2021 Subaru Crosstrek vs. 2021 Subaru Outback: What's the Difference?

The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek and 2021 Subaru Outback are both capable SUVs designed to go anywhere your heart desires. What are the differences between the Outback and Crosstrek, though? The Outback is larger and offers a bigger infotainment screen. The Crosstrek, on the other hand, has a hybrid powertrain in the lineup and offers similar features to the Outback when it comes to safety and technology. For more differences and similarities, read through the following 2021 Subaru Outback vs. 2021 Subaru Crosstrek guide.

Looking to buy or lease one of these Subaru SUVs? Check the McLaughlin Subaru Outback models for sale and Crosstrek models for sale. Be sure to match your favorite model with a Subaru offer. Have further questions not answered here? Call our dealership in Moline, IL, at (866) 960-7363.

2021 Subaru Crosstrek vs. Outback

2020 Subaru Crosstrek vs. 2020 Subaru Outback

2020 Crosstrek vs. 2020 Outback

Do you need an SUV that's ready to take your family on adventures across the country? If so, either the 2020 Subaru Outback or 2020 Subaru Crosstrek might be for you! Each of these Subaru SUVs offer distinctive specifications, including cargo capacity, performance, towing capability, and safety and technology features. To determine the differences between the Outback and Crosstrek, review the following research guide put together by the team at McLaughlin Subaru.

If you're ready to select an SUV, check out our new Crosstrek inventory and new Outback inventory in Moline, IL, then investigate our Crosstrek lease deal and Outback lease special. Would you like to speak to a representative in person? You can either call us at (866) 960-7363 or contact us through our online form.

Crosstrek vs. Outback

What's the difference between the 2020 Subaru Crosstrek and 2020 Subaru Outback? The key difference between these two models is size and power. The 2020 Crosstrek is designed for narrow city maneuvering and is 15.5 in. smaller than the Outback. The Outback, on the other hand, is more powerful than the Crosstrek with a maximum 277 lb.-ft. of torque and the ability to tow up to 3,500 lbs. The Crosstrek can be equipped with either a hybrid or gas-powered 2.0L engine, while the Outback is paired with either a dynamic 2.5L or lively 2.4L engine. Continue reading to determine which SUV is right for you.

Crosstrek vs. Outback
Size Comparison

Stretch out comfortably in either of these two spacious Subaru SUVs. Size-wise, the 2020 Subaru Outback is larger than the Crosstrek, measuring 2 in. wider, 2.5 in. higher, and 15.5 in. longer. For the full Crosstrek and Outback dimensions, review the following information.


2020 Subaru SUV Model


175.8 in.


191.3 in.

71 in.


73 in.

63.6 in.


66.1 in.

8.7 in.

Ground Clearance

8.7 in.

100.9 cu.-ft.

Passenger Volume

109 cu.-ft.

39.8 in.

First Row Headroom

40.1 in.

43.1 in.

First Row Legroom

42.8 in.

38 in.

Second Row Headroom

39.1 in.

36.5 in.

Second Row Legroom

39.5 in.

Cargo Space

Haul the family pets, pool toys, or suitcases in either the 2020 Subaru Outback or 2020 Subaru Crosstrek. The Outback is larger, with 75.7 cu.-ft. in cargo space when the rear seat is folded and 32.5 cu.-ft. in the trunk. The Crosstrek can hold a maximum of 55.3 cu.-ft. when the back seat is lowered and 20.8 cu.-ft. behind the upright rear seat.

Crosstrek vs. Outback
Power & Handling

Energy that's ready to go places will be yours no matter which Subaru SUV model you pick. Both the 2020 Outback and Crosstrek boast two engine options apiece, so select your preferred power and towing capabilities below.




Towing Capacity

Model Availability


152 HP

145 lb.-ft.

1,500 lbs.



137 HP

134 lb.-ft.

1,000 lbs.



182 HP

176 lb.-ft.

2,700 lbs.



260 HP

277 lb.-ft.

3,500 lbs.


Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive

Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive is standard across all 2020 Outback and Crosstrek models. This performance feature is designed to simplify driving in inclement weather or over uneven roads.

Fuel Economy

The 2020 Subaru Outback and Crosstrek fuel economy estimates will give you an idea of which SUV has the fuel efficiency you require, so review the following information for details.


MPG (city/hwy)

Model Availability





90 combined MPGe








Engine Upgrades

If you select the Crosstrek, you can upgrade from a 2.0L SUBARU BOXER engine to a Hybrid 2.0L SUBARU BOXER on the Crosstrek Hybrid trim level. On the Outback, switch from the 2.5L SUBARU BOXER to the 2.4L SUBARU BOXER for an exclusive power boost available only on the Outback XT models.

Crosstrek vs. Outback

The 2020 Subaru Crosstrek and Outback both have implemented features to keep you and your loved ones safe and secure. The Outback and Crosstrek both include daytime running lights, but the Outback has LED daytime running lights while the Crosstrek does not. For other safety features that both Subaru SUV models share, review the following list.

  • X-MODE® with hill descent control
  • Blind-spot detection with lane change assist and rear cross traffic alert
  • Keyless access with push-button start and PIN-code access
  • High beam assist
  • Reverse automatic braking
  • LED steering responsive headlights
  • LED fog lights
  • SUBARU STARLINK® Safety and Security
  • Brake assist
  • Brake override system
  • Rear vision camera
  • Keyless entry system

Both the 2020 Subaru Crosstrek and 2020 Subaru Outback have been commended by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) for their safety standards. The 2020 Subaru Crosstrek has earned a Top Safety Pick award and the 2020 Subaru Outback received a Top Safety Pick+ award.

EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology

Crafted for your reassurance, Eyesight® Driver Assist Technology is available on both 2020 Crosstrek and Outback models. This suite of technology systems includes adaptive cruise control with lane centering, pre-collision braking, lane departure and sway warning, and lane keep assist.

Crosstrek vs. Outback

The Outback and Crosstrek keep you connected to the entertainment and news you crave, while making it easy to reach out to those you care about. Both Subaru SUVs offer SUBARU STARLINK Multimedia touchscreens and are standardly equipped with four or six speakers. On the Outback, a Harman Kardon® premium audio system with 12 speakers is standard on certain trim packages, while the Crosstrek offers a Harman Kardon audio system with eight speakers as an option.

​Touchscreen Comparison

Interact with your favorite apps with the SUBARU STARLINK Multimedia touchscreen systems equipped on both the 2020 Outback and 2020 Crosstrek. STARLINK Multimedia includes a range of options, such as Android Auto™, Apple CarPlay®, and Bluetooth®. On the Outback, you can have a touchscreen as large as 11.6 in. or as small as two 7-in. screens. When you choose a Crosstrek, your STARLINK Multimedia system will either be 8 in. or 6.5 in., depending on the trim level you select.

Crosstrek vs. Outback

The 2020 Subaru Crosstrek starts at $23,155 MSRP and the 2020 Subaru Outback starts at $27,655 MSRP.

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