The 2020 Subaru Outback and 2020 Chevrolet Blazer compete in the highly competitive 2-row SUV segment but take different approaches. The former is geared to more active outdoor lifestyles, while the latter is an urban crossover with an enthusiast edge. Let’s take a look to see Which is Better?
- New optional turbo engine gives the Outback a much-needed boost.
- The Blazer boasts an easy-to-use infotainment system with an 8-inch screen.
2020 Subaru Outback
Base Price: $26,645 / Read our 2020 Subaru Outback Review
What we like: Standard all-wheel drive, off-road capability, active safety across the board, powerful optional engine, plenty of accessories for active lifestyles.
What we would change: Styling could be more distinctive, add more cargo space.
Overview: Despite its familiar look, the 2020 Subaru Outback is completely redesigned. Under the familiar skin are a new platform, new engines, and a slew of updated technologies. The result is a better Subaru Outback in nearly every respect. This 5-passenger 2-row SUV is distinctive in that its design owes more to a traditional station wagon than a truck-based sport-ute. But with standard AWD and good ground clearance, it delivers off-road capabilities that put others in its class to shame.
What’s new for 2020: Even though the sheet metal is all-new, the big news for 2020 is the upgraded optional 260-horsepower 2.4-liter flat-4 turbo that gives the Outback a much-needed boost in performance.
Features and technology: The 2020 Outback is available in seven different trims, three of which use the turbocharged engine. All models come with AWED, X-mode, hill descent control, active torque vectoring, a dual 7-inch screen Starlink infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The Eyes Sight driver-assist technology, also standard, includes automatic emergency braking, high beam assist, and adaptive cruise with active lane centering.
The higher trim levels include the Premium, Limited and Touring trims ($28,895-$33,445) with the base normally aspirated engine. Turbocharged XT model comes in Onyx Edition, Limited and Touring models with prices ranging from $34,895 for the Onyx to $39,695 for the Limited.
What does the future hold: Since the Outback was recently redesigned for the 2020 model year, we don’t expect to see many changes until a mid-cycle refresh in 2022. See the 2020 Subaru Outback models for sale near you
2020 Chevrolet Blazer
Base Price: $29,995 / Read our 2020 Chevrolet Blazer Review
What we like: Sporty design, powerful V6 engine option, 9-speed automatic, good handling and ride
What we would change: Make active safety available on lower trims, add some off-road capability, add more high-quality soft-touch materials inside
Overview: The Chevrolet Blazer brings a bit of Camaro attitude to the 2-row crossover SUV segment. This sharp looking vehicle has the handling to match and boasts a powerful V6 option backed by a 9-speed automatic transmission. While it lacks the off-road chops of the Outback, the Blazer has a decided edge in towing with the ability to pull up to 4,500 pounds when properly equipped. Unlike the Subaru, the Blazer base models come with just front-drive. AWD is an option and the lineup is quite pricey in the upper trims. It’s in those upper trims where you can only get advanced driver assists like adaptive cruise control.
What’s new for 2020: Chevrolet has added a step-up 2.0-liter turbo engine option in the Blazer that makes 230 horsepower and is available in the 2LT and 3LT trim packages. Other upgrades include the ability to turn off or cancel the fuel-saving stop/start feature and the addition of trailer guidelines to the rear camera when the tow package is specified.
Features and technology: The most basic and therefore least expensive 2020 Chevy Blazer is the L trim. It still comes with plenty of features, though, such as dual-zone automatic climate control, 8-inch infotainment touch screen, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration, 18-inch alloy wheels, four USB ports (two regular and two type-C), leather-wrapped steering wheel, and keyless entry/ignition.
This wouldn’t be our recommended choice, though. The 2LT model isn’t much more expensive, has a little more equipment, and comes with the new turbocharged engine. It’s also eligible for more options.
What does the future hold: With the addition of the 2.0-liter engine, Chevrolet will stand pat for now on equipment, styling and trim levels for the Blazer through the 2021 model year. See 2020 Chevrolet Blazer models for sale near you
Outback vs. Blazer: Strengths comparison
Subaru Outback Benefits: Standard AWD, better off-road capability, standard driver and safety assists, lower price
Chevrolet Blazer Benefits: Optional V6 engine, 9-speed transmission vs. CVT, more towing capability, better on-road handling
Outback vs. Blazer: Which is better?
While we like the style and driving manners of the Chevrolet Blazer, if what you are looking for in a 2-row SUV is AWD, off-road capability and the wide range safety and driver assists at an affordable price, then the Subaru Outback is the better pick. Subaru also has a great reputation for quality and reliability, factors that translate into higher resale value. The Blazer does have that V6 and more towing capability, but to get the same level of safety features and AWD, you’ll have to pay considerably more than the already higher base price of $29,995. Find a Subaru Outback for sale or Find a Chevrolet Blazer for sale
|2020 Subaru Outback||2020 Chevrolet Blazer|
|Engine||2.5-liter I4||2.5-liter I4|
|Horsepower||182 hp @ 5,800 rpm||193 hp @ 6,300 rpm|
|Torque||176 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm||188 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm|
|Transmission||CVT automatic||Automatic, 9-Spd|
|Fuel Economy||29 mpg (26 city/33 hway)||23 mpg (21 city/27 hwy)|
|Also Available||2.4-liter turbo I4||2.0-liter turbo I4; 3.6-liter V6|
|Warranty||3 years/36,000 miles||3 years/36,000 miles|
|NHTSA Overall Safety Rating||5 stars||5 stars|
|Max Seating Capacity||5||5|
|Wheelbase||108.1 inches||112.7 inches|
|Overall Length||191.3 inches||191.4 inches|
|Width||82.0 inches||76.7 inches|
|Height||66.1 inches||67.0 inches|
|Turning Diameter||n/a||38.7 feet|
|Headroom, Front||40.1 inches||39.8 inches|
|Headroom, Rear||39.1 inches||38.6 inches|
|Legroom, Front||42.8 inches||41.0 inches|
|Legroom, Rear||39.5 inches||39.6 inches|
|Shoulder Room, Front||58.1 inches||59.1 inches|
|Shoulder Room, Rear||57.4 inches||58.6 inches|
|EPA Passenger Volume||109.0 cu. ft.||107.8 cu. ft.|
|EPA Cargo Volume||75.7 cu. ft.||64.2 cu. ft.|