Subaru Outback Revealed With Turbo Power And More Tech Than Ever

Lloyd Doyle
April 18, 2019

Like the rest of the vehicle world, Subaru is stuffing the Outback with as much safety and consumer tech as possible. The new-for-2020 Onyx Edition injects familiarerior with black trim and dark 18-inch wheels for a presence that's borderline imposing.

The 2020 Outback maintains its legendary on/off-road capability with 8.7 inches (22 cm) of ground clearance and a slew of standard systems: Subaru symmetrical all-wheel drive, active torque vectoring, vehicle dynamics control, and X-Mode with hill descent control. It also features improved ground clearance over the previous generation.

For the first time since 2009, the Outback lineup offers a turbocharged engine. The six-cylinder model, the 3.6R, is being replaced with a turbocharged Outback XT.

The 2.4-liter turbocharged boxer four-cylinder engine also delivers 277 lb-ft of torque, while non-XTs get a trusty 2.5-liter flat-four that delivers 182 horsepower and 176 lb-ft of torque. Subaru notes the 2.4-liter engine offers a 3,500-pound towing capacity, which is an 800-pound improvement and the Outback's highest tow rating ever. Manufacturer's estimated fuel economy is 26/33 mpg city/highway for the 2.5-liter and 23/30 mpg city/highway for the turbo. At the very least, the new Outback is widely expected to opt for a "mild" hybrid system and could even go for a more advanced form of battery propulsion before the seventh-generation line is launched around 2025. The rear suspension utilizes a subframe-mounted control-arm layout with coil springs and a 0.8-inch hollow bar.


By switching over to Subaru's latest global platform, the Outback will benefit from better rigidity and more refinement, as well as improved handling. Perhaps more important, the new structure supposedly absorbs 40 percent more frontal and side-impact crash energy than the old (IIHS Top Safety Pick+ rated) one did. When a crash is unavoidable, the Outback protects with eight standard airbags, including a driver knee airbag.

Similar to the approach used to update the 2020 Legacy, Subaru refined the Outback at every level. It includes automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and lane centering. It also adds a hands-free power gate and the front view monitor. The inside of the Onyx trim is gray two-tone, with water-repellant StarTex fabric.

Inside the cabin, Subaru fine-tunes soundproofing for a quieter, more enjoyable ride while increasing rear passenger head, shoulder and leg room. Sound-insulated glass, which uses a sound-insulating inner film for the windshield and front-door glass, has been adopted, while glass thickness all around has been increased for quietness. The Onyx Edition also gets a hands-free power liftgate, front-view camera and a dual-mode X-Mode drive setting. Fold the rear seats down, and you get 78 in (198 cm) of floor length and 75.7 cu ft (2,144 L) of overall cargo space. And with a wider rear gate opening, the Outback can comfortably accommodate long items such as camping gear, golf clubs or strollers. Both features are a first for Subaru and are standard on most 2020 Outback models.

Following a "Dynamic x Solid" philosophy, the all-new Outback is anchored to an "Active x Tough" concept.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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