Subaru of America just made a lot of people in this country very happy indeed. It gave discriminating adventurers the opportunity to take on minimal roads and maximum winters while not sacrificing driveability (as in massive SUV bulk) or the family finances by constantly needing to fill a yawning tank. We’re talking, naturally, about the 2020 Subaru Outback, rolled out amid considerable fanfare at the New York International Auto Show.
Even a quick glance will tell you that the new Outback is evolutionary in nature, slotted beneath the all-new, three-row SUV, the Ascent. But there’s a ton in the Outback that’s new and noteworthy. First off, there’s a new Outback XT range that returns turbocharged power to the Outback lineup for the first time since 2009, to the tune of 260hp and 277-lbs.ft. of maximum torque. The standard engine remains Subaru’s famous horizontally-opposed four, displacing 2.5 liters, with direct fuel injection and 182 normally aspirated horsepower. Both engines are linked to a Lineartronic continuously variable automatic transmission. Inside, the new Outback gets Subaru’s well-regarded EyeSight collision-avoidance system with adaptive cruise control and lane centering as standard equipment across the board. Up on the dash is a new 1.6-inch touchscreen that controls the Subaru Starlink communications system and a variety of other functions. It’s all built on the Subaru Global Platform, debuted in 2017, which allows for significantly more structural stiffness than the previous Outback. Full disclosure: Your editor has a 2017 Legacy Limited and loves it. Look for the new Outback in showrooms this fall.