2020 Subaru Outback


By Mauricio Lezcano carsntravel.com / Photos Subaru US Media Center

Subaru introduces the all-new 2020 Outback offering advanced features, design and capability. The sixth-generation SUV comes standard with Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and Subaru’s EyeSight Driver Assist Technology.


Design
Following a Dynamic x Solid philosophy, the all-new Outback is anchored to an Active x Tough concept. The result is a rugged and functional design that inspires wanderlust and enables active lifestyles. The 2020 Outback projects a large presence from thicker profile panel surfaces and raised rear gate as well as a sense of speed from its dynamic silhouette. Wider fenders, large hexagonal grille, front cladding and LED fog lights on the corners emphasize the SUV’s capability. Cladding on the side of the Outback, meant to resemble a hiking boot, further enhances this concept.

The interior design uses a widened windshield and long lines from the center of the instrument panel to the door panels to create an open environment. The Outback Touring leverages luxurious appointments inside and out, including Nappa leather, high-gloss black molding for the pillars, chrome plating decorated door handles and satin tone plated side mirrors.

New for 2020, the Onyx Edition XT features black-finish exterior elements, 18-inch alloy wheels and badging, and an exclusive gray two-tone interior. Further, the seats are wrapped in a new water repellant durable StarTex material. The Onyx Edition XT builds on the Premium trim and adds the 2.4-liter turbo BOXER, Hands-Free Power Gate, Front View Monitor and, for increased capability in a wider range of environmental conditions, exclusive Dual-Mode X-MODE and full-size spare tire.


COMFORT AND VEHICLE TECHNOLOGY
For 2020, all trim levels except the base model feature standard heated front seats and a 10-way power front, driver seat with lumbar support and the Limited and Touring trims add an adjustable cushion length to the driver seat. Limited, Touring and XT models also include as standard an 8-way power front passenger seat and heated rear seats. For 2020, seat heaters come with three levels of temperature adjustment as well as extended coverage up to the shoulders for improved comfort. Touring models add ventilated front seats and a heated steering wheel to their roster of standard features. Comfort and convenience in the Outback have been optimized for passengers with increases in rear head, shoulder and leg room. For powering and pairing personal devices, up to four 2.1-amp USB ports and two 12-volt DC power sockets are available.


With a cargo floor length of 75 inches with the rear seatbacks folded, the 2020 Outback offers up to 75.7 cu ft of cargo space. And with a wider rear gate opening, the Outback can comfortably accommodate long items such as camping gear, golf clubs or strollers. For added convenience while loading the vehicle, a new Hands-Free Power Gate allows the owner to open the rear gate by simply waving in front of the Subaru emblem as well as a new single touch lifting cargo cover. Both features are a first for Subaru and are standard on most 2020 Outback models. For additional cargo versatility, the Outback offers standard roof rails with tie-down points and integrated and retractable cross bars.


SUBARU STARLINK In-Vehicle Technology offers an integrated cockpit experience by allowing the driver to control entertainment and vehicle settings through a large touchscreen display. All STARLINK multimedia systems for the 2020 Outback feature a high-resolution touchscreen; new onscreen controls for audio, HVAC, X-MODE and vehicle features; combination meter integration; smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and new STARLINK SmartDeviceLink apps.

The available in-vehicle Wi-Fi hotspot provides smooth internet access via high-speed LTE communications. Framing the large multimedia screen is a new multilayer instrument panel featuring a soft-touch wrapped surface with available real double-stitching for a high-quality appearance. The wrapped surface material and stitching employ the same color combination as the seats and door trim for a uniform look and feel. An available 12-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, with Clari-Fi compressed audio restoration technology and GreenEdge high-efficiency speakers and amplifier, delivers premium sound.


PERFORMANCE
The 2020 Outback delivers the optimal blend of SUV capability and car-like ride and handling with standard Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, Active Torque Vectoring, Vehicle Dynamics Control and X-MODE with Hill Descent Control. The 8.7 inches of ground clearance for all Outback models is greater than that in many SUVs, yet the Outback maintains a comfortably low step-in height for both front and rear passenger entry.

For 2020, the Outback offers a turbocharged engine. Standard on XT models, the 2.4-liter turbocharged BOXER engine delivers robust all-around performance with 260 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 277 lb-ft of torque at 2,000 rpm. Meanwhile, the standard naturally aspirated 2.5-liter BOXER, with direct injection and nearly 90 percent of its parts new, delivers 182 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 176 lb-ft of torque at 4,400 rpm.

All 2020 Outback models are paired with a Lineartronic CVT featuring an 8-speed manual mode function with steering wheel paddle shifters. The 2.4-liter turbo delivers 23/30 mpg city/highway and has a 3,500-lb. towing capacity, the most of any Outback in history. The 2.5-liter achieves up to 33 mpg and a range of more than 600 miles on a single tank.


Summary
The sixth-generation Subaru Outback comes standard with Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and Subaru’s EyeSight Driver Assist Technology. With an available tablet-style 11.6-inch SUBARU STARLINK Multimedia system with integrated center information display, DriverFocus Distraction Mitigation System and new XT models with 260 horsepower, the 2020 Outback delivers greater technology, safety and performance.

Built on the Subaru Global Platform, which provides increased safety, dynamics and quietness as well as reduced noise, vibration and harshness, the Outback will be available in Base, Premium, Limited, Touring, Onyx Edition XT, Limited XT and Touring XT models.

The new Outback has a starting price of $26,645, an increase of only $300 from the 2019 model, the one I tested the 2020 Onyx Edition XT starts at $34,895 and features exterior elements, 18-inch alloy wheels and badging in black-finish, as well as an exclusive gray two-tone interior. The Onyx Edition XT trims feature as standard the all-new SUBARU STARLINK 11.6-inch Multimedia Plus system with an 11.6-inch high-resolution touchscreen with on-screen controls for audio, X-MODE, HVAC and vehicle features; combination meter integration; smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and new STARLINK SmartDeviceLink apps; Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio streaming connectivity; AM/FM stereo; SiriusXM All Access Radio and SiriusXM Travel Link; HD Radio and over-the-air updates.
mlezcano@carsntravel.com

Posted in CAR REVIEWS, Subaru.

Emilio Lezcano

Journalist - Editor - Photographer
Professional Race Car Driver