Subaru Outback

The Subaru Outback can stake its claim as one of the industry’s original crossover SUVs, and it’s still thriving with good reason: It does just about everything well. More of a tall wagon than a boxy traditional SUV, the 2018 Subaru Outback is nevertheless one of the more capable models in its segment, thanks to a very generous 9 inches of ground clearance and standard all-wheel drive.

Available with a 2.5-liter flat four or a 3.6-liter flat-six engine paired to a continuously variable transmission, the fifth-generation Outback is a pleasant daily driver with a good amount of space. Subaru’s Starlink infotainment system has made great strides, but still isn’t among our favorites, and Subaru’s well-calibrated EyeSight driver assist technologies aren’t standard on all models. Even so, the Outback is packed with intrinsic goodness, from the $25,895 base 2.5i model to the $35,395 3.6R Limited (all prices subject to taxes and destination fees).

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Editors' First Take

It's often said 'round my parts that Subaru is the official carmaker of Northeast Ohio. Why? We tend to have long and snowy winters, rainy springs and hot, sometimes incredibly dry summers. Subaru prides itself on building the kinds of cars that get through all of these extremes, and the Japanese automaker built a solid reputation for offering do-it-all products. It's precisely why Roadshow wanted to see if the redesigned 2020 Subaru Outback still embodied this winning formula. After 12 months with our Onyx Edition XT tester, we can safely say, the Outback is a damn fine machine.

How we spec'd it

The Onyx Edition XT is arguably the most interesting model in the Outback lineup. It uses Subaru's new turbocharged 2.4-liter engine but comes with a pretty high level of standard equipment. Our tester came packed with the company's 11.6-inch infotainment display, heated front seats and dual-zone climate control, as well as other Onyx Edition touches like water-repellant seat surfaces, a power liftgate, keyless entry and some black exterior bits, including an attractive set of 18-inch wheels.

At $36,155 (including a $1,010 destination charge), the Onyx Edition XT is the least expensive way to get an Outback with a turbocharged engine. In addition to the punchy powertrain, you get Subaru's EyeSight suite of safety systems -- which is standard on all Outback models -- with adaptive cruise control, lane-centering tech, automatic emergency braking and lane-departure warning.

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