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2020 Onyx XT
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Being a "car guy" I, of course, have followed Subaru for years, along with many other makes and manufacturers over my 67 years. The only other turbo I have owned was an Audi TT Roadster. Loved that car and had a lot of fun in it. When shopping for a car when I got the Audi back in 2003, I looked at a WRX, but it seemed cheap. Closing the door sounded like I was dripping a coffee can on concrete. I was not impressed and honestly, disappointed. I walked away.

My niece bought a Gen5 and then my brother also picked one up back in 2017. On a visit down to Cali to see my brother, when it was still brand new, I got to ride in it and was impressed. Absolutely solid car. Didn't feel like a wagon. It wasn't a turbo but the fit and feel was cool. It felt right.

My niece became a total Subaru Fan-Girl and she was the one who came up with the tagline I use. It's a huge sin if you call her Subaru a car! "It's not a car. It's a Subaru."

About 2'ish years ago I had a chance to drive my brother's car for a few days when I was watching their ranch after they had moved to Bend, OR.

Wow! Now I was really, really impressed! This is a nice freaking car...ummm...Subaru. ;)

Then comes 2020 and some smokin' hot year end sales and great Costco deal on top of that and I'm on my way to Subaru-land. For me, Subarus and turbos are synonymous and it seemed almost "against the law" for this car guy to finally get a turbo-less Subaru. Double that, I was trading in my decked out FJ Cruiser so the Onyx XT was the only way to go with the aggressive look, X-mode and of course, the turbo boxer! **** yes! I now have a turbo Subaru!!

And three months later, I have zero regrets. I absolutely love this car. Ooops. Subaru.
 

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2020 Outback Limited
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115 Posts
VanWaxT,

Well Welcome to Subaru's! I think you will be happy with what you got to be sure!. There are a few times I wish I had gotten the XT Version, but so far I am very pleased with the way my 2.5 L Limited does what it has too.

I have owned Two turbos, a 2015 VW GTI and it did very well for me, and a very much modified 2011 VW Golf TDI. But now that I am fully retired due to age and medical issues, I want a simpler car and I don't want to worry about things.

Wagon wise, I had 2 different Volvo Wagons, the last one was a 2008 V70 with the 6 cylinder. This new 2020 Limited I have drives out nearly the same, seems as solid as the V70, and handles I like even better. It is more capable due to the All Wheel Drive and get's slightly better fuel economy, which is a great thing. WHY did I not buy another Volvo? Due to the price of the new V90. For an AWD Version like their Cross Country, you start at $55,000. Yes it has a lot of technology inside and it was a better car than the Gen 5 version of the Outback. But....The Gen 6 I feel comes so very close in matching the Volvo V90. But for me the "BANG" for the buck makes more sense with the Gen 6.

For me......And I can only talk for myself, my 2020 Limited 2.5 makes perfect sense for my Wife and I and the Service Dog I haul around too!
 

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2020 Onyx XT
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Thanks, @ang1sgt Yeah, I'm looking forward to years of driving pleasure. And you reminded me! I lied! I did also own a turbo Jetta for a short time in the early 2000's. That was a love-hate relationship with that car. I think I am purposely forgetting that car! LOL! I'm done with VW.

Yes, I have also watched Volvo evolve over the years but they are out of my comfortable price range so I didn't even test drive. That being said, as you (also) allude to above, being an experienced Volvo-guy, I don't feel like I "settled" for an OB over a Volvo.

I know I would have also been happy with the 2.5 and the gas mileage is better, but I also have a Ford Focus for my gas-stingy vehicle so there's that...

The other thing that, IMO, is a home run is how SoA handles things with their customers. That made this purchase much more comfortable for the long-term.

Looks like we've both followed similar paths of car ownership and ended up here.
 

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Silver XT Outdoor
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Well, the 2002 WRX was my first Subaru and yes, while I agree that it was econo like and did not have very good sound insulation, that thing was a rocket! I had so much fun in that car! Everybody was surprised that it was only a 4 cylinder. And now every car manufacturer is using their own version of a turbo 4.
Speaking about Volvos, my wife still drives a 2004 V70. That thing is a tank, still drives great on highways, and those seats!
I definitely see the new Outback channeling that similar feel to the old Volvos. Practical, bombproof, fun to drive, yet somewhat luxurious.
I agree with you guys because the new Volvos are unfortunately trying to compete with the Germans, prices are insane!
 

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2010 Outback 3.6R 2014 Legacy 2.5i 2003 Legacy L special edition (retired to backup)
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the only way you fellas are going to know how unrefined the turbo 4 is to do the following

1. go drive a 3.6R with CVT
2. get out and immediately
3. go drive a 2.4L turbo with CVT

I did it and nope nope nope not going to get a turbo 4. add to that the fact that it is highly unlikely that the average turbo 4 is going to make it 200K (you can research Subaru or any other manufacturer) without major engine issues. Even the base 4 feels much smoother in it's power delivery... Subaru need to go back and properly program the engine and CVT to work together so it is smooth

When I had an Ascent loaner I drove that thing exactly how I drive my 3.6R and it could not match the outback in fuel consumption despite having significantly better ratings. My average for the outback is 25, the Ascent came in at 23... imagine that being in boost to get power consumes more fuel....
 

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2020 Outback Limited
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115 Posts
Looks like we've both followed similar paths of car ownership and ended up here.
Well, Kind of.....LOL! For the past few years I have been working with one of the most progressive Subaru Dealerships in Ny State., I have learned a lot, seen a LOT. I stayed out of sales because that is not my desire. It's about Customer Service and helping folks when they walk in that door. But....Due to Covid, my age, and health issues, I have been out of work since March. That's okay because I am retired and really didn't need to work.

Yesterday I did my running around on the expressways and being I am over 2000 miles let her LOOSE a few times. Now I know this is not a Mustang GT, or even a VW GTI, but for the most part this 2.5 got up to speed quick enough and much better than my wife's Journey with a V6 under the hood. Shoot, most CUV's and SUV's that you see now a days are NOT the most well thought out vehicles. Few have a truly independent suspensions and the handling quality has been traded of for ride comfort quality. This is one place that I think the GEN 6 Outback excels in.
 

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2020 Outback Limited
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the only way you fellas are going to know how unrefined the turbo 4 is to do the following
I did it and nope nope nope not going to get a turbo 4. add to that the fact that it is highly unlikely that the average turbo 4 is going to make it 200K (you can research Subaru or any other manufacturer) without major engine issues. Even the base 4 feels much smoother in it's power delivery... Subaru need to go back and properly program the engine and CVT to work together so it is smooth
I think that is a very true statement. Yesterday Subaru announced the new 2022 BRZ. Nicely redone, upped the size of engine from 2.0 to a 2.4, HP up to 228, and torque up 15%. Body Structure stiffer by 50%. These are ALL things I would be looking for in a Sport Coupe like this. But some of the early feedback is this..."Why no TURBO?"

Man, I felt like replying and setting things straight but why bother? Most people can't drive any vehicle they own at 10 10ths of what the care is capable of, and for "ME" it's not about straight line performance.

Just my .02 cents
 

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In my experience my 2019 Forester’s 2.5 FB has come a long way from my 2011’s EJ. Transmission tuning is a big part of this. The Forester has a lot more get up and go, but it’s also a lighter vehicle. I also love using the SI-Drive.

Can’t go wrong with either engine. Just maintain the things on time and enjoy.
 

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2010 Outback 3.6R 2014 Legacy 2.5i 2003 Legacy L special edition (retired to backup)
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I think that is a very true statement. Yesterday Subaru announced the new 2022 BRZ. Nicely redone, upped the size of engine from 2.0 to a 2.4, HP up to 228, and torque up 15%. Body Structure stiffer by 50%. These are ALL things I would be looking for in a Sport Coupe like this. But some of the early feedback is this..."Why no TURBO?"

Man, I felt like replying and setting things straight but why bother? Most people can't drive any vehicle they own at 10 10ths of what the care is capable of, and for "ME" it's not about straight line performance.

Just my .02 cents
wait what? 228 and NO turbo? why not use THAT as the base engine in the Outback/Legacy... If Subaru would have updated the 3.6L it could be more competitive
 

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When I had an Ascent loaner I drove that thing exactly how I drive my 3.6R and it could not match the outback in fuel consumption despite having significantly better ratings. My average for the outback is 25, the Ascent came in at 23... imagine that being in boost to get power consumes more fuel....
Your 25 for a 3.6 Outback is on the high side of all users when you look at Fuelly, 23 on the Ascent is typical, just a bit above average. For either car, what really counts is what you measure at the pump, not the dash computer, as Subaru's system typically reports mileage 5% higher than actual.

Your comparison is still valid because you're the same driver, so your driving style yields better results than most drivers. Similarly, our 19 Outback 2.5 yielding 30 and our 20 2.5 yielding 31 are definitely on the high side comparing all drivers on fuelly.

Low to mid 20's with an Outback is too low for me, for that mileage I'd be looking for a larger vehicle. 31 with our Outback is good for us, probably won't see a vehicle with anything better until a hybrid comes along a few years down the road. The hybrid system in the new Highlander and Sienna looks very good, hope to see some of that making its way into Subarus.
 

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Agreed, @DanielAcosta ;

City is what kills my economy. I’m fine with what I get on highways at constant speed. I don’t generally drive that quick at all so that helps economy on highway.
 

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2020 Outback Limited
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For either car, what really counts is what you measure at the pump, not the dash computer, as Subaru's system typically reports mileage 5% higher than actual.
Every car I've owned with an on-board MPG calculator has been roughly 5-8% optimistic, the OB included. My new JLU Wrangler is closer to 8% high compared to hand calculations. I have just learned to deduct 2MPG from what the computer says and that's usually pretty close to the hand calculation on most of my vehicles, from an F-150 to the JLU to the OB.
 

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Crystal White 2021 Onyx XT
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Maybe because I am old and my thinking has changed, but MPG was way down in my list of priorities when I bought my Outback XT.
We tried the limited edition one day and went back to try the XT when I read I could get it with a turbo with what I wanted and less of stuff I didn’t. Maybe it’s just us, but it drove compleatly different, signed paperwork 1 hour later.
 

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So, my first car was a 1969 Volvo 142S. My 2nd was a 1972 Volvo 245. that was my one and only station wagon. When we were looking at new vehicles, we pulled into the dealer in Wausau, WI and tried out a 2.5 Touring. The area is hilly and the merge onto the highway is uphill. the 2.5 was noisy and slow getting to 56 up the hill. then we got into the only XT they had, a Limited XT that had been saved for a sale, but still on the lot. The XT was smoother, quieter and MUCH quicker getting to speed going up the same on-ramp.

It took us nearly a month in July to find our black 2020 Outback Limited XT. We love it. It was especially great driving through the rockies last month. Perhaps the best car we have ever owned...at least it will be if it is reliable. Only time will tell.
497736
 

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I'd like to say this.....
Both my 2019 Crosstrek and my 2020 Outback seemed to be a little feeble when they first started out. But it seemed like they both woke up after about 2000 miles. Now this could be that I just got used to the characteristics of these cars too, so take that with a grain of salt.

On my drive the other day in pretty thick traffic I had to do an emergency avoidance to prevent an accident. The Outback 2.5 responded well and handled the situation just fine. Now I know that when you tip into the throttle of the Turbo, the results will be greater, but the 2.5 does OK at least for my needs.
 

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I'd like to say this.....
Both my 2019 Crosstrek and my 2020 Outback seemed to be a little feeble when they first started out. But it seemed like they both woke up after about 2000 miles. Now this could be that I just got used to the characteristics of these cars too, so take that with a grain of salt.
@ang1sgt You bring up a great point that I truly believe. No matter what vehicle, and heck, this could be applied to a camera, smart phone, computers, etc, etc, that the overall experience will only improve over time, for the vast majority of us (there are always haters), as we become more accustomed to the "personality" of our Outbacks. With the adaptive throttle and transmission, there's a lot for us both to learn. That, on top of the depth of the infotainment center that controls this machine (and that's a love/hate relationship for the knob-lovers), there is plenty to become accustomed to. I have had mine for just three months and less than 2,000 miles so I am still learning with the help of this forum and the downloaded PDF manuals.
 

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@ang1sgt You bring up a great point that I truly believe. No matter what vehicle, and heck, this could be applied to a camera, smart phone, computers, etc, etc, that the overall experience will only improve over time, for the vast majority of us (there are always haters), as we become more accustomed to the "personality" of our Outbacks. With the adaptive throttle and transmission, there's a lot for us both to learn. That, on top of the depth of the infotainment center that controls this machine (and that's a love/hate relationship for the knob-lovers), there is plenty to become accustomed to. I have had mine for just three months and less than 2,000 miles so I am still learning with the help of this forum and the downloaded PDF manuals.
The problem with adaptive vehicles is there can be driveability issues when there are multiple drivers with different driving styles.

You can end up with a vehicle where the overall experience only gets worse over time.
 

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It would be neat if the computer could tell who was who based off the key fob. My Honda knows when “Driver 1” or “Driver 2” is behind the wheel based on the fob but I have no idea if it changes anything.
 

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2020 Outback Touring XT, in Crystal White Pearl
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My prior 2010 Outback (my first Subaru) was a 3.6R, which I liked a lot, and served me well, over 224,000 miles. When it came time to replace it, about a year ago, a 2020 Outback was on my short list from the start. I was initially unsure if I wanted the XT engine, or just the regular 2.5i, but coming from a 3.6R, I decided that I was going to be happiest with an XT (Touring XT in my case).

Other vehicles I considered were:
  • Mazda CX-5 (with the turbo)
  • Rav-4 Hybrid
  • Acura RDX (2.0 Turbo)
  • Audi Q5 (2.0T)
  • Volvo XC60 (2.0T)

The Outback Touring XT hit the sweet spot for me, with as good power as any of the above, cargo and people room that was better than most of the above, fuel economy that was at least a bit better than all but the RAV-4 hybrid, cost to operate and maintain that would be as good or better than most of the above, and an adequate level of luxury, considering the price advantages over the Acura, Audi, and Volvo.

(As a side comment - of the Honda CR-V Hybrid had been out already, it would have received some consideration. Although CR-V's seem kind of "soccer-mom-ish" to me, their hybrid drive-train (shared with the Accord Hybrid) is really nice - my wife's current daily driver is a 2018 Accord Hybrid Touring, which we both like a lot.)

I've owned one Volvo before, and generally like their approach to things. That Volvo was my wife's prior daily driver, a 2007 C70 retractable hardtop (convertible). And in fact that car was my only prior turbo (a 2.5 liter Turbo I-5). But while the Volvo was generally reliable, it wasn't totally trouble-free. And maintenance costs were higher, as well.

That said, I've always thought that Volvo and Subaru were sort of similar, in terms of their vibe, image, and focus. Both are very safety-focused. Both companies have decent reputations for solid engineering, reliability and longevity (not the same things). Both brands tend to appeal to outdoors-oriented people, as well as drivers in snowy areas. Both have long experience with AWD (and turbos, for that matter). Both companies have a reputation for somewhat quirky styling, as well as unusual engine platforms. Boxer engines for Subaru, and (no longer-offered) inline 5-cylinder engines in the case of Volvo. Is Subaru the Volvo of Japan? Or is Volvo the Subaru of Europe? (Although the Volvo car company is now owned by China, they are still fundamentally a European company.)
 
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