2020 Subaru Outback Touring Test Drive

The 2020 Subaru Outback 2.5 Touring Crossover is Subaru’s best and safest adventure craft yet. 

Subaru’s first generation Outback appeared on the scene as a special edition vehicle in 1994, improving over each of the next four generations. Enter the sixth generation 2020 Subaru Outback that is all new from stem to stern. It is without question, and quite literally the safest and most capable Outback ever, with a new look and a host of impressive innovative features. The Subaru Outback is virtually bulletproof, with 97 percent of the vehicles sold in the last ten years still plying today’s roadways.


2020 Subaru Outback Touring Overview

The all-new 2020 Outback marches on as a 5-door, 5-passenger crossover that features a standard 8.5-inches of ground clearance and is available in Base, Premium, Limited and Touring level trims powered by a standard 2.5-liter, DOHC, 16-valve “”BOXER horizontally opposed flat four-cylinder with Direct Fuel Injection and Electronic Throttle Control System that produces 182 horsepower at 5,800 rpm while developing 178 pound feet of torque at 4,400 rpm.



In addition to the standard 2.5-liter four banger, a turbocharged version returns to the lineup (the first since 2009) – a 2.4-liter, DOHC, 16-valve four-cylinder turbocharged and intercooled BOXER engine with aluminum cylinder block and heads that delivers 280 horsepower at 5,800 rpm along with 277 pound feet of torque at 4,800 rpm, that provides power for Limited XT, Touring XT and the brand new Onyx Edition XT Edition models, which comes not only with more power, but also features a 180 degree Front View Monitor, a full size spare, new Water-Repellent StarTex upholstery, sporty blacked out treatment of wheels and trim elements, and dual X-MODE that allows for some wheel spin in Deep Snow and Mud Mode


Transmitting energy to the driving wheels of the first model group is a Lineartronic® CVT with an 8-speed manual mode and steering wheel paddle shift switches. A High Torque version Lineartronic CVT transmission serves the XT.

2020 Subaru Outback Touring’s Fresh New Styling 


The styling of the new Outback is impressive with a more aerodynamic and yet more rugged and purposeful look from the front diffuser and protectively clad fascia, up over the trapezoidal grille, curvaceous sculpted hood and sharply angled windshield, rearward sloping greenhouse to the expressively wide and functional rear gate. The cabin glass features a bright trimmed surround that cleverly wraps into the rear view mirror housings. Protective cladding also appears on the lower rocker panels, wheel well arches and rear fascia.


The interior has been redesigned as well, providing an additional 1.6 cubic feet of cargo space for 37.1 cubic feet with the seat raised to accommodate rear passengers. Folding the rear seats flat yields a whopping 75.7 cubic feet of storage rivaling some three-row SUVs. The Front passenger seat folds flat to accommodate longer items. More cargo capacity is available up top with adjustable cross rails and enhanced tie-downs, and the towing capacity is up to 3,500 when properly equipped.






The interior’s ambience is elevated with soft Nappa leather seating – heated and ventilated for the front, a heated steering wheel and heated rear seats. There’s a hands-free power rear gate. An available 12-speaker, 576-watt-equivalent Harman Kardon 3 audio system integrated into an 11.6-inch vertical touchscreen display, a power driver’s seat with memory function, a power passenger seat with height adjustment.



Subaru’s STARLINK multimedia system provides on screen controls for HVAC, X-MODE and other vehicle functions. There’s available in-vehiicle Wi-FI hotspot via high speed LTE communications. EyeSight Assist monitor is standard for all Outback models as is the segment exclusive Driver Focus Distraction Mitigation System.



My primary test 2020 Subaru Outback was a fully loaded Touring model, with a Cinnamon Brown Pearl metallic exterior finish and Brown leather seating. The base price was set at $37,345. With the destination and delivery charge bumping the final sticker total to $38,355. I more recently tested a Touring XT model on my home turf. It wore an Autmn Green Metallic exterior finish and featured a Brown leather interior. It was powered by the 2.4-liter turbocharged motor and had a base sticker of $39,695 with the final tally rising to $40,705.

2020 Subaru Outback Touring Performance

The new 2020 Subaru Outback Touring serves a higher purpose than simply that of a car – it may well be thought of as a highly functional, all-weather outdoor transportational tool. One that’s equally adept at conquering both on and off-road challenges with complete confidence. The 2.4-liter turbocharged motor obviously delivers more get up and go, but the standard 2.5 liter powerplant is totally sufficient for virtually any task at hand.


The new Ouback, which is based on Subaru’s Global architecture, is ideal in the role of a grocery getter, a smooth highway cruiser and an off-road adventurer. It handles well in virtually any scenario, while delivering a comfortable ride quality that’s neither too soft nor too firm. The steering feel is positive with good feedback and response.





If you’re in the market for a highly versatile, functional and reliable vehicle that’s well suited to a variety of transportational scenarios, the sixth generation 2020 Subaru Outback Touring is a go nearly anywhere in any weather condition.

The Adaptive Cruise Control and EyeSight features are instrumental in collision avoidance, and will bring the Outback to a complete stop without driver intervention.


Subaru owners love their vehicles, illustrated by the fact that are more than enough Subarus in operation in the Northwest to qualify them as the official vehicle of the Northwest. The 2020 Subaru Outback is a gem for those with active lifestyles, or for simply safe, dependable family transportation in comfort.

SPECIFICATIONS: 2020 Subaru Outback Touring

Base Price: $37,345.
Price as Tested: $38,355.

Engine Type and Size: 2.5-liter,DOHC, 16-valve BOXER horizontally Opposed flat four-cylinder with Direct Fuel Injection and Electronic Throttle Control System.

Horsepower (bhp): 182 @ 5,800 rpm Torque (ft./ lbs.): 1786 @ 4,400 rpm Transmission: Lineartronic CVT with eight-speed manual mode and steering wheel paddle shift switches.

Drive Train: Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive – Active Torque Split AWD with electronically managed variable hydraulic transfer clutch; continuously varies front-to- rear torque split based on inputs from acceleration, steering angle and yaw rate sensors; can proactively transfer more torque to rear wheels or in response to wheel slip. Driver-selectable X-MODE optimizes engine output and CVT ratio position, increases Active All-Wheel Drive engagement and uses enhanced control logic for the Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) system to reduce individual wheel spin.

Driver-selectable X-MODE optimizes engine output and CVT ratio position, increases Active All-Wheel Drive engagement and uses enhanced control logic for the Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) system to reduce individual wheel spin.

Exclusive to 2020 Outback Onyx Edition XT: Dual- mode X-MODE system includes features Snow/Dirt and Deep Snow/Mud settings.

Suspension: Four-wheel independent
Front – MacPherson-type struts with internal rebound springs, aluminum lower L-arms, coil springs and stabilizer bar, liquid filled engine mounts.

Rear – Double wishbone, coil springs and stabilizer bar

Brakes: Power-assisted 4-wheel disc with Electronic Brake- force Distribution (EBD), 4-channel / 4-sensor ABS, Brake Assist, Brake Override and Auto Vehicle Hold.

Tires: Yokohama Avid GT 225/60 R18 mounted on 5—“Y”-spoke machine face alloy wheels with painted inners.

Wheelbase: 108.1 inches
Length Overall: 191.3 inches
Width: 73.0 inches w/o mirrors – 82.0 with
Height: 86.1 inches with roof rails / 86.4 with crossbars in place.
Curb Weight: 3,772 lbs.
Turning Circle: 6.1 ft.
Approach Angle: 18.6 degrees
Departure Angle: 21.7 degrees
Breakover Angle: 19.4 degrees
Ground Clearance: 8.7 inches
Fuel Capacity: 18.5 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 26 mpg city / 33 mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: Not listed.
0 – 60 mph: Not tested.

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