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2 New Subaru Outback Features Meant Only For Adventure Seekers

The all-new 2020 Subaru Outback is more than a pretty face.

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Since its debut in 1995, the all-wheel-drive Subaru Outback has a history as a “go-anywhere” vehicle and got its name from the untamed Australian wilderness. The Japanese automaker now brings the sixth-generation model with even more rugged attributes for adventure seekers. Subaru Corp developed the new Outback to further encourage customers wanting to make “new discoveries” and builds on the SUVs already rugged attributes.

It’s got the mojo

For starters, Outback comes with 8.7-inches of ground clearance and Subaru’s excellent Symmetrical all-wheel-drive system. X-MODE is added by the Japanese automaker for more extreme adventures and comes standard on all trims. Subaru enhanced the system for some 2020 models and it’s the one you want for extra rugged outings.

Adventure enthusiasts don’t necessarily want to go off-road to see how crazy they can get, you want a vehicle that will take you off-road to get you places you normally couldn’t go in a typical SUV. The new 2020 Subaru Outback will get you to those places safely because of one feature called Dual-Function X-MODE that you won’t find on other family SUVs.

The standard X-MODE comes on the base 2020 Outback and it’s Subaru's solution to improving off-road capability. X-MODE works by altering 5 key areas of the vehicle, starting with the engine and working its way out to the brakes. Throttle mapping, transmission mapping, center clutch torque distribution, and brakes are all utilized to improve the off-road ability of the vehicle.

Dual-Function X-MODE meant for adventure seekers

Subaru made changes to the new 2020 Outback for improved off-road ability by adding Dual-Function X-MODE, and it’s available on the Onyx Edition XT. The new dual-function X-MODE has settings for snow, dirt, and mud and is the latest addition to the sixth-generation Outback.


Dual-Function X-MODE adds additional capability when you get into deep snow and mud and steep inclines when you are farther away from civilization. In these scenarios, maintaining momentum is critical, and you don’t want to get stuck, so Subaru alters settings to allow for more wheel slip.

How X-MODE works

Without getting too technical, Subaru alters the engine RPMs to give you more power in slippery situations. The new X-MODE works in concert with the CVT automatic and keeps the transmission in a lower gear for more wheel torque. Next, it distributes power between the front and rear axels for optimal traction in wet, slippery conditions.

Dual-Function X-MODE changes the SUV’s brakes by locking up one wheel if it senses it spinning. The system knows it needs extra grip instead of letting the wheel spin. Lastly, the new Outback comes with Hill Descent Control when descending a hill it ensures the SUV’s speed doesn’t increase, managing the braking to provide a controlled, smooth and safe descent.

Dual-Function X-MODE is all controlled by a knob on the Outback’s console allowing you to switch from Snow and Dirt mode to the new Deep Snow and Deep Mud Mode. This mode allows the SUV to maintain momentum when you get off the beaten path in more extreme deep snow and mud situations.

Tow more

For 2020, the Outback also gets increased towing capacity. The sixth-generation SUV now comes with a 3,500-lb tow rating, an increase from the previous 2,700-lb. rating thanks to newly developed rear differential gear when equipped with the new 260-hp FA24 2.4-liter direct injection turbocharged Boxer engine. Subaru bumps up the towing capacity on the new 2020 Outback for those wanting to tow a bigger camper, a trailer for pulling dirt bikes, or a small boat.

Subaru Corp has given the flagship SUV new features that will inspire outdoor enthusiasts who want to get away from civilization. The more adventurous 2020 Outback will go on sale in the U.S. this fall.

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Photo credit: Subaru Corp

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