Where Subaru Failed With Forester, They Get It Right With New Outback
Subaru Corporation knew they needed to tap a younger demographic who would love the new 2020 Subaru Outback if they could just broaden its appeal. So they designed a new outdoor-themed trim level called the Onyx Edition XT aimed at attracting younger, active customers to the new Outback. They did the same thing with the Forester remodel last year, but they went further and brought back a turbocharged engine in the Outback, something they failed to do with Forester Sport trim.
In a recent interview, Yoichi Hori, Outback project general manager, told Automotive News during the SUV's introduction in California, "There's a whole market out there of younger folks who would love the Outback," He said the company realized. Subaru got this one right.
2020 Subaru Outback Onyx XT
The last Outback to get a turbo powerplant was the 2009 Outback 2.5XT model. But it’s back after an 11-year hiatus. Subaru of America goes back to the future by bringing the Outback Onyx Edition XT which doesn’t really let customers know what the new 2020 model change brings to outdoor enthusiasts. But Subaru Canada gets it right when they call the same new 2020 Outback trim, the Outdoor XT which is what the new model is about. Subaru will broaden the Outback’s appeal and this model will be just what the Japanese automaker needs to attract new customers to the brand who have active outdoor lifestyles.
Subaru gets it right
Subaru got it right with the new US-spec Onyx XT and Canadian Outdoor XT trim. The Outback has always had a “go-anywhere attitude, but the new Onyx/Outdoor XT gets extra goodies for the more adventurous customer wanting to get away from civilization. The new FA24 2.4-liter turbo Boxer engine will not only improve power and fuel efficiency, but the Outback Outdoor XT will have a higher towing capacity of 3500 lbs, up from the previous 2700 lb. limit.
2020 Subaru Outback X Mode
The previous Outback with a turbo engine was the 2009 model year with a 2.5-liter engine that was good for 243 hp and 241 lb-ft of torque. The new 2.4-liter turbo four-cylinder Boxer powering the Outback Onyx/Outdoor XT produces 260 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque. The 2009 2.5 XT Limited models came with either a standard five-speed manual transmission or an optional four-speed automatic.
The 2020 model change brings an 8-speed manual mode and a manual gearbox is not offered. The new 2020 Outback XT 2.4-liter turbo gets an EPA estimated 23/30 city/highway mpg and 26 combined mpg. The 2009 2.5 XT models could only muster 18 city/24 highway and 20 combined mpg.
Features for outdoor adventures
Other new features for outdoor enthusiasts will be a two-tone interior with water-repellent seat material with green accent stitching and a full-size spare tire. For serious off-roading, the Outdoor XT gets an upgraded dual-function X-Mode system that offers Snow/Dirt and Deep Snow/Mud modes for even more extreme capability to go virtually wherever necessary. Outside it gets black 18-inch wheels, XT badging and front grille and door mirrors finished in black.
The U.S. Onyx Edition XT starts at $35,905, positioning itself between the non-turbo Outback Limited, which starts at $34,455, and the non-turbo Outback Touring, which starts at $38,355. Prices include destination and delivery. For those looking for a vehicle that will help further elevate their outdoor lifestyle, the new 2020 Subaru Outback Onyx/Outdoor XT trim answers the call.
Watch 2020 Subaru Outback MPG Improvement Noted by EPA and Click To Subscribe to Torque News Youtube Channel for Daily Subaru and Automotive News Analysis.
You Might Also Like: Subaru Brings Back One Option Outback Customers Seriously Wanted
Bookmark my Subaru page and be sure to follow the latest Subaru Outback model change reports on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Subaru Report. Send us your Subaru news tips @SubaruLegitNews and we'll give you a shout out! Be sure to check back tomorrow for more Subaru news and updates.
Leave your comments below, share the article with friends and tweet it out to your followers! See you in my next story where I am discussing what you need to know about the only minor changes for the new Subaru BRZ.
Photo credit: Subaru USA