The 2020 Subaru Outback wants to take you to (and teach you about) the outdoors

It’s hard to imagine where Subaru would be today without the Outback. Taking a station wagon, jacking up the ride height, and adding a handful of SUV-like styling cues has been a magic formula for the Japanese automaker. So the 2020 Outback, which made its debut at the 2019 New York Auto Show, is a crucial new model for Subaru as it looks to write the next chapter of its success story on the American market.

As we expected, the sixth-generation Outback features many of the same upgrades and changes already seen on the 2020 Legacy sedan introduced earlier in 2019. That means it makes the transition to the Subaru Global Platform already used by the Forester and Ascent crossovers, as well as the Impreza and Crosstrek compacts. We’ve been impressed with other Subaru models based on this platform, so that bodes well for the 2020 Outback.

The Legacy influence permeates the cabin, where nearly every trim level boasts an 11.6-inch touchscreen displaying Subaru’s StarLink infotainment system. Users can rearrange the icons on the home menu, just like on a smartphone, and an available Wi-Fi hot spot keeps every passenger connected on the go. The Outback’s tech can help you disconnect, too. Its infotainment system comes preloaded with an app named Chimani that provides information about more than 400 national parks in the United States, including the history and highlights of each location.

The Outback’s infotainment system comes preloaded with everything you need to know about national parks.

Subaru’s hallmark symmetrical all-wheel drive system remains standard to let motorists take advantage of the 8.7 inches of ground clearance. The entry-level engine is a naturally  aspirated, 2.5-liter flat-four that makes 182 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque. That’s not a lot for a vehicle of this size, so buyers can step up to a turbocharged, 2.4-liter flat-four rated at a more generous 260 hp and 277 lb.-ft. of torque. Both four-cylinders shift through a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The flat-six available in the previous-generation Outback is gone, and we don’t expect it will return any time soon. Want a stick? You’re out of luck there, too.

The Outback achieves 26 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway when equipped with the smaller engine, and it offers adventurers a 600-mile range. Selecting the turbo four reduces fuel economy to 23 and 30 mpg, respectively, but it allows the Outback to tow 3,500 pounds.

The EyeSight suite of electronic driving aids is standard across the entire Outback lineup. It includes adaptive cruise control with lane centering, directional LED headlights, reverse automatic braking, and a head-up display, among other functions. Subaru also integrated an infrared camera and facial-recognition technology into the instrument cluster to monitor whether the driver is paying attention to the road ahead. It emits audible and visual warnings if it senses the driver is distracted or falling asleep.

The 2020 Subaru Outback will go on sale across America in fall 2019. Pricing information will be released closer to its on-sale date.

Updated on April 18, 2019: Added live photos.

Product Review

This Porsche has a turbo, a hybrid system, and enough room for your whole family

The 2020 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid is the most powerful Porsche Cayenne SUV model you can buy. It’s also a plug-in hybrid. Who said electrification was only about saving fuel?

Sorry, you can’t exchange your Nintendo Switch for an upgraded model

Customer representatives said that those who purchased the old model of the Nintendo Switch after July 17 would be able to upgrade their console into the new model for free. A Nintendo spokesperson has now denied the exchange program.

Limited-edition Subaru BRZ tS returns for 2020, WRX and STI get minor tweaks

Subaru performance cars remain mostly unchanged for the 2020 model year. The big news is the return of the limited-edition Subaru BRZ tS sports car, with production capped at 300 units.

Chevrolet’s 2020 Corvette gets supercar specs and tech without the price

Chevrolet completely reinvented the Corvette Stingray for the 2020 model year. While the first seven generations of the car came with a front-mounted engine, the eighth-generation model switches to a mid-engined layout.

UPS partners with TuSimple to test self-driving semi-trucks

UPS has been carrying truckloads of goods in self-driving semi-trucks since May. The vehicles are being tested in Arizona routes between Phoenix and Tucson for better service and efficiency for UPS delivery.

Vintage Electric readies the Roadster Speed Merchant, a souped-up ebike

Vintage Electric introduced the latest in its line of retro-styled premium performance ebikes for fall 2019. The Vintage Roadster gets styling cues from board track racing motorcycles and its power from a 1,123-watt battery.

Infiniti’s Formula One-inspired Project Black S may enter production

The Infiniti Project Black S is a Q60 luxury coupe enhanced with a Formula One-inspired hybrid powertrain. The 563-horsepower car can sprint from zero to 62 mph in under four seconds, according to Infiniti.

Bored with stock? The best tuner cars are begging to be modified

Modification has been around almost as long as the automobile itself. Here are some of the best tuner cars you can find, ranging from American muscle standouts to Japanese drift cars.

Toyota raises the curtain on 2020 Corolla Nightshade Editions

The 2020 Toyota Corolla SE sedan and hatchback with a CVT (continuously variable transmission) will be available in Nightshade Editions, joining the Toyota 4Runner, Camry, Highlander, and Sienna with the blacked-out trim style option.

Here’s why your Uber or Lyft car always seems to be a Toyota Camry

The Toyota Camry is one of the most popular cars sold in the United States, and not just with retail buyers. Uber and Lyft drivers love the Camry for its reliability, according to a new report.

The electric Volkswagen ID Buggy makes even Ferrari drivers stop and stare

Volkswagen traveled to the 2019 Geneva Auto Show to introduce an electric dune buggy named ID Buggy, and Digital Trends drove it in California. It's a modern-day tribute to the 1960s Meyers Manx.

Infiniti will take on BMW and Mercedes-Benz with its own crossover coupe

Launching in 2020, the Infiniti QX55 will be a crossover coupe similar to models that have proven successful for BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Infiniti said the QX55 will have styling influenced by its early 2000s FX.

The Bugatti Centodieci is only possible because of the latest design tech

Bugatti is celebrating its 110th birthday by releasing a limited-edition hypercar named Centodieci. It's based on the Chiron, but its engine makes 1,600 horsepower, and it's a tribute to the EB110 released during the 1990s.

Discover the engineering Easter eggs in the new 2020 Ford Explorer

The 2020 Ford Explorer received a ground-up overhaul, with major changes that include a new hybrid powertrain option. But even the engineering details of the new Explorer are worth checking out.