Trucks & SUVs

The Subaru Outback Limited Gives You the Best Bang for Your Buck

The Subaru Outback is Subaru’s best-selling model, and the 2020 Outback introduces its sixth generation. With seven trim levels available on the Outback, there are a lot of choices available for buyers. MotorTrend provides some guidance, suggesting that the Limited trim or the Touring trim offers the best value.

2020 Subaru Outback standard features

The 2020 Subaru Outback is offered in seven trims: base model, Premium, Limited, Touring, Onyx Edition XT, Limited XT, and Touring XT. All the trim levels include all-wheel drive.

Standard safety features include the EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology, which provides advanced adaptive cruise control with lane centering, pre-collision braking, lane departure and sway warning, and lane keep assist. Roof rails are also standard and very useful. They have a 150 lb. maximum capacity plus retractable crossbars and integrated tie-downs.

Premium trim

The base model, Premium, Limited, and Touring feature a 182 horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 176 lb.-ft. of torque. While the base trim has two 7.0-inch touchscreens, the Premium, Limited, and Onyx Edition XT have one vertical 11.6-inch touchscreen. 

The Premium trim also features a 10-way power driver’s seat, privacy glass, dual-zone automatic climate control, plus two USB ports for the rear seats. There are optional packages for the Premium trim. The first adds hands-free keyless access, push-button start, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. A second package is available to also add a power moonroof, navigation, and a power liftgate with the hands-free function.

Limited trim

Both the Limited and Touring trims provide a touch of luxury. The Limited trim introduces leather trim on the dash plus perforated leather seats. The driver’s seat has 10-way power, two memory settings, and a cushion extension. The passenger seat has eight-way power, and it has heated rear seats too. 

The trim also comes with 18-inch wheels, steering-responsive LED headlights, and reverse automatic braking. When in reverse, the passenger-side mirror tilts down. An optional package lets drivers add a power moonroof, heated steering wheel, navigation, and the driver distraction mitigation system.

Touring trim

The Touring is the Subaru Outback’s highest luxury trim. The trim features Nappa leather-trimmed upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, plus power-folding side mirrors.

The Touring, Limited XT, and Touring XT trim have the same 11.6-inch touchscreen plus they include navigation, which is an optional feature on the Premium, Limited, and Onyx Edition XT trims.

Onyx Edition XT trim

The Onyx Edition XT trim is the only new one for 2020. The Onyx Edition XT, Limited XT, and Touring XT trims have the more powerful 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine generating 260 horsepower and 277 lb.-ft. of torque.

In addition to the upgraded engine, this trim has a dual-mode X-mode off-road system and is the only one with a full-size spare tire. It also includes a front camera to give a view of what’s in front of the Outback. Its rugged look is achieved with black accents, and it is the only trim that comes with water-repellent upholstery. It’s generally based on the features of the Premium trim.

Limited XT trim and Touring XT trim

Based on the Limited and Touring trims, their XT versions feature the more powerful engine. These trims also offer sound-insulated glass on the front doors to make the interior quieter.

The best value on the Subaru Outback comes with the Limited trim

MotorTrend recommends either the Limited trim without the optional package or the Touring trim. Both trims provide power-adjustable front seats, two-position driver’s seat memory, plus a power liftgate.

The reviewer wrote off the XT engine for its “inconsistent power delivery” and described hands-free keyless access as a must-have, which also eliminated the base and Premium trims. As the lower of the two luxury trims, the Limited looks like the way to go. The 2020 Subaru Outback Limited trim starts at $33,445.