The Outback is a raised wagon with standard all-wheel drive that serves as a smart alternative to more traditional SUVs. This redesigned model doesn’t stray from its successful formula. It is again a comfortable, functional vehicle that’s well suited for every day commutes and weekend adventures. Its size and capabilities allow the Outback to compare favorably with small and midsize SUVs.
Alerts
There are 2 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Reliability

Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how used vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system.

Overall Reliability
Most Common Trouble Spots
Common Trouble Spot
Common Trouble Spot
The 2020 Subaru Outback has been recalled 2 times by NHTSA. View Recalls
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Overall Reliability Verdict
POTENTIAL TROUBLE SPOTS
Engine Major
Engine Minor
Engine Cooling
Transmission Major
Transmission Minor
Drive System
Fuel System
Electric System
Climate System
Suspension
Brakes
Exhaust
Paint/Trim
Body Integrity
Body Hardware
Power Equipment
In-car Electronics
Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey for about 329,000 vehicles, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how 2000 through 2020 vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system. NA indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.

Learn more about car Reliability.

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2020 Subaru Outback owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Android Auto

"Doesn't recognize my phone at times. Disconnects randomly. Very flawed system."

Anonymous, (2020 Subaru Outback Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"the cars Android Auto woul not pair with my smartphone so that I would have the Google maps program up on the screen."

Anonymous, FL (2020 Subaru Outback Limited Unsure)
Apple CarPlay

"In-Dash system would not recognize iPhone properly. Tested different USB cables. All yielded same issue. Issue continued after repeat disconnect and reconnects."

Anonymous, OH (2020 Subaru Outback XT 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Apple CarPlay keeps losing connection with my iPhone even though I'm using original Apple cables and a new iPhone."

Anonymous, CA (2020 Subaru Outback Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"The apple car play problems seem to be linked directly to my radio problems"

Anonymous, VA (2020 Subaru Outback Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"For some reason when I connect the iPhone to the car via cord the CarPlay gives me an error stating it isn't compatible.. even though I was just using Apple CarPlay on my way to the destination using the same cord and same phone.. I had my wife use her phone using the same and different cords and still the same thing.. CarPlay would connect then disconnect. It was worst before the update Subaru Tech installed. Once I exited the car with the car turned off that car play started working again. The only thing I hate about this car is the radio system. It has so many bugs and they don't send updates often enough to fix them."

Anonymous, (2020 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Display screen freezes up

"In-dash system went blank after engine start. After engine shut-off, screen returned to normal function."

Anonymous, OH (2020 Subaru Outback XT 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"I have contacted Subaru corporate numerous times, because the lady cal dealer does not care. They are unable to diagnose the problem. They changed the screen, did software update, still do not know. Now I have to do a bunch of other stuff and they may help me..or not"

Anonymous, AZ (2020 Subaru Outback Touring Unsure)

"Shut off ignition and restarted. Fixed itself"

Anonymous, MA (2020 Subaru Outback Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Radio on the unit froze up twice. The first time we turned off the vehicle. The following morning it it was operational. Second time I took it into the dealership for service. It was "reflashed/reprogramed. No problems since then."

Anonymous, AZ (2020 Subaru Outback Limited 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Problem started one month after delivery. Screen will display pages I did not select then will toggle back and forth between several screens. Will not respond to input to close the screens. A service appointment has been scheduled."

Anonymous, CA (2020 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Display screen goes blank

"while backing up, camera functions properly. when putting the car in drive, the display screen goes blank for several seconds then resumes working normally. intermittent problem, no consistent pattern."

Anonymous, OH (2020 Subaru Outback XT 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Sometimes the infotainment system and screen goes blank after having successfully initialized. Seems like the systems is rebooting. Touch screen has latency problem after touching a command on the screen. The ribbon at the top does not stay on the last viewed segment at times. The Driver Recognition System most times recognizes me but occasionally does not. Sometimes the Driver Recognition system will recognize me and then when I stop the engine, I get the message asking if I want to register the driver."

Anonymous, CA (2020 Subaru Outback XT 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"The display screen goes blank and nothing works on the car"

Anonymous, (2020 Subaru Outback XT 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Started when new but fixed itself after a few minutes"

Anonymous, MA (2020 Subaru Outback Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Large info divertisment screen went blank for about 10 minutes. I could still control the windshield defrost from the hard buttons on the side but not the fan speed which is on the large screen. No radio of course."

Anonymous, QC (2020 Subaru Outback Touring 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Radio screen would go blank randomly.. it hasn't happened since the radio update"

Anonymous, (2020 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Several times, the 11-inch screen went black and the radio shut off. It was not clear how this affected the drivability of the car, but I'm pretty sure the safety systems were unusable. The system comes back on by itself in less than a minute. I has happened four times since I bought the car. I have not mentioned it to the dealer because it is one of those problems that probably can't be replicated or diagnosed for repair."

Anonymous, CA (2020 Subaru Outback Limited 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Hardware replacement

"Subaru does not care about my problems with my infotainment system. They said they replaced the head unit with a newer version. Nothing changed and I don't trust them or there service personnel."

Anonymous, TX (2020 Subaru Outback XT 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Not sure if head unit needed to be replaced. GPS and later the STARLINK unit was replaced as part of the repair."

Anonymous, FL (2020 Subaru Outback Limited 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"The nav System automatically turns on in the north's up mode. This is literaly dangerous if you are trying to follow the screen. It is possible to switch to heading up after the vehicle is started, but you must do it very time you start it!"

Anonymous, WI (2020 Subaru Outback XT 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Stopped working"

Anonymous, (2020 Subaru Outback XT 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"voice command did not work. Wrong state, wrong city, wrong address"

Anonymous, ME (2020 Subaru Outback XT 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"It partially works. We live in Omaha and it can't find Omaha. It can find suburbs. We have not yet used it on a trip."

Anonymous, (2020 Subaru Outback Touring 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"GPS is slowwwwwwwwww. First looks for addresses near me then you respect the process for several time then I get tired of the car'gps and use my iPhone waze. Nothing has been resolved by their worst service ever department ever.. their standard answer is " your car does not have this" " it is not design to do this" " service and sales people do not know all there is about this car. Subaru should have never released this car with such poor electronic systems."

Anonymous, FL (2020 Subaru Outback Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"GPS unit failed completely at under 1000 miles on the car. It took 3 weeks to replace. First such problem seen by dealer. Was given a loaner vehicle by dealer for the entire repair period. Car working fine now."

Anonymous, FL (2020 Subaru Outback Limited 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"System not nearly as easy to use as other systems. Limited ability to input locations."

Anonymous, TX (2020 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

"Intermittently, the phone does not seem to pair with the car system. Most of the time, the car screen provides listing of contacts, recent calls, favorites, etc from my Android phone. Not sure if it is a pairing problem or not. At times the screen will tell me I have not contacts, no favorites or unable to load. If I stop the engine, open the door, close the door, and then start the engine the system seems to reboot and I have access to the above info."

Anonymous, CA (2020 Subaru Outback XT 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Becomes unpaired for no reason. Must then upair and re pair. Happena many times."

Anonymous, (2020 Subaru Outback XT 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Bluetooth was difficult to pair so was the Android Auto feature."

Anonymous, FL (2020 Subaru Outback Limited Unsure)

"Erratic ability to pair."

Anonymous, TX (2020 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"We purchased new cell phones and changed carriers a few weeks before we ordered the new Outback. Upon delivery the dealer was unable to hook my phone ( a flip) to Bluetooth. My wife's phone (a smart phone) connected without a hitch. I was told by Subaru that since my phone was not from one of the big 3 carries they would not bother to fix the problem. So I am stuck without having Bluetooth to use. It was one of my favorite accessories in the 2017."

Anonymous, OH (2020 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Radio

"It is not consistent. Sometimes it works, sometimes not..volume control is slow to react, or the radio is slow to power up, sometimes will not change stations"

Anonymous, AZ (2020 Subaru Outback Touring Unsure)

"Radio freezes causing no volume control or channel selection"

Anonymous, VA (2020 Subaru Outback Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Routine software updates

"No updates to fix problems like Tesla does!"

Anonymous, TX (2020 Subaru Outback XT 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Nothing related to the infotainment system work consistently. GPS too slow and takes to long to find addresses not near me. The driver monter system works may be 10% of the time. Trunk hands free never works. Nothing is consistent and easy to work."

Anonymous, FL (2020 Subaru Outback Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Software update fixes

"Driver recognition system"

Anonymous, (2020 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Speakers

"Entire Audio system was lost for nav, music, connectivity. Service Dept Eventually decided to disconnect the battery to totally rebute the computer System and it corrected the problem"

Anonymous, (2020 Subaru Outback Touring 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Infotainment system stopped producing any sound. The screen shows that all functions seem to work (radio, car play, Sirius XM, phone), but no sound comes out. I found several posts on a Subaru forum saying other people had similar problems with their 2020 Outbacks. I have a service appointment scheduled for my car. We only owned the car for 3 weeks before the problem started."

Anonymous, (2020 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Steering wheel controls

"The Outback dash lights started flashing warnings and the electric power steering quit assisting. The car has been in the shop since March 31st. The steering harness has been replaced, all 41 electronic modules have been checked and the dash harness is being replaced as I write this. I've been in contact with Subaru USA about these issues."

Anonymous, TX (2020 Subaru Outback Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Voice control commands

"The voice recognition feature rarely works. In it's current state Subaru should not claim the function as voice recognition."

Anonymous, OK (2020 Subaru Outback Touring 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Gauges

"Icons on screen too small to read. cannot permanetly turn off stop and start"

Anonymous, (2020 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Headlights

"From the first night I drove it until present, they are aimed too high and are too bright!!! At least every night when driving I get flashed by other cars for having my brights on which they are not. These new lights are blinding to any approaching cars and Subaru of America and the local dealer say nothing can be done. I NOW HATE TO DRIVE AFTER DARK BECAUSE OF THIS ISSUE!!!"

Anonymous, LA (2020 Subaru Outback Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Heated or cooled seats

"Fan was replaced, did not fix problem yet"

Anonymous, (2020 Subaru Outback XT 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Remote engine starter

"REMOTE START COULD NOT BE ACTIVATED - DEALER AGREED TO INSTALL A SEPARATE REMOTE START UNIT. DEALER CLAIMED THAT THE STATE OF VT IS TOO MOUNTAINOUS FOR STARLINK TO OPERATE????"

Anonymous, VT (2020 Subaru Outback XT 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Tire pressure monitor

"Apparently, something to do with weather changing quickly will cause the system to not read. The dealer knew the exact issue and it has not happened since."

Anonymous, FL (2020 Subaru Outback Touring 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Glass defects

"Windshield will be replaced under warranty because it has thousands of tiny specks in the glass....these are NOT surface defects."

Anonymous, DE (2020 Subaru Outback XT 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Tailgate, hatch or trunk

"Tie down in trunk broke off within 2 weeks of purchase. Have not had it fixed."

Anonymous, (2020 Subaru Outback XT 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Washer for rear camera was never connected at the factory, resulting in water being sprayed inside hatch and dripping into spare tire well."

Anonymous, IN (2020 Subaru Outback Touring 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Windows

"The seals around a couple of the windows leak. No water gets in, but there is an obvious wind noise at speed. I took it in to the dealer and they said they replaced a part of the front passenger side window, but the wind noise remains. On examination, it looks like poor quality or workmanship as there are gaps and poor-fitting seals all over the car."

Anonymous, CA (2020 Subaru Outback Limited 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Loose exterior trim or moldings

"Driver side lower body molding became detached and had to be replaced by dealer"

Anonymous, (2020 Subaru Outback Touring 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"First thing, the trim was ordered from Subaru when I bought it. Item #1 The body moulding was installed incorrectly and had to be removed and new moulding ordered and installed. Item #2 Window visors were installed uneven, also one was loose. Resulted in hainvg to remove all visors and getting new ones and installing them. These two items took over 3 weeks from start to finish. Would go to pick up and find something else wrong. Problems were resolved. To make up for the hassles Subaru gave me the cargo carrier"

Anonymous, WA (2020 Subaru Outback Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"The outer casing on one part of the roof rack is separating"

Anonymous, (2020 Subaru Outback Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Driver door exterior trim molding came loose a month ago. Dealer had to order the part. We have yet to hear from dealer. Still not fixed."

Anonymous, (2020 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

"air noise on passenger side at high speed"

Anonymous, NY (2020 Subaru Outback XT 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Squeaks or rattles

"Overhead console rattles in front of glasses compartment toward windshield"

Anonymous, MI (2020 Subaru Outback XT 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"During the cold weather, driving the switchbacks on the mountain, when turning left or right (flexing the body) I would get popping sounds from the interior. When I went up or down the mountain it sounded as though I was driving in a bag of microwave popcorn. This resolved with the warmer weather. However, I wonder if it will come back during the next cold season?"

Anonymous, SC (2020 Subaru Outback Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Shocks or struts

"Started hearing a squeak every time I went over a bump at about 1500 miles. Took it in to Subaru and they found left sway bar link to be leaking and making noise and the left strut and top mount also needed replacing. Alignment was done and repair was completed at no cost."

Anonymous, OR (2020 Subaru Outback XT 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Automatic climate control

"Temperature setting is not correct. Need to see temp 10 degrees lower to maintain correct temp"

Anonymous, PA (2020 Subaru Outback Touring 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Battery (not hybrid or electric)

"I bought a new car and the battery died after only two months. They said a cell in the battery was broken and replaced it for free."

Anonymous, CT (2020 Subaru Outback Touring 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Electrical failure

"Battery completely died within first month of ownership. Per google, not uncommon for recent Subarus."

Anonymous, MI (2020 Subaru Outback Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Antilock system (ABS)

"step on brake car kept accelarating until it hit a fence. Subaru claimed no finding hence driver error we had accident 3/20/20 and have yet to get it back after it took two months to get it evaluated and Subaru claimed there was no issues but will not share the report because its proprietary"

Anonymous, (2020 Subaru Outback Unsure 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Oil leaks

"BRAKE VACUME PUMP WAS LEAKING AND REPLACED. VEHICLE HAD ONLY 3300 MILES."

Anonymous, VT (2020 Subaru Outback XT 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

Compare 2020 Models

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Subaru Outback
This score shows whether the model had more or fewer problems overall than the average model of that year, calculated from the total number of problems reported by subscribers in all 17 trouble spots.
Recalls
PROVIDED BY
BACK OVER PREVENTION:DISPLAY FUNCTION
Dec 10 2020
The intermittent loss of the rearview image reduces the driver's visibility and increases the risk of crash.
Summary:
Subaru of America, Inc. (Subaru) is recalling certain 2020 Legacy and Outback vehicles equipped with "high" grade and "mid" grade multimedia navigation. The August 2020 over-the-air software update may have timed out without completing the installation, corrupting the data, and causing the rearview display to shutoff intermittently. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 111, "Rear Visibility."
What should you do:
Subaru will notify owners, and dealers will reprogram the software and, if necessary, replace the Cockpit Control Module, free of charge. The recall began January 22, 2021. Owners may contact Subaru customer service at 1-844-373-6614. Subaru's number for this recall is WRH-20.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 20V766000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 7741
SERVICE BRAKES, HYDRAULIC:PEDALS AND LINKAGES
Sep 18 2019
A missing or loose bolt may cause the brake pedal mounting area to deform over time, which can reduce braking performance and increase the risk of a crash.
Summary:
Subaru of America, Inc. (Subaru) is recalling certain 2020 Outback and Legacy vehicles. The brake pedal mounting bracket may have a missing or insufficiently tightened bolt.
What should you do:
Subaru will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the brake pedal mounting bracket hardware and replace the hardware or brake pedal assembly, as necessary, free of charge. The recall began October 1, 2019. Owners may contact Subaru customer service at 1-844-373-6614. Subaru's number for this recall is WUL-97.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 19V664000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 3467
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