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EPA Says New Subaru Outback Gets Improved Fuel Mileage Vs Outgoing Model

The 2020 Subaru Outback EPA fuel-mileage estimates are out and the new SUV gets a bump in mileage. See the significant improvement the new 2.4-liter turbo gets compared with the outgoing 3.6-liter six-cylinder.

The big news for the 2020 Outback model change is that it now comes powered by the Ascent-sourced FA24 2.4-liter turbocharged 260 horsepower, 277 lb-ft of torque four-cylinder Boxer engine under the hood. Subaru axed the six-cylinder 3.6R model in favor of the smaller 2.4-liter turbo XT and it gets significantly improved fuel mileage vs the outgoing model and it has more power and torque.

2020 Subaru Outback XT 2.4-liter turbo Boxer

The newly-available 2.4-liter turbocharged Boxer engine is part of Subaru’s Prominence 2020 Vision plan that calls for more fuel-efficient turbo four-cylinder engines. Subaru delivered it to Outback customers and the fuel-mileage estimates are much improved over the 3.6R six-cylinder engine that’s been discontinued.

2020 Subaru Outback

The new 2020 Outback XT 2.4-liter turbo gets an EPA estimated 23/30 city/highway mpg and 26 combined mpg. That’s a substantial improvement over the old six-cylinder, which was rated at 20/27 city/highway and 22 combined mpg. And the 3.6R developed less power producing 256 horsepower and 247 lb. ft of torque.

2020 Subaru Outback 2.5-liter Boxer

For 2020, Outback still gets the standard 2.5-liter engine, now delivering 182 horsepower and 176 lb-ft of torque up from the previous 175-hp, 174 lb-ft. Outback’s 2.5-liter naturally aspirated Boxer engine features nearly 90 percent new parts, as well as direct injection and auto stop/start, and increased output and fuel efficiency.

2020 Subaru Outback

The EPA’s estimated fuel economy is 26/33 mpg city/highway and 29 combined mpg. That’s a one mile per gallon increase over last year’s model. For 2019 models, the Outback’s CVT had a six-speed manual mode. The 2020 model change brings an 8-speed manual mode.

2020 Subaru OutbackThe new 2020 Subaru Legacy

The new 2020 Subaru Legacy also gets improved mileage using the same engines as Outback. The Legacy 2.5-liter Boxer is rated to get up to 27/35 mpg city/highway and 30 mpg combined. Those figures are slightly better than last year’s model, which could get up to 25/34 city/highway mpg and 29 mpg combined. Like the newly-revamped 2020 Subaru Outback, the biggest improvement in fuel economy for the Legacy is with its new turbo engine. The 2.4 liter Boxer gets up to 23/32 city/highway mpg and 27 mpg combined. Last year’s 6-cylinder could only get 20/28 city/highway and 23 mpg combined.

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Photo credit: Subaru USA


Stephen (not verified)    July 22, 2019 - 1:55AM

In reply to by Denis Flierl

I so liked our 2010 3.6 I've just handed it down to our eldest son with his growing family - the $37 fix (sensor) in its 9.5 year life. This sort of reliability almost makes the car itself a faithful member of the family.
I would be happy to go with the next 2.4 turbo EXCEPT that it has CVT.
That was enough to get me into the CX5 2.5 turbo Signature (or Akera as we call it here in Australia) instead.
I wonder how many prior customers Subaru has lost by not having a nice standard 6/7 speed sports auto

Paweł (not verified)    March 28, 2021 - 1:42AM

In reply to by Stephen (not verified)

CVT is good for flat terrain, when you drive in the mountains you know what the shame it is when every driver in an older car with a manual transmission or a simple automatic transmission overtakes you whenever he wants.

Kevin (not verified)    July 19, 2019 - 4:17PM

They got rid of an engine that had almost zero problems it's entire life cycle. This is another bad move by Subaru.

steve (not verified)    July 22, 2019 - 1:59AM

In reply to by Kevin (not verified)

it was getting hard to pass emissions tests with that motor. They hadn't done one thing to it for 10 years virtually - surely they could have worked it over in regard to efficiency

Link (not verified)    October 31, 2020 - 4:06PM

I own one, and I can say that the EPA is wrong. Dead wrong.

I have a touring XT and combined I don't get but 22mpg on a good tank. I was hoping that the XT touring was known to be way worse, but nothing says it. I guess I'll just wait for the law suit like all the other people out there.

Bill L (not verified)    November 3, 2020 - 9:39PM

I leased a 2020 Outback less than one year ago. In 6,000 mile of local driving the avg MPG has been 17.4. What a let-down from my 2002 Ford Taurus that averaged 18 MPG city and 28 MPG on trips.

Mel (not verified)    April 20, 2021 - 8:25PM

Have a 2020 Outback Onyx XT and now have about 15,000 miles. The car, in general, is good but the mileage sucks. In the city we are doing good to get 18 mpg, worse than my 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 4x4 crew cab with the diesel.
The outback gets okay mileage on the freeway, although less then advertised and both mileages are with my wife driving pretty tame. It’s just a HUGE disappointment

Len F (not verified)    July 27, 2021 - 9:30PM

Bought 2020 outback XT Turbo in February 2020. Gas mileage is terrible. Combined city/highway is less than 18 MPG. City driving is as low as 14 MPG. Best highway is 20 - 21 MPG. Nav system using Tom Tom is dreadful also. Phone keeps losing connection. I also have a 2016 with NO problems. Do Not buy this car!