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Hello All,

Zoning in on a new car and I keep coming back to the 2020 Outback 2.4T - likely Onyx edition.

I've done a lot of research and a few test drives, but have never owned an Outback. I'm just looking for some general feedback (good, bad and ugly) from real users who have had an Outback on the road for a while. Are you happy with it? Feel confident the 2.4T will hold up over time? Thoughts on CVT?

I'm looking to do mostly highway driving (wet and light snow/mud), but something with the ability to go off road, camping, etc. I've owned mid sized SUV's primarily for many years, but keep coming back to the Outback, now that it has the 2.4T option especially.

Would be me and my lady and a dog or maybe two. Can get a top box for longer trips. No plans to tow anything.

Any thoughts or opinions you're willing to share are greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
Leave the lady and take the dogs !
 

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26 Posts
Well, mine is a three year car. I am very disappointed with the Android Auto. Sometimes, the radio and phone function just shut down. They replaced my unit, updated the system, and it is still iffy. I was told there is yet another update. Can't shut off the "auto shut-off" when the car stops. Yes, I can reset it every time I get in the car, but it is frightening to hit the gas only to get a delay. The touchscreen works when it wants to. Good luck getting the fan to go on or off without a great deal of attention, which is not safe. Oh, they are not leather seats. "Leather trimmed" means not leather, just so you know. And the first two oil changes they over filled the engine, because it is a less than 5 qt. engine. Now, the "stop when someone pulls in front of your car" feature is very useful. If you live in Washington State, I will sell you mine!
 

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2020 Onyx
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172 Posts
As far as most factory tires are concerned, they won’t even make a decent prophylactic.
i feel like people love to hate them and im sure replacements are a good upgrade but the factory tires are definitely adequate for regular commuting. Ive put nearly 12k miles on them and really havent had any issues or complaints. This included some light off roading, lots of fairly long distance road trips(300+ miles) and daily short work commutes.
 

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2021 Outback Touring XT
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13 Posts
Outback XT has exceeded expectations after 3.5k miles. Only minor disappointment is 22-23 mpg with mixed driving, no issues with drivetrain responsiveness. Previous turbo was 5 speed Saab 9000 w/Aero engine, daily driver for 19 years. This Outback equals or betters the Saab in almost all categories, including expected longevity.
We also went from a manual 9000 Aero to a 2019 Outback 2.5 two years ago. Just traded up to a ‘21 Touring XT. The 2.5 was OK but it’s really good to have a turbo again. Plus my wife really wanted the heated steering wheel.
 

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2017 Outback 3.6R
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20 Posts
Here's a little ramble for ya - We just bought our second Subaru, a '21 Outback XT Touring and it's awesome. We test drove the Volvo XC60 Insignia trim, which is the highest level and includes the T6 motor, but was the better part of 20K more than this car. Honestly, it wasn't worth it. The fit and finish of the OXT are on par with the Euro cars and with the XT engine, it hustles up to highway speed with no issues. I will say that when I first got it, the tranny seemed to have a mind of its own - you'll find countless posts on the 20/21 CVT trans and it's foibles - but the Factory Throttle Recalibration technique which is posted here helped to sort that out. I'll echo some of the other posts about the tires - they're mediocre at best, but then most factory tires apart from high-end sport sedans and sports cars usually don't have the best tires. Handling is very good and after driving a few different all-wheel-drive SUV's like the Range Evoque and the BMW X5 in the snowy/slick conditions - I keep coming back to Subaru every time, as I believe it has the best all-wheel drive available - my .02 cents. My local dealer is also really good - they do go out of their way to get me the best prices and support. I would also suggest that if you are looking to do more "outdoor" stuff with the car - the Onyx trim is specifically gear for that with the interior materials and dual X-Mode programs - a very smart trim package. I went for the Touring with single program X-Mode as I'll be doing less off-road and spending a lot more time in traffic, so the heated/vented Nappa leather seats are super comfy and supportive.
Factory throttle recalibration?? Would it work with a 2017 3.6. And where do I find it?
 

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2020 Onyx
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2020 Outback Touring x/t
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2 Posts
Our first Subaru and we LOVE it. We have a OB touring XT. Traveled from WI to AZ with it loaded down and was quit impressed with the power. Also did not take a drop of oil! Fuel economy was 24-26. Drives and handles well and fit and finish is spot on. Had the auto stop start update installed ( button on the main screen) much handier. Its the nicest car we have evert owned. Look forward to many miles with it!!
 

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2020 Onyx XT
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369 Posts
I love my 2.4T but I will say while outside and standing near it, the 2.4 is much noisier at idle compared to my 3.0R. It sounds "throatier" with a noticeable rumble. Inside you barely know it's running. You can't tell the 3.0R was running. I'm guessing this is normal?
That's why the XTs have sound insulated glass. Screw that! I roll down the window. This is my first Subaru and I love the noise (symphony!!) it makes. But, I grew up in the era of loud, obnoxious, American muscle cars so there's that. But, it's really not that loud. One of the many things I love about this engine and CVT combination is the smoothness of it and how effortless it is to get up to highway speeds, pass cars, and the get the heck out the way on the highway when you need to. The power is just right there. And if you desire more control, use the paddle shifters. However, the CVT does fine on its own the majority of times. People piss on the CVT technology all day long, but for a car that's not going on the Rally circuits, it works just fine. ;)
 

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2010/2016 outback
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987 Posts
i feel like people love to hate them and im sure replacements are a good upgrade but the factory tires are definitely adequate for regular commuting. Ive put nearly 12k miles on them and really havent had any issues or complaints. This included some light off roading, lots of fairly long distance road trips(300+ miles) and daily short work commutes.
Agree, For OEM tires they are not bad but for my new Legacy Bridgestone quiet-track or Michelin Cross Climate 2 are in it's future
 

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44 Posts
We also went from a manual 9000 Aero to a 2019 Outback 2.5 two years ago. Just traded up to a ‘21 Touring XT. The 2.5 was OK but it’s really good to have a turbo again. Plus my wife really wanted the heated steering wheel.
Similar story, first bought a 5sp NA 9kS in '88, which we ran for 20 years/225k miles, then the '98 CSE w/Aero motor and suspension, a blast to drive. Loved 9k's styling and versatility. Outback has some of the same quirkiness and the more I drive it the more I like it.
 

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2020 Outback Limited XT Black on Ivory
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2,154 Posts
iirc, mine's an 8/20 build and it's like a vault. Curious if production lines were slowed due to Covid, leading to a better build quality.
IDK, Mine is a 9/19 build and also extremely well built. Not one issue (other than software) in 13 mos and 16K mi,. Love this car!
 

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No issues with the 2.4T besides the gas mileage. I average about 20. Has plenty of pep. Quick but not fast. Turbo lag is not really an issue except for the short period when you take off and it starts to hit. It’s a quiet engine except on cold starts.
 

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Outback XT has exceeded expectations after 3.5k miles. Only minor disappointment is 22-23 mpg with mixed driving, no issues with drivetrain responsiveness. Previous turbo was 5 speed Saab 9000 w/Aero engine, daily driver for 19 years. This Outback equals or betters the Saab in almost all categories, including expected longevity.
 

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Hello All,

Zoning in on a new car and I keep coming back to the 2020 Outback 2.4T - likely Onyx edition.

I've done a lot of research and a few test drives, but have never owned an Outback. I'm just looking for some general feedback (good, bad and ugly) from real users who have had an Outback on the road for a while. Are you happy with it? Feel confident the 2.4T will hold up over time? Thoughts on CVT?

I'm looking to do mostly highway driving (wet and light snow/mud), but something with the ability to go off road, camping, etc. I've owned mid sized SUV's primarily for many years, but keep coming back to the Outback, now that it has the 2.4T option especially.

Would be me and my lady and a dog or maybe two. Can get a top box for longer trips. No plans to tow anything.

Any thoughts or opinions you're willing to share are greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
Hello All,

Zoning in on a new car and I keep coming back to the 2020 Outback 2.4T - likely Onyx edition.

I've done a lot of research and a few test drives, but have never owned an Outback. I'm just looking for some general feedback (good, bad and ugly) from real users who have had an Outback on the road for a while. Are you happy with it? Feel confident the 2.4T will hold up over time? Thoughts on CVT?

I'm looking to do mostly highway driving (wet and light snow/mud), but something with the ability to go off road, camping, etc. I've owned mid sized SUV's primarily for many years, but keep coming back to the Outback, now that it has the 2.4T option especially.

Would be me and my lady and a dog or maybe two. Can get a top box for longer trips. No plans to tow anything.

Any thoughts or opinions you're willing to share are greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
We are coming up on a year f having a 2020 Outback...but not the Onyx. We have a limited with all the bells and whistles. We transport dogs for a rescue so aside from daily driving we have made several long trips on highway conditions. We also are in the Pacific NW so have rainy weather...although no snow or ice yet this year. We have wandered on more than one fire road up in the hills too.
This is our first OB after coming from two Mazda CX5’s
So far so good with handling and comfort. No one has ever ridden in the back seats because we pretty much bought the car for the dogs but we have napped in the back...at the beach, on a day trip and had room for both of us and two small dogs. Not sure an overnight trip would be as comfortable, and we are both under 5’’11”.
things we love:
all safety options but some notables
  • traction control which kicked in when we started hydroplaning during a huge down pour
  • automatic stopping when approaching a vehicle stopped suddenly in front of us.
  • variable distance cruise control...love it...just don’t use lane assist at the same time if the road is at all curvy
  • auto bright lights...nice to not have to adj beams all the time
  • we accidentally hit the Starlink button and it responded so fast we panicked trying to disconnect the incoming call
convenience:
  • overall driving and front passenger comfort
  • heated steering wheel and seats suit our old bones on cold days
  • auto tailgate has been essential when picking groceries up curbside
  • auto brake hold
-window defroster and dual climate control

things we don’t like but tolerate:
  • auto engines stop at lights is set to default on...and we have to disable it every time the car is started
  • door pockets are too narrow and overall storage is not the best for longer trips when we want to carry extra water etc to be handy while driving
  • rear window auto down opened the window all the way when our dog bumped it. (We have heard this can be disabled like a child lock)
  • the gap between folded down back seats and back of driver seats. Our small dogs have fallen to the floor so we now put a storage box with blankets over it to provide an extended platform.
Subaru needs to make a barrier that can be used when seats are folded down...not just behind second row upright seats.

questionable issues:
We have had our large screen just weird out on us randomly 3 times in about four months. To the point that we couled not even use knobs to turn the radio on. My hubby is a college level professor in electronics etc and could not duplicate or troubleshoot the issue. I have seen a couple service issues blogs on it but nothing definitive as it is a new year...and our Subaru dealer service has poo poo’d my complaints. Always resets after a night in the garage but is a random event so concerning And one we have been documenting with calls to service when it happens. True to form...it always happens on a Sunday or evening when service shops are closed or we are nowhere near a dealer.
Apple Car play phone access is not as rely le as straight blue tooth...but that might be my user error too.
on 2 occasions I thought I had hit a small animal because there was a thunk on my right rear side undercarrimage...but then the 3rd time it happened... we were pulling forward in a Starbucks drive through...so no possibility of a squirrel etc. All events were within this last quarter so next oil change we will have it looked at.

Bottom line...we have about 12k miles in one year and are happy with our purchase. Not having the turbo was not an issue for us...but might have been had I realized we aren’t as zippy as the CX5 was...but we do feel like we are safer and driving a more solid vehicle.

Hooe this helps...sorry unable to comment on the power train specifically but maybe safety and comfirt
 

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We are coming up on a year f having a 2020 Outback...but not the Onyx. We have a limited with all the bells and whistles. We transport dogs for a rescue so aside from daily driving we have made several long trips on highway conditions. We also are in the Pacific NW so have rainy weather...although no snow or ice yet this year. We have wandered on more than one fire road up in the hills too.
This is our first OB after coming from two Mazda CX5’s
So far so good with handling and comfort. No one has ever ridden in the back seats because we pretty much bought the car for the dogs but we have napped in the back...at the beach, on a day trip and had room for both of us and two small dogs. Not sure an overnight trip would be as comfortable, and we are both under 5’’11”.
things we love:
all safety options but some notables
  • traction control which kicked in when we started hydroplaning during a huge down pour
  • automatic stopping when approaching a vehicle stopped suddenly in front of us.
  • variable distance cruise control...love it...just don’t use lane assist at the same time if the road is at all curvy
  • auto bright lights...nice to not have to adj beams all the time
  • we accidentally hit the Starlink button and it responded so fast we panicked trying to disconnect the incoming call
convenience:
  • overall driving and front passenger comfort
  • heated steering wheel and seats suit our old bones on cold days
  • auto tailgate has been essential when picking groceries up curbside
  • auto brake hold
-window defroster and dual climate control

things we don’t like but tolerate:
  • auto engines stop at lights is set to default on...and we have to disable it every time the car is started
  • door pockets are too narrow and overall storage is not the best for longer trips when we want to carry extra water etc to be handy while driving
  • rear window auto down opened the window all the way when our dog bumped it. (We have heard this can be disabled like a child lock)
  • the gap between folded down back seats and back of driver seats. Our small dogs have fallen to the floor so we now put a storage box with blankets over it to provide an extended platform.
Subaru needs to make a barrier that can be used when seats are folded down...not just behind second row upright seats.

questionable issues:
We have had our large screen just weird out on us randomly 3 times in about four months. To the point that we couled not even use knobs to turn the radio on. My hubby is a college level professor in electronics etc and could not duplicate or troubleshoot the issue. I have seen a couple service issues blogs on it but nothing definitive as it is a new year...and our Subaru dealer service has poo poo’d my complaints. Always resets after a night in the garage but is a random event so concerning And one we have been documenting with calls to service when it happens. True to form...it always happens on a Sunday or evening when service shops are closed or we are nowhere near a dealer.
Apple Car play phone access is not as rely le as straight blue tooth...but that might be my user error too.
on 2 occasions I thought I had hit a small animal because there was a thunk on my right rear side undercarrimage...but then the 3rd time it happened... we were pulling forward in a Starbucks drive through...so no possibility of a squirrel etc. All events were within this last quarter so next oil change we will have it looked at.

Bottom line...we have about 12k miles in one year and are happy with our purchase. Not having the turbo was not an issue for us...but might have been had I realized we aren’t as zippy as the CX5 was...but we do feel like we are safer and driving a more solid vehicle.

Hooe this helps...sorry unable to comment on the power train specifically but maybe safety and comfirt
Nice write up. If you don't have the 380 software update, that should help with most of your infotainment problems.
 

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Hello All,

Zoning in on a new car and I keep coming back to the 2020 Outback 2.4T - likely Onyx edition.

I've done a lot of research and a few test drives, but have never owned an Outback. I'm just looking for some general feedback (good, bad and ugly) from real users who have had an Outback on the road for a while. Are you happy with it? Feel confident the 2.4T will hold up over time? Thoughts on CVT?

I'm looking to do mostly highway driving (wet and light snow/mud), but something with the ability to go off road, camping, etc. I've owned mid sized SUV's primarily for many years, but keep coming back to the Outback, now that it has the 2.4T option especially.

Would be me and my lady and a dog or maybe two. Can get a top box for longer trips. No plans to tow anything.

Any thoughts or opinions you're willing to share are greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
Sales 1
This is the first time getting on the Subaru Outback site. I started leasing a 2016 Subaru Forester Limited. Could not deal with the 2.5 engines lack of power.

I traded it in for a 2018 Subaru Forester XT with the 2.4 engine. It was a fabulous automobile with lots of power and good gas mileage.

This past November I traded it in for a 2020 outback XT with the 2.4 engine. I absolutely love the new outback.
Plenty of power and it rides as good as my Fiancé's Mercedes C300.
I would recommend the outback with the 2.4 engine, unless gas mileage is an issue.
 
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