Subaru Outback Forums banner

1 - 20 of 1000 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Was looking forward to the Onyx XT test drive as we need a car very soon and I like what it has to offer for the pricepoint … was lucky to find a local dealer that had quite a few trims in stock …

We have a 2017 Forester XT in the family which I am currently “borrowing” and I love it mostly because of its instant pickup, great agility and composed steering feel. Even though it has a CVT as well, it is well matched and turbo lag is minimal if any. I never feel it is searching for the right gear and it feels super predictable.

I was expecting the same, if not much better from the new Outback XT, given the engine is 3 years newer than the Forester and also reworked.

Came away with mixed feelings …

First thing I noticed is the steering is super loose, for the lack of a better term … it’s very responsive but much more disconnected from the road especially at low speed. It does tighten up somewhat at higher speed and feels more confident but still a bit numb.
The engine is quiet and while plenty powerful it’s nowhere near as smooth as on the Forester. There is noticeable lag off the line. The paddles help in the fun factor but there is something not quite matched right I feel with this XT Turbo engine and the CVT. The 2019 3.6 I drove a few weeks ago felt like a beast when off the line with smooth linear power compared to the new turbo. The XT is much more tossable however and does feel feel more nimble and lighter than the front heavy 3.6 … I would say less refined and more sporty if that makes any sense.

I know this sounds negative, but I still think it’s a good engine. It probably needs some break-in, but it does feel “confused” … I really was expecting to be blown away and maybe my expectations were too high coming from an older XT.

Before leaving I asked the salesman to let me try the NA 2.5 and while that engine off the line is loud and begging for all you have, its linear power is much better matched to the CVT and when using paddles it’s actually a lot more fun than the turbo to bring it up to speed. Things happen much more predictably. I have to say this surprised me … I used to have a 120hp Mini Cooper with paddles and used to love to get the most out of that engine, granted the car was much lighter as well.

Still leaning towards the Onyx XT, but 2019 3.6 is not off the table just yet ... it all comes down to the interior creature comforts. More on the later ...

Here are some photos I took by the way of a bunch of colors they had available and a side by side of the Gen 5 and 6 from the front …
 

·
Registered
20 Outback Premium
Joined
·
491 Posts
Personally I like the blue one with shiny aluminum wheels, don't care for the black wheels on the Onyx.

The nav screen using the whole screen is factory nav, correct? I don't think Apple CarPlay fills the whole screen, at least not yet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,807 Posts
The more I see the blue, I really like that color. Didn’t like the blue on the gen5 as much. And that new green has a lot of gold flake or something in it... a much warmer green than before (tints towards yellow vs blue). I’d go blue if I got one.
 

·
Registered
2010/2016 outback
Joined
·
856 Posts
Was looking forward to the Onyx XT test drive as we need a car very soon and I like what it has to offer for the pricepoint … was lucky to find a local dealer that had quite a few trims in stock …

We have a 2017 Forester XT in the family which I am currently “borrowing” and I love it mostly because of its instant pickup, great agility and composed steering feel. Even though it has a CVT as well, it is well matched and turbo lag is minimal if any. I never feel it is searching for the right gear and it feels super predictable.

I was expecting the same, if not much better from the new Outback XT, given the engine is 3 years newer than the Forester and also reworked.

Came away with mixed feelings …

First thing I noticed is the steering is super loose, for the lack of a better term … it’s very responsive but much more disconnected from the road especially at low speed. It does tighten up somewhat at higher speed and feels more confident but still a bit numb.
The engine is quiet and while plenty powerful it’s nowhere near as smooth as on the Forester. There is noticeable lag off the line. The paddles help in the fun factor but there is something not quite matched right I feel with this XT Turbo engine and the CVT. The 2019 3.6 I drove a few weeks ago felt like a beast when off the line with smooth linear power compared to the new turbo. The XT is much more tossable however and does feel feel more nimble and lighter than the front heavy 3.6 … I would say less refined and more sporty if that makes any sense.

I know this sounds negative, but I still think it’s a good engine. It probably needs some break-in, but it does feel “confused” … I really was expecting to be blown away and maybe my expectations were too high coming from an older XT.

Before leaving I asked the salesman to let me try the NA 2.4 and while that engine off the line is loud and begging for all you have, its linear power is much better matched to the CVT and when using paddles it’s actually a lot more fun than the turbo to bring it up to speed. Things happen much more predictably. I have to say this surprised me … I used to have a 120hp Mini Cooper with paddles and used to love to get the most out of that engine, granted the car was much lighter as well.

Still leaning towards the Onyx XT, but 2019 3.6 is not off the table just yet ... it all comes down to the interior creature comforts. More on the later ...

Here are some photos I took by the way of a bunch of colors they had available and a side by side of the Gen 5 and 6 from the front …
Spot on review, while I have not driven the 20 Outback I had a Ascent for a year and did not like it or the 2.4 in it. Same issues with HDCVT and the 2.4, it lurched and bucked and did not have a linear power deliver. The 14 Forester XT I had was much better. My 19 Forester with the 2.5 feels much better and while the power is not there the CVT behavior is much better. I feel Subaru still has some fine tuning to due or offer another transmission for the 2.4. If they kept the interior and exterior styling of the 19 and updated the 3.6 and put it on the SGP I would be all over it
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Personally I like the blue one with shiny aluminum wheels, don't care for the black wheels on the Onyx.

The nav screen using the whole screen is factory nav, correct? I don't think Apple CarPlay fills the whole screen, at least not yet.
Yes, that is the factory nav, Apple CarPlay only takes up part of the screen, did not get a chance to try that ... and yes that blue is actually the top trim Touring XT ...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,807 Posts
Yes, that is the factory nav, Apple CarPlay only takes up part of the screen, did not get a chance to try that ... and yes that blue is actually the top trim Touring XT ...
I noticed that - the folded in mirrors and metal trimmed roof rails give it away.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Spot on review, while I have not driven the 20 Outback I had a Ascent for a year and did not like it or the 2.4 in it. Same issues with HDCVT and the 2.4, it lurched and bucked and did not have a linear power deliver. The 14 Forester XT I had was much better. My 19 Forester with the 2.5 feels much better and while the power is not there the CVT behavior is much better. I feel Subaru still has some fine tuning to due or offer another transmission for the 2.4. If they kept the interior and exterior styling of the 19 and updated the 3.6 and put it on the SGP I would be all over it
Very interesting re, the 2.4 / CVT combo in the Ascent .... I have to snoop around that forum for more insight.

Otherwise for me if they kept the 3.6 on the new platform with the new interior I would be already posting photos of the one I bought. :)
 

·
Registered
20 Outback Premium
Joined
·
491 Posts
The only Ascent I drove was a 19, and the throttle tip in was definitely abrupt. I don't know if it has improved on the 2020 Ascent, and there are no 20 Outbacks in my area to try. Most of the online comments I've read on the Outback seem to like the turbo, though there are many that feel the 2.5 is fine. For the $4K price differential, the 2.5 would be my choice, as my 19 2.5 drives fine and gets 30+ mpg measured at the pump. Fuelly's numbers on the Ascent aren't very good. Both my friends with Ascents like them except for the mileage.
 

·
Registered
2010/2016 outback
Joined
·
856 Posts
Very interesting re, the 2.4 / CVT combo in the Ascent .... I have to snoop around that forum for more insight.

Otherwise for me if they kept the 3.6 on the new platform with the new interior I would be already posting photos of the one I bought. :)
The problem/issues thread is full of interesting info.
 

·
Registered
2014 3.6R Limited
Joined
·
955 Posts
If not for the Ascent comments, I wonder if the new turbo Outbacks need to learn folks driving habits. After all folks testing them now are driving cars that have not had a chance to learn and are driven by many different driving types I'm sure. I'm still a fan of the 3.6 even if the turbo can eek by me!
 

·
Registered
'10 Outback 2,5i Sport
Joined
·
18 Posts
I believe it's all relative to the user.
i.e I owned a 2010 2.5 outback and always felt it was fast/responsive enough when I needed to pass someone or get to speed when merging on a highway.
I'm looking for the 2020 XT, mostly for the new 2020 YM structure, the better towing capacity and the seats in the onyx trim. Otherwise the 2.5 premium or even base model would do just as fine.
I don't care much about 0-60 mph, or if there's a turbo lag...
 

·
Registered
2019 Ascent Touring (me) 2016 Outback 2.5i Limited with EyeSight (Spouse's Vehicle) 2011 Outback 2.5i Limited (daughter's ride)
Joined
·
448 Posts
If not for the Ascent comments, I wonder if the new turbo Outbacks need to learn folks driving habits.
Folks absolutely need to learn how any new vehicle responds and get used to them. I have an Ascent, which I'm extremely pleased with, but it certainly drives differently than my previous vehicle and drives very different than our MY16 and MY11 Outbacks, too. There is no lack of power, but it presents differently. With 8K miles in, it's pretty much transparent to me. I also get excellent fuel economy because I've adjusted my driving to accomplish that.

For folks citing the "problems" they've read in the Ascent forum, they are real, but they are also limited to a very small number of the 90K+ that have been delivered to customers. Internet forums tend to skew the view simply because it's human nature to complain loudly and praise quietly...or not at all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
362 Posts
lurch - how would you compare the seats? on gen 5 i thought the cloth seats were actually more comfortable than the leather ones, but it looks like theyve made some leather improvements for 2020. i had a chance to sit in a startex car for about 5 minutes during the hold (no salesman came out!) and wasnt sure what to think.
 

·
SubaruOutback.org Founder
2018 Outbacks, Grey Premium & Silver Limited
Joined
·
4,809 Posts
For folks citing the "problems" they've read in the Ascent forum, they are real, but they are also limited to a very small number of the 90K+ that have been delivered to customers. Internet forums tend to skew the view simply because it's human nature to complain loudly and praise quietly...or not at all.
The internet and in particular websites like this one are paradise for the vocal minority.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Folks absolutely need to learn how any new vehicle responds and get used to them. I have an Ascent, which I'm extremely pleased with, but it certainly drives differently than my previous vehicle and drives very different than our MY16 and MY11 Outbacks, too. There is no lack of power, but it presents differently. With 8K miles in, it's pretty much transparent to me. I also get excellent fuel economy because I've adjusted my driving to accomplish that.
I believe this is the case with the new XT after thinking about it overnight. There will be an adjustment period but the engine is quiet and it pulls nice compared to the 2.5.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
lurch - how would you compare the seats? on gen 5 i thought the cloth seats were actually more comfortable than the leather ones, but it looks like theyve made some leather improvements for 2020. i had a chance to sit in a startex car for about 5 minutes during the hold (no salesman came out!) and wasnt sure what to think.
Didn't get a chance to sit in one with leather trim but I am sure it's nice. The seats felt good. I am 6'7" and nothing stuck out at me as not comfortable, which is a good thing.
While I am at it, some other interior observations

- the new interior on the ONYX is great, love the subtle green stitching. Seat feels like a diver suit material/ thin leather ... It looks tough and easy to clean ...not sure how it retains / disperses heat however.

- infotainment system is very responsive. much more responsive than the Volvo I had especially at boot-up. tons of features buried in menus and sub-menus that will be fun to discover. .... everyday stuff is right on the home screen so easy to access. I got used to it in a 10 minute test drive.
One thing that they could have improved upon is the presentation so to speak ...it doesn't feel or look very high-end for the lack of a better term. Fonts and layout could have been done nicer. The speedo/tach and driver info display look great now and more upscale but they didn't match that look in the infotainment system.

- the backup and front camera (front is only on XT Onyx and Touring trims) are rather disappointing quality wise. It's 2020 and the video still looks like low res surveillance camera quality. The front camera I was hoping to be higher res especially. As it stands now I can't see how it can give you accurate feedback on the depth of a ditch or size of a rock if you plan to use it off road for that ... it's a very flat looking low res image.

- Start / Stop is actually really well done with light pedal braking not activating it and a harder push activating it. I played with the pedal pressure and in stop/go traffic it stays off. Awesome!

- Fit and finish is great. Car is super quiet with no rattles. I did find a loose door panel (see my video in the link in first post) that seemed odd ... (this was on the Premium Cloth trim)

Still leaning Onyx ... will make the decision by this weekend.
 

·
Registered
2015 3.6R Limited w/ES
Joined
·
2,868 Posts
Spent the day with a 2019 Ascent with about 6000 miles on the odometer and had similar observations. Throttle response is inconsistent, and tends to lag - my 3.6 has excellent throttle response. Not sure I could tolerate that. Steering is super light compared to my Outback, but it didn't particularly bother me.
 

·
Premium Member
2020 Limited XT Autumn Green Metallic/Warm Ivory, Falken WIldpeak A/T Trail, OEM Skid Plates etc
Joined
·
271 Posts
1 - 20 of 1000 Posts
Top