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All-New Subaru Outback Sits In The Showroom But You Can’t Drive It

Subaru has 2020 Outback models available for customers to sit in, but they aren’t letting you drive one. See how long you have to wait for a test drive.

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Customers are ready to buy the newly-redesigned 2020 Subaru Outback, but the Camden, N.J. automaker is not releasing models to dealers they can sell. They have delivered some pre-production models to sit on the showroom floor, but customers are not being allowed to drive them. New Outback models produced at the Lafayette, Indiana plant are ready to deliver to dealers, but Subaru is holding them back.

Jeff Walters, Subaru of America's senior vice president of sales told Automotive News they are going to hold the new six-generation Outback models for a few weeks before delivering them to dealers. "I think we'll hold those cars for a couple of weeks before we start sending them out to our retailers," he said of the early launch units. Dealers "should expect their initial deliveries around the third or fourth week of August."

2020 Subaru Outback Onyx Edition

Torque News went to a Subaru dealer near Denver and found a new 2020 Outback Onyx Edition sitting on the showroom floor for customers to look at, but they would not let customers drive the new model. We interviewed two employees at the store and one said the Subaru rep told him they gave them this new Onyx Edition pre-production model to display on the showroom floor, but it was not for sale. The factory rep said this model would be taken back right after they were done with it.

A salesman at the Subaru store told Torque News the model was not even available for customers to take on a test drive. He showed us the Outback keys that were marked with a note that said, “2020 Subaru Onyx, Cannot Drive!!” When asked how many 2019 Outback models they had available, he said: “We still have 40-50 2019 models left on our lot to sell.” He also told us they are only getting six new 2020 Outback models and they won’t arrive until late September or early October. Until then, customers can only sit in the new cabin.

New 2020 Subaru Outback Onyx Edition Interior

"It's going to be a great changeover," Walters went on to tell AN. "We're at the right level of incentives, and the supply of 2019s will be at a very good place when the 2020s start to arrive. The retailers will be ready for it."

Subaru is not having a problem selling the 2019 models as they have offered zero-percent financing and have given customers incentives to buy them. So until Subaru dealers move all the 2019 Outback models off their lots, customers can only sit in a new 2020 Subaru Outback but they can’t drive it. The U.S.-made models you can drive won’t begin arriving at dealer showrooms until late September.

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Photo credit: Torque News, Denis Flierl

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Luis Bustamante (not verified)    August 19, 2019 - 12:45AM

In reply to by Denis Flierl

Yes Sr... My wife and I have been looking to buy an outback...!!! For a little over 2 years... since we've waited this long what's another 6 months...!!! So please if someone from Subaru sees this contact us and put us on the waitlist for a 6 cylinder Subaru Outback with all the bells and whistles,
We live in Hawaii on the island of Maui.

Marilyn B. (not verified)    August 19, 2019 - 7:28PM

In reply to by Denis Flierl

I will never buy another car from Subaru. I bought a used one that was a company car, had great service records but high mileage. My master mechanic recommended Subaru cause “they are tanks, they last forever”. It has a CVT transmission and one year after buying the car the transmission is making knocking noise and needs to be replaced. It can’t be repaired cause Subaru has a special patent. You have to have a used transmission put in at a cost of about $7 to $8 thousand dollars or have a dealership put in a new one for only who knows how much. I bought it cause I retired and used my pension money to buy it outright, it is a 2013 and is a piece of junk. I can’t sell it, trading it in will get me nothing, so I will drive it until it stops and sell it for parts since the body and the interior are in excellent condition. DON’T BUY A SUBARU!!!

Chief Niwot (not verified)    August 18, 2019 - 6:31PM

Subaru pulled that crap when the Ascent first came out. I promptly went across town and bought a Honda Pilot.

Karl (not verified)    August 18, 2019 - 10:39PM

No thanks , no car with CVT will ever get my test drive... had to drive them few times from car rentals and all brands sucked!!!
Get normal legit tranny from Toyota like their new 8 speed ATX and I may consider it.

Saif (not verified)    August 19, 2019 - 9:19AM

My 2018 outback is excellent. The 6 speed manual is great in bad snow. Never use it outside of winter but has proved to provide greater control during some serious snow falls in Michigan. Excellent touring car and the cockpit is spacious. I'll stick with the OB.

Bob (not verified)    August 19, 2019 - 10:31AM

I bought my first Subaru Outback in 2015. I live in Wisconsin. It doesn't snow enough here to stop this car! (If you're not familiar with Wisconsin's climate, that's more a comment about the OB's capabilities, rather than our lack of snow). Never had an issue with the CVT in almost 5 years of daily driving. Looking forward to trying the 4-cylinder Turbo engine as I'm a former Saab guy.

Dan Burke (not verified)    August 19, 2019 - 3:37PM

In reply to by Bob (not verified)

Bob, I work at Wilde Subaru in Waukesha, WI and would love to show all the great new features on a new 2020 Outback and get you a great deal on one, if we can persuade you out of your '15, ;). Feel fee to give Wilde Subaru a call and ask for Dan Burke.

Al (not verified)    August 20, 2019 - 8:19AM

Well, it this bizarre business strategy. Subaru did similar for 2019 models. I was never able to see and Test drive Forester of the trim level I wanted. They expected me to order it, and treated me as I do not matter passing me arround like a pinball. So, I went and spent 44K on Toyota. Re: Lee's summit Subaru