2020 Subaru Outback is still capable, more comfortable
Back in 1994, Subaru had the brilliant idea of taking the legacy wagon, jacking it up on a race suspension and calling it a crossover.
The so called Outback sold 200,000 units.
Now 2 million units later, we meet the sixth generation Now the 2020 Subaru Outback's mission hasn't changed very much.
But this is a completely different vehicle than it was 25 years ago.
Let's hop behind the wheel and see what's new.
The 2020 Outback is now based on Subaru's global platform.
Like the rest of the automaker's vehicles, like the Ascent and the Forester.
Also like the Forrester Subarus taken an ain't broke don't fix it approach to the size of this vehicle.
So it hasn't grown very much since the last model here in fact the wheelbase is only a fraction of an inch longer.
Yet somehow Subaru is also managed to cram a lot more stuff.
Space for people in cargo into this thing, which means it'll be just as easy to park which will be able to carry a whole lot more stuff wherever you go.
Something else that hasn't changed it's getting a little bit of a workout today is the off road capability.
Now we've still got the same 8.7 inches of ground clearance as we had in the The previous generation and the generalist approach and departure angles that combined with Subaru standard symmetrical all wheel drive systems kind of the whole point of this brand.
And the X mode off road programming means that we're making short work of this HEV Trail we're tackling today.
Now under the hood, we've got a 2.4 liter box or four cylinder engine.
That's an all new engine for 2020.
It's naturally aspirated.
And features direct injection.
Makes 184 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque.
Fuel economy is better than before.
And 176 pound-feet, as it turns out, is actually a pretty good amount of torque to haul.
All this thing up some pretty impressive hills.
It's gonna put that power through a standard continuously variable transmission which is kind of why the fuel economy is better than before.
And that also does a pretty good job of feeling fairly smooth on the road.
Speaking of the road, the on road performance is actually also a little bit better.
The drivers looking for a little more oomph should consider the other new engine for this generation, a 2.4 liter turbocharged four cylinder engine.
That's gonna replace the old six cylinder, 3.6 for the previous generation.
But it ups the Outback's potency to 260 horsepower and 277 pound-feet.
Peter Falk, which is a significant upgrade over the base model of this generation.
Now the move to the new platform means that the 2020 outback has a much stiffer Chafee and that means that suspension can operate more precisely and more precisely it does it feels a lot more controlled mostly due to the new double wishbone setup that we've got up front that aid and control over bumps and helps the car feel a little bit stickier when you're in the corners.
There's also a general improvement and refinement and reduction in noise overall, which makes it a lot easier to live with this generation of the Outback.
Now, speaking of being easier to live with, there's a lot of new technology in the dashboard of this year.
Generation of the Outback, starting with this massive 11-inch touchscreen on the dashboard.
I've got a vertical orientation, and it's powered by the newest generation of Subaru's Starling infotainment and telomatic software.
Now, it uses TomTom maps navigation, so if you go into the map you see a massive vertical map that shows you a nice view down the road.
But if you don't like that Android Auto and Apple Car Play are standard so you can just plug into USB and bring your own maps and apps along the way.
Now another cool feature is that this does feature Subaru's new driver focus system and info.
Red set of cameras on the dashboard that watch the driver space to make sure that I'm not drowsy or distracted.
As a nice bonus for keeping an eye on me.
It also powers a driver facial recognition system that allows me to do things like store my seating positions and favourite presets and when I get in the car, it'll automatically recognise me and differentiate me from anybody else who will be driving.
Now we've also got camera-based technology pointing outside of the car in the form of the Subaru EyeSight driver aid system.
Now those two cameras looking forward are watching the road, and they're gonna power driver aid features like adaptive cruise control, which now works all the way down to stop and go traffic.
A lane centering steering assist that we're not really using today because I kind of wanna enjoy this nice bit of twisty road.
And the thing that I liked about this Outback is kind of the same thing that I like about the 2019 Forster and that's that Subaru took a very close look at the DNA of that vehicle, the things that people already really liked about it, and they didn't change those things.
They just made them a little bit better for this new generation.
And made the vehicle a lot easier to live with with smart applications and technology.
But this is still just the first drive.
And we've got to put a lot more miles on this bad boy before I can decide whether I'm truly in love with it or not.
You can check our full review on theroadshow.com.
It should be live now.
Head on over there to find out what I think.
Of course one of the main reasons the Outback is Subaru's best selling model is its outstanding value, and that hasn't changed very much for 2020.
It still starts at around $27,000 and tops out at around 40K.
And with more features More space and more safety than before, it's an even better value.
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