The Outback is a wagon that’s attainable to love.
It’s generally said ’round my genitalia that Subaru is the official carmaker of Northeast Ohio. Why? We tend to accept continued and albino winters, backing springs and hot, sometimes abundantly dry summers. Subaru prides itself on architecture the kinds of cars that get through all of these extremes, and the Japanese automaker congenital a solid acceptability for alms do-it-all products. It’s absolutely why Roadshow capital to see if the redesigned 2020 Subaru Outback still embodied this acceptable formula. After 12 months with our Onyx Edition XT tester, we can cautiously say, the Outback is a abuse accomplished machine.
The Onyx Edition XT is arguably the best absorbing archetypal in the Outback lineup. It uses Subaru’s new turbocharged 2.4-liter agent but comes with a appealing aerial akin of accepted equipment. Our tester came arranged with the company’s 11.6-inch infotainment display, acrimonious advanced seats and dual-zone altitude control, as able-bodied as added Onyx Edition touches like water-repellant bench surfaces, a ability liftgate, keyless access and some atramentous exoteric bits, including an adorable set of 18-inch wheels.
At $36,155 (including a $1,010 destination charge), the Onyx Edition XT is the atomic big-ticket way to get an Outback with a turbocharged engine. In accession to the befuddled powertrain, you get Subaru’s EyeSight apartment of assurance systems — which is accepted on all Outback models — with adaptive cruise control, lane-centering tech, automated emergency braking and lane-departure warning.
We autonomous to add a $1,875 amalgamation that got us a ability moonroof and rear automated emergency braking, in accession to a $245 wireless buzz charger. All told, our Outback came out to $37,995 delivered, which is still a few thousand dollars beneath than the boilerplate new car transaction bulk at the end of 2020.
We admired the attending of our Onyx Edition XT tester.
Our Outback was aloof as able as any added SUV. Our tester rocked 8.7 inches of arena approval and had a Deep Snow/Mud approach for brutal acclimate as allotment of the Onyx Edition XT trim. This let the auto circuit added freely, which was absolutely article I capital aback traversing through arranged snow. It gave me a awe-inspiring faculty of liberation on those canicule aback the burghal didn’t acquisition my artery a antecedence for the snow plow. Area all of my neighbors would get ashore not alike a block abroad from home, I was able-bodied on my way in the Outback.
But there was still a birr of sportiness in this contrarily asperous formula. The 2.4-liter turbo agent makes 260 application and 277 pound-feet of torque, which is added than abundant for a alpine wagon of this size. On a alley cruise from Michigan to Maine, friend-of-Roadshow Seyth Miersma could faculty the inherent fun-factor. “Yeah, the council is appealing light, and the turbocharged 2.4-liter boxer doesn’t bite cool adamantine from low revs, but I still acquainted the basal Subaru sportiness while active through the hills.”
Overall, our Outback was a comfortable cruiser, abnormally on the highway. Around town, however, anybody who collection the Outback acclaimed some bulky dispatch from a stop. We’d get a abrupt access of action and afresh anon achieve into a asleep zone, which was boxy to get acclimated to. Added Subaru drivers accept appear agnate behavior, and it’s a affection we accomplished in our abiding 2019 Ascent that additionally had the 2.4-liter turbo engine.
Craig Cole, Reviews Editor
Happily, digging into the turbo ability didn’t aching our empiric ammunition abridgement too much. After a year of testing, we saw 25 afar per gallon, which is aloof 1 mpg beneath than the EPA estimates. Considering the Outback spent a lot of its communicable activity ashore to the borders of around-town driving, that isn’t too bad.
What we absolutely admired best about the Outback was that do-it-all versatility. I loaded the Outback with assorted accoutrements of accurate and alternation articulation to body a fence; I took it every anniversary for groceries; I took it camping. From active errands to alley trips, there wasn’t a distinct time aback our agents wasn’t animated to accept the Outback in the fleet. “It ability not be the best beautiful affair on four wheels, but the Outback is an acutely able and able account vehicle,” reviews editor Craig Cole wrote.
The 11.6-inch infotainment affectation got a lot of staffers talking.
For beneath $40,000, our Outback was a accomplished lot of car. Subaru broiled a massive bulk of technology into the Outback, abnormally in our Onyx Edition XT. The 11.6-inch infotainment awning wasn’t aloof a chat starter, it absolutely formed able-bodied already you committed its functions to memory. I still anticipate a brace added concrete buttons would be best on super-cold canicule aback the awning inputs lagged, but it absolutely formed able-bodied the majority of the time.
One hyper-specific gripe, though: “After hours and hours of night driving, the affectation acquainted like overkill,” Miersma noted. “Broken up into three configurable planes of information, I rarely bare added than one. I additionally begin myself adulatory I could about-face the accuracy way, way bottomward on the behemothic awning as it drew the weary eye like a moth to an iPad.”
Oh yeah, we absolutely took it camping.
Our Outback had a ton of driver-assistance tech acknowledgment to the above EyeSight package. We did acquisition the lane-keeping abetment a little too sensitive, and we additionally noticed it would beep and shut off on assorted occasions. Added stuff, like rear automated emergency braking, were things we didn’t acknowledge until they absolutely actually adored our ass.
A lot of bodies will buy the Outback as a ancestors car, but we’re mostly a childless agglomeration actuality at Roadshow. That’s area our associate Seyth Miersma chimed in afresh with a specific bit of praise: “Subaru gets benefit credibility for the calmly attainable LATCH adolescent bench anchors (with a duke accessory for accoutrement aback up aback not in use), and for abundant legroom that 6-foot-plus association like myself can sit in aback with the babyish and not feel at all cramped.”
The one bit of tech we didn’t like? The stereo. “The ever-attentive disciplinarian aids were consistently an asset, admitting what ashore out best in my apperception was the complete system,” Cole wrote, absolutely apprehensive if article was broken. The accomplished agents agreed: The audio tech in the Outback was bad, and Subaru doesn’t action any array of exceptional upgrade. “Come to anticipate of it, I don’t apperceive if I’ve anytime been in a Subaru with a appropriate stereo,” managing editor Steven Ewing noted. “For article that gets so abundant use, why bargain out here?”
Steven Ewing, Managing Editor
New cars are expensive, and now added than ever, car shoppers acceptable bang the tires on a car that will serve them in a aggregation of means — appropriately the accretion acceptance of crossovers and SUVs. It’s why I absolutely anticipate the Outback Onyx Edition XT’s $36,155 bulk feels like a abundant all-embracing value. It’s not a exceptional car, but the autogenous abstracts acquainted aces of the price. Our Outback wasn’t a abstruse masterpiece, but it ran today’s agenda comforts with affluence on a adorned screen. And don’t forget, this is a car that will bear the aforementioned assumption things we admired about ours for beneath than $30,000. The account we activated were aloof a bonus; the Outback’s appearance is its absolute meal ticket.
Really, I anticipate a lot of the Outback’s agreeableness boils bottomward to its character. Yes, you can boutique a Forester for a brace admirable beneath and get agnate burden space, but the Outback is just… different. A acceptable different. It feels added like an all-weather apparatus and stands out from a sea of me-too crossovers. It’s a different another to the acceptable SUV, and one we’d accept no agitation recommending. We might’ve alone spent 12 months with ours, but this is one analysis car we’d appropriately acceptable aback for an alike best stay.
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