What has Subaru been up to lately? With no new products, Subaru has looked at its exiting Outback and Legacy models and plugged in new software that promises to make both models safer. Two years after launch the 2016 Legacy and Outback models come standard with functions which although new for Subaru are commonplace in the premium segment.
The first of these new systems in Cross Traffic which helps the driver reverse safely by warning him of approaching cars. Engaged automatically when reverse gear is selected, the radar cameras are able to detect cars 70 metres away before signalling the driver through indicators in the side mirrors and an audible sound.
Blind Spot Monitoring is another system that will be familiar to many and helps avoid those accidents when changing lanes. Using radars it can detect a vehicle approaching on either the right or left side of the vehicle and notifies the driver by flashing a small light in the side mirror.
All new Subaru Legacy and Outback models are equipped with High Beam Assist. A camera in the centre mirror determines the brightness of oncoming lights, tail lights or surrounding street lights and adjusts the low beam or high beam setting automatically.
Legacy and Outback models come with user-friendly Smartphone integration with the introduction of Siri Eyes-Free. Operating under a name first coined by Apple, but sharing no other similarities, its ability to command certain functions like navigation and music through voice control reduces the number of distractions.
These are useful features but the competitor is already on its third or fourth evolution of these systems while Subaru is only now responding to these demands. Sadly for Subaru, this just a microcosm of the brand’s sluggishness to adapt to new trends.