2020 Subaru Outback

2020 Subaru Outback
2020 Subaru Outback Rear Angle View 1
2020 Subaru Outback Dashboard 1

2020 Subaru Outback Review: Complete Redesign With New Turbo Motor

The Subaru Outback has been redesigned for the 2020 model year in the US, but its complete overhaul has kept in line with the subtlety of styling that made the previous generation a suburban favorite, while under the skin, the all-wheel-drive family car also retains its off-road prowess. Unlike dirt-trail posers in the segment, the Outback is a crossover actually capable of mounting more than just pavements and is a unique offering that can both ford a stream, and ferry the kids to school in comfort. The 2.5-liter Boxer motor returns with a bump in horsepower to 182 with 176 lb-ft of torque. Turbocharging also makes a comeback to the lineup for the first time in a decade, with a 2.4-liter four-banger producing 260 hp and 277 lb-ft.

Read in this review:

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2020 Subaru Outback Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2019 Outback?

2020's Subaru Outback is more than just a refresh, with the new model being completely redesigned inside and out. A gorgeous 11.6-inch iPad-esque touchscreen infotainment system is now available, uplifting the already classy interior feel. But, the big news for fans of forced induction is that the Outback is now available with a 2.4-liter turbocharged motor. The continuously variable transmission (CVT) of yesteryear has also been updated, and now does a good impression of an eight-speed, as opposed to the bygone Outback's six-speed. On the outside, color options are virtually unchanged from 2019, with just Wilderness Green being swapped out for Autumn Green.

Pros and Cons

  • Low cargo-opening makes loading easier than in rivals
  • Outstanding off-road ability for the class
  • Powerful turbocharged engine option
  • Numerous standard driver aids
  • Silky ride
  • Great rear headroom and legroom
  • Lackluster acceleration, particularly on base engine
  • Fewer cabin storage options than many rivals
  • Smooth - but sleepy - CVT transmission

What's the Price of the 2020 Subaru Outback?

The base price for the Outback starts from $26,645 for the base model, before destination fees, taxes, and other charges. Moving up to the Premium will cost $28,895, $33,445 for the Limited, and $37,345 for the Touring. The new Onyx Edition XT has an MSRP of $34,895. The other XT models in the lineup, the Limited XT and Touring XT, start at $37,745 and $39,695, respectively. Fully loaded, the Touring XT will cost $42,745, including the $1,010 destination charge - but you can add to this with lifestyle add-ons like ski racks, roof box, or even surfboard straps. The Subaru Outback's cost is relative to the competition.

Best Deals on 2020 Subaru Outback

2020 Subaru Outback Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
2.5L Flat 4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
2.5L Flat 4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
2.5L Flat 4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
Onyx Edition XT
2.4L Turbo Flat 4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
2.5L Flat 4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
See All 2020 Subaru Outback Trims and Specs

2020 Outback Exterior

2020 Subaru Outback Front Angle View Subaru 2020 Subaru Outback Rear Angle View Subaru 2020 Subaru Outback Front Angle View 1 Subaru
2020 Subaru Outback Front Angle View
2020 Subaru Outback Rear Angle View
2020 Subaru Outback Front Angle View 1
See All 2020 Subaru Outback Exterior Photos


  • Length 191.3 in
  • Wheelbase 108.1 in
  • Height 66.4 in
  • Max Width 73.0 in
  • Front Width 61.8 in
  • Rear Width 62.8 in
  • Curb Weight 3,634.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

  • Abyss Blue Pearl
  • Crystal Black Silica
  • Ice Silver Metallic
  • Magnetite Gray Metallic
  • Crystal White Pearl
  • Autumn Green Metallic
  • Crimson Red Pearl
  • Tungsten Metallic
  • Cinnamon Brown Pearl

2020 Outback Performance

2020 Subaru Outback Front View Driving Subaru 2020 Subaru Outback Rear View Driving Subaru 2020 Subaru Outback Wheel Subaru
2020 Subaru Outback Front View Driving
2020 Subaru Outback Rear View Driving
2020 Subaru Outback Wheel

Engine and Transmission

  • Engines
    2.4L Turbo Flat 4 Gas, 2.5L Flat 4 Gas
  • Transmission
    Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
  • Drivetrain

Handling and Driving Impressions

The Outback is proud of its off-road prowess, with media launches and test drives typically consisting of driving on rough, rocky terrain with sections including muddy, rutted trails and paths that take one through small bodies of water or streams. The Outback typically excels here, and although not an off-roader through-and-through, there's probably someone you know who has heard a tale from a Subaru owner who regaled all who would listen on the Outback's ability to embarrass or at least compete with more purpose-built machinery. However, most of this crossover's time with the wheels turning will be spent on regular tarmac. Although not a differently-shaped rally hero, the Outback is extremely capable, always finding grip even in snow and on other slippery surfaces. It is sold to people who desire practicality, reliability, and a smooth ride - all of which it delivers, but at the cost of fun. The steering is good, but like almost all electrically-assisted setups, has no feel in the straight-ahead position. The ride is supremely comfortable and will remain composed over bumps small and large alike, while the chassis will manage turn-in fairly well. Braking, too, is reassuringly good and easy to modulate. Sadly, the aforementioned rally-heritage is not evident here, so look elsewhere for a fun drive. This car does commuting and off-roading exceptionally well, but lacks fizz.

2020 Outback Interior

2020 Subaru Outback Dashboard Subaru 2020 Subaru Outback Interior Overview Subaru 2020 Subaru Outback Infotainment System Subaru
2020 Subaru Outback Dashboard
2020 Subaru Outback Interior Overview
2020 Subaru Outback Infotainment System
See All 2020 Subaru Outback Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
  • Front Leg Room 42.8 in
  • Front Head Room 40.1 in
  • Rear Leg Room 39.5 in
  • Rear Head Room 39.1 in

2020 Outback Trunk and Cargo Space

2020 Subaru Outback Maximum Cargo Space Subaru 2020 Subaru Outback Trunk Space with Seat Folded Subaru 2020 Subaru Outback Side View Subaru
2020 Subaru Outback Maximum Cargo Space
2020 Subaru Outback Trunk Space with Seat Folded
2020 Subaru Outback Side View

2020 Outback Safety and Reliability


  • Basic:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    5 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

  • Overall Rating
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
  • Side Crash Rating
  • Rollover Rating

Verdict: Is the New 2020 Subaru Outback A Good car?

The new Subaru Outback may at first seem like a car that caters to a specific set of buyers - people who enjoy the outdoors and need the all-wheel capability ground clearance that this vehicle offers. But, this is more than just a one-trick pony that you buy because you need to. The Outback is bought over and over by a certain niche - yes - but it is not just the wilderness-braving adventurers and campers who buy it. It makes a lot of sense for American families, too. Competitive pricing and great resale values have contributed to making this the best-selling AWD crossover in its segment for the past ten years, because it does everything, and does it well. It is supremely comfortable, silkily smooth, and subtly styled. It offers magnificent space, decent fuel economy, and almost unrivaled reliability. Thanks to its new turbocharged power plant, it also accelerates with purpose. Laden with tech and safety features too, the real conundrum is not whether you should buy this car. The question is, why wouldn't you?

What Subaru Outback Model Should I Buy?

For outdoor excursions, the Onyx Edition XT is the most capable of the bunch, featuring a unique X-mode for deeper mud or snow. It also features the more powerful 260 hp and 277 lb-ft turbocharged Boxer engine, which allows you to tow up to 3,500 lbs. Its synthetic leather interior upholstery is also surprisingly comfortable, and gains the added benefit of being resistant to hosing down, should you get muddy. If you're not looking to do too much off-road stuff, the Limited is also capable, but costs less- and will get better gas mileage. You can also spec it with optional packages that add navigation, round off all the available safety tech, and include some additional convenience features, making it the best buy in the range.

2020 Subaru Outback Comparisons

Subaru Forester Subaru
Honda CR-V Honda
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Subaru Outback182 hp26/32 mpg$28,895
Subaru Forester 182 hp26/33 mpg$27,095
Honda CR-V 190 hp28/34 mpg$28,410

2020 Subaru Outback vs Subaru Forester

The Forester hails from the same manufacturing company and shares much with the Outback, making it a worthwhile option to consider, particularly when one notes the Subaru Outback's price is higher. It shares the same 182 hp non-turbocharged engine with the base Outback and offers similar cargo space (although the Outback has more volume with the seats folded flat). The same driver-assist technology and symmetrical all-wheel-drive system are also standard on the Forester. However, the Forester is not available with a turbo engine anymore, it does not offer heated rear seats except on the top trim, and it's driving position allows minimal adjustment. Fewer cup holders and an older, much smaller, 6.5-inch (eight-inch optional) infotainment display also adds up to the conclusion that the Forester is less comfortable to live with every day. In this case, the Outback is a far better car - unless you desperately desire a more SUV-like appearance from your crossover.

See Subaru Forester Review

2020 Subaru Outback vs Honda CR-V

The newly redesigned Honda CR-V is similar to the Outback, in that its styling is mildly updated for the new model year. However, it does have a few aces up its sleeve that Subaru's station wagon can't match - standard wireless charging for one. It also offers a better-packaged interior with more storage solutions and a hybrid option. That said, the Outback's 11.6-inch infotainment system is unrivaled for sheer size, with the unit in the Honda feeling considerably behind the times nowadays. On the plus side, it's base engine is more powerful than the Scooby's, with the 1.5-liter four-cylinder producing 190 hp. The Honda makes you pay extra for four-wheel-drive, but not everyone is looking for all-weather capability, all the time. At the time of writing, pricing for the 2020 CR-V had not been released, but it will have to remain competitive to beat the likes of the Outback. If you need sheer volume, the CR-V will be a better bet, but as an all-rounder, the Subaru is still a better crossover for all purposes.

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