Call it a cool wagon or a hip crossover, but don't call it a Legacy.
One of the highlights at the 2019 New York Auto Show is the new Subaru Outback. The station wagon blurs the lines between crossover and car like never before, offering impressive ground clearance and a huge increase in torsional rigidity from the previous model for a sure-footed driving experience. It rides on Subaru’s Global Platform that’s also designed to absorb more energy in crashes, and of course, it makes the most of its full-time all-wheel-drive system.
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Despite the new underpinnings, the Outback’s outward appearance is a familiar one. The wagon’s face is a bit more chiseled, especially with the new vertically oriented driving lamps and revamped headlight design. A similar theme takes shape at the rear with redesigned taillights and a bulked-up appearance for the rear fascia. The new-for-2020 Onyx Edition injects familiarerior with black trim and dark 18-inch wheels for a presence that’s borderline imposing.
The redesigned interior offers a similar feeling of new-yet-familiar, though changes like the 11.6-inch infotainment screen are more pronounced. There’s still plenty of space for families and cargo, and luxury features such as heated seats and tech toys abound.
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Under the hood are some familiar engines as well. Most models come with a 2.5-liter flat-four making a modest 182 horsepower (136 kilowatts) and 176 pound-feet (239 Newton-meters) of torque. The high-level XT gets a 2.4-liter turbocharged engine that makes 260 hp (194 kW) and 277 lb-ft (376 Nm) of twist. Both engines distribute power through a CVT, turning all four wheels with a torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system.
As crossovers and SUVs continue to gain popularity, the wagon-styled Outback offers a highly capable alternative for buyers seeking to stand out. The new 2020 Outback goes on sale this fall, and is currently on display at the 2019 New York Auto Show.