The Subaru Outback has always been a stellar choice for families that want to avoid going down the SUV-path combining chunky looks with elevated ground clearance, standard four-wheel drive, a roomy interior and cargo space while also striking an acceptable balance between on- and off-road performance.
Consumer Reports completed its first review of the new Outback with the high-riding wagon scoring points for retaining most of the characteristics that made it popular, while adding new technologies into the mix.
However, new doesn’t always mean better, and such is the case with the 11.6-inch infotainment system, offered on all but the entry-level model. Consumer Reports’ bashed it in their review, saying it has child-like graphics and is hard to navigate through.
While some novelties haven’t been well received, the 2020 Outback’s reduced (comparatively) body roll through corners, decent steering response and soundproofing earn it extra points. CR drove the Premium and Touring XT variants of the new Outback, powered by a 2.5-liter, naturally aspirated flat-four, with 182 hp, and a 2.4-liter turbo, rated at 260 hp, respectively. Unsurprisingly, they favored the more powerful version, stating that it makes the car more lively, even with the CVT, which is the sole choice.
The standard safety systems, like the automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane departure warning and lane keeping assist were praised. You can also spec the 2020 Outback with blind spot warning and rear cross traffic alert with automatic braking.
This was CR’s first encounter with the latest Outback, and now they have to decide which variant to buy for a full year test. They have seven to choose from, including the standard Outback, Premium, Limited, Touring, Onyx Edition XT, Limited XT and Touring XT, with prices ranging between $26,645 and $39,695.