Subaru Outback Has A New Fuel-Saving Feature But You Don’t Like it
Automakers are improving fuel mileage on new vehicles and customers like the upgrades they make to the engines that make cars more fuel-efficient.
Subaru is bringing smaller turbocharged engines to its lineup of all-wheel-drive cars, and the 2020 Outback wagon now has the FA24 2.4-liter four-cylinder turbocharged Boxer engine that replaces the 3.6-liter naturally-aspirated six-cylinder powerplant. You can read the full comparison here.
But the newly-redesigned 2020 Outback also features a new Auto Stop-Start system that also comes on all-new Subaru Forester, Legacy, and Crosstrek models. It’s one of the most controversial gas-saving features of the newest Subaru vehicles. Many automakers are using the system that automatically stops the engine when you come to a complete stop for more than a few seconds. It’s designed to save a little fuel every time the car stops at a light, or wait at a stop sign.
2020 Subaru Outback uses Auto Stop-Start
The frequent starting and stopping of the engine become tiresome to some drivers who live in urban areas and especially if you drive in heavy stop-and-go traffic every day. Some drivers say they don’t like the car stopping and starting because they fear the system could fail and the engine won’t restart and leave them stranded. They also consider the extra wear on the starter.
Automakers use the system to bump up gas mileage numbers but do they really save enough fuel to be worthwhile? According to a study conducted by the Society of American Engineers, it is beneficial to turn your car’s engine off if it is going to be idling for at least seven seconds.
2020 Subaru Forester also comes with the fuel-saving system
Within that range of time, enough fuel is saved to restart the car. So any time the engine is shut off over seven seconds, fuel will be saved. I know of one stoplight on my commute where I can sit as long as two minutes. After a period of time, the fuel savings add up.
Can I disable my Auto Stop-Start?
The Auto Stop-Start can be disabled on your new 2020 Subaru Outback, Forester, Legacy, and Crosstrek. It’s different for each model, and the problem is, on some models like Forester, you cannot permanently disable it. The system will always default to an on position once you turn the car off. So every time you get back in your car, you have to manually disable the system again.
The new Outback and Legacy, does have a feature on its new 11.6-inch touchscreen menu and you can disable the system. When you are on the home screen, push the car icon button to change the settings and then click on “Others” allowing you to turn off the Auto Stop-Start system. The Auto Stop-Start on the new 2020 Subaru Outback, Legacy, Forester, and Crosstrek can be annoying but it will save fuel if you live in an urban area.
Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. All of his reports are archived on our Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Subaru Report. Check back tomorrow for more Subaru news and updates at Torque News!
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Photo credit: Subaru