Before there was the iconic WRX lineup of Subaru sporting vehicles, this once very practical automaker specialized in the sturdy yet economical vehicles by which it made its name such as with the Subaru Outback. Over the course of multiple generations it has grown in popularity, size and utility and there is no doubt the 2012 Subaru Outback 3.6R is the best of the breed thanks to a mighty powerful 3.6 liter flat-six engine that rests under its rather tall hood.
But according to some Americans there is still some confusion as to where the Subaru Outback comes from given its misleading name. Yes, dear readers, there are a number of Americans out there who think the Subaru Outback is an Australian car. Apparently 1980’s film star Paul Hogan’s appearance in some old Subaru ads cemented this notion in with some people who probably also pronounce Toyota “Taay-yo-tah.”
For the record, Subaru is owned by Fuji Heavy Industries which is a Japanese firm and the Outback is built here in the United States (Indiana to be precise) at the first auto plant to ever put out zero landfill waste. So it’s really a Japanese/American hybrid built in one of the “greenest” plants in the world. So while we fear most Americans think “Australian” steak house and not a vast desert, we think Subaru’s recent mainstream sales momentum proves that they are better understood than ever before.
But then there was one niggling detail that we found in our 3.6R Limited tester’s in-dash navigation unit and it made us wonder where this whole “Subaru comes from Australia” theory developed. Despite constantly setting the voice on the navigation system to “U.S. Male,” the gentleman giving the directions always did so with a, you guessed it, an Australian accent. Blame it on an electrical fault, sheer coincidence or proof that Paul Hogan will one day return here triumphantly with yet an even bigger knife there is one thing for sure. Absolutely none of that matters, however, as the 2012 Outback wagon is one of the smartest family hauler choices you can make today.