What Makes the 2020 Subaru Outback the No. 1 SUV on this List?

Subaru has a long history of making great cars for motoring enthusiasts. Outside of rally drivers who spend more time sideways than anything else, Subaru has been ranking highly among more normal drivers as well. The 2020 Subaru Outback is the best midsized SUV

MotorTrend compiled a list for each category of vehicles, and they believe the Outback is a fitting No. 1. Although the 2020 model has a pile of updates and all-new features, MotorTrend still says it has everything that made the earlier versions so popular. 

The 2020 Subaru Outback’s features

A quote from the MotorTrend Car of the Year Test states, “Subaru knows its customers, and the changes to the new Outback play well with their shopping criteria.” Well said. Subaru knows what works for them and their customers. It doesn’t get any clearer than that. So what exactly changed?

The 2020 Subaru Outback is seen in a U.S. National Park-themed display at AutoMobility LA
2020 Subaru Outback | David McNew/Getty Images

It may be hard to see in the parking lot, but the 2020 Outback offers a slew of new features from the 2019 model. Although the testers at MotorTrend reported being annoyed with the “the frantic alerts for seemly random occurrences of driver inattention, lane-keeping, smart cruise, or emergency braking warning systems,” the outback did receive top marks for safety tech features. Even with the annoyance, they said that for $36,000, the amount of features you get is a great value. 

Performance specs 

The 2020 Subaru Outback comes standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder. The inline-four makes 182 hp, while the Outback XT Onyx model sports a 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder making a snappy 260 hp. Both models are CVT all-wheel drive. The non-turbo car gets 26/33 miles per gallon city/highway, and the turbo car gets 23/30 mpg. 

Safety tech and ratings

The 2020 Outback has the Subaru EyeSight active safety suite as standard. The EyeSight system includes lane keep assist, steering responsive headlights, sway warning, lane departure, and reverse automatic braking. 

RELATED: Best Road Trip Cars: Subaru Outback

The 2020 Outback earned a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS by achieving a rating of “Good” in all categories. It ranked “Superior” in the IIHS’s crash prevention tests. 

Storage and gear-hauling

The 2020 Outback makes sure to stay true to form and the lifestyle of Subaru people. It can sit up to five people and still hold up to 32.5 cubic inches of storage in the trunk. Without passengers, the 2020 Outback can carry 75.7 cubic feet out extreme sports gear – or whatever you feel like putting back there. 

The Subaru Outback’s tech specs

Without crossing into full-blown luxury, the 2020 Subaru Outback is pretty well kitted out with screens, services, and all the creature comforts. The infotainment screen measures 7 inches and features Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity and SiriusXM radio. The coolest part is the 2020 Outback is the first to have the Chimani app, which gives comprehensive guides to over 400 national parks throughout the U.S. That’s that Subaru we all know and love. 

Overall, MotorTrend gives the 2020 Subaru Outback an 8.3/10, earning it the No. 1 spot on their best midsized SUV list.