The Subaru Outback is powered by a choice between two 4-cylinder engines for 2020. The base engine is a revision of the old 2.5L boxer that powered last year’s model, though for 2020 horsepower has been increased to 182. The optional engine is a new turbocharged 4-cylinder boxer displacing 2.4 liters and making 260 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque. Both numbers are up from the less efficient 6-cylinder engine it replaces. On all models, power is sent to all four wheels via a continuously variable transmission (CVT) to help maximize fuel economy, with the most powerful Outback still achieving 30 mpg on the highway.
The Outback is available in no fewer than five different trim levels for 2020: Base, Premium, Limited, Touring and Onyx Edition with Limited and Touring trims also available as XT versions which feature the more powerful turbocharged engine.
Perhaps the most impressive bit of standard equipment on the Subaru Outback is their EyeSight suite of driver assist tech. EyeSight includes a head up display, LED headlights with automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control with a lane centering function and a pre-collision braking system which can help predict a collision and automatically apply the brakes. Other standard equipment on base Outback models includes two 7-inch screens running on Subaru’s STARLINK multimedia system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, SiriusXM satellite radio, 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic wipers, paddle shifters and automatic climate control.
The Premium trim adds a bigger 11.6-inch screen, a better sound system, heated front seats and heated power-folding exterior mirrors, a leather wrapped steering wheel, dual-zone climate control and a 10-way adjustable power driver’s seat. The Premium trim still comes in at under $29,000 making it an excellent value.
The Limited trim includes a power rear liftgate, 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights that can swivel with the steering wheel, an 8-way power adjustable passenger seat with memory functions for both front seats, heated outboard rear seats, leather upholstery, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a Harman/Kardon premium sound system.
The Touring trim adds a power sliding moonroof, integrated turn signals in the mirrors, chrome door handles, a heated steering wheel, Napa leather upholstery and a navigation system.
The Onyx edition trim comes only with the more powerful turbocharged engine, and though it’s equipped similarly to the Limited trim, it also gets several exterior styling tweaks such as blacked out badging and wheels. The interior of the Onyx edition is a two-tone grey with seats wrapped in StarTex, a material that should provide a fair amount of comfort, in addition to its water repellent qualities.
The Subaru Outback enters its sixth generation with the 2020 model year and the new Outback is sharper looking, more practical, safer and quieter than ever before. The Outback now sits on Subaru’s Global Platform, which is far stiffer than the chassis it replaces, allowing the car to be both safer and better-handling without any penalty to the ride quality. In addition to the changes under the skin, Subaru has thrown a hefty load of technology at the Outback in the name of safety.
Spacious interior; all-wheel drive; safety feature set;
The 2020 Subaru Outback is all new, however pricing hasn’t changed much relative to the 2019 model, with prices for the base version only climbing by a few hundred dollars. With a starting price of below $27,000, the Outback is quite affordable, particularly considering the space on offer. Most of the safety features come standard on the base model as well, so the entry point for the lineup offers a lot of value for the money. Subaru offers a wide variety of options and luxury features on the Outback, so there is a configuration for those looking for a more upscale experience.