2020 Subaru Outback Debuts With More Power, Familiar Look

The new Onyx Edition makes the Outback look more rugged and has water-repellant interior upholstery.

The 2020 Subaru Outback arrives at the New York Auto Show to reveal the sixth generation of the brand’s mashup between a station wagon and a crossover. Sales start this fall in Base, Premium, Limited, Touring, Onyx Edition XT, Limited XT, and Touring XT trim levels.

Like its sibling, the Subaru Legacy, the new Outback’s XT trims come with a 2.4-liter turbocharged engine with 260 horsepower (194 kilowatts) and 277 pound-feet (376 Newton-meters) of torque. Other models get a 2.5-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder with 182 hp (136 kW) and 176 lb-ft (239 Nm) of torque. Both mills hook up to CVT and torque-vectoring all-wheel drive.

The new Outback now rides on the Subaru Global Platform. The company boasts that the new underpinnings allow for a 70-percent boost in torsional rigidity. It can also absorb 40 percent more energy in a front or side collision. In addition, Subaru’s Eyesight safety suite is standard on all trims, including adaptive cruise control.

From the outside, the new Outback looks very familiar. Despite moving to the Subaru Global Platform, the sixth-generation model doesn’t appear significantly different from the current one. The most visible tweaks to the front are the vertically oriented fog lights and more chiseled styling for the headlights. The changes at the rear are a bit more noticeable because of the larger roof spoiler, pointier taillights, and bulkier appearance for the bumper.

The differences are more notable on the inside where the most trims of the Outback gain a portrait-oriented 11.6-inch infotainment screen. In models with heated seats, occupants have three settings to choose from, instead of two. A hands-free power hatchback is available at the rear.

The new Onyx Edition gives the Outback a darker look by dressing the exterior in black trim, dark-finished 18-inch wheels, and a two-tone gray interior. For a better time away from the pavement, a water-repellent material covers the seats, and there’s a two-mode version of the X-Mode off-roading system, instead of the usual single setting, that offers dirt/snow and deep snow/mud settings.

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