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You Won’t Find This New Subaru Outback XT Feature On Any Other Family SUV

The 2020 Subaru Outback XT Outdoor trim gets a feature you won’t find on any other family SUV. See what sets it apart from other all-wheel-drive vehicles.


Many SUV shoppers will choose the new 2020 Subaru Outback XT trim to get the 2.4-liter turbocharged engine, but there’s another reason you would want the XT trim. The Outback XT comes standard with the brand’s new Dual-Function X-Mode that is available exclusively on the XT trim level and not on the standard Outback 2.5 model.

The Outback XT is designed for those who live at altitude, who need more power from the turbocharged engine for towing, hauling people and cargo over a mountain pass, or who need extra traction in snow, mud, or sandy conditions. If you want a vehicle with more off-pavement abilities, the XT trim is for you. How does the new Outback Dual-Function X-Mode work?

2020 Subaru Outback XT emphasize the vehicle’s ruggedness and off-road capability2020 Subaru Outback XT is the more rugged outdoor model

Dual-Function X-Mode in the Outback outdoor XT is the evolution of Subaru’s X-Mode feature and has two settings for increased control in challenging terrain. You will feel more confident with its increased capability and performance in more extreme weather conditions. The touchscreen controls allow selection between two additional settings tailored to specific driving conditions; “SNOW/DIRT” and “DEEP SNOW/MUD”.

If you are off-road it’s a must-have but you don’t need to be off-pavement to use it. If you live in a cold climate or travel to a ski resort for recreation you will want this feature. It works when you are driving in snow, dirt and deep snow and muddy conditions. The system controls the power sent to each wheel depending on the conditions.

2020 Subaru Outback XT outdoor will take you through deep snow2020 Subaru Outback XT will take you through deep snow

The “SNOW/DIRT” mode improves traction on slippery surfaces and uneven roads. The “DEEP SNOW/MUD” mode reconfigures the traction control to allow some wheel spin on surfaces that the vehicle is likely to sink into, like deep snow mud and sand.

The feature in the Outback outdoor XT can be turned off by selecting the normal option on the touch screen. To engage Dual-Function X-Mode, select the screen from the scrollable top menu of the display then press or touch the snow dirt normal or deep snow mud icons to change the desired X-Mode setting. X-Mode can also be activated by entering the car menu at the lower corner of the display.

2020 Subaru Outback XT Dual-Function X-Mode is accessed from the touchscreen

The 2020 Subaru Outback Outdoor XT trim with Dual-Function X-Mode will take you where other family SUVs won’t go. The feature works to emphasize the Outback’s ruggedness and off-road capability.

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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 at Torque News!

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Photo credit: Subaru Canada


Seinberg (not verified)    January 13, 2020 - 10:19PM

It’s not the XT trim that gets dual function X mode, it’s the Onyx (Outdoor in Canada) XT. Other XT trims (Limited XT, Touring XT) don’t get the function. You wrote a whole article on this and don’t have the details right?

Robert Martin (not verified)    January 20, 2020 - 11:16AM

We have a 2017 Outback Limited.It has X-mode. Can X=mode be used at any speed or is speed limited?