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2020 Subaru Outback vs. 2020 Ford Edge: Which Is Better?

The 2020 Subaru Outback and 2020 Ford Edge are veterans in the 2-row SUV category and both offer 5-passenger seating in contemporary packages. But beyond carrying people and their gear, Outback looks to travel a bit farther afield than the Edge, which instead pushes its performance prowess. Here’s how they compare.

Quick Facts

  • New optional turbo engine gives the Outback a much-needed boost.
  • The sporty Edge ST offers 400 horsepower from its twin-turbo V6.

2020 Subaru Outback

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 Ford Edge

2020 Ford Edge

Base Price: $32,095/ Read our 2020 Ford Edge Review

What we like: Sporty ST trim with 335 horsepower, high tech features, smooth 8-speed automatic, premium interior, and a quiet cabin

What we would change: Add more supportive seats, improve the off-road capability

Overview: The Ford Edge remains a solid choice in the 2-row SUV segment with bold styling along with plenty of engine and trim options. There’s plenty of cabin and cargo space. Since it rides on a platform that found application in both the car and SUV segments, it’s geared for more on-road performance than off-road bashing. Base models come in front-drive with AWD as an option. As a primarily road-going SUV, Ford has worked on its performance chops and offers a finely tuned and great handling sport model in the ST. This trim boasts 335 horsepower from its twin-turbo 3.7-liter V6 engine.

Despite being a little dated at this point — its last major redesign was in 2015 — it soldiers on with a suite of safety and driver-assistance features under its Co-Pilot360 umbrella standard on all trim levels.

What’s new for 2020: Edge adds a new Titanium Elite package to the mix which includes unique door inserts, contrast stitching, additional chrome accents and body-colored bumpers and cladding.

Features and technology: The Edge is available in SE, SEL, Titanium, and ST trim levels. Base models include Wi-Fi for up to 10 devices, satellite radio, rain-sensing wipers, remote start/lock/unlock, and keyless entry/ignition. Even the rearview camera has its own little washer jet. The Ford Co-Pilot 360 array of driver aids is also part of the deal, bringing forward-collision mitigation with automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist, and automatic high beams.

Higher trims bring more comfort and convenience touches, such as the Sync 3 infotainment system (from SEL up), hands-free tailgate operation, leather upholstery, and 19-inch alloy wheels.

What does the future hold: After adding a new Titanium Elite trim level and making several cosmetic changes with paint and other features, the Edge will carry over into the 2021 model year with few changes. See 2020 Ford Edge models for sale near you

Outback vs. Edge: Strengths comparison

Subaru Outback Benefits: Standard AWD, better off-road capability, standard driver and safety assists, lower price

Ford Edge Benefits: Optional V6 engine, 8-speed transmission vs. CVT, more towing capability, better on-road handling

Outlander vs. Edge: Which is better?

If you need to carry five in comfort and want a dollop of performance thrown in, then the Ford Edge should be added to your shopping list. But you’ll pay considerably more. For our money, the Subaru is the better deal here. It costs less, comes with standard AWD, and has some off-road capability. It’s also smaller than the Edge but doesn’t sacrifice much in the way of cargo volume. Subaru also has a great reputation for quality and reliability, factors that translate into higher resale value. Find a Subaru Outback for sale or Find a Ford Edge for sale

2020 Subaru Outback 2020 Ford Edge
Popular Powertrains
Engine 2.5-liter I4 2.0-liter turbo I4
Horsepower 182 hp @ 5,800 rpm 250 hp @ 5,500 rpm
Torque 176 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm 280 hp @ 3,000 rpm
Transmission CVT automatic 8-spd automatic
Fuel Economy 29 mpg (26 city/33 hwy) 24 mpg (21 city/29 hwy)
Also Available 2.4-liter turbo I4 2.7-liter turbo 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 112.2 inches
Overall Length 191.3 inches 188.8 inches
Width 82.0 inches 85.8 inches
Height 66.1 inches 68.3 inches
Turning Diameter n/a 39.3 feet
Headroom, Front 40.1 inches 40.2 inches
Headroom, Rear 39.1 inches 40.3 inches
Legroom, Front 42.8 inches 42.6 inches
Legroom, Rear 39.5 inches 40.6 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 58.1 inches 60.3 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 57.4 inches 60.5 inches
EPA Passenger Volume 109.0 cu. ft. 113.9 cu. ft.
EPA Cargo Volume 75.7 cu. ft. 73.4 cu. ft.

Matt DeLorenzo
Matt DeLorenzo
Matt DeLorenzo is an author who specializes in writing news, advice, and car reviews. A member of the North American Car of the Year jury, he has spent more than four decades covering the auto industry and has held key posts at industry and consumer publications including Automotive News, AutoWeek, and Road & Track. He is also an author of automotive books including Modern Chrysler Concept... Read More about Matt DeLorenzo

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