Subaru launched the Outback in the mid-1990s as a more rugged version of its mid-size Legacy station wagon. It arguably helped create the mid-size crossover utility vehicle segment and simultaneously provided a big boost to Subaru's profitability. For 2020, the Outback is redesigned into a sixth generation that boasts updated styling and new engines.
Subaru offers the Outback in Convenience, Touring, Limited, Premier and Outdoor trims. The first four start out with a 2.5L naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine. Limited and Premier can be optioned with a 2.4L turbocharged engine that comes with an XT designation. Outdoor trim is only sold with the turbo motor and the XT label. Both engines are standard with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) and Subaru's AWD technology.
Convenience trim comes with Subaru's Eyesight active safety suite, which adds a lane centering assist function that is new for 2020. Other standard kit includes dual 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreens, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, heated front seats, automatic climate control, 10-way power driver's seat, power windows and door locks, dual rear USB ports, automatic on/off LED headlights with high beam assist, LED fog lights, electric parking brake, active torque vectoring, hill descent control, backup camera washer, cargo cover and roof rails.
Touring trim adds 17-inch alloy wheels, auto-dimming side- and rearview mirrors, sunroof, passive keyless entry, leather-trimmed steering wheel and shifter, dual-zone climate control, Starlink connected services, blind spot monitoring, reverse automatic braking, lane change assist, rear cross traffic alert, a hands-free power tailgate and an 11.6-inch infotainment screen.
Limited and Limited XT models bring navigation, a 12-speaker sound system, leather seating, heated steering wheel, driver's seat memory with adjustable bottom cushion length, eight-way power front passenger seat, heated rear seats, steering-responsive headlights and 18-inch wheels.
Premier and Premier XT get Nappa leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, a CD player, front-view camera, power-folding side mirrors and a drive distraction mitigation system.
Finally, Outdoor XT adds a more sophisticated AWD traction mode system, front-view camera, all-weather floor mats, weatherproof upholstery and a full-size spare tire.
As of this writing, Subaru has not published fuel consumption figures for the 2020 Outback.
Subaru faces formidable competition here from vehicles like the Ford Edge, Honda Passport, Chevrolet Blazer, Hyundai Santa Fe, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Nissan Murano.