The 2020 Subaru Outback will officially make its debut next week at the 2019 New York auto show. Subaru showed a teaser photo giving a glimpse of the new Outback’s front fender; the new car wears green paint, black plastic body cladding, and redesigned wheels to make for a quintessentially Subaru-esque look.
Now that the new 2020 Subaru Legacy sedan is here, you can probably guess what’s coming next: a redesigned Subaru Outback wagon. Subaru spokesperson Dominick Infante confirmed to C/D at the 2019 Chicago auto show that we can expect to see the new Outback later this year. And given that the Outback and the Legacy have always shared basics such as platforms and powertrains, we can assume that most of the new Legacy sedan’s specs will carry over to its crossover-ized wagon counterpart, which should look much like our illustration (above).
The biggest change for the new Outback, then, will be its new underpinnings. It will shift to the same new global platform as the Legacy, which promises increased rigidity, sharper handling, and improved refinement. A turbocharged Outback also seems a sure bet to return to the lineup, replacing the old six-cylinder Legacy 3.6R; similar to the Legacy, it’s likely be called the Outback XT and use the same turbocharged 260-hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine first introduced in the Ascent three-row SUV. A mostly carryover 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 182 horsepower will remain the base engine, and all-wheel drive and a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) will be standard on all models.
Otherwise, the new Outback should come with a vibe similar to what it has always had, retaining its rugged image and practical mien. Essentially a lifted Legacy wagon, it will promise extra ground clearance, additional body cladding, and far more cargo space thanks to its wagon silhouette. The biggest change on the inside will be the same giant new touchscreen as found in the Legacy, measuring 11.6 inches and using a vertically oriented layout. Subaru’s EyeSight bundle of active-safety features should be standard, as it is on the Legacy.
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More information should trickle out about the new Subaru Outback over the next few months ahead of its official debut. The new Legacy goes on sale this fall, so expect to see the Outback arrive in showrooms sometime near the end of 2019.