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Why We Compare A Subaru Outback XT With The All-New Chevrolet Corvette

What does the 2020 Subaru Outback share with the Chevrolet Corvette? See why Autotrader says both are 12-Best Cars for 2020 and should be thought of differently.


Why would we ever compare the newly-redesigned 2020 Subaru Outback with the all-new Chevrolet Corvette? The Subaru wagon rides in excellence with the new mid-engine sports car. Autotrader announced this year’s 12 Best Car winners for 2020, and both Outback and Corvette make the list. The first criteria were they all had to be all-new or redesigned models and had to come with some unexpected benefit or set of features that change the way you'd think of the car or the brand that it comes from. 

It’s easy to see why the 2020 Chevy Corvette would be considered for the award. The iconic sports car gets a new mid-engine design that is a radical departure from its previous-generation front-engine configuration. But the Subaru Outback is about the same as the outgoing model, with its standard all-wheel-drive, very little changes on the outside, and it still gets top safety ratings. Why should you think differently about the 2020 Outback?

2020 Chevrolet Corvette2020 Chevrolet Corvette stands out with a new mid-engine design

What is some unexpected benefit or feature that changes the way you'd think of the redesigned wagon? The new XT trim’s engine is the new standout feature that sets the redesigned wagon apart. For the 2020 model year change, Outback gets a new 2.4-liter turbocharged Boxer engine for power. Subaru discontinued the 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine and dropped in the new Ascent-sourced turbocharged flat-four.

Subaru didn’t just bring one XT trim level for customers, they brought three new XT models. Outback now comes in the more rugged Onyx Edition XT, Limited XT, and near-luxury level, Touring XT, all with the new 2.4-liter direct-injected turbocharged engine under the hood.

2020 Subaru Outback2020 Subaru Outback gets a new XT trim

What’s the difference?

The outgoing six-cylinder 3.6R Boxer powerplant sustains 225 lb-ft of torque from 2,000-6,000 rpm while the new 2.4-liter turbocharged model benefits from a less broad torque curve, with its 277 lb-ft. of torque achieved from 2,000 rpm through 4,800 rpm. This will allow more pulling power when taking on a high mountain pass loaded with people and gear. It also gets 260 horsepower versus the 3.6R’s 256 horses.

What’s the difference in fuel economy?

The 2019 Outback naturally aspirated six-cylinder 3.6R engine gets an EPA estimated 20/27 city/highway mpg and 22 combined mpg. The new 2020 Outback FA24 2.4-liter engine's fuel economy is 23/30 mpg city/highway. All Outback XT trims are now capable of towing 3,500 lbs. up from the 3.6R’s 2700 lb rating.

2020 Subaru Outback XT2020 Outback XT gets more power and improved fuel mileage

The other 10 cars that made Autotrader's 12 Best New Cars 2020 list are the 2020 Ford Expedition, Honda CR-V Hybrid, Hyundai Palisade, Hyundai Sonata, Jeep Gladiator, Kia Telluride, Lincoln Aviator, Mazda CX-30, Nissan Sentra, and Toyota Highlander.

The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette is radically changed from the previous-generation sports car, the 2020 Subaru Outback wagon carries over with all of its best attributes, but picks up a new turbocharged powerplant that sets it apart from last year’s model. Both are picked for Autotrader's 12 Best New Cars 2020 award.

You Might Also Like: Say Goodbye To The Subaru Outback 3.6R; Why Customers Won’t Miss It

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 USA, Chevrolet