The 2020 Subaru Outback follows the script of the brand's other recent redesigns: Keep the exterior look similar to the outgoing model.
Outback design staples, including black body cladding, standard roof rails and overall wagonlike appearance, remained when Subaru unveiled the sixth generation of the midsize crossover at the New York auto show last week.
However, once the doors were opened or the hood was popped up, the redesign came into focus.
"Subaru Corp. spent a lot of effort and resources on the interior of the car, just like with Forester," Subaru of America CEO Tom Doll told Automotive News. "Looking at the interior of the car, that's where the real benefits are. Exteriorwise, there's some styling differences and changes, but the real difference is on the inside."
Besides the base trim, every Outback is outfitted with a striking 11.6-inch touch-screen infotainment system, the same one Subaru introduced on the 2020 Legacy midsize sedan at the Chicago Auto Show in February.
The tabletlike appearance, which kept some physical knobs, is a considerable change from the outgoing Outback's 6.5-inch and 8-inch screens.
The Outback is now on the brand's global platform, following the Impreza, Crosstrek, Ascent, Forester, Crosstrek Hybrid and Legacy.
A 2.5-liter boxer engine remains the Outback's standard powerplant, but it now features 182 hp and 176 pound-feet of torque, up from 175 hp and 174 pound-feet.
But as with the redesigned Legacy, a turbocharged option has returned under the XT nomenclature; a 2.4-liter turbocharged boxer engine, first seen in the Ascent three-row crossover, produces 260 hp and 277 pound-feet of torque. It is the first time since 2009 that the Outback will be offered with a turbo, Subaru said.
"Outback is truly the vehicle that people will take off-road," Doll said. "The additional performance and horsepower in those situations is what customers are requesting and asking for. We think that's going to open up our appeal to a broader base and allow us to get higher levels of sales because of it."
Subaru will offer the 2020 Outback in seven trims, three of which will have the turbo: the Onyx Edition XT, Limited XT and Touring XT.
The Onyx Edition XT, new with the redesign, is equipped with black exterior design touches, 18-inch wheels, a gray two-tone interior and water-repellent seats.
All Outbacks will continue to have a continuously variable transmission and all-wheel drive.
Pricing was not announced. Subaru said the redesigned Outback will go on sale this fall.
Even late in the outgoing model's life cycle, the Outback has led Subaru's U.S. sales for the last three years.
U.S. sales of the Outback totaled 178,854 in 2018, down 5.3 percent, and 41,808 this year through March, down 5.2 percent. Despite those declines, the Outback was the industry's best-selling midsize crossover last year and remains No. 1 through March.
"The Outback is a cornerstone product, along with Forester, for us," Doll said. "It's critically important in terms of our overall volume and overall success."