Blink and you might miss the 2020 Subaru Outback's updates.
The Subaru Outback stands out. Not just because it's a mix between a crossover and an estate, but because it's been one of Subaru's best-selling, most recognisable vehicles since the first-generation's debut in 1994.
Now 25 years later, a brand-new iteration of the Subaru Outback is making its debut at the 2019 New York Auto Show. Like previous models, this one follows the old adage, "if it ain't broke don't fix it" in its styling. But it does get updated powertrains.
The 2020 Subaru Outback has two engines in the U.S. market: a 2.4-litre turbocharged engine with 260 bhp and 277 pound-feet of torque, and a 2.5-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder with 182 bhp and 176 lb-ft of torque. Both come paired to a CVT and all-wheel drive. For comparison here in the UK the current model has the same 2.5-litre but with only 172 bhp.
While most of the 2020 Outback's updates are subtle, take a look at the new version alongside its outgoing counterpart and see if you can spot the differences.
No need to remove your glasses – these two cars look almost identical at first glance. But dig a little deeper and the fresh cues of the 2020 model come to life. The grille, while it maintains its same hexagonal shape, upper large accent bar, and centrally mounted logo, swaps chrome for all-black accents on this trim. The headlights, while they maintain their same boomerang-shaped LEDs and large bulb, they both move further to the front of the housing, with a more defined blinker, ending in a sharp point, sits adjacent to the bonnetline.
Arguably the most distinguishable new design is the plastic fender. On the 2020 Outback, it’s much bulkier, and takes up more space on the front fascia and around the wheel wells. The round fog lights of the previous model are gone, in their place is a new set of three LED fog lights instead.
Again, the backside of the 2020 Outback doesn’t stray far from the previous-gen’s successful formula. The taillights are a bit sharper with agro black accents, and the enhanced black cladding up front carries over here, but the evolved Outback isn’t a far cry from the one it replaces. But we’re not complaining – it still looks great.
Probably the 2020 Outback’s biggest change is in the cabin. The portrait-oriented, 11.6-inch infotainment screen is a big upgrade from the outgoing model. It’s the same screen as the one on the new Legacy (U.S. model). The new Outback also gets things like heated seats, and a hands-free power liftgate out back.