More 'Crossover' Than Many Crossovers, Subaru's 2020 Outback Heads for New York

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
more 8216 crossover than many crossovers subarus 2020 outback heads for new york

It is arguable that the original Subaru Outback was one of the vehicles that blazed trails for the whole “rugged wagon” movement that eventually morphed into the crossovers we see flooding driveways across America. Those of you with long memories will recall that “Outback” was originally a trim on Legacy wagons, before making the jump to being a standalone model.

Fast-forward to the 2020 model year and we find Subaru in an enviable position: taking advantage of market trends and posting a gob-smacking 88 consecutive months of year-over-year growth. Next week, the company will drop a new Outback at the New York Auto Show.

The current Outback sits, price-wise, one spot below the top-of-food-chain Ascent. Starting at $26,345 for a base 2.5i model, most Outbacks trade somewhere in the mid-thirties. All of ‘em, save for the top-dog 3.6R Limited, are powered by the company’s 175 hp 2.5-liter boxer four. The R makes 256 hp from its engine.

As usual, the teaser shot doesn’t give us a great deal to go on – which is why it’s called a teaser shot, I suppose. What can be discerned are a set of vertically stacked LED fog lamps instead of the current model’s round units, plus the now-expected grey cladding above the wheel wells and rocker panels. It is a safe bet the new turbocharged engine found in Ascent will make its way into the new Outback, perhaps supplanting both of the current mills.

The picture’s subject is wearing a set of Yokohama Avid GT tires. In a fit of reporting you’re unlikely to find on any other site, your author knows this is a new M+S tire from the company, replacing the old Avid Invigor. It doesn’t bear the three-peak winter seal of approval, but is marketed as a touring tire for tough weather. Fits the Subaru MO, then. The current Outback is shown in company materials fitted with Bridgestone Duelers.

March may be a cruel month for some, but it certainly wasn’t for Subaru. This past month marked the 61st consecutive month of 40,000+ vehicle sales for the automaker and the best March ever in company history. Outback is an incredibly important model for the company, as it is its best seller. They moved 41,808 of the things so far this year, compared to 40,656 Foresters and 26,197 Crosstreks. Those are the top three models at Subaru, by the way.

Subaru will reveal the all-new 2020 Outback at the New York International Auto Show on April 17th at 11:15am local time.

[Image: Subaru]

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3 of 26 comments
  • Stanley Steamer Stanley Steamer on Apr 10, 2019

    My understanding is the 2.4 turbo is replacing the 3.6. No more flat 6 for Subaru.

    • Dave M. Dave M. on Apr 10, 2019

      Who knows they may go to all turbo 4s like in the Ascent....

  • MKizzy MKizzy on Apr 10, 2019

    Only the first and third generation Outbacks were attractive to my eyes. The rest have either been boring or some weird chimera demonstration of how to both over-style and under-style a station wagon at the same time. Given Subaru's current blocky styling direction where only the Imprezza doesn't look like a toy car, this new Outback probably won't be a looker either.

  • Cprescott Yawn.
  • 28-Cars-Later Wrangler people are crazy.
  • 28-Cars-Later "Transition" to layoffs, this guy is the Bob(s) from Office Space.
  • Vap65689119 As a release engineer I also worked in quality, if they are serious they should look at Toyotas business model which has their suppliers as genuine partners, thats how you get a quality product
  • Mike-NB2 I seem to have landed in an alternate universe. $12,000 for a Jeep that's going on a quarter-century old and with an automatic transmission? Wow.