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2020 Subaru Outback long-term update: Into the forest, not out of its element – Roadshow

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The Outback almost blended right in, thanks to its Autumn Green Metallic paint.
Sean Szymkowski/Roadshow

I picked up our long-term 2020 Subaru Outback just in time for a planned long weekend of camping. Subaru, after all, prides itself on building flexible machines for the outdoors, so naturally, it was the perfect vehicle for the trek. Besides, with few opportunities or options to simply get away from the house these days, camping seemed like a natural fit, mosquitos be damned.

So far, our Outback has spent the vast majority of its life as a trusty production vehicle with our Detroit-based crew. But it can’t be all work and no play, and it’s time to pack something other than camera equipment in the back of this trusty longroof. (By the way, Nick, I found one of your lens caps in the cargo area.)

All that junk fits in the trunk.
Sean Szymkowski/Roadshow

With ease, the Outback swallowed more than enough stuff for a three-day trip. There’s 76 cubic feet of space in the back with the rear seats folded down and, despite my not-so-light packing, I still had space to close the tailgate when it was time and hit the road.

Once on the road, I got to really get a feel for how the latest-generation Outback presents itself. I wouldn’t necessarily call our Onyx Edition XT’s powertrain poor by any means, but it’s the way power comes on at lower speeds that gave me pause. Although an on-paper pro to our Subaru’s continuously variable transmission is smooth acceleration, that’s not exactly what I found with our Outback. At times, coming away from a stoplight produced some jarring acceleration for a moment before the transmission finally settled in toward the lower part of the rev range. Other editors have experienced this, too, and not just with the Outback. We also found the same with our long-term Ascent.

Otherwise, the power feels fluid from the 2.4-liter turbocharged boxer-four, especially around 3,500 rpm, which made it a gutsy thing when passing on the highway — and much appreciated on my largely rural and highway-based journey from about an hour west of my home to a campsite in rural Ohio. Ditto when I forgot an air mattress and had to make a very last-minute trip to the local store before it closed.

Speaking of the highway, let’s talk fuel economy. The EPA says the Outback Onyx Edition XT with the turbocharged engine should return 23 mpg in city driving and 30 mpg on the highway. The combined rating sits at 26 mpg. But folks, I’m averaging 21.6 mpg right now and I’m certainly not giving it a heavy foot. I’ll be watching this one closely.

At first I thought I perhaps was being a tad harsh when accelerating but our staff’s fuel economy logbook provides similar evidence. Over the last three months, my colleagues here have registered 21 mpg, 22 mpg and 23 mpg. I think we’re going to learn at the end of our time with the Outback the much appreciated power from the optional turbo-four indeed comes at the expense of efficiency.

On the road or on the dirt, the Outback likes it all.
Sean Szymkowski/Roadshow

Disappointing fuel economy aside, the Outback Onyx Edition XT is a swell happy-medium. The interior looks and feels very nice and I really enjoy the StarTex upholstery. It feels softer but more durable than leather. It was also very easy to clean after a weekend spent with mother nature. For under $40,000, this Outback feels like it’s worth just about every penny from a fit-and-finish perspective. And boy, its big, vertical touchscreen sure impresses. If only Apple CarPlay wasn’t so lousy to use with it because I found it otherwise responsive and easy to operate.

The same can’t be said for some of the tech bundled in Subaru’s EyeSight suite of driver-assistance and active safety features, specifically Active Drive Assist and the lane-keeping assist system. The former made some abrupt corrections on the highway that highly discouraged future use.

But after sleeping inches off the ground for two nights, I was glad to hop back in our Outback to head home. I wasn’t afraid to get it dirty and crawl in the mud a little bit, and it made for a perfect camping companion. Outdoorsy as it might be, I’m looking forward to putting it through suburban life in the coming months, too.

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Charge Your Phone Wirelessly With 50% off a Multifunctional LED Lamp

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Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

White Wireless Charge Lamp | $18 | Amazon | Clip coupon + code ABC88699
Black Wireless Charger Lamp | $20 | Amazon | Promo code ABC88699

When you’re ready to turn in for the night, you don’t want to forget to charge your phone— especially if your mobile device doubles as your alarm clock.

With this wireless charger lamp, you can make this crucial step of your nightly routine even easier by just setting your phone on the wireless charging pad and… well, that’s all there is to it!

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Other functions include multiple lighting modes as well as a sleep timer option for auto shut-off of the light after 30 or 60 minutes.

This lamp can be yours in white for $18 if you clip the coupon on Amazon (it’s below the original $40 price) and add promo code ABC88699 at checkout.

You can snag the black version for $20 using the same code—no coupon though, sorry.

Don’t sleep on this deal! Who knows how long stock or the coupon code will last?

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Keep That Hotdish Hot With 65% Off a Luncia Casserole Carrier, Only $11 With Promo Code

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Luncia Double-Decker Dish Carrier | $11 | Amazon | Promo code SDDU9S7F

It has been a long time since the days we could safely have a potluck or other gatherings, but we have a fantastic deal perfect for once those times return. These double-decker Luncia dish carriers can be had for 65% off when you add promo code SDDU9S7F at checkout and clip the coupon on the site (it’s just below the price). These holders fit 9″x 13″ sized baking dishes.

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That means you can insulate and keep two dishes of food warm for only $11 instead of $30. What’s more, your Luncia carrier will arrive by Christmas if you order today as a Prime member.

Just add promo code SDDU9S7F and clip the 5% off coupon to bring the price down to $11 for the blue or the grey option.

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Grab this offer while it’s still around!


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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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