic feet to 108.1 cubic feet while the cargo area gained an extra 2 cubic feet. The diesel engine would remain as an option in the form of the Outback 2.0D but would be the last generation to offer a diesel alternative as it has been discontinued for the current generation.


The continuously variable transmission (CVT), which we will touch on later, became the only transmission choice while the new edition received the latest version of Subaru’s Eyesight advanced safety suite. An advanced safety system that has been labelled as “an extra set of eyes on the road and an extra foot on the brake when you drive”.


The Wrong Fuel Rescue Guide to the all-new Subaru Outback


The 2023 version of the Subaru Outback may blend in well with SUVs thanks to a raised ride height and rugged look, but at its core, it remains a station wagon that offers incredible versatility. And even though you won’t likely find it scaling Carson River without a sweat, it can venture further off-road than any other ‘traditional’ station wagon or family vehicle on the market. The Outback impresses with a lot of capability at a price that makes much more sense than that of its rivals. Let’s take a closer look at all it has to offer.


The Subaru Outback Build and Price


For Australia, the 2023 Subaru comes available in five trim levels, namely the Outback, Outback Sport, Outback Touring, Outback Sport XT, and the Outback Touring XT. The Base model (Outback) starts at $47 605 as a driveaway price and all models come standard with all-wheel drive. The Touring XT is the most advanced in the line-up and has a driveway price tag of $61 570.


The Wrong Fuel Rescue Guide to The Subaru Outback Exterior, Interior, and Other Features


For 2023, the Outback receives subtle yet easily-distinguishable appearance changes on the exterior. The most notable of which include a modified front-end design in the form of distinctive sharp lines on the bonnet, a larger and darker grille (keeping up with the times), revised headlamps, and an altered front bumper, with plastic cladding, from its 2022 predecessor. The plastic cladding is also fitted in and around the wheel arches which was not present before.


All Subaru Outback models come with roof rails as standard, as one would expect, though the rails vary between black and silver depending on which model is in question. For the exterior colour itself, buyers will have a total of between six and nine options available, once again model dependent.


On the inside, the new Outback is spacious, comfortable, and made of quality materials. While the cabin design is on the conservative side, it is functional and has an impressive seating height. Barring the Base model, all the Outbacks in the line have dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, as well as numerous USB ports throughout. In the fancier trim levels, you could even expect to find things like a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats, and heated and reclining rear seats.


All Outback trims (available in Australia) come with an 11.6 vertical touchscreen that features large icons and quick response times, as well as a rotary volume/tuning knob with some easier-to-use physical buttons for climate control. For 2023, the Outback gains Apple Carplay and Android Auto capability, as it should if it were to compete with its competitors. The Touring trim features built-in navigation as well, and remarkably, a CD player too. Six speaker audio systems come standard barring the Touring trims that are fitted with a 12-speaker Harman Kardon premium setup.


In terms of space, passengers will find plenty. This generation Outback provides more leg, shoulder, and headroom than ever before. The seats-up cargo space comes up short when stacked against SUV competitors, however, it stacks up just as well when compared by having the seats down – 924 litres and 2140 litres of space respectively.


The Wrong Fuel Rescue Guide to the Engine, Drive, and Safety of The Subaru Outback


When it comes to the engine, transmission, and performance of the Outback, enthusiasts are in for a treat. The lineup features two flat-four-cylinder engines. A 2.5 litre that produces 182 horsepower comes as standard, while there is also a 2.4 turbocharged option that puts out up to an impressive 260 horsepower. Both engines come with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) which imitates an eight-speed gearbox, to drown out excessive engine buzz.


All Outbacks have all-wheel driving, as has become synonymous with Subaru’s offering, along with the 8.7-inch ground clearance makes for a comfortable and easy-to-navigate driving experience that Outback owners have come to expect. This makes driving in inclement weather, mud, and moderate off-roading a breeze. Fuel consumption for the 2023 Outback depends on the type of engine and model chosen, but it is estimated at 7.3L/100km for the standard engine, while the turbocharged engine in the Sport XT trim manages 9L/100km.


The commanding engines combined with the AWD system result in an impressive towing capacity of between 2000kg to 2400kg – a massive upgrade from the 1500kg – 2000kg capacity of the previous generation; something that bodes well considering the adventurous spirit of a large portion of the market of the Outback.


Safety-conscious buyers can rest assured, too. The 2022 Subaru Outback earned a five-star rating with scores well over 80 per cent in all categories. One could expect the same, if not better, scores for the 2023 model. But the Subaru Eyesight 4.0 Driver Assist Technology impresses the most and is one of, if not the, most advanced safety systems on the market and received the highest possible ratings for front crash prevention by the American IIHS.


Some other notable safety features include:


  • Autonomous emergency braking (forward and reverse)
  • Autonomous emergency steering
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Driver attention monitoring
  • Lane-departure warning
  • Lane-keep assist
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Traffic sign recognition


Need a Wrong Fuel Rescue for your Subaru Outback?


If you have purchased a new Subaru Outback, you should have been informed that the only fuel for it would be petrol. However, the world is not perfect and old habits die hard. You may still be used to your old ‘Subie’ diesel or your previous diesel vehicle in general, and as a result, you may accidentally misfuel your new petrol Subaru Outback with diesel.


Not to worry though, that is why Wrong Fuel Rescue is here. If you, by chance, put diesel in your petrol Subaru Outback or, if you have an older model and put petrol in your diesel Subaru Outback, we can help!


In fact, Wrong Fuel Rescue can rectify 99.9% of misfuelling situations without there being any long-term or permanent damage to the vehicle or its engine. Here are some warning signs that you may have misfuelled your Subaru Outback:


  • A loss of power, acceleration, and performance
  • Loud knocking sounds from the engine
  • A large amount of smoke coming from the exhaust
  • Sudden cutting out of the engine
  • Stuttering movements from the vehicle when driving


If you experience any, or worse all, of these warning signs, there is a good chance that you may have used the wrong fuel for the engine of your Subaru Outback. The best thing to do is to pull over as soon as it is safe to do so, and while it may be tempting to drive to the nearest repair shop, it’s better to remain stationary to limit any possible damage to the engine.


Your next step should be to contact us at Wrong Fuel Rescue. As a mobile service, we’re able to send a qualified technician your way who will drain the contaminated fuel, flush the fuel system with the correct fuel on site, and clean/replace the spark plugs (in a petrol engine) to remove any carbon deposits. For complete peace of mind, the mechanic performs a scanning test with specialised software tools to rule out any fault codes in the vehicle’s management system before we confidently send you on your way again.