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Can Subaru Build You A New Outback SUV Without Any Flaws

The Subaru Outback 2020 model change is coming soon and the Japanese automaker must get it right. Can Subaru bring it to you without flaws?

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The new seventh-generation Subaru Outback 2020 model change is about to make its dealer debut and this could be the brand’s most important new vehicle launch ever. The Outback is Subaru of America’s best-selling model in the all-wheel-drive lineup and customers have big expectations for the new SUV-alternative Crossover.

According to a report from Automotive News, Subaru is struggling with quality issues at their Subaru Indiana Automotive plant where the new Outback is built.

Subaru recently updated the factory in Lafayette, Indiana to make room for the new Ascent family hauler to be manufactured, and there have been some well-documented issues with quality. Torque News reported the 2019 Outback was just recalled for a problem with welds located on the duct below the cowl panel may have been improperly applied, potentially impacting the vehicle's body strength. This was a result of the spot-welder on the body assembly line not working properly.

2020 Subaru OutbackSubaru quality

Subaru Corp knows they have been growing so quickly this has resulted in quality issues at both manufacturing plants. Subaru set up a chief quality officer, Atsushi Osaki, who is trying to improve performance by spending time at Subaru's two assembly plants, in Japan and Indiana. AN reported, Osaki comes to the U.S. plant once a quarter, where he meets with CEO Tom Doll as well as makes visits to hear from the top dealers to try to improve quality.

2020 Subaru Outback

Subaru’s goal is to have zero recalls but that won’t be an easy task. Doll told AN, "That's a tough ask, but that's the goal, and I believe they're going to achieve it.” Last year, Subaru of America recalled all 2018 Outback SUVs and 2018 Legacy sedans due to a faulty fuel gauge which could cause the driver to run out of fuel and the car to stall on the road. There were 228,648 vehicles are affected in the US.

Should you wait a year?

With Subarus’ recalls, should you wait a year to buy a new Subaru Outback? Subaru Corp knows they have quality issues and are working hard to eliminate them. Subaru will get the glitches at their U.S. plant where the Outback is made figured out. With all the pre-testing Subaru does, the new models will likely be as reliable as the sixth-generation model.

2020 Subaru Outback

There is an advantage of buying the outgoing model because you could save thousands with the zero percent financing, and large dealer incentives to move out the last of the 2019 models. If you wait for the new 2020 Subaru Outback model change, you’ll get a new SUV with many improvements and upgrades, but dealers won’t be giving you much in the way of discounts to sell them.

Did you know Subaru Outback is one of the most family friendly SUVs in America? Watch the video below and click to subscribe to Torque News Youtube channel for daily Subaru and Automotive industry news.

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Photo credit: Subaru Stamford, Subaru Global, Heuberger Subaru

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Eric (not verified)    July 26, 2019 - 3:53PM

In reply to by Denis Flierl

As a Forester owner looking for a new vehicle, I would have welcomed the new QA guy visiting the line rather than a bunch of stuffy dealer reps. The quality control issues are not going to get solved by meeting with the CEO. I hope they are doing this right and talking to folks with their hands on the cars, not schmoozing a bunch of suits. For what it is worth, due to present experiences with my Forester, dealers that do not care, crappy interior design, and these stories, I have crossed Subaru off my list

R Lowe (not verified)    July 13, 2019 - 11:09AM

No quality issues should be acceptable, however we know that there will be some issues with any brand. Subaru seems to be having more recently, and it's kind of embarrassing as I brag about how wonderful Subaru's are, and I have had several. I hope they get the quality control kinks worked out, and very quickly, because I'm afraid the running streak will change if they don't. I almost wish they hadn't grown so fast, as they had better control before. With all these problems recently, I do think Subaru will take care of better quality control, and rise above in time. Let's hope so. I want to stay with them.

VS (not verified)    May 9, 2020 - 3:26PM

In reply to by R Lowe (not verified)

Oh yes, just another Subaru cult member that says "my Subaru is the best because I only had the engine short block replaced just one time under 100K miles. Knock, Knock... Who's there...... It's just my Subaru (No Joke)

Dj (not verified)    July 13, 2019 - 5:26PM

Why do away with the 3.6L engine when it is so good? The integrated cross bars of the outback should be used on al trim levels and the Ascent! It a brilliant design to have the cross bars built in!!

steve (not verified)    July 16, 2019 - 6:00AM

In reply to by Dj (not verified)

I loved that engine too (but with the 5 speed auto, not cvt so much). Trouble is, they haven't done one thing to improve it since 2009 and it can't meet emisions regulations for much longer

Ralph (not verified)    July 13, 2019 - 5:29PM

Subaru should have stuck with the old recipe that gave them such great reliability: "if it works just fine don't replace it, refine it". Ever since Toyota bought GM's shares of Subaru it's been nothing but problem after problem. Take the old tech from the outback pre 2010 and put it in the 2020 with radar and eyesight and the car will never break.

Phyzzi (not verified)    July 14, 2019 - 11:16AM

This is basically a copy in styling of the Honda CRV. As a Honda owner with kids, the safety restraints are perfectly accessable. What, then, is a compelling reason for someone to take the risk on this knock-off instead of the established Honda?

Not trying to rag on Subaru here, but this model fails to impress me on any level. Maybe there is a customization I am missing that makes it more safe? Maybe it costs less? Maybe there is a PHEV version? I just can't see, so far, why anyone would risk quality for what seems to be a copy cat vehicle.

John Gertos (not verified)    July 14, 2019 - 12:47PM

Purchased 2018 Outback in July of 2018.... problem immediately with acceleration,auto would stumble of the line...3 different dealers could not identify the problem... factory tech rep came in... witnessed the condition.... vehicle was at dealership till September... couldn't correct the problem... Subaru Corporate finally replaced original Outback with a 2019 at same. price..... now I see the latest recall on the 2019 Outbacks in regards to a welding issue...looks like I will be getting another Outback..
Three new Outbacks in a span of 18 months....

Saul Good (not verified)    July 14, 2019 - 1:38PM

Good. Fast. Cheap. Pick any two when it comes to manufacturing.

Subaru is way out over it's skis on this one. Osaki-san needs to invest more than once a quarter to fix this large quality issue.

Many methodologies exist to do so, however, Osaki-san has clearly made the choice not to make the right investment.

shawn foster (not verified)    July 14, 2019 - 6:30PM

my feelings about my subaru is that it's a slightly less expensive volvo. don't get caught with one after the warranty expires.

steve (not verified)    July 16, 2019 - 6:03AM

In reply to by shawn foster (not verified)

yep, that $37.50 for a new sender switch nearly broke me in the 6.5 years I had mine after warranty expired. Other people's experiences I know pretty much follow my example. Your feelings are just that

Will (not verified)    July 18, 2019 - 12:02AM

I have my eyes on the new 2020 outback limited with navigation to replace my 2014 forester. We also have a 2018 legacy limited with tech package that has been flawless
Subaru is wonderful

Gary Kestenbaum (not verified)    August 7, 2019 - 5:19PM

I have been seduced into wanting a 2020 Outback to get all the "goodies" and I am now very worried about the integrity of it. The CVT went in my Murano and it cost me $5M to replace it. I am absolutely worried that once the extended warranty ends, the repairs begin. Not good.