Subaru has completely redesigned the Outback with a more rigid architecture, new engines, and better fuel economy. Despite these updates, the exterior design hasn’t changed all that much. Take out your magnifying glass as we look at how the 2020 Subaru Outback has changed from the previous generation. This should be a bit of a treasure hunt.
Up front, you might notice the Outback features a familiar hexagonal grille. One of the biggest changes Subaru made to the front end is the more extensive body cladding. Also notice the fog lamps are now vertical stacks instead of round units. The headlamps look very similar to the ones on the old model, but peer inside the housings, and you’ll notice some elements have changed. A round bulb that was located on the outside corner of the headlamp has been re-positioned nearer the grille. Also in the corner near the grille, you’ll also notice a new lighting border.
Just like the front end, the side receives more aggressive cladding. The cladding covers the wheel arches, and it’s bulkier along the doors. The Outback lettering has moved from near the front of the rocker panel trim to the rear. Outdoor adventurers need not worry; the wagon has the same 8.7 inches of ground clearance as its predecessor.
Out back, pun intended, the Outback receives new taillights that are less blocky than the old ones. The window spoiler sets a sporty tone. There is also a sharper indentation for the license plate holder area. Once again, the cladding is bolder, coming farther up the rear than before.
Inside the cabin, the first thing you’ll likely notice is the new central screen. This 11.6-inch touchscreen is standard on all but the base model, and it is oriented vertically as to resemble an iPad. We can see some drivers finding this screen overwhelming, preferring a smaller 8.0-inch unit like on the previous Outback. Still, we like the concept of its smartphone-like functionality with large app icons that can be rearranged. The screen also has haptic controls as well as discreet physical buttons for HVAC—no more bulky knobs. The air vents have been situated vertically just like the screen, and there’s a new instrument cluster design. Also notice that the shifter has moved up, and the cupholders are now located right near the center console box. And now there’s even more cargo space with the rear seats folded.
Author: Kelly Pleskot