2020 Subaru Outback
When you think of Subaru, this should be your first thought.
The Outback is more than just a mere wagon with an all-wheel-drive system. It is the brand’s best-selling vehicle. It has a loyal ownership base. It also garnered more its share of awards for Subaru.
In fact, it is the first model new customers to the brand go to.
Why should you consider a Subaru Outback? There are many reasons why.
First of all, the Outback may appear to be an evolutionary design from the previous generation. It is, but you can definitely spot the changes. It rides on the same wheelbase as the previous model, but there is a bit more length this time around. However, you can see some cosmetic changes showing some sleekness and sharper lines compared to the last Outback.
Our tester was the Onyx Edition XT model, which uses a black-out time all round, including the grille and its 18-inch alloy wheels. A set of roof rails round out the rugged look of this Outback.
The Outback’s cabin is actually quite nice, in terms of quality and ergonomics. The instrument panel includes a clear TFT information screen set in-between two large analog dials. Our tester had the latest 11.6-inch STARLINK infotainment screen. The screen is responsive and quick, but some functions may appeared a bit skewed – such as smartphone integration. Overall, the materials are of good quality and the controls are also good to the touch and easy to use.
The Onyx Edition XT model offers a sportier cabin in a two-tone leatherette upholstery with lime green stitching all around. The front seats have solid bolstering for front seat occupants. Power adjustments are available for rake, height, front cushion tilt, recline, and lumbar support. Rear seat room is quite good. The cargo area provided 35.7 cubic feet of space with the second row seatbacks up. Fold down those rear seatbacks, and you have up to 75.7 cubic feet of cargo space.
Our tester has a very special engine for the Outback lineup. It marks the return of the turbocharged engine to the lineup, with its 260-horsepower 2.4-liter “boxer” four-cylinder motor for the XT models. This engine is connected to a continuously variable transmission driving all four wheels. The engine and transmission are responsive and fluid, getting up to speed effortlessly. It did get a bit noisy when the accelerator is pushed a bit harder for passing and going up on-ramps. For fuel consumption, we averaged 25.2 MPG.
The ride quality is smooth, even with an 8.7-inch ground clearance. Handling is good and responsive, and cornering is very smooth. The brakes are solid with an equally solid pedal feel. The Legacy stopped very well in normal and panic situations.
The steering system starts with a thick-rimmed wheel for the driver to work with. The turning radius is very good, although it tends to feel light on-center. There is a button on the steering wheel that helps hold the wheel within the lane, when the Adaptive Cruise Control is on. We found it to be a bit obtrusive and lacked correction when it is enabled. Subaru’s EyeSight driver assistance system is actually very good in the way it keeps you on the road.
The 2020 Subaru Outback lineup starts at $26,645. Our Onyx Edition XT tester came with a sticker price of $37,995. There are seven different trim levels to choose from in the Subaru Outback lineup, including three XT turbocharged models.
When it was first conceived, the Subaru Outback became the second vehicle of its kind – the rugged station wagon. Competitors have come and go, but only a few remain that compare directly with the Outback. These vehicles include the Audi A4 allroad, Audi A6 allroad, Volvo V60 Cross Country, Volvo V90 Cross Country, and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class All-Terrain.
If you are looking for a vehicle that fits with your lifestyle – in this case, active outdoorsy lifestyles – the Outback is absolutely the right choice. It is also great for anyone living in the northern climes or in a mountainous terrain. This wagon should not be for a single customer type. It really for you.
Story Credits: CarSoup Editors