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Down But Not Out - 5 Ways The New Subaru Outback Is Unlike Any SUV In A Sameness Car World

The 2021 Subaru Outback is down, but it's not out as a popular all-wheel-drive vehicle. See where it's the best off-road vehicle of the year for the seventh time.

Sales of the newly-redesigned 2021 Subaru Outback have dropped significantly in 2020, but it's still the best at what the Japanese automaker designed it to be. It's an SUV-alternative family hauler with five characteristics that sets itself apart in a world dominated by SUVs. Outback comes with standard all-wheel-drive, 8.7-inches of ground clearance, X-Mode and new dual-function X-Mode for off-pavement capability, and similar driving dynamics and fuel economy of a car.

It's a formula that works well for Subaru around the globe. The 2020 Subaru Outback is named the best all-terrain vehicle again in the "Car of the Year" awards in Russia. The Outback has received the award for the best "All-terrain vehicle" for the seventh time since 2005.

2021 Subaru Outback

The annual Car of the Year awards is a unique research project that studies car owners' preferences across the country. The National Prize has been awarded every year for 20 years. The global pandemic and restrictions didn't change one of the largest car competitions in the world.

What sets the Subaru brand apart in a sameness car world?

All Subaru vehicles, including the 2021 Outback, come standard with the brand's Symmetrical all-wheel-drive. The full-time all-wheel-drive system is perfected in the 90s on global rally stages running their Impreza WRX on snow, loose dirt, and gravel surfaces. The Subaru motorsports division continues to improve on it testing it in extreme situations.

2021 Subaru Outback

Previous Subaru Car of the Year Awards:

2019: Subaru Outback is the Best Off-Road Wagon
2018: Subaru XV is the Best Compact SUV
2017: Subaru Outback is the Best Off-Road Wagon
2016: Subaru Outback is the Best Off-Road Wagon
2015: Subaru Forester - SUV of the Year (Light SUV)
2014: Subaru Forester - SUV of the Year (Light SUV)
2011: Subaru Outback is the Best All-Terrain Wagon
2007: Subaru Legacy Outback Best All-Terrain Station Wagon
2006: Subaru Forester - SUV of the Year (Light SUV)
2005: Subaru Legacy Outback Best Off-Road Wagon
2003: Subaru Impreza - Best Small Middle Class

How does Subaru pick up the best all-terrain vehicle award for the seventh time? Building capable all-wheel-drive vehicles are one of the brand's core values. Subaru brings an improved all-wheel-drive system in the 2021 Outback. It now features dual-function X-Mode. Read how the improved system works here.

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Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press and the founder of Subaru Report where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Photo credit: Subaru, Competition Subaru