Good news for people who live in the northern tier of states; or if you live somewhere with unpredictable weather that can turn bad real quick; or if you’re just a rally fan: the 2020 Subaru Outback is here. Like Subarus from times past, the 2020 Outback is loaded with safety and convenience features; is reliable as a Japanese car firm can make it and, best of all, has an all-wheel drive system to get you through bad weather, bad terrain, and bad conditions.
Here is a brief look at everything you need to know about the 2020 Subaru Outback.
For 2020, Subaru’s Outback starts around $27,000, going all the way up to just under $40,000 if you throw the option book at it. Yes, that does get quite high, but when you slather on all the goodies, it makes for a very reasonably-priced, fully-kitted out SUV, which is what an Outback wagon essentially is. Trim levels include Base, Premium, Limited, Touring, Onyx Edition XT, Limited XT, and Touring XT.
How Is The 2020 Subaru Outback Equipped?
The 2020 Subaru Outback comes standard with Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, Active Torque Vectoring, Vehicle Dynamics Control, and X-MODE with Hill Descent Control. It also boasts 8.7 inches of ground clearance, a lot for what is essentially a wagon. That’s also a healthy amount when confronting things like ruts and snow drifts and such. All 2020 Subaru Outbacks feature EyeSight Driver Assist Technology with Advanced Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Centering Function. Roof rails with tie down points and crossbars are standard across the lineup.
On the inside, a tablet-style, 11.6-inch display runs all of your connectivity and multimedia, including the new Wi-Fi hotspot (an Outback first).
The best “new” news for 2020 is the return of a turbo engine to the Outback lineup. Standard on XT models, the 2.4-liter turbo Boxer engine delivers 260 horsepower and 277 lb-ft. of torque. It’s paired with a Lineartronic CVT with eight-speed manual control via steering wheel paddle shifters.
The entry level Outback has a starting price of $26,645, a bump of only $300 from the 2019 model. Nice! Base trim gets you Subaru’s Starlink multimedia system with an upper seven-inch touchscreen for audio controls, and a lower seven-inch screen for climate controls and other systems. The Base trim includes AM/FM/HD Radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, SiriusXM, Travel Link, and Clari-Fi music restoration. Power on the base model comes from a new version of the 2.5-liter Boxer engine that puts out 182 horsepower and 176 lb-ft. of torque.
Auto Start-Stop is also standard and helps you get an EPA-estimated 26/33 city/highway mpg.
The next rung up is occupied by the Outback Premium and will set you back $28,895. The Premium adds the All-Weather Package of heated front seats and exterior mirrors and windshield wiper de-icer. Premium Outbacks have LED fog lights, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 10-way power driver’s seat (with power lumbar), leather-wrapped steering wheel, and silver or ivory stitching on the dash. The front windows are auto-up/auto-down; the cargo cover is single-touch lifting, and there are 2.1A USB ports in the rear center console.
The Outback Premium comes standard with an 11.6-inch touchscreen; Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Bluetooth streaming are each standard on the premium trim as well. Like the Base, the Premium receives an AM/FM/HD stereo, SiriusXM, and Travel Link. An additional safety package includes Blind-Spot Detection, Lane Change Assist, and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert. Another package adds a power moonroof and navigation.
Above Premium is the Outback Limited, starting at $33,445. The Limited ups the ante with perforated leather-trimmed upholstery, gloss black and silver metallic interior trim, and 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels. A 10-way power driver’s seat with two-position memory is standard, as is the eight-way power passenger seat and hands-free rear gate. Rear passengers receive both heated seats and air conditioner outlets.
The Limited trim also adds Reverse Automatic Braking and push-button start. An available package adds navigation, a power moonroof, heated steering wheel, and a distraction mitigation system.
The Outback Touring tops out at $37,345 (without getting into add-on packages). Distinguished by chrome pillar trim and door handle inserts, the Touring also sports a satin chrome finish for the exterior mirrors, while the roof rails, tie-down points, and cross bars receive a special silver finish. The interior features Java Brown Nappa leather with tan stitching. Ventilated front seats, power moonroof, heated steering wheel, navigation, and the distraction mitigation system are all standard.
Onyx Edition XT
New for 2020, this is your flashy, show off option. The Onyx Edition XT has 18-inch alloy wheels, black-finish badging, and a gray two-tone interior. Many of the features listed above from the other models are standard on the Onyx Edition XT.
2020 Subaru Outback: Availability & Manufacturing
Other option packages are available that allow you to somewhat mix and match features, but the basic packages within the Outback models will have 99 percent of buyers covered. The 2020 Subaru Outback is manufactured at Subaru of Indiana Automotive (SIA) in Lafayette, Indiana. Expect them at Subaru dealers this fall.
Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in paperback or Kindle format. Follow his work on Twitter: @TonyBorroz.