Is the 2020 Subaru Outback Safe? Plus, Our Long-Term SUV’s Power Liftgate Has an Issue


Subaru has constructed its status on security, reliability, and the comfort of ordinary all-wheel drive on each car it makes. Well, almost everything. However how secure is the 2020 and 2021 Subaru Outback? We’ve spent months with a 2020 Outback Onyx and might clarify its NHTSA and IIHS crash check outcomes in addition to how its lively security programs work. Oh, and earlier than we dive in, right here’s the story on a brand new challenge affecting our energy liftgate.

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About Our Subaru Outback’s Energy Liftgate…

In comparison with its midsize SUV competitors—see our rankings here—the Subaru Outback makes an influence liftgate reasonably priced. Though the function isn’t out there on the bottom trim, the subsequent increased trim presents it in a bundle. For $31,495, your 2021 Outback Premium or increased may have an influence liftgate with a memory-height operate and two buttons to shut it; one simply closes the liftgate, and the opposite closes after which robotically locks the automotive. That useful function is one I search for in each energy liftgate.

Effectively, I appreciated the close-and-lock button till it disappeared the opposite day.

After the close-and-lock button didn’t reply the primary time I pressed it, I attempted once more with the identical, regular quantity of power. The shy button then left its regular place and hid within the security of the liftgate’s meeting the place it’s now. It’s unlucky, although I’m grateful it occurred to the close-and-lock button and to not the opposite one which merely closes the liftgate. We’ll have this checked out the subsequent time we’re on the seller.

Like an growing variety of SUVs, the Outback’s energy liftgate comes with a hands-free function. Wave your foot beneath the automotive with the important thing fob in your pocket, and the liftgate will open. That’s cool, however I personally desire the system I’ve seen on Hyundais, Kias, and Genesis automobiles. Merely stand behind the automotive, look ahead to it to beep thrice, and it opens—no fancy footwork obligatory. This will result in a little bit of pointless beeping—say, for those who’re strolling round your automotive to your own home’s close by trash bin—nevertheless it’s the trade-off I’d make.

So How Protected Is the Subaru Outback?

The Outback is likely one of the most secure autos in its class. A part of that comes from its superior all-around visibility. You just like the daring curves of the Chevrolet Blazer and Nissan Murano? I do too, however they’ve a severe impact on rear visibility. Apart from a rearview mirror that’s a bit extra within the driver’s face than in some SUVs, the Outback does effectively with visibility. Then there are crash exams. In NHTSA testing, the 2020 Subaru Outback earned an total five-star score (out of a attainable 5 stars). That’s a results of five-star entrance and aspect crash check evaluations and a four-star rollover rating. The Chevrolet Blazer and Ford Edge match these scores, however the brand new Toyota Venza will get solely 4 stars within the frontal check.

Then there’s IIHS testing, the place it tends to be harder to earn high awards. Even so, the 2020 Subaru Outback aces IIHS testing, with high scores in six crash exams, good entrance crash prevention scores, Acceptable and Good headlight scores, and even a wonderful ease-of-use rating for LATCH youngster seat anchors. You possibly can see why the IIHS calls the Subaru Outback a 2020 Prime Security Choose+. The Toyota Venza and Ford Edge each obtain 2020 Prime Security Choose designations—good, however not so good as the Outback.

So clearly the Outback is secure. Sadly, nonetheless, its security programs could be annoying. When the lane departure system can not sense lanes on the street, an alert seems within the instrument cluster’s information display screen. High-quality. What we might do with out is the chime the system makes to speak the identical factor. Not less than on roads round Los Angeles, the system is usually detecting after which dropping sight of lanes—no downside. Though my husband and I get pleasure from pretending that every chime signifies we’ve earned a couple video game coins, I’d a lot fairly the alert be silenced. There’s a method to take away a part of the lane departure/lane conserving’s performance, however then an excessively pressing orange alert seems within the instrument cluster. On a 2,000-mile street journey, senior copy editor Jesse Bishop saved mistaking the alert for a low gasoline warning and wished “the sunshine weren’t so huge and vibrant.”

































































































































Agreed. Aside from that constant critique MotorTrend has had about Subaru’s generally overly fussy (however efficient) lively security programs, our one-year Outback check SUV will get a passable grade on security tech. One spotlight: I very a lot recognize the rear cross-traffic alert system that’s bundled with rear computerized emergency braking. I nonetheless don’t take into account them must-have security options, however each have been terribly useful when backing out of driveways or parking spots. Then there’s the DriverFocus system that screens whether or not the driving force is being attentive to the street forward. Our Outback Onyx doesn’t have it, although perhaps that’s not a nasty factor. During 2020 SUV of the Year testing, the Subaru earned a spot as a finalist, however we commented on “the frantic alerts for seemingly random occurrences of driver inattention.”

The 2020 and mostly unchanged 2021 Subaru Outback don’t provide the commanding seating place of a standard SUV, nevertheless it nonetheless competes with the phase’s greatest on security. The tech might use a little bit fine-tuning, however we nonetheless recognize its strong construction and security options.

Extra on Our Lengthy-Time period 2020 Subaru Outback Onyx XT:

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