Top 5 Reviews and Videos of the Week: 2020 Subaru Outback Overpowered by Crosstrek Hybrid

05-subaru-crosstrek-hybrid-2019-angle--blue--exterior--front--mo 2019 Subaru Crosstrek | Manufacturer image

A family squabble broke out this week, but it wasn’t at the dinner table after too much wine. Instead, the fracas was on’s top five expert reviews list — with a beloved family wagon falling to a fuel-sipping variant of an also-popular SUV. Our surprisingly buoyant review of the 2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid stole the No. 1 spot from its Subaru sibling, the 2020 Outback, quite a feat given that we reviewed the hybrid SUV some three months ago, while our critique of the cultishly adored Outback joined the list just a couple of weeks ago.

Related: 2020 Subaru Outback: Everything You Need to Know

Shop the 2020 Subaru Outback near you

2020 Subaru Outback Touring XT
50,731 mi.
$30,997 $300 price drop
Good Deal
2020 Subaru Outback Touring XT
67,956 mi.
Good Deal | $182 under

Both Subaru reviews are by’s Aaron Bragman, who ultimately was far more favorable toward the Outback — our No. 2 review this week — declaring it the best Outback the Japanese automaker has ever produced.

“Put simply, the Outback drives like a premium luxury vehicle,” Bragman writes in his review. “Think Audi A6 or Volvo V90 wagon, not SUV competitors like the Chevrolet Blazer, Hyundai Santa Fe or Jeep Grand Cherokee. The Outback’s body control is exceptional, with ride and handling that feels sophisticated in a way I haven’t experienced before in a Subaru product.”

subaru-outback-2020-01-angle--exterior--front--green.jpg 2020 Subaru Outback | photo by Aaron Bragman

The Crosstrek Hybrid, meanwhile, poses a pretty specific value proposition for a pretty specific would-be buyer. If your commute is predictable and relatively short, you may be just such a buyer. If not, you may want to look elsewhere, as the added expense for the hybrid powertrain won’t make for a sensible return on investment.

“The Crosstrek Hybrid is indeed more fuel-efficient in all conditions than a standard Crosstrek, but stick within 20 miles of home (as most commuters do) and charge up nightly, and the savings can add up in both convenience and dollars,” Bragman writes. “Whether the higher payments and less useful cargo space will work for you depends on your own personal use characteristics, but the car itself is just as good to drive as a standard Crosstrek.”

A trio of brand-new reviews also join the list this week, including the 2019 Mini Cooper Hardtop John Cooper Works edition, 2019 BMW 3 Series and 2020 Ford Escape, so be sure to check those out, too, if you’re in the market for those cars’ respective segments. Meanwhile, among our most popular videos, the 2020 Hyundai Palisade and 2020 Lincoln Aviator remain popular choices among SUV shoppers, so don’t miss our video reviews of these two all-new SUVs.

ford-escape-se-2020-02-brick--exterior--profile--silver--urban.jpg 2020 Ford Escape SE | photo by Kelsey Mays

Without further ado, for your car-shopping perspective, here are this week’s top five expert reviews and videos:

Top 5 Reviews

1. 2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid Review: More Efficient, Less Useful

2. 2020 Subaru Outback Review: Punching Above Its Weight Class 

3. 2019 Mini Cooper Hardtop John Cooper Works Review: Small Car, Massive Entertainment

4. 2019 BMW 330i Review: Now More Machine Than Man

5. 2020 Ford Escape Review: Better on the Big Stuff

Top 5 Videos

1. 2020 Hyundai Palisade Review

2. 2020 Lincoln Aviator: Review

3. 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye: Drag-Strip Tested

4. 2019 Compact SUV Challenge: How Do the CR-V, Rogue and Others Compare to the Tiguan?

5. 2020 Jeep Gladiator First Drive

jeep-gladiator-2020-25-badge--exterior--rear--silver.jpg 2020 Jeep Gladiator | photo by Christian Lantry’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

Latest expert reviews