Subaru Set to Launch 2020 Outback Crossover in New York
NYIAS Premiere of Latest Genre-Blurring Wagon/SUV
Subaru will reveal the all-new 2020 Outback at the 2019 New York International Auto Show next week. The quasi-SUV/crossover/station wagon should borrow liberally from its Legacy sedan stablemate, which was revealed in February.
The new Outback was teased today, but Subaru didn’t release any information except that it would take its first public bow on April 17 at 11:15 a.m. Eastern. Like all other new Subaru models, the Outback will be based on the company’s Subaru Global Platform. The architecture incorporates lots of high-strength steel, providing greater chassis stiffness and improved crash safety.
We presume the Outback will receive the Legacy’s mechanical upgrades, including a new, optional 2.4L turbocharged flat-four found in the Ascent SUV, where it makes 260 hp and 277 lb-ft. As on the 2020 Legacy, the Outback’s turbo four will replace Subaru’s thirsty 3.6L flat-six on the top-spec trim level, meaning it should come standard on the Outback Touring. The Legacy will offer the turbo engine on its other trim levels as well, and it’s possible the Outback will follow suit. The base 2.5L flat-four is shared with the Legacy and recently revealed Forester, revised with direct injection and other improvements and now making 182 hp and 176 lb-ft, slight improvements over the outgoing mill.
Inside, expect a more serene and quiet ride, thanks in part to the new platform. Subaru will further improve the Outback’s interior with a suite of technology and comfort enhancements, most obviously the 11.6-inch vertical touchscreen found on the Legacy. That model will offer the massive screen on all but the base model, which gets two 7.0-inch widescreen displays—one for climate controls and the other for infotainment.
And the Outback should port over the new Legacy’s slight exterior styling tweaks onto a more rugged, lifted canvas. The teaser photo clearly shows robust plastic rocker panels, a bolder front bumper with integrated lighting, tall roof rails, and what we assume is an accessory gear basket.
With incremental efficiency and performance upgrades from the engine bay, a stiffer chassis with better handling and ride quality, and a thoroughly modernized interior, we’d be surprised if the 2020 Outback didn’t continue to attract customers to the Subaru showroom. The new model will almost certainly continue in its unique predecessors’ popularity.