2020 Subaru Outback; Consumer Reports’ Reliability Survey Results | Talking Cars #229

2020 Subaru Outback; Consumer Reports’ Reliability Survey Results | Talking Cars #229 1

We've completed our testing on the 2020 Subaru Outback, and share the results of this popular crossover. Every year, hundreds of thousands of CR's members take part in our annual reliability survey, answering questions about how well the vehicles they drive every day are holding up, or if they are experiencing issues. We discuss our survey methods, and give advice on making a wise car buying decision. Also, we answer audience questions about why the Toyota Hilux is not available in North America, why some manufacturers seem to have chronic issues with reliability despite using modern production lines, and we recommend a manual commuter car with a balance of driving fun and creature comforts.


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01:10 – Consumer Reports’ Reliability Survey Results

06:21 – 2020 Subaru Outback Test Results

12:34 – Question #1: why some manufacturers seem to have chronic issues with reliability despite using modern production lines?

16:28 – Question #2: why the Toyota Hilux is not available in North America?

18:50 – Question #3: What is a good manual commuter car with a balance of driving fun and creature comforts?


Guide to Car Reliability

2020 Subaru Outback Quick Drive

2019 New York Auto Show: 2020 Subaru Outback

2017 Audi Q7 Quick Drive

2016 Toyota Tacoma Quick Drive

2018 Mazda6 Quick Drive

2017 Honda Civic Is Quick Drive

2015 Volkswagen GTI first drive


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28 Comments on "2020 Subaru Outback; Consumer Reports’ Reliability Survey Results | Talking Cars #229"

  1. Why do you buy newly redesigned vehicles if they are inherently less reliable? Should not CR wait one year as well?

  2. I agree, I don’t like the display screen…very distracting for the driver. But, I love the Outback.

  3. Whoever asked the question about the Toyota Hilux .. The question was a literally the answer, There’s definitely a specific reason we have the Tacoma and they have the Hilux

  4. Some people just like Subarus. I live in central CA, where it never snows and rarely rains, but there are plenty of Subarus of all kinds and ages.

    As for reliability, it feels like some manufacturers, such as Toyota, over-engineer their cars, by which I mean, make them a little sturdier than is required, so they last a little longer. When they threw infotainment into the mix, people started having issues that analog cars hadn’t. I think CR is separating those issues out into “usability”, so that’s better for reliability as a measure.

  5. What about the new Kia Forte sedan base model? You can get them brand new for $18,000 here in Canada with a manual transmission.

  6. A Toyota Hilux, 4×4, M/T…boooooooy I’d get one.

  7. Don’t buy the first year of a re-design. So no one buys the first year, and the second year becomes the first year. Update: don’t buy the first year and don’t buy the second year.

  8. The Toyota Hilux has been the best selling vehicle in Australia for several years now (Ford Ranger is second). Last time I looked, we aren’t Third World 😂😂

  9. They love the new outback, great interior, views, drives better than ever – like a luxury car, the turbo engine is best option, they hate the new jumbo infotainment display. This matches other magazine and internet reviews of the 2020 outback

  10. I get why other car publications often recommend VWs (nice interiors, good driving dynamics, upscale styling), but don’t VWs have known and significant reliability issues? I wouldn’t have expected CR to be seduced by initial driving impressions. Every Jetta I’ve ever driven from a rental car agency has been a box of creaks and rattles. And given their reputation, I’ve also been surprised to find highly featureless, cheap feeling interiors compared to base Hyundais and Kias, for example. Granted I’m in a rental car, so we’re talking base models (but so was the questioner). Every person I’ve ever known to own a VW, has also had weird, difficult to diagnose/fix electrical problems. But yeah, they drive nicely. Direct, good feeling steering and acceleration. It’s just all the other stuff (plus diesel gate) that makes VW recommendations hard to swallow, IMO.

    • Well said.

    • Marc Bertucco uh oh. I have an 18 Jetta S, so far, so good. True, it has less features than my old Hyundai did, but it drives better, , faster and better on gas. Let’s see how it holds up. I have a friend with a ‘14 Jetta 5 speed. The inly problem he had was the ignition switch.

    • Marc Bertucco Hi! FWIW the GTi seems to be much higher quality with no creaks. I have a Mark 6 GTi and other than a few things all covered by warranty it has been very good.

  11. Clickbait. Where are the survey results?

  12. I thought I was going to hate the touchscreen, but after driving the car, I found my old man eyes had a much easier time seeing the large graphics for the fan, modes, heated seats, etc, especially at night when the tiny red pictographs on the old model are hard to see. You can use voice commands for a number of functions as well.

  13. Greg should look at a mustang ecoboost with a manual transmission

  14. In a few more months a Highlander Hybrid capable of 33/34 mpg is coming to market. If you really want a utility/family vehicle built in Indiana, it seems like a much better choice than an Outback.

  15. I want a non CVT subaru outback and i want it now!!!.

  16. Wait…a Outback has 160,000 miles and is falling apart and you are no going to fix it?

  17. Honda Fit for a base commuter car with excellent interior utility. 3 cubic feet less fold down room than an HRV. Just tint the rear windows.

  18. Camry AWD will be a solution to those dismayed by Subaru’s automatic transmission problems.

  19. Right on about the seat heating. I live in Canada so I just leave it on at the first level.

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