2020 Subaru Outback

#3
in Suvs
2020 MODEL
$26,645 - $39,695
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Overall Rating

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2020 Subaru Outback Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide


Tijo Tenson's image

Tijo Tenson Content Writer Updated on: December 8, 2019


Subaru is one of the few manufacturers which were stubborn enough to keep using the Boxer engines while all of the worlds moved on to Vs and inlines. This bold move helped them in producing lightweight and robust engines. When crossovers and premium SUVs were the craze, Subaru decided to build a fusion of both worlds. 

See detailed review »

Pros

Spacious Interior

Heart-warming Fuel Economy

Impressively Comfortable

Tech Loaded

Cons

Impractical Interior storage space

No major updates

Lethargic Base Engine

11.6-inch immersive multimedia display(higher trims)

What's New?

Longer and wider

New Subaru Global platform

Updated Suspension


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$26645

bodystyle

4dr SUV

passenger capacity

5

drivetrain

AWD

engine type

displacement

152 cu.in.

horsepower

182 hp @ 5800 rpm

torque

176 lbs.-ft. @ 4400 rpm

transmission

7 speed auto shift manual

chassis

frame type

Unibody

suspension front

Independent front strut suspension w/anti-roll bar

suspension rear

Independent rear double wishbone suspension w/anti-roll bar

brake rotors (f/r)

61.8/62.8

dimensions

wheelbase

108.1 in.

length

191.3 in.

width

73 in.

height

66.4 in.

curb weight

3634 lbs.

ground clearance

8.7 in.

capacity

passenger volume

109 cu ft.

cargo volume

75.7 cu ft.

towing capacity

2700 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

8.3 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

26/29/33 mpg

ev range

481 mi.

highway range

610.5 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

3 yr./ 36000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

5 yr./ 60000 mi.

powertrain warranty

5 yr. / 60000 mi.

corrosion warranty

5 yr. / unlimited

roadside assistance

3 yr./ 36000 mi.


Pictures

Exterior
 2020 Subaru Outback 3 Quarter View  2020 Subaru Outback Right Side View  2020 Subaru Outback 3 Quarter View  2020 Subaru Outback 3 Quarter View  2020 Subaru Outback Right Side View
Interior
 2020 Subaru Outback Rear Arm Rest  2020 Subaru Outback Front Seats  2020 Subaru Outback Cargo Area  2020 Subaru Outback Rear Seats  2020 Subaru Outback interior

Styles

 2020 Subaru Outback in Abyss Blue Pearl color  2020 Subaru Outback in Crystal White Pearl color  2020 Subaru Outback in Ice Silver Metallic color  2020 Subaru Outback in Magnetic Gray Metallic color  2020 Subaru Outback in Crystal Black Silica color
Abyss Blue Pearl

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

8.0

Interior

8.5

Safety

9.0

8.2

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


 2020 Subaru Outback Base

Base

power
182hp @ 5800 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
29 combined

$26,645


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT) Starting at $26,645 MSRP (26/29/33) 182hp @ 5800 rpm, 2.5 L, flat 4, regular unleaded
continuously variable-speed automatic all wheel drive 5

 2020 Subaru Outback Premium

Premium

power
182hp @ 5800 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
29 combined

$28,895


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Premium 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT) Starting at $28,895 MSRP (26/29/33) 182hp @ 5800 rpm, 2.5 L, flat 4, regular unleaded
continuously variable-speed automatic all wheel drive 5

 2020 Subaru Outback Limited

Limited

power
182hp @ 5800 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
29 combined

$33,445


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT) Starting at $33,445 MSRP (26/29/33) 182hp @ 5800 rpm, 2.5 L, flat 4, regular unleaded
continuously variable-speed automatic all wheel drive 5

 2020 Subaru Outback Onyx Edition XT

Onyx Edition XT

power
260hp @ 5600 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
26 combined

$34,895


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Onyx Edition XT 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl Turbo CVT) Starting at $34,895 MSRP (23/26/30) 260hp @ 5600 rpm, 2.4 L, flat 4, regular unleaded
continuously variable-speed automatic all wheel drive 5

 2020 Subaru Outback Touring

Touring

power
182hp @ 5800 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
29 combined

$37,345


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT) Starting at $37,345 MSRP (26/29/33) 182hp @ 5800 rpm, 2.5 L, flat 4, regular unleaded
continuously variable-speed automatic all wheel drive 5

 2020 Subaru Outback Limited XT

Limited XT

power
260hp @ 5600 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
26 combined

$37,745


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Limited XT 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl Turbo CVT) Starting at $37,745 MSRP (23/26/30) 260hp @ 5600 rpm, 2.4 L, flat 4, regular unleaded
continuously variable-speed automatic all wheel drive 5

 2020 Subaru Outback Touring XT

Touring XT

power
260hp @ 5600 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
26 combined

$39,695


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Touring XT 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl Turbo CVT) Starting at $39,695 MSRP (23/26/30) 260hp @ 5600 rpm, 2.4 L, flat 4, regular unleaded
continuously variable-speed automatic all wheel drive 5

Expert Review

8.2

Overall Rating


This relationship stays strong with the 2020 Subaru Outback as well. The Outback is powered by a 2.5L flat 4 and a more powerful 2.4L Turbo flat 4 across its variants. It is coupled with a CVT transmission setup which is impressively linear and lags-free. Subaru has made sure to fill it with all the latest safety features and tech on the inside. Don't let the looks fool you as it is a very competent offroader as well. With a tempting price tag of $26645, it sure gives its competition a serious run for its money.

2020 Subaru Outback front view
2020 Subaru Outback front view
2020 Subaru Outback rear view
2020 Subaru Outback rear view

8.0/10
Features

 
 
 

8.5/10
Interior

 
 

9.0/10
Safety

 
 
 

2020 Subaru Outback Features

8.0/10

The 2020 Subaru Outback is available is a feature-rich seven trims. With two engines and a plethora of interior and exterior features, they have made sure that the trims are all different and not marketing gimmicks! The safety features are standard from the base up making even the base trim appealing. The pricing is also very competitive and not very wide-ranging from $ 26645 to $39695 with ample updates.

Trims

Base

Premium

Limited

Touring

Onyx Edition XT

Limited

XT

Touring XT

MSRP

$26645

$28895

$33445

$37345

$34895

$37745

$39695

Engine

2.5L BOXER 4

2.5L BOXER 4

2.5L BOXER 4

2.5L BOXER 4

2.4L Turbo BOXER 4

2.4L Turbo BOXER 4

2.4L Turbo BOXER 4

 Features    

Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive

All the features in Base and includes or is replaced by:

All the features in Premium and includes or is replaced by

All the features in Limited and includes or are replaced by

All the features in Touring and includes or is replaced by

All the features in Onyx Edition XT and includes or is replaced by

All the features in Limited XT and includes or is replaced by

 

SUBARU STARLINK Dual 7-inch Multimedia

Dual Zone Climate Control

Leather-Trimmed Upholstery

Power tilt moonroof

18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels

Leather-Trimmed Upholstery 

Nappa Leather-Trimmed Upholstery

 

EyeSight Driver Assist Technology

10-WAY power-adjustable driver's seat

18-inch alloy wheels

Satin Chrome finish ORVMs

Body-colored door handles

ORVMs with integrated turn signals

2-position Driver Seat Memory

 

Lineartronic CVT

Heated Front Seats

Power adjustable driver and front passenger seat

Ventilated Front Seats

StarTex water repellent upholstery

LED Steering Responsive Headlights

 
 

Hill Descent Control

(HDC)

Dual Rear seat USB charging ports

Auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink

STARLINK 11.6-inch navigation

     
 

Reclining 60/40-split flat-folding rear seatbacks

Retractable Cargo area cover

Harman Kardon Audio System

       
 

Advanced Adaptive Cruise Control

 

Reverse Automatic Braking

       
 

Vehicle Dynamics Control

           
 

Brake Assist

           
               

We recommend

The choice here is tough as it's like taking candy from a jar. Each one has its own sweetness. So here we have two very sweet candies for you. The Premium trim of $28895 is the pocket-friendly one that comes with all the latest safety features and is a shockingly impressive off-roader. If you are willing to shell in a few more bucks, then the Onyx Edition XT of $34895 makes more sense with Subaru’s more powerful 2.4L Boxer engine which pumps out 260 horses and a more adaptive 4 wheel drive system. It even gets a unique water repellent upholstery on the inside for your weekend beach getaways.

2020 Subaru Outback Engine

The Subaru Outback has got rid of the old 3.6L flat-six which never used to sync as a whole package. It now houses two varying disciplines; a 2.5L Flat four and a more powerful 2.4L turbocharged flat-four. With a very complementing all-wheel-drive setup, the Outback can take you places!

What's under the hood of the Subaru?

The base trims of Outback are powered by a 2.5L flat-four pumping out 182 horses and 176-pound feet of torque.cThe higher XT trims are all powered by the 2.4L turbo Flat 4 producing 260 horses and 277-pound feet of torque. All of the above are coupled to a continuously variable transmission which mimics an 8-speed setup.

2020 Subaru Outback Engine
The Base trim of 2020 Subaru Outback powered by a 2.5L flat-four pumping out 182 horsespower

It is surprisingly silent given the fact that it houses a flat-four. The CVT doesn’t make the vehicle feel laggy nor does it feel slow from a standstill. It complements the car’s character well.

At times the more powerful variants tend to get choppy at offroading. The ride tends to get sensitive with acceleration and is not comfortable for crawling or over soft terrain.

Models

Subaru Outback  

(Base)(AWD)

Hyundai Santa Fe  

(Base)(FWD)

Nissan Rogue

(Base)(FWD)

Kia Sportage 

(Base)(FWD)

MSRP

$26645

$25900

$25200

$23990

Engine

2.5L Flat4

2.4L I4

2.5L I4

2.4L I4

Transmission

CVT with 

manual shift

8-speed Automatic 

CVT with automatic shift

6-Speed Automatic

Horsepower

182hp

@5800rpm

185hp

@6000rpm

170hp

@6000rpm

181hp

@6000rpm

Torque

176lb-ft

@4400

178lb-ft

@4000

175lb-ft

@4400

175lb-ft

@4000

Subaru performs better than most of its competition, except the Hyundai Santa Fe which has 4 more horsepower and 2 more pound-feet of torque. Moreover, Subaru is the only one with an all-wheel-drive setup which helps in tackling varying terrains. Nissan Rogue is the least powerful of the lot with 170hp and 175lb-ft of torque. The added premium of Subaru is totally justified with all its perks which makes it a better ride. 

How quick is it off the line?

The outback sprints from a standstill to 60 in a decent 8.7 seconds and crossed the quarter-mile within 17 seconds. Given the fact that it is the heaviest of the lot, the figures are pretty decent.

2020 Subaru Outback acceleration
2020 Subaru Outback sprints fromt a standstill to 60 in a decent 8.7 seconds

The All-wheel drive system is a boon as it helps propel the car without any latency which helps it achieve such numbers. The CVT is impressive as it doesn’t have any lag and has a very direct and instantaneous response.

Models

Subaru Outback 

(Base)(AWD)

Hyundai Santa Fe 

(Base)(FWD)

Nissan Rogue 

(Base)(FWD)

Kia Sportage 

(Base)(FWD)

0-60 MPH

8.7

8.6

8.7

7.2(est.)

Quarter mile

16.8

16.5

16.9

16.5

Emission (Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15k mi/yr)

6.8

7.1

6.1(est.)

7.0

The most powerful car in this competition, the Hyundai Santa Fe does 0-60 miles in 8.6 seconds. It marginally surpasses the Outback in spite of having the upper hand. Kia Sportage is the quickest of the lot courtesy of a very impressive power to weight ratio which outclasses the rest. 

How are the driving dynamics on the Outback?

The Outback drives like no other Subaru. In Spite of being tagged as an SUV, it handles more like a premium sedan! All this is thanks to the all-new SUBARU GLOBAL Platform which has upped the torsional rigidity by a whopping 70%. This has given the engineers at Subaru to fiddle with the suspension steering and brake setup. 

It has very good body control and handles precisely. The car feels very nimble because of the short steering ratio which requires less movement for maneuvering the vehicle. This makes it a breeze to drive even in cities in spite of its dimensions.

Is the Outback a stern stopper?

Braking is not the strong point of the Outback. The combination of weak brakes and a hefty body makes it a poor stopper. The brake pedal isn’t progressive either, but it still comes to halt from 60mph in 130 feet. 

Models

Subaru Outback

(Base)(AWD)

Hyundai Santa Fe

(Base)(FWD)

Nissan Rogue

(Base)(FWD)

Kia Sportage 

(Base)(FWD)

Brake Front (in.)

12.4

12.6

11.7

12

Brake Rear (in.)

11.8

12

11.5

11.9

60-0 MPH (ft)

130

114

113

115

Compared to the competition, the Subaru stays head to head in terms of dimensions but loses on braking performance due to sheer size and weight. 

2020 Subaru Outback Fuel Economy

Subaru returns an acceptable fuel economy with a combined range of 29 MPG. With 33 MPG, it can travel long distances without hiccups. The most impressive part is that in spite of flaunting an all-wheel-drive setup, it still manages to give a very good range.

Models

Subaru Outback

(Base)(AWD)

Hyundai Santa Fe

(Base)(FWD)

Nissan Rogue

(Base)(FWD)

Kia Sportage 

(Base)(FWD)

MPG (city)

26

22

26

23

MPG (highway)

33

29

33

30

MPG (combined)

29

25

29

26

The Nissan Rogue and Subaru Outback give a combined MPG of 29. Hyundai Santa Fe is the least with 25 MPG(Combined), followed by Kia Sportage with 26 MPG.

2020 Subaru Outback Interior

8.5/10

Subaru has completely revamped the interior of the Outback and I dare say, it is the best interior of any Subaru to date. It has soft-touch plastics, leather upholstery on perfectly contoured seats with ample head and legroom. The generous seating dimensions do not compromise on the cargo space as well.

The entry and exits are wide for comfortable pass through. It provides a perfect balance of occupant comfort with ample legroom for a 6 footer to sit behind another one.

How Comfortable is the Subaru outback?

The added length and width of the Outback have improved seating comfort. It has a power-adjustable driver's seat with the heated front row. Automatic climate control with sound insulation on the front windows makes it a quiet place to be in.

2020 Subaru Outback Seating
2020 Subaru Outback have improved seating comfort

Well, contoured seats with excellent thigh support all around keeps the occupants cocooned and comfortable. The rear seats are raised which gives the passengers a clear view of the road in front. The optional Nappa leather makes the cabin ooze in luxury. There is even a neoprene based upholstery on the Onyx Edition XT which Subaru sweetly calls StarTex. Subaru claims it to be water-resistant so that you are not hesitant to foil it after your weekend chill at the beach.

Models

Subaru Outback

(Base)(AWD)

Hyundai Santa Fe

(Base)(FWD)

Nissan Rogue

(Base)(FWD)

Kia Sportage 

(Base)(FWD)

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

40.1/58.1/42.8

41.2/59.1/44.1

41.6/56.6/43.0

39.3/57.1/41.5

Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

39.1/57.4/39.5

39.2/58.3/40.9

38.5/55.9/37.9

39.1/55.1/38.2

Infotainment

The most highlighting feature is the introduction of a massive 11.6-inch tablet-style infotainment display which takes up all of the centers in the dashboard. This is available in all trims except the base which uses two 7 inch screens, one for multimedia and the other for the climate controls.
 

2020 Subaru Outback infotainment display
2020 Subaru Outback offers a massive 11.6-inch tablet-style infotainment display

Subaru uses two processors to power the whole setup to provide a seamless and fluidic experience. The top trims have optional navigation-equipped units which give out a TESLA vibe.

Android Auto and Apple CarPlay come standard for better ease of usage.

Interior Features

  • Dual 7 inch/ unified 11.6-inch Multimedia
  • Dual Zone Climate Control
  • Nappa Leather-Trimmed Upholstery
  • Ventilated Front Seats
  • Heated Rear Outboard Seats
  • Eight Cup and Bottle Holders
  • Sun Visors with Illuminated Vanity mirrors
  • Water Repellent StarTex Upholstery(only on Onyx Edition Trim)

How much can the Subaru take on expeditions?

The cargo space is at 32.5 cu-ft, which is decent given the fact that it has grown on both seating and the cargo. The Outback is a typical two-row SUV which has a 60-40 split second row. Many of the previous owners were frequent offroaders which show its off-roading capabilities. 

2020 Subaru Outback cargo space
2020 Subaru Outback cargo space

Models

Subaru Outback

(Base)(AWD)

Hyundai Santa Fe

(Base)(FWD)

Nissan Rogue

(Base)(FWD)

Kia Sportage 

(Base)(FWD)

Cargo Volume (cu.-ft)

32.5

35.9

39.3

30.7

With 39.3 cu-ft, Nissan Rogue has the most cargo space followed by the Hyundai Santa Fe at 35.9 cu-ft. Kia Sportage comes in last after the Subaru with 30.7 cu-ft. 

2020 Subaru Outback interior
2020 Subaru Outback interior
2020 Subaru Outback rear seat
2020 Subaru Outback rear seat

2020 Subaru Outback Exterior

The design has not gone through much of an overhaul when compared to the outgoing model. But nevertheless, it has been refreshed to get noticed enough. With a longer and wider dimension that before, it's impressive that the Subaru retains its offroading character. When the terrain gets challenging, there are certain limitations due to the long front overhang. It tends to scrape when going through a steep ascent or descent. Most of the owners seldom take it for extreme offroading, so it doesn’t create much of a situation.

Does the Outback demand a second look?

The use of high strength steel helps keep the A and B pillars thin for better outward visibility. The low beltline also gives a better view of the road upfront and the sides. The use of plastic cladding on the lower half of the car makes it usable on frequent offroad trails. The combination of the colored top and the black cladding gives the outback a distinctive look. 

2020 Subaru Outback side view
2020 Subaru Outback Exterior Design

Models

Subaru Outback

(Base)(AWD)

Hyundai Santa Fe

(Base)(FWD)

Nissan Rogue

(Base)(FWD)

Kia Sportage 

(Base)(FWD)

Length (in)

191.3

187.8

184.5

176.4

Width (in)

73.0

74.4

72.4

73.0

Height (in)

66.4

66.1

66.3

64.4

Ground clearance (in)

8.7

7.3

7.8

6.4

Wheelbase (in)

108.1

108.9

106.5

105.1

Track width (in) F/R

61.8/62.8

64.1/64.5

62.8/62.8

63.3/63.8

Curb weight (lbs)

3634

3591

3464

3305

Exterior Features

  • LED Steering Responsive Headlights
  • Roof Rails
  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Endurance Plastic Body cladding
  • ORVMs with integrated turn signals
2020 Subaru Outback
2020 Subaru Outback
2020 Subaru Outback
2020 Subaru Outback
2020 Subaru Outback
2020 Subaru Outback
2020 Subaru Outback
2020 Subaru Outback
2020 Subaru Outback
2020 Subaru Outback

2020 Subaru Outback Safety

9.0/10

Subaru has kept the Outback safe by providing all the important safety features from the base up. Adaptive Cruise control and side curtain airbags for the rear passengers are features that come in as standard. The body has also been souped up with high strength steel and reinforcements to the chassis for better crash protection. This also makes the ride much more rigid which improves handling as well.

Safety Features

  • EyeSight Driver Assist Technology
  • High Beam Assist(HBA)
  • DriverFocus Distraction Mitigation System
  • Blind Spot Detection 
  • Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
  • Brake Override System
  • High-Resolution Rear Vision Camera

2020 Subaru Outback Competition

Hyundai Santa Fe

The Santa Fe is the most powerful of the lot in performance figures. But this bump makes it suffer in fuel efficiency due to its added power. The interior is more cramped and the outside visibility is hampered by thick roof pillars. The Subaru is superior in all of these aspects and is a very competent offroader. The Outback is the better choice of the two as it provides better power, efficiency and comfort features.

2020 hyundai santa fe
2020 Hyundai Santa Fe

Nissan Rogue

The Rogue is the least powerful of the lot and this also translates to sluggish acceleration. This makes it a very poor offroader. It also loses in the interior which is dated and houses an outclassed infotainment system. Outside visibility is a bummer that slashes it below the Outback in almost all aspects. With all these, the Rogue doesn’t stand a chance against the All rounded Subaru

2020 Nissan Rogue
2020 Nissan Rogue

Kia Sportage

The Kia Sportage makes a good cause with its excellent ride and handling, comfortable and spacious interiors and a very immersive dashboard layout. The sound insulation brings it at par with the Subaru Outback. But the Outback outshines it in cargo space and better power transmission and makes it a better offroader with dedicated all-wheel-drive setup.

2020 Kia Sportage
2020 Kia Sportage

 

2020 Subaru Outback Final Verdict

The Subaru Outback falls into a very sweet spot that incorporates all the best features of its competitors while eliminating the downsides. It combines practicality, comfort, and power in a well-rounded package which is hard to come by. Being a Subaru it is very light on the pocket to live by as well. If you are in the market for an utterly reliable, spacious and feature-rich SUV which can occasionally take a beating then the Subaru Outbreak is the one for you. Who else would be willing to throw in a water repellent upholstery so that you can have fun!