The six-generation 2020 Subaru Outback is here and it’s a good one. Subaru unveiled the all-new SUV/Crossover in front of a National Park Foundation display at the New York Auto Show showing customers it’s the most rugged Outback ever launched by the brand. Outback will remain a “go-anywhere” all-wheel-drive vehicle for outdoor adventures. Here’s a complete rundown of the new Outback and what customers will get when it arrives this fall. Will the SUV shatter your expectations or be a letdown?
The big news
Like Torque News reported in February, the biggest news is, the 2020 Outback will get a new Outback XT turbocharged model with the Ascent-sourced FA24 2.4-liter 260-hp four-cylinder Boxer engine under the hood. Subaru axed the six-cylinder 3.6R model in favor of the more powerful XT with improved fuel mileage. Outback will be available in Base, Premium, Limited, Touring, Onyx Edition XT, Limited XT and Touring XT models. Outback now comes with 3,500-lb. towing capacity, an increase from the previous 2,700-lb. rating.
For 2020, Outback still gets the standard 2.5-liter engine, now delivering 182 horsepower and 176 lb-ft of torque up from the previous 175-hp, 174 lb-ft. Manufacturer’s estimated fuel economy is 26/33 mpg city/highway for the 2.5-liter and 23/30 mpg city/highway for the turbo.
Onyx Edition XT
For 2020, Outback gets a new Onyx Edition XT trim featuring black-finish exterior elements, 18-inch alloy wheels and badging, and a gray two-tone interior. Seats are wrapped in a new water-repellant durable StarTex material for off-road adventures. The Onyx Edition XT gets the new 2.4-liter turbo engine, hands-free power gate, front view monitor and, for increased capability in a wider range of environmental conditions, exclusive Dual-Mode X-MODE and full-size spare tire.
What you can’t see
We knew the sixth-generation Outback was coming with the new Subaru Global Platform that will improve driving dynamics, safety, and reduced cabin noise. What we didn’t know, Subaru engineers increased structure stiffness by 70 percent, and 100-percent stiffer in both front lateral flexural and rear subframe rigidity compared to the previous Outback’s platform. The new SUV’s crash protection is also improved, as the new body absorbs over 40-percent more energy in front/side crashes than the current model.
Improved safety tech
The new 2020 Subaru Outback should be one of the safest vehicles on the road. Subaru’s EyeSight driver assist technology is now standard, and Outback is equipped for the first time in the U.S. with a Lane Centering Function. The new function provides steering assist when the vehicle veers outside its lane, helping the driver maintain a direct path. Outback also gets the DriverFocus Distraction Mitigation System that made its debut on the new 2019 Forester.
Outback now offers a Front View Monitor, which captures images within the driver’s blind spots in front of the vehicle and displays a 180-degree view on the 11.6-inch display, providing safety and assistance when checking road conditions ahead or parking.
Subaru didn’t forget about the cabin either. Highlighting Outback’s interior is an all-new tablet-style 11.6-inch full HD multimedia display. Subaru says the new Outback cabin is almost 3 dB quieter at highway speeds over the outgoing model and it also gets sound-insulated glass.
Outback gets a wider rear gate opening and a new Hands-Free power rear gate by simply waving in front of the Subaru emblem (positioned in the center of the rear gate) as well as a new single-touch lifting cargo cover. Both features are a first for Subaru and are standard on most 2020 Outback models.
Outside, Outback gets modest styling upgrades with wider fenders, thicker profile panel surfaces and raised rear gate. You can check out the all-new sixth-generation 2020 Subaru Outback at the New York Auto Show. The Outback will arrive at Subaru showrooms this fall, with pricing announced closer to dealer launch. Stay tuned.
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Photo credit: Subaru USA