Trucks & SUVs

The 2020 Subaru Outback’s Adaptive Cruise Control Is Almost Too Perfect

When the folks at MotorTrend really want to evaluate a vehicle, they subscribe to the ultimate road test. In one review, the gang loaded up a 2020 Subaru Outback and hit the road for a 2,000-mile journey. The overall sentiments pointed out a few setbacks, as well as a few impressive results.

And when it came to the Adaptive Cruise Control feature, it was almost as if it worked too well. This is a feature that many new vehicles are including as part of its standard roster, and there’s no better way to sample its capabilities than on an open road and in real-life driving conditions.

What the critics say about the Adaptive Cruise Control in the Subaru Outback

When you’re routinely driving at highway speeds, Adaptive Cruise Control can be a handy feature. And for the MotorTrend cruise with the Subaru Outback, it was a feature that almost worked too well. Once the test driver learned to trust it, it performed flawlessly.

It seamlessly came to a complete stop when tested in heavy traffic conditions, too. Stop and go traffic was a breeze, but it certainly takes a little faith not to apply the brake yourself. The Outback’s version would beep when cars were detected in front of it, but the MotorTrend critics didn’t seem to mind it. And they went on to endorse the Adaptive Cruise Control as a must-have for real-world driving environments. 

Remember when basic cruise control was game-changing?

The Day reports Ralph Teetor is the inventor of cruise control originally, back in 1945. As a lead engineer making piston rings at the time, he is said to have been inspired by a federally regulated 35 mph limit during WWII.

The first “Speedostat” made its appearance as an “Auto-Pilot” feature for Chrysler in 1958. It wasn’t long before the gadget caught on, and other automakers began installing this mechanism to regulate and maintain a constant speed. Cadillac called it “Cruise Control” in 1959, and it’s a name that stuck with the invention.

Today’s version is far more advanced and a far cry from the old Teeter box from the ’40s. Today’s cruise control technology harnesses digital signaling to not only regulate a constant speed but also to reduce and accelerate based on the sensing of obstructions. And it’s become a feature that automakers install as a standard across a variety of brands and models. 

What’s the real benefit of Adaptive Cruise Control?

Adaptive Cruise Control is a new and upgraded version of traditional cruise control. The conventional application will maintain a car’s speed. But the advanced version will automatically increase or decrease rate, based on a proper distance between obstacles within the immediate line of sight.

It allows drivers to relax their gas pedal foot, which can be huge on long and tiring drives. But it’s also helpful to keep drivers from speeding or maneuvering traffic too aggressively.

How the 2020 Subaru Outback did overall

RELATED: Consumer Reports Can’t Find Much Wrong With the 2020 Subaru Outback

At the end of this 2,000-mile road trip, the MotorTrend critics agreed. Despite the few technical glitches along the way, the Subaru Outback was an incredibly comfortable ride from start to finish. In fact, they drove continuously, only to stop for gas, a feat they almost never can achieve because of the normal aches and pains that accompany long-distance drives.

The Subaru Outback proves it’s a great choice for consumers who spend considerable amounts of time on the road. And with the Advanced Cruise Control feature, stop and go traffic will be a breeze, too. It’s a feature that’s come a long way since inception, and for the Outback, performs perfectly.