2020 Subaru Outback

MSRP range: $26,645 - $39,695
Edmunds suggests you pay$24,806

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2020 Subaru Outback Review

  • Spacious and comfortable cabin
  • Optional turbocharged engine makes excellent power
  • Loading the roof or cargo area is easier compared to most SUVs
  • Above-average off-road ability
  • Small-item cabin storage is compromised by big center touchscreen
  • Bumpy ride quality with turbocharged XT models
  • Small climate-control touchscreen buttons can be hard to use
  • The Outback is fully redesigned for 2020
  • New 11.6-inch tablet-style interface for the infotainment system
  • Two available engines, including a 260-hp turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder
  • Part of the sixth Outback generation introduced for 2020

Based on its dimensions, the 2020 Subaru Outback is classified as a midsize SUV. But when viewed from the side, you'll probably think the Outback has a distinct wagon look to it, albeit a rugged one. Whatever you call it, though, the Outback is one of the most versatile, capable and comfortable vehicles in its class. And for 2020, the Outback is completely redesigned.

Powering this new Outback are one of two new engines: a 2.5-liter four-cylinder boxer engine and a turbocharged 2.4-liter engine. The turbocharged engine is particularly appealing given its boost in power and fuel economy compared to the Outback's old non-turbocharged six-cylinder. Both engines come standard with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Subaru has done a nice job tuning the CVT's operation to make it imperceptible in most driving.

Along with standard safety features such as adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning with automatic braking, the Outback now gets an advanced DriverFocus system that uses an infrared monitor to detect if the driver is distracted or sleepy. The system can also "recognize" you by scanning your face when you get in and then set the seats and mirrors to your personal preferences.

Off-road, the Outback is just as trail-friendly as it has ever been. The 8.7 inches of ground clearance and standard all-wheel-drive system mean that gravel and dirt roads are no issue. You can even take on the tougher stuff by using the Outback's X-Mode system that operates hill descent control and selectable traction-control modes for snowy or muddy conditions.

There are a few drawbacks, such as a bit of intrusive cabin noise at highway speeds and a newly available 11.6-inch tablet-style touchscreen that looks great but can be tricky to use at times. But otherwise, this new Outback is impressive. The seats are abundantly comfortable, cargo space is competitive, and features are plentiful. Before you choose to buy any other midsize SUV, be sure to take the 2020 Outback for a test drive.

EdmundsEdmunds' Expert Rating
Rated for you by America’s best test team
The Outback does all the work of an SUV better than most SUVs but without any pretense. It combines a station wagon's practicality, comfort, easy-driving character and fantastic outward visibility with the ground clearance, ride compliance, and all-weather sure-footedness of an SUV. We have our complaints, ranging from the frustrating infotainment screen to the anemic engine, but there are more strengths than weaknesses.
The Outback is slow, but that's about the only negative in this category. Our test vehicle, an Outback Limited with the four-cylinder engine, accelerated from 0 to 60 mph in 8.8 seconds. You'll want to upgrade to the turbocharged engine if you want power similar to what rivals such as the Honda Passport and Ford Edge are capable of. At least the transmission shifts quickly and promptly to help you keep pace with traffic.

There's some noticeable body roll when driving around turns, but in general the Outback is well behaved. The steering offers good on-center feel and feedback from the road. The best part? With 8.7 inches of ground clearance and standard all-wheel drive, the Outback can go pretty much anywhere its SUV competitors can — and some places they can't.
You'll be hard-pressed to find a more comfortable vehicle for the money. The front seats are great. They're soft but supportive, offering a decent amount of bolstering without feeling tight. Overall, these are welcoming seats, pleasant to settle into when you're tired and easy to stay in for a long time.

The Outback's ride quality is excellent overall too, even if certain road surfaces can create some vibrations in the cabin. Potholes, speed humps and drainage ditches are absorbed easily, yet there's no real floatiness to the vehicles. It's an impressive balance of compliance and control.

The climate system works well to regulate cabin temperature. Unfortunately, making any adjustments beyond temperature requires using the complicated touchscreen interface.
From a space standpoint, the Outback is fantastic. Some might prefer a more upright SUV-like seating position, but otherwise the Outback offers plenty of seat adjustability. Backseat passengers will be treated to excellent head- and legroom, and the cabin feels airy and open. The big windows also make for easy visibility all around and help eliminate blind spots.

Unfortunately, in pursuit of reducing button clutter in the cabin, most of the Outback's controls are routed through the touchscreen. The screen can be slow to respond to your touches and very distracting to use. Changing any setting requires navigating through multiple menus, adding time and distraction to even simple tasks.
A nice-sounding stereo and plenty of charge ports are pluses, but Subaru's vertical 11.6-inch infotainment screen is a wasted opportunity. It's pretty but not very functional. It's not difficult to figure out how to find settings and selections, but the complicated menu structure adds time to any task.

Plug in a smartphone, and the Apple CarPlay or Android Auto display is crammed into the top half of the screen, rendering the bottom half totally useless. Subaru's native voice command system is also subpar and struggles to recognize even basic requests.

Subaru's EyeSight is one of the most capable driver assistance systems you can get, but it's also really annoying. While everything from adaptive cruise to lane keeping works well, all of it subjects you to almost constant beeping notifications.
Because the Outback is more a lifted station wagon than an SUV, it loses out just a bit in terms of total cargo capacity. But at least the cargo floor is low and flat, making loading and unloading a breeze. It's also easy to install gear on the Subaru's roof rails because the Outback isn't quite as high as your typical SUV.

Cabin storage is clever but lacking in volume. There's a nice phone shelf for front passengers, and rear passengers get bottle holders in their doors and seatback pockets on both sides, but the center console box is smaller than the ones in most SUVs. Ultimately there's less space to stash your stuff.

Installing car seats should be a breeze thanks easily accessible seat anchors and plenty of room.
The EPA estimates you'll get 29 mpg in combined city/highway driving with the base engine, which is better than competitors manage. In our time with our test Outback, however, we only managed around 20 mpg. This is likely due in part to the fact that the anemic power demanded a lead-footed approach to keeping pace with busy traffic.
You get stronger standard engines with most competitors, but otherwise the Outback offers an excellent value. The base model isn't lacking any practicality. And loaded up with extra luxuries and technology features, it is priced less than similarly equipped competitors. The equation changes a bit if you want the more powerful XT models, whose prices are more directly aligned with traditional SUV competitors.

The Subaru doesn't offer any particular ownership advantages, with a warranty that's average for the segment. And while the Outback feels well put together, the quality of materials and design don't really stand out in any particular way.
The Outback does SUV things better than most SUVs, and does it without pretense or overcompensation. We wish that meeting fuel economy estimates was easier, but in its unassuming competence the Outback reminds us of the value of putting function before image.

Yes, the Outback is a little bland, but it's also very sure of itself. With plenty of ground clearance, full-time AWD and a smooth ride, it invites you to tackle potholes or unpaved roads. All told, it makes driving on bad city roads or unkept country roads altogether more pleasant. In fact, the Outback's strength is that it invites relaxation.

Which Outback does Edmunds recommend?

If you're looking for a price-friendly version of the Outback, the Premium trim level is pretty appealing. It offers a significant amount of equipment for the money and plenty of off-road capability. But if your budget has more room, we think you'll prefer driving the Onyx Edition XT daily. It gets the upgraded turbocharged 2.4-liter engine, a more capable version of Subaru's X-Mode all-wheel-drive system, and significantly more standard equipment.

Subaru Outback models

The 2020 Subaru Outback is a five-passenger SUV that comes in six trim levels: base, Premium, Limited, Touring, Onyx Edition XT, Limited XT and Touring XT. The base, Premium, Limited and Touring all come with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine (182 horsepower, 176 lb-ft). The XT models come with a turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine (260 hp, 277 lb-ft). Both engines are paired with all-wheel drive and a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).

The base Outback gets standard equipment such as LED headlights, keyless entry, a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, a rearview camera, Bluetooth audio connectivity, and safety features such as adaptive cruise control, front collision warning with automatic emergency braking, and lane keeping assist.

Going with the Premium trim gets you dual-zone automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a power-adjustable driver's seat, heated front seats, and an attractive 11.6-inch touchscreen. Options for the Premium include a power liftgate, navigation, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.

The Limited gets the blind-spot monitoring and the power liftgate and further adds leather upholstery, driver-seat memory functions, reverse automatic braking, rear air vents, and a Harman Kardon audio system. A heated steering wheel, navigation and Subaru's DriverFocus driver monitoring system are available as options. The Touring trim level provides more interior upgrades such as ventilated front seats, upgraded leather upholstery with contrasting stitching and a sunroof.

The Onyx Edition XT has the same basic equipment as the Premium, plus the turbocharged engine, an upgraded version of Subaru's X-Mode (an all-wheel-drive traction management system), hill descent control, a front-view monitor, heated rear seats, and upgraded exterior cladding.

The Limited XT and the Touring XT generally come with the features listed above for the Limited and the Touring but have the turbocharged engine.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2020 Subaru Outback.

Average user rating: 3.9 stars
134 total reviews
5 star reviews: 52%
4 star reviews: 18%
3 star reviews: 13%
2 star reviews: 7%
1 star reviews: 10%

Trending topics in reviews

  • comfort
  • appearance
  • handling & steering
  • value
  • safety
  • seats
  • ride quality
  • driving experience
  • off-roading
  • road noise
  • spaciousness
  • interior
  • infotainment system
  • dashboard
  • engine
  • technology
  • reliability & manufacturing quality
  • sound system
  • climate control
  • maintenance & parts
  • brakes
  • fuel efficiency
  • lights
  • transmission
  • doors
  • acceleration
  • visibility
  • electrical system
  • oil
  • towing
  • emission system
  • wheels & tires
  • steering wheel

Most helpful consumer reviews

4/5 stars, The safe one with a few questions
Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)
Great ride, lots of room, bigger than the older Outbacks...love all the toys...Power adequate not lightning...Albeit CVT transmission, shifts like a normal one. Just two things keeping me from giving it 5 stars. 1. Tires: Yokohama AVID-GT are quiet, but a B rating for traction on this safe car??? CMON'... 2. Automatic Start Stop.... when you stop the car for a light or something the engine turns off. When you let off the brake it starts...don't like this feature...can turn it off BUT once you re-start the car it comes back on...should be able to turn it OFF until you want it back on. Otherwise .. Its a very good ride..
5/5 stars, Vast improvement over 2016 3.6R
Keith W.,
Touring XT 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl Turbo CVT)
The 2020 Outback is our family's 4th new Subaru since 2014. My first Subaru was a 2016 3.6R pretty fully loaded. I traded it in at 52000 miles for a brand new Touring XT. It has so many advantages over the old model- it's quiet, it does 0-60 in 6.3 seconds, it handles nicely, has all of the modern safety features, and is a heck of a bargain for less than $40k fully loaded. It's not perfect, though. There is some turbo lag. But once it kicks in, the car performs very well. The car also has auto stop/start turned on by default, and you have to turn if off every time you start the engine if you don't want it on. The center console has very little space compared to the 2016, and that's shrunken even more by Subaru moving the CD player into the console. I can see why the infotainment screen causes a lot of controversy, but I have not had some of the issues reported by others and by the automotive press. You owe it to yourself to go drive one before buying one of the competitive offerings by another manufacturer.
5/5 stars, Comfortable, great style, and good mpg!
New to Subaru,
4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)
This was my first Subaru and I've fallen in love with it. The ride quality is smooth, but without sacrificing a sense of the road and terrain, and the Outback's seats are supportive enough to make long drives pleasant. Having the large cargo space of the Outback along with being able to get over 30 mpg is a huge plus, as well. Some general notes/comments: -after about 3k miles so far, my overall average gas mileage has been 28 mpg, which includes both a lot of stop/start commuting and 2+ hour trips on the freeway -there are quite a few neat 'perks' that my previous cars haven't had, like the reclining rear seats, adjustable headrest angle in the front seats, roof rail crossbars that fold up, and high beam lights that dim automatically when other cars are close enough in front of you -the lane-centering feature seems to have two operational forms: 1) a clear-cut feature that does what it sounds like, where it just nudges you back to the center if it senses you're drifting out of the lane, and 2) a micro-managing nutcase that can be very aggressive in forcing the steering to follow the car in front of you, even if they're weaving around in the lane--thankfully, this second type of the lane centering is only activated when cruise control is on, and even then can be easily shut off by a button on the steering wheel -the base model is the only trim that has two 7" screens instead of a single large screen; although it looks a little odd, admittedly, its controls are fairly straightforward and essentially identical to the large screen version--but yes, that sadly does mean that the climate controls use the same smaller buttons and can be somewhat difficult to use -all Outbacks come with Android Auto and Apple Carplay, but Subaru's own Starlink infotainment OS is rather good for bluetooth operations; along with handling voice calls and music/audiobooks, Starlink will also show text messages on screen when the car is in park or read them aloud when the vehicle is in motion
4/5 stars, Amazing vehicle with a minor drawback.
Jay Kim ,
Onyx Edition XT 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl Turbo CVT)
I am coming from a 2016 WRX STi Limited to 2020 Outback Onyx XT Metallic Silver model. I am a 29 year old male, who is married, and have been looking for a Crossover/SUV vehicle that came with AWD and Turbo. 2020 Outback Onyx XT came to my mind. This vehicle is amazing. Compared to the STI, I am absolutely okay with the CVT transmission. No more feelings of gear shift change. Also I feel like I am cruising in the clouds; it is very quiet and I don’t feel bumps at all. Pros: Quiet and comfortable. Low turn radius. Comfortable steering wheels and doesn’t feel “light” when steering. Most of the standard features that come with the car (with exceptions). Cons: MAJOR FLAW: Auto Start/Stop function. This is the most deal breaker function that will turn away most of the young potential buyers. I hate the fact that I have shut the function off every time I start the car. Subaru needs to update it so that the off function is permanent until the driver wishes not. Gas mileage: I DO NOT get 26mpg average. I average about 23 mpg and I have been driving regularly not like the STi. The touch function on the screen is so slow and lags. The functionality is not smoother AT ALL. I wish they had it like Apple or Tesla where you get instant response from touch. This is my pet peeve, but how is Subaru going to put every thing LED and not the turn signal lights? I love the day time running LED lights, LED headlights, LED fog lights and then forget the turn signals? That drives me insane. But I love this car so much I am willing to give 4/5. I love love the design and it doesn’t look like a soccer mom or granny car. It looks very sporty. I can live with shutting off the auto start/stop function every time I start the car but it can get quite annoying time to time.

2020 Subaru Outback videos

TRAVIS LANGNESS: Is it a wagon? Is it a lifted hatchback? Is it a crossover, or is it an SUV? I don't really know. But I do know is this is the 2020 Subaru Outback. And we're here, Northern California, taking it out for a first drive. We're going to show you what's new about it, what's new under the hood, and all the cool tech and safety features that you can get. And we're going to take it off road. But before we do that, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel and go to Edmonds.com for more information. So what's new about the Outback? Well, pretty much everything. Under the hood, the base model gets a 2.5 liter four cylinder, which is the same as the last generation. But it's actually a new engine, same size, new engine. This one, however, has the turbo charged 2.4 liter engine, which replaces the old six cylinder. And this one gets more power, more torque, and better fuel economy-- all great things for a new car. There's different sheet metal, different styling up front and in the back-- different set of roof rack systems with tie-down sections. It's also got the same tent weight rating as the previous generation got. So you can put a 700-pound tent on here while this thing is parked, or a 176 pounds while moving. As you go down the side of the vehicle, you notice some Subaru styling. They've styled it they said to look kind of like a hiking boot with the rubber on the bottom but a little bit nicer up top. Then you come around back, different tail lights, different rear fascia. And if you get the option, you can have a power lift tailgate with the hands-free section. But it doesn't use a foot swipe, like some other manufacturers do-- just uses a little sensor here in the tailgate. On the inside of the new Outback, there's a lot to like. For starters is the big party piece-- this optional 11.6 inch tablet style touchscreen. Now, there are a couple of things to note about this. First, it's really high quality. It's high resolution. The touch screen moves easily. It responds to touch mode stuff well to your inputs well. But it is a little bit small. If you look up, like, Apple CarPlay player Android Auto, that seems a little kind of shrunken, because width-wise, it's not very large. Otherwise, though, the nav map shows up really cool. It's powered by TomTom. So it's got good directions in here. This is a really nice system. It does, though, intrude a little bit on storage space. You can't really put much down here. There's two USB plugs here. And there's an option for dealer accessory, charging wireless pad. Now, over here on the passenger side, there is some more smartphone storage space. But it's not a lot. There are some nice soft touch points on the side for your elbows here. It really feels good to drive and relax in. And the center console here has this nice little top section and then a larger section below for more of your gear. Now, you can't put a smartphone here in the center console. And there's a nice little addition for cup holders. These are nice and deep. And also on the passenger side here, there's another bit for storage. So small item storage, it seems like they're kind of making due with the space. When you go down into the touch screen, there are a couple of things worth noting. It's got all of the controls for the driver aids in here. You've got systems, like, auto stop, start are integrated into the touch screen. The climate control also integrated into the touch screen. Sure, you can do the heat and cooling buttons here. But the fan buttons are here. And they're small and don't always respond to your touch inputs. It's kind of annoying. And when you get deeper into the screen settings, you can go into things that have to deal with the car and driving its distance. So you can look at the pre-braking collision, turn that on or off. Or you can going into lane departure warnings and see which ones you want to turn on and off. One of the coolest parts, though, is you can go into the cruise control acceleration characteristics on the menu and change it from level one, eco, two, comfort, three, standard to four, dynamic. Now, what this means is you can adjust the level of speed that the car picks up when someone gets out of your way on the highway, and you've got adaptive cruise control engaged. This is a complaint we have on tons of cars that when someone gets out of your way, and the adaptive cruise control re-engages, the car kind of takes some time to pick up. But on this one, it can adjust it yourself. Steering wheel is great. It's pretty much the same as the previous generation, got heff to it. And while at first glance, it seems like it's kind of crowded with buttons, and you get a little overwhelmed, things fall the hand easily. And once you got it figured out on the road a couple hours behind the wheel, you're not going to have a problem with these buttons. It's also nice that there is still a volume knob here, despite there being one over here. And the driver display system, it's bright. It's got a good font, good contrast. And it doesn't distract you from the road. There's not a lot of extra information going on there. This is, all in all, a great place to be. We're out on the road. Moving to the back seat, I have the seat set for me, and I'm 5 foot 9. There's definitely enough knee room here for somebody who's even taller. If I sit all the way back and upright, there's plenty of space here. A lot of foot room underneath. And there's plenty a head room up top. There's also a couple of nice features back here for passengers, like your two USB charging ports and outboard heated seats. So it's a little cold. People sitting on the outboard seats-- be nice and warm. And then the center here, obviously, you've got the full data center console with cup holders. You have the 40/60 split seats. And if you sit in the middle, it's not entirely uncomfortable. Now, I wouldn't want to be here for a long road trip. But a trip to the store, no problem. We've got a hands-free tailgate and a couple of cool features in the back here. For instance, let's say you do have a bunch of stuff. Your hands are full. And you want to load it in. But it's too large for this cargo cover-- simply push down on it, slides right up. It's pretty awesome. Now, back here, you've got 32.5 cubic feet of storage behind the rear seats, which may seem smaller than the previous generation because it's a smaller number. But it's just a difference in the way the ratings work out. This is actually more space than the previous generation car. And you've got the folding seats there with the handles. And you get, now, over 75 cubic feet of cargo space, which is more than enough for two adults to lay down in a camping trip or just enough to put a lot of lumber in. Either way, it's a spacious SUV. A lot of people are going to buy this car with the base engine-- the 2.5 liter naturally aspirated boxer four cylinder. And I would tell them not to, because this 2.4 liter turbocharged engine is definitely the one to have. It's got a ton of get up and go, 260 horsepower, 277 pound feet of torque. And it's honestly a really nice engine to drive. Even with the CVT, it feels like it's got down shifts. It feels like it's got some real get up and go. I'm just a fan of it. It's not grading either. It's not wheezy or loud. And even when you're going up grades, it seems to have a good low tone to it, unlike some other turbo-charged four cylinder engines, especially when they're paired with CVTs. You don't get that with this 2.4 liter engine. And this is the same engine that you get in the Subaru Ascent, their big three-row crossover. Oh, it's got some power. It feels good, especially on a straight away like that. Brakes are good too. Turn in is good. Really, it feels kind of sporty, which is something I didn't think I'd find myself saying after driving this car for a few hours. But it feels like something that I could definitely go on, like a canyon run in, which is weird for a midsize SUV/crossover. Now, there are a couple of competitors in the class that give you that same vibe. The Passport is very similar. We just did a video with the Passport and the Blazer. And while I'm not a huge fan of the Blazer myself, I do agree that it's got a very sporty vibe. But despite this outback's outdoorsy looks, it's a car that really holds its own when it comes to curvy roads and getting around and having a little bit of fun. This is definitely not something you would think is an SUV. It kind of lends to the idea that this feels more like a wagon or a car, which in my opinion is a good thing. Yeah, I know everybody likes SUVs. They're really popular. That's why Subaru has made this car bigger and more capable over the years. But the party trick that it's kept is the fact that it's still really capable around corners. Steering has a good on-center field, returns the center really easily in your hands. It's got good weight to it. And where you don't get all this body roll and heave to and fro. And on the highway, it's really comfortable-- good ride quality, good seats. It's a little bit noisy in here. You can probably hear kind of that low hum of the tires. But it's not too bad. You turn on the music, and it drowns out real easily, especially with the optional Harman Kardon sound system that this trim level has. There's a lot of passive, active-- all kinds of safety features available-- optional standard on this Subaru. And some of those, like, lane keep assist and blind spot monitoring-- those are across the board in a lot of different vehicles. You can get them pretty much everywhere. But this car has a system that's very unique. It's called driver focus. And there are actually infrared radar systems here that read my face and can tell if I'm looking down too long or getting drowsy. It also knows who I am. You can store up to five driver profiles in here that greet you when you get into the car. And well, it seems kind of Skynetty. I do like it. It's fun. And it sets up your seat based on your face. It's definitely a new and interesting system but one I'm happy to get used to. So what I'll do here is, I'll look up at the road. I'll put my head down. And in a second, the car should figure out-- yep, you hear that beep? The car just figured out that I wasn't paying attention-- told me to keep my eyes on the road. So if you're looking at your cell phone, which you absolutely shouldn't be doing, it will make that noise as well. One of the great features too about the inside of this car is that everything is kind of down and away. It's out of my line of sight. It's a great flat dashboard, tons of forward visibility. And there aren't really any appreciable blind spots in the Outback. But there's an optional 180-degree front-view camera helpful when you're out on the trails. And there's a nice big rear-view camera display in this 11.6 inch tablet. Now, these seats-- these are pretty comfortable too. From the second you get at them, you realize that you don't really have to adjust much when you're out on the road. There's good bolster support. There's adjustable lumbar support. That was lane departure. I got out of the way of a truck that was oncoming. Now, when it comes to this driver aids, they can be a little bit sensitive. But honestly, it's probably still one of my favorite systems on the market. There are other systems, like, for example, the Honda One that's a little bit more sensitive, and I'm not a huge fan. But this Subaru system is, it's really intuitive. And you can adjust things, like, how fast it pulls away from adaptive cruise. And someone gets out of your way. And you can just turn off some of the systems entirely. And it goes around corners pretty well-- look at that. So what's the Outback like on the road? Honestly, it's really good. Same as last generation. It handles well. It steers well. Sure, it's no sports car. This steering is a little bit vague. But it's definitely more connected than somebody on frame SUV competitors. And it's got a good heft in your hands, good return to center field here. And I would enjoy driving this on any back road. So now that we've done some on-road stuff, we're going to do some off-roading in this Subaru Outback. And really, there is a difference between this kind of off-roading and the kind of stuff you might see on Jeep commercials. We're going over a few water crossings here through some ruts. And there's plenty of ground clearance, because this Subaru, just like all its Subaru SUV brethren, has 8.7 inches of ground clearance at the lowest places. It's got OK approach and departure angles. But it has dual X-Mode. So it's the upgraded version of the base X-Mode. This is deep mud engage X-Mode. OK, so let's go into the system here. X-Mode is on. And I will move forward for deep mud. I did just fine. Honestly, that wasn't really that deep. So we'll ignore that part. But the X-Modes come in two available software systems. There's the base X-Mode, which allows you to do hill, descent control-- things like that-- kind of manages the traction of the all wheel drive system. And then there's the dual X-Mode, which is on this car and which allows for sand, snow, rocky areas. It gives you some wheel slip so you can get out of kind of hairy situations. So if you live in an area where there's a lot of snow, or you know you're going to be traversing trails more often, than maybe go for one of the Outbacks with the dual X-Mode. Now, as we go through this section, you can see that I'm going between a cut down tree. And it is really precarious-- find something maybe two, three inches wider-- wouldn't make it through there. And one of the nice things about this vehicle is that it does have kind of smaller dimensions than some of its bigger competitors, like the forerunner. Out here on the trails too, most of the stuff you're going to find isn't Moab. Look, I know jeeps are good. I know forerunners are good. I know a Raptor can go anywhere and do jumps in the desert. But vehicles you want to live with on a daily basis are ones like the Outback. OK, I'm not a huge fan of CVTs. But this one is really well-tuned. And the 2.4 liter turbo-charged engine has plenty of power. It's also got plenty of space in the back. And as opposed to a high-riding SUV, it's got a nice low load floor. So you can get big heavy items, your camping totes, your kid's strollers, whatever in the back, easier than you could if you had something that was higher up, like a pickup truck or a body on frame SUV. It's got its benefits. And it's going to be less expensive than some of those competitors too. So there's a good reason to check this one out first. Does the 2020 Subaru Outback deliver on all its promises? Absolutely. This is one of the most comfortable, capable, spacious and high tech midsize SUVs on the market today. It's hard to tell yet whether it will edge out top competitors, like the Honda Passport. But once we get it in-house at Edmonds and do a full instrumented test, we'll be sure to let you know. So for more information for vehicles like this and for all of its competitors, go to Edmonds.com. And feel free to subscribe to our YouTube channel and go to Facebook or Instagram for more great content.

2020 Subaru Outback Test Drive Review — More Capable Than Ever?

Features & Specs

MPG & Fuel
26 City / 33 Hwy / 29 Combined
Fuel Tank Capacity: 18.5 gal. capacity
5 seats
Type: all wheel drive
Transmission: Continuously variable-speed automatic
Flat 4 cylinder
Horsepower: 182 hp @ 5800 rpm
Torque: 176 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm
Basic Warranty
3 yr./ 36000 mi.
Length: 191.3 in. / Height: 66.4 in. / Width: 73.0 in.
Curb Weight: 3634 lbs.
Cargo Capacity, All Seats In Place: 32.5 cu.ft.
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At a Glance:
  • $26,945starting MSRP


Our experts’ favorite Outback safety features:

EyeSight Driver Assist Technology
Scans the road ahead to enable adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, lane departure warning, and automatic foglights.
Blind-Spot Detection/Lane Change Assist
Uses radar sensors to detect vehicles in blind spots and shows visual indicator in side mirror. Indicator also warns of unsafe lane change.
Subaru DriverFocus System
Monitors driver focus using infrared sensors in the dashboard, warning when the driver has become drowsy or loses focus on the road.

NHTSA Overall Rating 5 out of 5 stars

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.

Frontal Barrier Crash RatingRating
Overall5 / 5
Driver5 / 5
Passenger5 / 5
Side Crash RatingRating
Overall5 / 5
Side Barrier RatingRating
Overall5 / 5
Driver5 / 5
Passenger5 / 5
Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsRating
Front Seat5 / 5
Back Seat5 / 5
Rollover4 / 5
Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
Risk Of Rollover18.5%

Subaru Outback vs. the competition

2020 Subaru Outback

2020 Subaru Outback

2020 Honda Passport

2020 Honda Passport

Subaru Outback vs. Honda Passport

You'll have a hard time choosing between these two models. Both are spacious and full of high-tech features. They're also fuel-efficient and offer above-average off-road capability. The Passport has a bit more interior room and cargo space, but the four-cylinder Outback has it beat when it comes to fuel economy. Both are top choices in the class.

Compare Subaru Outback & Honda Passport features 

Subaru Outback vs. Hyundai Santa Fe

Packed with plenty of standard features, the Hyundai Santa Fe has a strong value proposition for a midsize SUV. However, the Outback has lots of equipment for the money, too, so these crossovers are pretty evenly matched in that regard. What's more, they also both offer punchy turbocharged engines as available options.

Compare Subaru Outback & Hyundai Santa Fe features 

Subaru Outback vs. Ford Edge

Spacious and available in a variety of trim levels, the Ford Edge is one of our favorites in the midsize SUV segment. Ford offers lots of SUV options, but this midsize SUV just might be the right fit. There's also an available sporty ST model for drivers who want a bit more pep from their SUV. Go with the Outback if you desire more off-road capability.

Compare Subaru Outback & Ford Edge features 


Is the Subaru Outback a good car?

The Edmunds experts tested the 2020 Outback both on the road and at the track, giving it a 7.6 out of 10. You probably care about Subaru Outback fuel economy, so it's important to know that the Outback gets an EPA-estimated 26 mpg to 29 mpg, depending on the configuration. What about cargo capacity? When you're thinking about carrying stuff in your new car, keep in mind that the Outback has 32.5 cubic feet of trunk space. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Subaru Outback. Learn more

What's new in the 2020 Subaru Outback?

According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2020 Subaru Outback:

  • The Outback is fully redesigned for 2020
  • New 11.6-inch tablet-style interface for the infotainment system
  • Two available engines, including a 260-hp turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder
  • Part of the sixth Outback generation introduced for 2020
Learn more

Is the Subaru Outback reliable?

To determine whether the Subaru Outback is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the Outback. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the Outback's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more

Is the 2020 Subaru Outback a good car?

There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2020 Subaru Outback is a good car. Edmunds' expert testing team reviewed the 2020 Outback and gave it a 7.6 out of 10. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2020 Outback is a good car for you. Learn more

How much should I pay for a 2020 Subaru Outback?

The least-expensive 2020 Subaru Outback is the 2020 Subaru Outback 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $26,645.

Other versions include:

  • Premium 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT) which starts at $28,895
  • Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT) which starts at $33,445
  • Onyx Edition XT 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl Turbo CVT) which starts at $34,895
  • Touring XT 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl Turbo CVT) which starts at $39,695
  • Limited XT 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl Turbo CVT) which starts at $37,745
  • Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT) which starts at $37,345
  • 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT) which starts at $26,645
Learn more

What are the different models of Subaru Outback?

If you're interested in the Subaru Outback, the next question is, which Outback model is right for you? Outback variants include Premium 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT), Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT), Onyx Edition XT 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl Turbo CVT), and Touring XT 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl Turbo CVT). For a full list of Outback models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

More about the 2020 Subaru Outback

2020 Subaru Outback Overview

The 2020 Subaru Outback is offered in the following submodels: Outback SUV. Available styles include Premium 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT), Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT), Onyx Edition XT 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl Turbo CVT), Touring XT 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl Turbo CVT), Limited XT 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl Turbo CVT), Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT), and 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT).

What do people think of the 2020 Subaru Outback?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2020 Subaru Outback and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2020 Outback 3.9 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2020 Outback.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2020 Subaru Outback and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2020 Outback featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

What's a good price for a New 2020 Subaru Outback?

2020 Subaru Outback 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)

The 2020 Subaru Outback 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $28,244. The average price paid for a new 2020 Subaru Outback 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT) is trending $3,438 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $3,438 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $24,806.

The average savings for the 2020 Subaru Outback 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT) is 12.2% below the MSRP.

2020 Subaru Outback Premium 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)

The 2020 Subaru Outback Premium 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $32,174. The average price paid for a new 2020 Subaru Outback Premium 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT) is trending $3,986 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $3,986 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $28,188.

The average savings for the 2020 Subaru Outback Premium 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT) is 12.4% below the MSRP.

2020 Subaru Outback Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)

The 2020 Subaru Outback Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $37,354. The average price paid for a new 2020 Subaru Outback Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT) is trending $4,457 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $4,457 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $32,897.

The average savings for the 2020 Subaru Outback Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT) is 11.9% below the MSRP.

2020 Subaru Outback Onyx Edition XT 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl Turbo CVT)

The 2020 Subaru Outback Onyx Edition XT 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl Turbo CVT) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $38,652. The average price paid for a new 2020 Subaru Outback Onyx Edition XT 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl Turbo CVT) is trending $4,706 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $4,706 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $33,946.

The average savings for the 2020 Subaru Outback Onyx Edition XT 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl Turbo CVT) is 12.2% below the MSRP.

2020 Subaru Outback Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)

The 2020 Subaru Outback Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $39,399. The average price paid for a new 2020 Subaru Outback Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT) is trending $4,478 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $4,478 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $34,921.

The average savings for the 2020 Subaru Outback Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT) is 11.4% below the MSRP.

2020 Subaru Outback Limited XT 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl Turbo CVT)

The 2020 Subaru Outback Limited XT 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl Turbo CVT) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $39,799. The average price paid for a new 2020 Subaru Outback Limited XT 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl Turbo CVT) is trending $4,636 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $4,636 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $35,163.

The average savings for the 2020 Subaru Outback Limited XT 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl Turbo CVT) is 11.6% below the MSRP.

2020 Subaru Outback Touring XT 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl Turbo CVT)

The 2020 Subaru Outback Touring XT 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl Turbo CVT) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $41,837. The average price paid for a new 2020 Subaru Outback Touring XT 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl Turbo CVT) is trending $4,678 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $4,678 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $37,159.

The average savings for the 2020 Subaru Outback Touring XT 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl Turbo CVT) is 11.2% below the MSRP.

Which 2020 Subaru Outbacks are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2020 Subaru Outback for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2020 Subaru Outback.

Can't find a new 2020 Subaru Outbacks you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new Subaru for sale - 4 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $18,298.

Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

Should I lease or buy a 2020 Subaru Outback?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Subaru lease specials