Published: Thu, April 18, 2019
Economy | By

All-New 2020 Subaru Outback: Rugged, Tech-Laden, and Refined

All-New 2020 Subaru Outback: Rugged, Tech-Laden, and Refined

For instance, thanks to its new platform, the Outback is more planted and refined. We have all the details from the 2019 New York International Auto Show.

Inside, the Outback gets updated tech, including the latest version of Subaru's EyeSight driver assistance suite.

Like many other Subaru models (XV, Impreza, Legacy and Ascent), the latest Outback rides on the Subaru Global Platform (SGP). It rises on MacPherson struts up front, while the rear has a double-wishbone layout.

It starts with a more powerful engine, in this case a 2.4-liter turbocharged flat-4 that delivers 260 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque, up from the 256 hp and 247 lb-ft of the previous generation's flat-6. Outback also gets the DriverFocus Distraction Mitigation System that made its debut on the new 2019 Forester.


The fact that people can buy an Outback with a turbo engine for the first time in years might be enough to sway some vehicle shoppers, but that might not be the most important feature here. Lower trims are powered by a 182-hp naturally aspirated 2.5-liter Boxer, and both engines come mated to a Lineartronic CVT transmission with 8-speed manual mode and paddle shifters.

Opt for the turbo-4 and the Outback is rated to tow 3,500 pounds. It includes automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and lane centering. An available driver-attention monitor uses an infrared camera to watch the driver and sounds an alert if it detects distracted eyes. Other available features include responsive headlights that rotate as the auto turns, blind spot warning, and rear cross traffic alert with automatic braking. Crash protection is also improved, as the new body is capable of absorbing over 40% more energy in front or side crashes than before. That uses a front camera to give a 180-degree view of the terrain ahead of the Outback on the 11.6-inch dashboard display. Outback will be available in Base, Premium, Limited, Touring, Onyx Edition XT, Limited XT and Touring XT models.

Cloth upholstery covers the seats in base and Premium trims, while the Onyx Edition comes with water-resistant synthetic leather, Limiteds are dressed in real leather, and Tourings come with softer nappa hides.

Out back, the Outback's newly available hands-free power-lift system opens the tailgate with the wave of a hand, providing access to a widened load-area opening. For 2020, seat heaters come with three levels of temperature adjustment as well as extended coverage up to the shoulders for improved comfort. Touring Outbacks then pile on ventilated front seats and a heated steering wheel to make commuting all the more civilized when it's chilly outside. Up to four USB ports and two household-style outlets stand by to power devices. Fold the rear seats down, and you get 78 in (198 cm) of floor length and 75.7 cu ft (2,144 L) of overall cargo space. Roof rails with integrated, retractable cross bars and tie-downs are also standard. Standard on all but the Base trim, the 11.6-inch Multimedia display offers direct touch controls for multimedia, HVAC, X-MODE and vehicle settings, and includes Near Field Communication to its list of features. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard, while onboard Wi-Fi is optional.

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