2019 Holden Calais Tourer v Subaru Outback Comparison | carsales

2019 Holden Calais Tourer v Subaru Outback Comparison | carsales


Aussies love touring in the outback so on
that basis what better vehicles to bring out here than a Holden Calais-V Tourer and a Subaru
Outback? But do they deliver what’s stamped on the
box? They are very much passenger based vehicles
so can they survive in harsh conditions like these? Let’s go and find out. The Outback is a jacked-up version of the
Liberty Wagon that’s no longer sold in Australia while the Tourer is a very close relation
of the Holden Commodore Sportwagon also imported from Germany. The Holden has a big edge when it comes to
performance, thanks to its 3.6 litre V6 petrol engine, while the Subaru makes do with a 2.5
litre boxer four cylinder. But the Outback balances that up by being
significantly cheaper. And they come out pretty equal on things like
their all-wheel drive systems, quality interiors, five seat capacity and plentiful luggage space. But driving them in the rugged and beautiful
Flinders Ranges soon starts showing up some big differences. The Outback really does live up to its name
on these gravel roads you find so often out here, rocky sections, corrugation, wash-aways,
it’s got the long travel suspension and the compliance to cope with it all. Very impressive. We’re driving on a pretty well-maintained
gravel road. It’s a tourist drive in the Flinders Ranges,
but even on this road I’m super-conscious of the lack of ground clearance and long overhangs
of this car. You just worry all the time about touching
something down and potentially causing damage. Yes, the Tourer has only 125 millimetres of
ground clearance, which is little more than a standard station wagon, while the Outback
has 213 millimetres. But that’s not its only advantage. The Outback does have a little bit of off-road
capability. It’s got good approach, departure and ramp
over angles, or certainly better than the Commodore. Its four by four system is pretty effective
and it’s got hill descent control. So you can get up some stuff and you can get
down some stuff, more than you could in the Commodore, that’s for sure. It doesn’t all go the Subaru’s way of course. The Tourer is a fun bitumen and smooth gravel
road drive and there’s no denying that drivetrain which blows the Subaru’s four cylinder away
when it comes to response. The Tourer’s drivetrain is a really interesting
combination. You’ve got that big lump of a V6 upfront,
so traditional Aussie; instant response, instant power, instant fuel consumption. Then it combines with a nine speed auto, nine
speeds. But it is a very intuitive, impressive piece
of work. In fact it could be the best thing about the
entire vehicle. Through all this, as we discovered the characters
of these two vehicles, the Flinders Ranges provided a stunning backdrop. It’s easy to see why so many people come here
and why you should too. But should you come in an Outback or a Tourer? Well, it turns out these two cars are actually
aptly named. The Outback is great for those gravel corrugated
roads that run across the outback. It’s also got enough four-wheel drive ability
to cope with moderate obstacles. For touring, again well-named, but for bitumen
touring; this thing doesn’t even pay lip-service to being a proper off-roader. So in summary, considering what we set out
to achieve here, I know which vehicle I’m taking to the outback.