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The 2019 Subaru Outback

If you have a fur child, you’ll know the look I was getting from my dog, Felix. The “I’m bored dad, please take me to the beach” eyes.

The 2019 Subaru Outback

If you have a fur child, you’ll know the look I was getting from my dog, Felix. The “I’m bored dad, please take me to the beach” eyes. Lying on his bed, head on the ground, with his big eyes looking up at me. It’s the kind of look that makes you wonder if dogs can actually see your heartstrings, and know exactly which ones to pull.

Granted, Felix was owed a few walks as I had been neglecting my daddy duties due to workload. A slight nod of my head was all that was required for Felix to jump up and bolt for the door, tail wagging at top speed as I grabbed his leash and obligatory plastic packet. At the press of a button, the rear tailgate of the Outback  opened itself, and Felix launched himself into the spacious boot, his eyes beaming at me: “Dad! We’re going to the beach!”

The 2019 Outback is packed full of useful features which makes life as a pet owner just that little bit easier. For instance, to fold down the rear seats in my 2006 Outback, I have to lean all the way into the boot and stretch my arm to the back of the rear seats in order to reach the fold-down latch. This sometimes results in an embarrassing “fall into the boot with legs dangling out” scenario. In the 2019 Outback, the brilliant designers at Subaru have added convenient seat release levers into the sides of the boot, so you no longer have to strain to reach the back seats.

With one happy dog loaded into the Subaru, off we drove. Felix assumed his position with head hanging out of the window, sniffing the air eagerly, and the wind ruffling his scruffy hair.

Now, I’ll admit that despite being a born and bred Capetonian, I am not the biggest fan of the beach. Sure the blue skies, fresh ocean breeze and romantic sunsets are lovely, but it’s the sand that irks me. Sand on the beach is fine, that’s where it belongs, but when the sand decides it wants to come home with you – that’s where I draw the line. Not only does it end up in between my toes, in the fabric weave of my socks, inside my pants pockets and, on very windy days, inside my ears, but possibly the worst place is in my car.

Fortunately the 2019 Outback I currently enjoy driving is kitted with a Takla Executive Loadliner – possibly the most perfect vehicle protection solution for dog owners. Not only does it protect the interior of your vehicle from the teeth, claws, fur and slobber of man’s best friend, but when used on rear seats in down full flat mode, the entire rear section of the Outback can be used to cart around anything, from timber to trash.

Made from military spec materials, the load liners are fully waterproof and are designed to be highly functional. Comprising two sections, one is a custom fitted liner that stays in the vehicle, and the second is a removable rubberised liner for easy cleaning. It is a very well thought out product, and a must have for any pet owner, or those who use their Subaru to carry cargo.

Arriving at the beach, Felix could not contain his excitement and as soon as the boot opened itself, he launched himself out and made a dash for the water, looking for any canine companions along the way.

I tolerate the sandy beach because of how happy Felix is when galavanting up and down, chewing on seaweed, fetching other dogs’ balls, and socialising with his buddies. But eventually I call it a day and have to coax him back to the car, which can take a while as he drags his paws, knowing that a bath awaits at home.

Loading him into the Outback is a breeze. The auto tailgate opens itself, the Takla Boot Liner has a flap that folds outwards to protect the vehicle’s bumper, and in Felix hops. I normally grimace at all the sand that sprays off of him as he gives a final shake off, but with the removable boot liner – cleaning it out couldn’t be easier. Lift out the rubber section, flip it upside down, and reinstall! If it’s very dirty you can just hose it down and let it dry.

Sadly, I had to return the 2019 Outback to Subaru last week after two months of enjoyment, and although I still love my 2006 model, I am missing so many of the thoughtful modern conveniences that Subaru has added to the current model. They have managed to keep the Outback true to it’s “do anything, go anywhere, highly capable yet understated” heritage, but added tonnes of features that make life just that much simpler. One becomes accustomed to the mod cons very quickly and I had to laugh at myself when I reached up to close my Outback’s boot, pushed an imaginary button and waited for about 5 seconds before realising that I, in fact, had to close the boot lid.

A huge thank you to Subaru SA for allowing me the use of its fantastic 2019 Outbacks for the past 2 months. Felix and I have sent Santa our Christmas wish list.