2023 Subaru Outback

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9 trims

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2023 Subaru Outback review: Our expert's take

By Aaron Bragman

Subaru isn’t having a big, flashy debut event at the 2022 New York International Auto Show, but they’re slipping something in under the radar that’ll sure to be of importance to Scooby fans everywhere: an updated version of the popular Subaru Outback crossover wagon. The 2023 Outback features mild styling updates, new trim level combinations, new onboard multimedia tech and updates to Subaru’s class-leading EyeSight safety system that should keep it at the forefront of popular family vehicles.

Related: More 2022 New York Auto Show Coverage

The Family Look

The biggest and most obvious change to the ‘23 Outback is its new front styling and wheel arch trim. The front styling now brings the Outback’s face in line with the rest of the Subaru lineup, matching the restyled Impreza and WRX models as well as the new electrified Solterra with a more vertical look to its bumper, a more prominent grille and squintier headlights. The wheel arches get a more swept-back cladding accent, meant to create a more rugged look and provide additional rock-chip protection from flying debris kicked up by the tires. The only version of the Outback not receiving this new styling update is the Wilderness trim, which already features styling different from that of the standard Outback thanks to its more ruggedized off-road bodywork.

Powertrain options remain the same as the outgoing model: a standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder boxer engine making 182 horsepower and 176 pounds-feet of torque mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission and standard all-wheel drive. The optional engine on Limited, Touring and Onyx trims (standard on the Wilderness trim) is a turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder boxer engine making 260 hp and 277 pounds-feet of torque. For 2023, the only change is that the Onyx trim now comes with the standard non-turbo engine, while the turbocharged powerplant is optional.

Improved Tech

Subaru says it’s improved how well its EyeSight driver-assist system works thanks to the addition of a third forward-facing camera on the top-level Touring trim. That model adds a wide-angle mono camera to the dual-camera EyeSight system that’s standard on all Outback models. This model allows an expanded field of view to recognize pedestrians and bicyclists sooner than the standard system when entering an intersection at low speed, according to the automaker. The standard EyeSight system also receives a wider field of view, updated control software and an electric brake booster. The Touring trim also receives a standard LCD Smart Rearview Mirror display with auto-dimming, compass and Homelink access.

The ‘23 Outback also marks the debut of Subaru’s latest Starlink Multimedia Plus system, featuring a vertically oriented 11.6-inch touchscreen and standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Subaru says that the display itself has been updated for improved on-screen controls for audio, climate control, X-Mode off-road controls and other vehicle features. The car also will be the first in the Subaru lineup to integrate what3words (W3W) into its navigation system. W3W is a global location technology that has divided the entire planet up into a grid of squares three meters by three meters big and has assigned each square a unique combination of English words. Remembering and inputting those three words, which represent spots on a map that can be anything from homes to trailheads, is meant to be an easier way to share and recall position information.

Price and Release Date

The refreshed 2023 Subaru Outback will start at $29,620 and arrive at dealerships this fall.

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Detroit Bureau Chief Aaron Bragman grew up in the Detroit area, comes from an automotive family and is based in Ann Arbor, Mich. Email Aaron Bragman

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.0
  • Interior design 4.0
  • Performance 2.0
  • Value for the money 3.0
  • Exterior styling 4.0
  • Reliability 4.0

Most recent consumer reviews


The Good, the Bad, and . . . .

Smooth, quiet ride. Gas mileage is OK. Front-view camera is somewhat useful. Rearview camera gives a clear view but doesn't register objects in deep shadow well. But there are problems. Too many controls are integrated into the touch screen in the dash. This requires a driver to look away from the road to find controls instead of doing it by feel, which decreases the safety of the vehicle. Air conditioning/heat is integrated into the touch screen controls, as are the controls for audio. The GPS mapping system is a disaster. Major roads that have been in place for over 60 years sometimes don't even appear on the map. Few roads and city streets are identified by name, leaving the driver to play Guess What Street We're On in unfamiliar territory. Major, major turnoff. Still not sure if that can even be fixed. The glovebox has been downsized and is now only big enough for one glove. A ledge in the dash above the glovebox is too small to serve for anything functional. A handy storage tray that used to be located under the back floorboard has disappeared, leaving little storage room for the odds and ends that are handy to carry along. The engine comes equipped with a function that idles or turns off the engine during stops. Frequently, our Outback will suddenly lurch 15-45 seconds after stopping, which is nerve-wracking. The EyeSight function in our model frequently fails for no observable reason, but returns within a minute or two. However, during that time, the safety features such as collision avoidance are disabled. Overall, a good vehicle that has some considerable flaws.

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New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Subaru
New car program benefits
36 months/36,000 miles
60 months/unlimited distance
60 months/60,000 miles
Roadside assistance
36 months/36,000 miles
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
5 years/80,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
Coverage available for purchase
7 years/100,000
Dealer certification required
152-point inspection
Roadside assistance
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