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All-New 2020 Subaru Outback: Rugged, Tech-Laden, and Refined

The sixth-gen stalwart pulls into the spotlight with new trims and up to 260 horsepower.

If you’re a Subaru fan, this is big news: The company has revealed the all-new sixth-generation Outback at this year’s New York auto show, and the lineup now includes XT models with standard a 260-hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The new 2020 Outback is available in base, Premium, Limited, Touring, Onyx Edition XT, Limited XT, and Touring XT guise, and all ride on the new Subaru Global Platform and boast wider fenders, a bigger hexagonal grille, and, on all but the base car, LED fog lights.

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. Both engines mate exclusively to a continuously variable automatic transmission. All-wheel drive, active torque vectoring, adjustable drive modes, and the off-road-oriented X-Mode function with hill-descent control are also included on every Outback.

Subaru states the 2.4-liter turbo can tow up to 3,500 pounds, while the 2.5-liter offers more than 600 miles of range on a single tank. Estimated fuel economy for the 2.5-liter engine rings in at 26 mpg city and 33 mpg highway, while the 2.4 is said to return 23/30 mpg.

The updated chassis features a strut front suspension with an internal rebound spring, aluminum lower L-arms, and new 0.9-inch hollow anti-roll bar. The rear suspension utilizes a subframe-mounted control-arm layout with coil springs and a 0.8-inch hollow bar.

New for 2020 is a special Onyx Edition XT that blacks out the trim, badging, and 18-inch wheels and features an exclusive two-tone gray cabin with water-repellent seat upholstery. The 2.4-liter-powered Onyx is based on the Premium trim and adds a hands-free power liftgate, a front-view camera, exclusive Dual-Mode X-Mode functionality with terrain selection, and—in a retro touch—a full-size spare tire.

Limited and Touring trims offer 10-way power front seats and heated front and rear seats that warm up to the shoulders. Touring Outbacks then pile on ventilated front seats and a heated steering wheel to make commuting all the more civilized when it’s chilly outside.

The Outback’s cargo floor length is 78.0 inches with the rear seatbacks folded down, and it offers up to 76 cubic feet of cargo space for your gear. Ground clearance is the same as before at 8.7 inches.

Tech geeks will be happy to know you can get up to four USB ports, while two 12-volt power outlets are also aboard. The new Outback also features the latest version of Subaru’s Starlink infotainment and a new 11.6-inch multimedia screen on every model but the base car; Subaru’s built-in app functionality adds a new app called Chimani that offers comprehensive guides to all 417 U.S. national parks. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard, while onboard Wi-Fi is optional. All Outbacks include EyeSight driver-assist technologies such as adaptive cruise control with automatic lane centering and a distraction-mitigation system. Swiveling LED headlamps, blind-spot detection with rear cross-traffic alert, and a head-up display are among the options.

Pricing for the 2020 Outback will be announced prior to it hitting dealers this fall.