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Why You Can Only Buy The New Subaru Outback XT Turbo In North America

The 2021 Subaru Outback XT 2.4-liter turbocharged engine is unique to the U.S. market. Here is why customers in North America are the only ones to get it.


When Subaru of America (SOA) announced the new Outback XT with the 2.4-liter turbocharged engine, we didn't know it's only for North American customers. Recent reports from Australia reveal the new 2021 Subaru Outback Onyx Edition XT, Limited XT, and Touring XT with the 2.4-liter engine is not sold anywhere else around the globe.

The only model Australia gets is the 2021 Outback with a 2.5-liter naturally-aspirated Boxer engine when it launches next spring. Subaru will discontinue the Australian-spec 2.0-liter turbo-diesel engine variant and the 3.6-liter Boxer engine when the sixth-generation Outback makes its dealer launch.

2021 Subaru Outback, features, specs, pricing
Photo credit: Competition Subaru

Since its launch last year, customers in the U.S. and Canada have had the Outback 2.4-liter turbocharged XT models. The Outback XT, built at the US Subaru plant in Lafayette, Indiana, appears now; it's only for North American customers.

Australia will get its new-generation Outback shipped from the plant in Gunma, Japan, and could be different than U.S. models. The reports say, "There could be minor design changes for Japanese-built versions compared to the US, including different grille styles, cladding on the wheel-arches and potentially roof rail changes."

2021 Subaru Outback, features, specs, pricing
Photo credit: Competition Subaru

The Subaru Outback, up until this year, was the best-selling model for Subaru of America. Last month, the Camden, N.J. automaker reported the Outback wagon was the number one model by volume with 12,921 units delivered to customers. SOA has sold 136,022 Outback wagons year-to-date.

In contrast, Subaru Australia has only sold 4,499 Outback wagons in the first eleven months of 2020. The U.S. is Subaru Corporation's biggest market selling over 60 percent of its all-wheel-drive SUVs and cars. Because Australia sells 3 percent of the Outback wagons, Subaru of America gets unique trim levels like the Outback XT.

What is the price of the 2021 Outback?

The 2021 Subaru Outback comes in seven trim levels, base is priced from $27,845, Premium ($30,095), Onyx Edition XT ($36,195), Limited ($34,645), Limited XT ($39,045), Touring ($38,545), and Touring XT ($40,995). Pricing includes $1,050 destination.

The 2021 Subaru Outback XT with the 2.4-liter turbocharged engine is unique and built for North American customers. The models made in the U.S. stay in North America.

You Might Also Like: How Subaru Improved New Outback and Forester Quality And 3 Reasons Why They Did It Fast

Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Photo credit: Competition Subaru


Dario (not verified)    December 5, 2020 - 11:17PM

Can someone point me to the actual reason for only the US getting the turbo? I couldn't get through all the dumb unrelated crap that all these bait and switch articles are filled with.

Harry (not verified)    December 6, 2020 - 2:20AM

Does the 2022 onyx still have that ugly two tone faux leather seats? We'll gladly exchange the onyx xt for the Levorg.

Rayelin (not verified)    December 7, 2020 - 11:54AM

It's probably because australia japan get the levorg which is a more performance based wagon with a turn in I believe every trim. The levorg is dope

Jansen (not verified)    December 7, 2020 - 2:23PM

Why a turbo for a Subaru when women, old and young and old men drive consistently 5 to 10 miles an hour BELOW the speed limit in the left lane. A complete waste of technology

David P. (not verified)    December 9, 2020 - 7:06PM

In reply to by Jansen (not verified)

I am 71 young years old , and owned a 2019 Forester touring . When I test drove the 2020 Outback touring XT I was sold. Now I look for excuses to take this puppy out on the open road, and trust me,I do not drive 5 to 10 mph BELOW the speed limit.Great technology. Thank you SUBARU...

Don (not verified)    April 20, 2022 - 10:34AM

The real reason is Obama, and now Biden, EPA rules on fuel economy and the fact they're forcing lower-priced cars like Subarus into gas guzzling tax status. It's the same reason why the Sti was cancelled in the US.