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Subaru Outback May Get A New Rugged Wagon Competitor From Ford

The 2020 Subaru Outback is the brand’s most successful model and it could be getting competition. See what Ford is bringing for U.S. customers.


The popular 2020 Subaru Outback wagon could be getting competition from Ford soon. As was reported here last July, sources within Ford Motor Company said the Fusion would live on as a lifted “sport wagon” similar to the “go-anywhere rugged Outback. The new model from Ford could be getting close because spy photos from AutoCar reveal a new model in Europe.

It’s modified body comes from the European Ford Focus wagon. Ford also currently offers a wagon version of the Fusion in Europe known as Mondeo. With the exit from the U.S. market of the Volkswagen Golf SportWagen and Golf Alltrack AWD because of slow sales, the Subaru Outback is left with no competition until now.

2020 Subaru Outback2020 Subaru Outback may be getting competition

If Ford gives the new model standard all-wheel-drive, raises it up with enough rock-clearing ground clearance, and infuses it with some recreation-purposed attitude, Ford might be able to replicate the Outback recipe. Ford also has more drivetrain options with the Fusion’s naturally aspirated and turbocharged 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder engines, along with hybrid and plug-in hybrid power.

The Outback currently offers the naturally-aspirated 2.5-liter Boxer and the all-new Ascent-sourced 2.4-liter turbocharged Boxer flat-four producing 260 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque. But there is more to the Outback than a little body cladding, all-wheel-drive, and higher ride height.

2020 Subaru OutbackOutback also comes with X-Mode

With the 2020 Subaru Outback X-Mode system activated, the vehicle is better able to capitalize on the traction available and provides sure-footed-ness over and above what is afforded by Subaru's Symmetrical full-time all-wheel-drive. Not all owners take their wagon off-road, but it has the capability to go over some rugged terrain.

Watch why the 2020 Subaru Outback is hotter than the 2020 Forester and click to subscribe to Torque News Youtube for daily automotive news coverage.

If Ford tries to replicate the success of the Subaru Outback with the Ford Fusion wagon, they will need an exceptionally rugged product, and they will need to connect with a generation of buyers who have an adventurous spirit. Subaru has spent 23 years building that customer base and is the only automaker in the U.S. who has been successful at selling a wagon to North American SUV/Crossover shoppers.

You Might Also Like: You Won’t Find This New Subaru Outback XT Feature On Any Other Family SUV

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 FacebookTwitterInstagramSubaru Report. Check back tomorrow for more Subaru news and updates at Torque News!

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Photo credit: Subaru USA, Subaru Bend


Russell Casey (not verified)    February 1, 2020 - 11:20AM

Does Torque News dislike Subaru? You seem to go out of your way to single out Subaru issues?

Mike (not verified)    February 1, 2020 - 9:30PM

This seems to be a trend... We get it, you don't like Subaru. Enough with the junk articles whose sole purpose seems to be to bash Subaru

Robert Steele (not verified)    February 1, 2020 - 10:38PM

I would have a 2020 Outback except they don't off the 6 cylinder anymore. So I will strongly consider the new Ford if they offer a 6 cylinder.

Bryce (not verified)    February 1, 2020 - 10:44PM

torque always seems to try to make Subaru look bad every chance they can, Ford can never replicate it no one can, Besides Ford’s garbage

Scott (not verified)    February 2, 2020 - 1:37PM

Thought article was about competition for the Subaru. If Ford is the brand than there is no competition. Ford just doesn't have the ability to build a vehicle to compete with Subaru.

SingleSpeeder (not verified)    February 4, 2020 - 2:25PM

I admit, I'm a Subaru fanboy. I've been driving them for 30 years. However, after driving a CVT for the last 3 years, I'm done with them. I despise the CVT. If I can find a 'newer' Outback with a Manual Transmission, I'll trade this one in a heartbeat. The CVT has just taken the soul out of Subie...and thanks to Toyota, they are becoming overly complicated to replace anything. I have to take the wheel well fender off to replace a light bulb? C'MON! Give me my simple to work on Outback that lasts well over 200K again please. I don't need all these fancy bells and whistles.

Realistically, I want me Gen 3 and earlier models back. When I'm not upside down on my CVT crap now, I'll sell and get one of these again.