NEWPORT, Calif. — The 2020 Subaru Outback marks the sixth bearing of a vehicle, aboriginal alien for 1994, that is in no baby allotment the lynchpin to its company’s accepted success. The Outback’s sales accept added in every generation, with added than 700,000 awash in the best contempo bearing that started with the 2015 archetypal year. Subaru doesn’t apprehend things to apathetic bottomward as it introduces the all-new 2020 Outback, which has undergone a above check admitting its accustomed sheetmetal.
The Outback has confused to the Subaru Global Belvedere (SGP), abutting the Impreza and Forester on lighter, stiffer, and stronger underpinnings. If the 2019 Forester is any adumbration of how the SGP can advance a vehicle, this would beggarly the new Outback will additionally be calmer, quieter and added refined. Staging from the Inn at Newport Ranch on Northern California’s “Lost Coast,” with a day abounding of active both on- and off-road, we were about to acquisition out for ourselves if this would alive up to our expectations.
Our aboriginal active assignment was in an Outback Touring able with the bottom of two accessible engines. The artlessly aspirated 2.5-liter boxer-four, with 182 application and 176 pound-feet of torque, feels altogether able for the active we did at or abreast sea level, and climbs abundantly on abrupt grades. While it didn’t accomplish casual assignment with a faculty of urgency, we still acquainted adequate overtaking slower cartage aback we had to.
For circadian active about like the California coast, or the suburbs of the Detroit, the added economical 2.5 (26 mpg city, 33 highway, 29 combined) would be our best to alive with. This is akin to a CVT, one programmed to “shift” like a acceptable automatic, blockage out of its own way, and accouterment a nice beeline cull — after a elastic bandage blazon of feel — aback you charge to ascend a hill. Paddle shifters on the aback of the caster accord you a faculty of added control, if that’s article you need. We rarely acclimated them.
If you alive at college elevations, charge to tow up to 3,500 pounds, or aloof absolutely absence the canicule of a turbocharged Outback, there’s now a 2.4-liter turbo-four accessible in the adored XT models. You cede some ammunition abridgement — 3 mpg beyond the board, 23/30/26 mpg — but get a cogent ability boost, with hardly any turbo lag and acceptable response. We’re assertive barter who’ve accelerating from the cast of a WRX to article that can bigger board kids and dogs will acknowledge the boost.
As we had hoped, the SGP belvedere quiets bottomward the ride appreciably – we didn’t apprehension any squeaks or rattles, and annoy barrage was alone credible on rougher pavement. Wind babble is low, too, alike after the acoustic bottle on the advanced doors — a affection accepted on the Bound XT and Touring XT models.
On narrower, curvier abundance roads, the Outback handles decidedly well. The council is decidedly good, with just-right weighting, and offers the absolute bulk of attrition as you punch in added angle. The arrangement is quick abundant that juking from bend to bend ad infinitum is done with actual little hand-over-hand ambiguity or accidental grabwork. There’s aloof abundant acknowledgment to accord you a faculty of what’s activity on amid the tires and the alley apparent while clarification out best of the vibration. This Outback is actively accessible to drive, and added important, it’s enjoyable.
Additionally, it behaves abundant added like a commuter car than its admeasurement and acme would advance — and it’s accessible to balloon that the Outback is about a aerial wagon aback it competes adjoin the cast of the Toyota RAV4 and alike the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Admitting its abounding 8.7 inches of arena approval (more than best bunched SUVs), there’s basal anatomy roll, which agency beneath accent for cartage who don’t accept to brace adjoin it. Aback we did aloof that on some clay roads, the all-wheel drive, brake-based torque vectoring and added adherence systems advice accumulate the Outback acicular area we capital to go.
Despite its sedan-like behavior, it’s not bedfast to the pavement, and feels at home on area area added soft-roaders would lose their footing. A acceptable allotment of our day was spent off-road, aggressive abundance trails overlooking the littoral plains below. Amid the Outback’s accepted acropolis coast ascendancy and all-wheel-drive grip, aggressive steep, addled trails was about ball free. Aback we couldn’t see over the crest, we displayed the augment from the advanced camera (a affection accepted to the Touring trim) to see which administration the aisle led. It’s no trail-rated Jeep, though, and is bound by specs like its 18.6-degree access angle. Deeper ruts led to some abrading at the advanced fascia. Subaru reps told us that their aggregation is discussing a quick-release lower advanced fascia that could advice abstain such scrapes, but no final accommodation has been made.
In this Outback, the EyeSight disciplinarian aid arrangement has been bigger to accommodate lane absorption assistance, bringing it to adequation with the Touring Assist we activated out on a WRX in Tokyo aftermost year. Subaru refers to the arrangement actuality as EyeSight Disciplinarian Assist Technology with Advanced Adaptive Cruise Ascendancy and Lane Centering. We begin it to assignment well, with some limitations. While it will absolutely accomplish bottleneck or alternate cartage beneath stressful, on bluff curves, the lane afterward arrangement would ability some limit, bell at us, and about-face off momentarily. It’s absolutely not the best or best able-bodied disciplinarian aid apartment we’ve used, but we’re animated that not alone has the technology improved, but that it comes accepted in all Outbacks.
In adverse to the outside, the autogenous has been massively overhauled. Advanced and center, literally, is a huge, vertical 11.6-inch touchscreen, which is accepted in all but the abject trim. It fits decidedly able-bodied into the cockpit’s all-embracing design, and additionally we acknowledge that it bucks the “floating tablet” trend. It’s aboveboard to use, and if you don’t like Subaru’s built-in UI, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto appear standard. The screen’s admeasurement and acclimatization accomplish it accessible to glance over and see the advice you need. Subaru maintained adamantine buttons for a cardinal of functions, including bombastic temperature controls, for which we are thankful.
This is the additional Subaru agent to use the company’s DriverFocus ecology tech application facial acceptance and biometrics. This driver-facing camera keeps a agenda eye on you authoritative abiding you’re not accepting befuddled or distracted, and will bell a affable admonition to accumulate your eyes on the road. What’s alike niftier, DriverFocus will additionally admit the faces of as abounding as bristles registered drivers, and acceptable the individuals with their own settings as they accelerate in abaft the wheel.
The new Outback provides a cardinal of added conveniences, like a hands-free adjacency tailgate that opens up aback you access the rear logo with the key fob on your person. With easily full, you can alike nudge the accessory on the burden awning with your bend to get it to retract. Cubbies abound, and the advanced cupholders are massive. The Outback additionally retains the chic “Swing-n-Place” roof rails, and adds tie-down spots at the ends.
And this is a bigger Outback than before, at atomic inside. It’s alone 1.4 inches best and 0.6 inches added all-embracing than the approachable model. Inside, there’s a little over 3 added cubic anxiety of burden amplitude than before, rear legroom increases by 1.4 inches, and allowance increases by 1.8 inches in advanced and by a atom of an inch in the rear.
This go-around, Subaru offers a adaptation of the Outback alleged the Onyx Edition, with the 2.4-liter turbo engine, and is targeted adjoin adolescent buyers (in a car whose boilerplate chump is 45 years old). It appearance blacked-out (well, dark-gray-ed out) wheels, grille, mirrors and badging. Inside, it appearance water-repellent autogenous trim alleged Startex, which absolutely feels absolutely nice for a constructed material, admitting absolutely not as costly as our Touring model’s Nappa leather. While added Outbacks accept a donut in reserve, the Onyx has a full-size additional tire. It additionally appearance an upgraded adaptation of the X-Mode system, with a ambience for beach and mud, and has the 180-degree advanced adviser featured on the Touring trim.
The Subaru Outback starts at $27,655, including destination, for the abject trim with the 2.5-liter engine, and goes up from there. Premium starts at $29,905, and adds the 11.6-inch arch unit, all-weather package, ability disciplinarian bench and bifold altitude control. The Bound adds 18-inch wheels, covering seats, blind-spot ecology and about-face auto braking for $34,455. Touring costs $38,355, and adds Nappa leather, aerial seats, DriverFocus, ability folding mirrors and 180-degree advanced monitor. The XT turbo models alpha with the Onyx Edition at $35,905. Bound XT costs $38,755, and the line-topping Touring XT has a amount of $40,705.
We came to California assured a better, added aesthetic Outback with adapted tech features. We would accept been blessed with that. But the 2020 Outback isn’t aloof competent, it’s absolutely a amusement to drive – a alpine wagon with arch handling, which makes it a standout adjoin the crossovers it competes against. It does that while advancement the account and agreeableness we’ve appear to apprehend from the brand. Aloof as it did with the Forester, Subaru activated a practiced, acceptable blueprint for the new Outback, again aesthetic it. Aback Subaru sales accumulate climbing, bolstered in no baby allotment by the Outback, we won’t be surprised.
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