Since its introduction for 1995, the Outback has been a huge seller for Subaru, often standing as its most popular model. The company hopes to continue that success with the debut of the redesigned, sixth-generation 2020 Outback at the New York International Auto Show.
For a redesigned vehicle, the 2020 Outback doesn’t look all that different from the outgoing model. But it adds numerous new features, including more standard and available safety and convenience equipment and its first turbocharged engine in more than a decade.
It starts with a body Subaru says is 70 percent stiffer and adds a bit more rear-passenger space. All-wheel drive and a CVT automatic transmission with manual shift paddles are standard, the latter linked to either a 182-horsepower 2.5-liter “flat” four or a new turbocharged 260-horsepower 2.4-liter four. The turbo allows for a 3500-lb. towing capacity, higher than that of any previous Outback.
Standard is Subaru’s EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, which includes all the expected high-tech safety features. But the Outback now also makes available DriverFocus Distraction Mitigation System (which sounds an alert if an instrument-panel camera “sees” that the driver isn’t looking at the road), adaptive headlights, reverse automatic braking, a head-up display, and a 180-degree front-mounted camera. Available comfort/convenience features now include a hands-free power liftgate, adjustable driver-seat cushion length, heated/ventilated front seats and heated rear seats, and heated steering wheel.
Standard on all Outbacks are Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility and satellite radio. All but the base model get a new 11.6-inch “tablet style” touchscreen, and newly available is WiFi hotspot capability.
The 2020 Subaru Outback is due to go on sale this fall.
The Outback has long carved a nice niche for itself straddling the gap between cars and crossovers, and the redesigned 2020 version — with all its added safety and convenience features — just makes it all the more attractive. We can’t imagine that will do anything but increase its appeal to buyers … and its status in the Subaru lineup.