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2019 vs. 2020 Subaru Outback: What’s the Difference?

  • Subaru has introduced an all-new Outback for 2020.

  • An optional turbocharged engine in the 2020 model replaces the 6-cylinder engine in the 2019 model.

  • Subaru calls the new Outback the safest and most capable Outback ever.

The Subaru Outback has a reputation as being something a little off-beat and different in the world of crossovers. It straddles the line between wagon and SUV and whatever you want to call it, it’s a great choice for anyone looking for a quirky alternative to a more conventional crossover.

The Outback is all-new for the 2020 model year with a new look inside and out, a new turbocharged engine replacing the outgoing 6-cylinder, and some interesting new technology. Let’s take a closer look at the differences between the 2019 and 2020 Subaru Outback.

2019 vs. 2020 Subaru Outback exterior


We wouldn’t blame you if you couldn’t tell the difference between the 2019 and 2020 Outback at first glance. Subaru calls the design of the 2020 Outback “evolutionary,” which means they purposely didn’t change it too dramatically. People who love Subaru already liked how the Outback looked and didn’t want it to change too much. The most noticeable exterior change in the new Outback is the rear end, particularly the taillights, which remind us of the recently redesigned Forester. Exterior dimensions are almost identical, but the 2020 model is one inch longer and one inch wider than the 2019 model. They also both come with 8.7 inches of ground clearance, which is nice when off-roading. See the 2019 Subaru Outback models for sale near you or See the 2020 Subaru Outback models for sale near you

2019 vs. 2020 Subaru Outback interior


The versatile interior of the Subaru Outback with generous space for both passengers and cargo make it a pretty good family car or good for hauling lots of stuff on your off-road adventures. The new Outback has a little more room in the back seat and in the cargo area than the 2019 model. The 2020 Outback also has a new interior design that looks a little more premium than the inside of the outgoing model.

2019 vs. 2020 Subaru Outback mechanicals


The base engine in the new Outback is very similar to the one in the outgoing model. The optional engine, however, is much different. The 2019 model is available with a naturally aspirated flat 6-cylinder engine, which improves power and torque, but takes a considerable fuel economy hit. The 2020 model introduces a new turbocharged boxer engine to the Outback and it’s an even stronger performer than the outgoing cylinder while returning better fuel economy.

2019 Subaru Outback Engines

  • 2.5-liter flat-four; 175 horsepower, 174 lb-ft of torque; 25 miles per gallon in the city and 32 mpg on the highway

  • 3.6-liter flat-six; 256 hp, 247 lb-ft of torque; 20 mpg city/27 mpg hwy

2020 Subaru Outback Engines

  • 2.5-liter flat-four; 182 hp, 176 lb-ft of torque; 25 mpg city/33 mpg hwy

  • 2.4-liter turbocharged flat-four; 260 hp, 277 lb-ft of torque; 23 mpg city/30 mpg hwy

Something special about the Outback and almost every Subaru model is standard all-wheel drive on every trim. You’ll see a lot of crossovers with optional AWD for an extra cost, but it won’t cost you anything extra in an Outback. AWD is a popular feature for drivers in snowy climates or just anyone interested in mild to moderate off-roading.

On paper, the engines in the 2020 Outback are better than the ones in the 2019 model in every way in terms of horsepower, torque, and fuel economy.

2019 vs. 2020 Subaru Outback technology


The 2019 and 2020 models of the Outback both come standard with EyeSight driver assistance technology on every trim, but they’re a little different. They both include automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist. However, the 2020 model adds lane-centering, which helps to keep you in the center of your lane. The technology is similar, but it’s a little more sophisticated in the 2020 model.

Both models also have Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard equipment, but the 2020 Outback has a fantastic new 11.6-in infotainment system that comes with every trim except the base model. This large tablet like screen has a very user-friendly interface and it’s a great display with lots of features.

2019 vs. 2020 Subaru Outback pricing


Pricing is pretty similar between the 2019 and 2020 models of the Outback. The 2019 model has a starting MSRP of $26,345 and the 2020 model starts at $26,645. Both can also get up to almost the $40,000 mark when fully loaded and equipped with their respective engine upgrades.

2019 vs. 2020 Subaru Outback conclusion 


With very similar pricing and a number of improvements like a nicer, roomier interior, more technology, and improved engines, the 2020 Outback is a nice upgrade over the 2019 model. It’s not revolutionary, but it takes what everyone liked about the outgoing generation of the Outback and made it even better. Find a 2019 Subaru Outback for sale or Find a 2020 Subaru Outback for sale

Eric Brandt
Eric Brandt
Eric Brandt is an author specializing in Oversteer content, new car reviews, and finding the best car, truck, and SUV deals each month. Born and raised in Wisconsin, Eric can often be found exploring the north woods on his 1983 Honda Gold Wing when the weather allows it. Father of four, husband of one, and unapologetic minivan enthusiast. Eric mastered driving stick by having a 3-cylinder Chevy... Read More about Eric Brandt

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