Cars

8 Things to Know About the 2020 Subaru Outback

The Outback moves to the new Subaru Global Platform, and the automaker says crash protection has improved over the outgoing model. According to Subaru, the new body can absorb over 40 percent more energy in front and side crashes compared to the old body. Although IIHS has not yet crash-tested the 2020 Subaru Outback, the automaker anticipates earning a Top Safety Pick+.

The new platform is 70 percent stiffer in both torsional and front-suspension rigidity, and it’s twice as stiff in front lateral flexural and rear subframe rigidity compared to the old architecture. Along with improved safety, the new platform promises better ride quality, sharper handling, and a quieter cabin.

Room for more stuff



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The Outback is said to have a wider rear hatch to make it easier to load your gear. Plus, you can now open the rear gate by waving in front of the Subaru emblem with the new hands-free power gate. There is also a new single-touch lifting cargo cover. These features will be standard on most trims.

Subaru quotes 75.7 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats down—a small improvement from the old model’s 73.3 cubic feet.

The optional touchscreen is huge



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The old Outback offered a screen that measured a mere 8.0 inches. For the new model, Subaru is offering the tabletlike 11.6-inch touchscreen that made its debut in the 2020 Legacy. Standard on all but the base trim, this unit is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. App icons on the screen can be moved just like on your phone.

Subaru paid extra attention to the seats



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Nappa leather seats are among the available luxurious options on the new Outback. There are heated front and rear seats, and the seat heaters extend coverage up to the shoulders for added comfort. Ventilated seats are also available.

A lot of active safety features come standard



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All trims come standard with Subaru’s EyeSight driver assist system. This suite includes adaptive cruise control with a lane centering feature. Other available safety features include reverse automatic braking, blind-spot detection with lane change assist and rear cross-traffic alert, and EyeSight Assist Monitor with a head-up display.

A little more controversially, the Outback also offers an onboard camera pointed at the driver to monitor his or her condition. With facial recognition technology, the system can identify signs of fatigue or distraction and provide audio and visual warnings when needed.

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