2020 Subaru Outback Debuts With Turbo Engine and Huge Touchscreen

Sami Haj-Assaad
by Sami Haj-Assaad

It’s said that New York is a concrete jungle, and Subaru is taking that analogy to the next level by showing off its new rugged crossover at the New York Auto Show.

This is the 2020 Subaru Outback, the range-topping SUV from the Japanese automaker, and the vehicle that usually exhibits the most “Subaru-ness.” Naturally, the newest iteration of the all-wheel-drive vehicle comes with all the goodies you’d expect from Subaru.

That means it can be had with a choice of two flat engines, a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that makes 182 horsepower and 176 lb.-ft. of torque or a new turbocharged 2.4-liter turbocharged boxer engine that makes 260 horsepower and 277 lb.-ft. of torque. Both engines are paired with a continuously variable transmission and feature torque vectoring technology to enhance handling. The Subaru Outback will also offer a two-stage version of X-Mode which will help the big crossover deal with inclement weather and road conditions.

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Thanks to its powertrain, the Outback should be surefooted, but in case there were any concerns, it’s expected to be plenty safe too. It includes Subaru’s EyeSight safety suite as standard, which features adaptive cruise control, lane departure and sway warning, lane-keep assist and will offer the DriverFocus distracted driving mitigation system as well. Subaru also says that the Outback will feature a new version of adaptive cruise control that follows both the lane markings and the car ahead. There’s even a new front-facing camera which will help in off-road situations as well as provide some parking assistance. Considering almost all of Subaru’s vehicles feature a Top Safety Pick + rating from the IIHS, the Outback should prove to be a success in this category as well.

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Inside the Outback showcases Subaru’s latest attempts to provide an upscale, premium interior. And the effort is appreciated as there’s a mix of nice materials and trim finishes. There’s a large touchscreen up front and center, its reminiscent of what we first saw in the new Legacy that debuted at the Chicago Auto Show. But the Outback isn’t all about fancy materials and big screens, it needs to have a practical element to it as well, so Subaru explains that its new Global Platform has allowed for more space and a more functional cargo area. There’s also plenty of glass which should lead to better visibility. The automaker is also showing off its new touchless hatch opening system: by waving your hand in front of the Subaru logo, the car will deploy the power liftgate. There’s also a new one-touch retractable cargo cover.

Subaru says the new Outback is quieter and smoother than the outgoing one, meaning it should be a class-leader in terms of noise levels. The vehicle is also likely to handle better and be more responsive as the automaker spent a lot of time optimizing the platform to be stiffer and more rigid.

We can’t wait to test the Outback and customers can expect it to hit dealerships by Fall 2019. We’ll have more information such as fuel economy and pricing in the coming months.

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Sami Haj-Assaad
Sami Haj-Assaad

Sami has an unquenchable thirst for car knowledge and has been at AutoGuide for the past six years. He has a degree in journalism and media studies from the University of Guelph-Humber in Toronto and has won multiple journalism awards from the Automotive Journalist Association of Canada. Sami is also on the jury for the World Car Awards.

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