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Why You Would Shop The New 2020 Subaru Outback Along With Toyota Camry And Honda Accord

The all-new 2020 Subaru Outback scores a Best Buy car award with the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord sedans. See why Consumer Guide says Outback is the best buy for sedan shoppers.

The 2020 Subaru Outback is a rare breed and when it comes to awards, car magazines can’t figure out what category to put it in. Is the new 2020 Outback a wagon, an SUV, or a crossover? Consumer Guide doesn’t have a wagon category because so few are even offered in the U.S. market. So the all-new Outback gets put in with sedans and scores a “Best Buy” award from Consumer Guide who says it’s the best vehicle for car shoppers in the Mid-Size Car category.

It shares the Best Buy award with the 2020 Toyota Camry and the 2020 Honda Accord, both popular sedans. Camry has been the best-selling sedan in America and the Honda Accord isn’t far behind. Why would you check out a wagon if you are shopping for a sedan?

2020 Subaru Outback in water2020 Subaru Outback

Outback isn’t your typical car and it’s hard to slot it in any category because it does many things well. It offers a car-like ride but offers sedan shoppers a lot more.

Outback is all-new for the 2020 model year and gets extensive updates over the outgoing model. According to Consumer Guides, the new Outback “offers an ideal blend of passenger and cargo versatility, on-road refinement, all-terrain capability, and luxury.”

Two engine options

Torque News drove the new 2020 Outback with the new 2.4-liter turbocharged Boxer engine that replaced the 3.6-liter six-cylinder powerplant, and the upgraded 2.5-liter naturally aspirated engine. They are designed for very different car buyers.

We found the new turbocharged four-cylinder has extra power (260 horsepower) as we drove the wagon at high altitudes in the mountains west of Denver. This would be an excellent choice for active families who need to haul extra gear or passengers, or even pull a small camping trailer. It has all the torque (277 lb-ft) needed to pull a high mountain pass without issue.

The base 2.5-liter normally-aspirated four-cylinder engine has received upgrades and is a good choice for urban commuters who need an all-wheel-drive vehicle for average city use. Both are fuel-efficient with the 2.5-liter engine rated at 26/33 city/highway mpg and the 2.4-liter XT is rated at 23/30 city/highway mpg. Consumer Guide says an Onyx Edition XT averaged 23.9 mpg in 65-percent city driving.

2020 Subaru Outback side-view2020 Subaru Outback

The Outback gives consumers a car-like ride but sits higher than a Toyota Camry or Honda Accord. It’s easier to slide in-and-out because of the ride height, it comes standard with all-wheel-drive and will deliver you safely in all weather conditions. If you need to carry cargo, it has the utility of an SUV without the bulky body style.

The 2020 Subaru Outback is not really a car, it’s a wagon/crossover/SUV with car-like attributes and a bit of a "go-anywhere" attitude. Toyota Camry and Honda Accord sedan shoppers might want to put it on their shopping list.

You Might Also Like: Subaru Created Amazing Success With The New Outback No Automaker Will Ever Duplicate

Denis Flierl has invested nearly 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!

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Photo credit: Subaru USA, Crosscreek Subaru


Jesse (not verified)    December 5, 2019 - 11:38AM

I think the picture of the Outback going through bumper high standing water speaks of the driver's thought process, or lack thereof, rather than the toughness of the vehicle. A friend of mine has the Outback that's about 2 years old and it is a really nice car. Subaru's QC leaves me tepid about purchasing one.

jg (not verified)    December 6, 2019 - 11:10PM

In reply to by Jesse (not verified)

While all the complaining about quality escapes raises consumer doubts, Subaru does more to stand behind their product than any other manufacturer I’ve ever dealt with. They’ve always intrigued me but I never liked their style or interior (early 2000s), fast forward and I needed to get rid of a Jeep that was falling apart so I traded it in at the local Chevy dealer for a used 2007 Legacy. I bought it for convenience but it turned out to be a really nice driving car, but when the air conditioning stopped blowing cold air I was dreading the first trip to the dealer. They gave me a loaner, had the car all day doing different kinds of leak tests, calling me to let me know what they were doing at every turn. Eventually, they said they couldn’t find any leaks so they were going to evacuate and recharge the system and just bring it back if the cold air stopped blowing again. When I went to pick it up I was expecting a fairly hefty bill, but the service advisor said, “Well, we didn’t find anything so I’ll just charge you for the freon.” So my whole bill was $14.

Since then I’ve bought/leased over 10 new Subaru’s for myself and various family members. There were a few in there that had little annoyances, but they were all great (and I just traded in the ones that bugged me and got a new one). Yes there were some quality issues and recalls sprinkled in there, but none of them cost me a dime. Something all the complainers fail to take into consideration.

Hopefully after leasing 3 Outbacks since 2014, the 2018 3.6 Touring I recently bought will be the last one I need. Other than a 1991 Corvette I had in Germany, I have never had a car that was happier to go 80 mph (and still get ~25 mpg; the Corvette got 8 mpg).

Digitaldoc (not verified)    December 5, 2019 - 12:39PM

The Outback may be many things, and easily defy a category. "Lifted wagon" may be the best description, and many folks cross shop it with crossovers. However, it is not even close to a sedan.