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The Newly-Redesigned 2020 Subaru Outback Cabin Could Be Its Best Attribute

What used to be a weakness for Subaru, the new 2020 Outback SUV/Crossover turns into a strength. What changed for Subaru interiors?


The 2020 Subaru Outback could be the most luxurious vehicle the brand has ever built. They needed to get it right because Outback is the flagship model in North America. Subaru made Outback for families who want extra luxury and the top trim Touring ($37,345) delivers, especially in the cabin. WardsAuto even nominated Outback’s stablemate Ascent as a ten-best interior.

Subaru interiors have come a long way. The top Outback Touring trim comes with an 8-way power driver’s seat, power moonroof, plenty of cargo room for weekend excursions, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel, driver assistance steering wheel controls, a large center stack screen, ambient lighting, Harman Kardon premium audio system, and Java Brown Nappa leather-trimmed upholstery.

2020 Subaru Outback

What changed for Subaru interiors?

Remember when 
the Japanese automaker’s interiors were the weak point for all, their cars? Well, the brand has come a long way since they had more hard plastic inside than anything else. Subaru interior materials were cheap and the fit and finish were poor. Those days have changed with the introduction of the Outback Touring.

In 2016, Subaru scored lower in body and interior dependability than in engine/transmission problems in the J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study. Lower quality interiors have been an issue for the brand in the past, but they seem to be making big strides in the past few years to improve this area of weakness. The new 2020 Outback Touring cabin is as luxurious as any mainstream SUV in America.

Subaru engineers spent time on the interior. Highlighting Outback’s new cabin is a tablet-style 11.6-inch full HD multimedia display. Subaru says the new Outback cabin is almost 3 dB quieter at highway speeds over the outgoing model and it also gets the sound-insulated glass.

Outback gets a wider rear gate opening and a new Hands-Free power rear gate by simply waving in front of the Subaru emblem (positioned in the center of the rear gate) as well as a new single-touch lifting cargo cover. Both features are a first for Subaru and are standard on the 2020 Outback Limited trim.

When asked what he sees happening with the newly-redesigned Legacy the new CEO had a revealing response. Doll told AN, “Based on our research, one of the reasons why people may have shied away from the Legacy sedan may have been because of the interior. If you look at the Legacy interior now, it's second to none.”

Subaru designed the new-generation 2020 Outback with the same attention to detail and luxury. It could be the best attribute of the new six-generation 2020 Subaru Outback.

You Might Also Like: Ascent Touring; Subaru Turns Their Weakness Into A Strength

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Photo credit: Subaru USA


Evan Alexon (not verified)    September 7, 2019 - 5:43PM

Just sold a 2016 outback with 57000 miles since it was using a pint of coolant every 3500 miles. Subaru dealership in Scottsdale said that it was Normal...don’t think so Tim. A highly experience mechanic told me that it was probably the head gasket since it passed a pressure test by dealership. Subaru is hiding a head gasket issue that never was fixed from previous years (boxer engine has a history of this).

John Wagner (not verified)    September 7, 2019 - 11:49PM

Our 2013 subaru H6 sounded like a Diesel/ it was lousing oil, 1.5 quarts every 1500 miles. We took it to 7 dealers. over a 2 years time. Two dealers said the H6 engine had a problem. but no one in shop could work on it. Four dealers said it was normal and sounded normal. Dealer number seven said, The engine has a problem, we can fix it for $$15K. . We explained we had the 5 year/100,000 subaru warranty. Subaru fixed the engine. Dealer did a half way job. , Radiator was damaged and a orginal hose with a hole in it was put back in. . the dealer put the orginal hose parts back in car with. 96K miles on car. The dealer refused to replace radiator and hoses. We offered to pay for hoses and radiator. again and again. subaru dealer network in Southern Cal. is a bunch of clowns..
We had a local rediator shop replace all hoses and raidator. The new radiator is a factory part. Hoses , like 22 of them are Gates brand. Radiator shop also happens to build custom one off radiators for J Leno's shop.

subarus are nice cars. but dealers are xxxxXXXXXXX. jerks.

Nila (not verified)    September 8, 2019 - 7:49AM

Have now spent $1300 on a 2015 outback chasing a hesitation/bucking on acceleration. Not fixed. Also lost wheel bearing at 39,000 miles and navigation system at 42,000. Wouldn’t have another Subaru as a gift, too costly. West Palm Beach, fl.

Bill (not verified)    September 8, 2019 - 7:58AM

I own a 2014 Outback Limited 2.5 with a little over 103,000 miles. Runs great but a bit sluggish. Has anyone had any success with using these plug and play chip tuning devices to increase performance, gas mileage, etc.?

Could this cars engine be retrofitted with a turbo charger?

Thanks in advance.

Rob (not verified)    September 9, 2019 - 2:51PM

In reply to by Bill (not verified)

I would try a cold air intake before messing with a turbo which is really expensive. You can get a good cold air intake for around 300-400 and installation can be done with basic tools. A turbo installed will run you around 3500-4000 and you will have to have the engine pulled.

Jim Walsh (not verified)    September 23, 2019 - 8:40PM

The narrator refers to the 2020 Outback as the 7th generation Outback. Did Subaru make Outback's before 1995??? Here in the States, the Outback first appeared as a special trim package on the 2nd generation Legacy wagon, but the Outback option did not appear in the first generation Legacy, which was mostly a front wheel drive chassis. AWD was an option back then. So the fist generation Outback appeared during the 2nd generation Legacy model line. Second generation Outbacks came out in the 2000 model year. Third generation Outbacks appeared as 2005 models. Fourth generation Outbacks appeared as 2010 models. The fifth generation appeared in the 2015 model year. So the 2020 Outback is the 6th generation.

Jack (not verified)    October 22, 2019 - 10:21PM

2015 then to a 2018. 6cyl then 4cyl. Towed with both. Thru the mountains, pulling way more than I should have. Not one burp! Never downshifted and still got 23mpg with the 4cyl. I will stand by Outback until the end!!

Jim (not verified)    December 29, 2019 - 11:11AM

Our 2012 Outback Limited was trouble-free until the CVT had a shift solenoid error code at 112K. Unfortunately, the solenoid can’t be changed; you must do the valve body, a $1600 repair. The 4-cylinder boxer engine has been solid, no oil used between 5K oil changes. Only full synthetic oil used. Not the most exciting car but the best I’ve driven in snow and rain. Only questions now, when to replace fuel pump before it fails and water pump...

Todd Overman (not verified)    April 1, 2021 - 2:51PM

I'm currently driving our fourth Subaru/third Outback (2021 Touring XT) and it is definitely the smoothest, quietest and most powerful Outback I've had. Great experiences with every car and only one major issue - the CVT in the 2013 Outback went out and was replaced under an extended warranty by Subaru (front diff failed). Quality of the dealership/service shop is definitely a factor. Find a good one or suffer a lot of frustration. Subarus are fairly rugged, but they still need regular maintenance.