We spent a week behind the wheel of the 2020 Subaru Outback Onyx Edition. Here's what we thought!
It's no secret, Coloradans love their Subarus. According to Subaru of America, there are more than 109,000 registered Subarus in the Centennial State. After spending a week behind the wheel of the 2020 Outback Onyx edition, it became clear why this seems to be the choice chariot of so many mountain-going Coloradans.
What I might consider the "athleisure wear" of cars, the Outback Onyx is sporty, capable, and extremely comfortable. Our test model came equipped with plush, heated-and-ventilated leather-like StarTex water-repellent seats that made long trips a welcomed ambition. Cruising at 65-mph on I-25 south of Denver, the Outback's roomy cabin was quiet enough for passengers to meditate and the ride was soft and compliant. Meanwhile, the Outback's 260-horsepower turbocharged beating heart that comes standard with the Onyx Edition trims and above was a charmer. Do a little right-foot-yoga and the burble of the Subaru BOXER engine combined with the kick of the turbo becomes addicting. There's definitely enough oomph to get a ticket, even climbing up steep grades at high elevation.
So it's comfortable, it's powerful, it's all-wheel-drive, but it's not perfect.
The Subaru Outback Onyx comes with an 11.6-inch "high-resolution" touch screen that satisfies the needs and wants of its owners, but occasional lagginess and lack of sensitivity leave us longing for traditional knobs and buttons for basic controls. The vehicle's start/stop-off is also a few clicks into the setting menu, and heated/ventilated seat settings, as well as fan speed, also require taking your eyes off the road. Lastly, it's clear that Subaru's CVT transmission errs on the side of efficiency over performance.
With that said, however, all of those things are very forgivable. More back seat room (1.4-inches more than older generations), plenty of dog-friendly cargo volume, and an impressive 32-MPG highway fuel economy rating all make it one of the roomiest, most powerful, and most efficient in the wagon/crossover game. All-wheel-drive and 8.7-inches of ground clearance will give Coloradans the capability they need to drive Berthod Pass in a blizzard, and in terms of safety? It's rated among the best, earning a five-star rating from the National High Traffic Safety Administration and a Top Safety Pick + by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Our test model came in at $37,750—well worth it. For a daily driver that's practical, comfortable, handles well during moderate maneuvers, and powerful, it doesn't get much better than this.