2023 Subaru Outback - Performance, Price and Photos

Subaru updates its high-riding wagon with edgier styling, a better onboard tech and safety features

The Subaru Outback is an unconventional vehicle, that has a loyal fan base, and for good reason. You can certainly credit it with being responsible for popularizing the high-riding wagon segment. For many years, it was your only choice if you were looking for a rugged vehicle that wasn’t an SUV. Its strong range of boxer engines along with all-wheel-drive traction married to a jacked-up wagon body gave it a lot of versatility and helped it stand out from the crowd, eventually making it, America’s best-selling wagon.

The sixth-generation model debuted back in 2020 and Subaru has decided that it’s time for an update. It was on display at the 2022 New York Auto Show. The 2023 Subaru Outback borrows subtle styling cues from the all-electric Solterra EV along with improved onboard tech and safety features. With several trims and an exhaustive list of optional extras available, there really is an Outback for everyone. Let’s take a closer look at what’s new for 2023.

  • 2023 Subaru Outback - Performance, Price and Photos
  • Year:
    2023
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Leave it
    • Analog drivers instrument cluster
    • CVT hampers the driving experience
    • No electrified or hybrid-powertrians on offer

2023 Subaru Outback Performance and Capability

2023 Subaru Outback - Performance, Price and Photos Exterior
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The latest Subaru Outback comes in eight trims:

  • Base
  • Premium
  • Onyx Edition
  • Limited
  • Touring
  • Onyx Edition XT
  • Wilderness
  • Limited XT
  • Touring XT

The 2023 Subaru Outback is available with two engine options. The base 2.5-liter FB26 naturally aspirated flat-four engine delivers 182 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque. The XT and Wilderness trim’s pack the more recent FA24 engine, which is a 2.4-liter turbocharged flat-four that produces 260 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque.

The only transmission option is a LinearTronic CVT with an eight-speed manual shift mode controlled with the paddles on the steering wheel. Subaru’s permanent symmetrical all-wheel-drive system is standard across all trims.

2023 Subaru Outback - Performance, Price and Photos
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2023 Subaru Outback - Performance, Price and Photos
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All Outbacks are designed to handle mild off-roading with ease. You also get a hill descent control, automatic torque vectoring, and X-Mode for more control on inclines and slippery surfaces. The Onyx Trims feature a more sophisticated Dual-mode X-Mode that can tackle a range of surfaces including snow, dirt, and mud.

The Wilderness model gets all the bells and whistles and features the most advanced version of this Dual-model X-Mode system. It features Hill-descent control Plus with Low-speed/ low ratio gradient control. It also features heavy-duty suspension and underside protection along with improved approach, departure, and break-over angles and all-season tires.

2023 Subaru Outback - Performance, Price and Photos
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Now do keep in mind that the Outback is not a performance vehicle, and you should expect some body roll in the bends, particularly on the Wilderness, which has higher ground clearance 9.5 inches of clearance as opposed to the 8.7 inches that you get with the rest of the Outback range. Having said that you can expect good steering feedback along with a composed ride, making it an enjoyable daily driver.

Finally onto the wagon’s hauling abilities and depending on the engine, the towing capacity of the 2023 Subaru Outback ranges from 2,700 to 3,500 pounds for the 2.4-liter Turbo.

2023 Subaru Outback Specs
Engine 2.5-liter, FB26, naturally-aspirated flat-four 2.4-liter turbocharged flat-four
Power 182 HP @ 5,800 RPM 260 HP @ 5,600 RPM
Torque 176 LB-FT @ 4,400 RPM 277 LB-FT @ 2,000 - 4,800 RPM
0 to 60 mph 9.1 seconds 5.8 seconds
Top speed 128 mph -
Transmission LinearTronic CVT LinearTronic CVT
Gas Mileage 33 MPG 26 MPG

Exterior Design

2023 Subaru Outback - Performance, Price and Photos
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The latest Subaru Outback pushes things to a whole new level, with an even more rugged design. The easiest way to tell a 2023 Outback from its predecessor is with a new plastic cladding on the sides of the front bumper.

All models barring the Wilderness now feature this new protective trim that extends up to the headlights. They are not as pronounced as those found on the new Solterra EV and they hide a fake air vent.

Speaking of headlights, they now have a more dynamic appearance now thanks to a reworked LED arrangement for the DRLs. All models also now feature automatic low and high beam height adjustment that moves based on steering input.

Further down you’ll find brand-new circular fog lights inspired by old Subaru STI rally cars. The grille too is now bigger than before and the front end does look more aggressive than before. 2.5-liter models come with an active grille shutter that should aid in achieving slightly better gas mileage.

2023 Subaru Outback - Performance, Price and Photos
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Aside from the same angular cladding found on the front fenders, the side profile of the 2023 model remains pretty much the same when compared to the previous model.
You get the same rugged roof rails and the Outback name stamped proudly on the rear door trim.

Subaru didn’t make many changes to the rear end. The rear cladding is ever so slightly revised and you have a part LED tail light setup that rounds things off. The Onyx trims come with blacked-out window surrounds, black mirror caps, a black grille, and black 18-inch alloy wheels.

If you’re not a fan of these exterior changes on the latest outback, you can still get the old design with the Wilderness. This off-road-oriented trim features a beefier Wilderness-exclusive exterior with ladder-type roof rails, LED foglights with a hexagon pattern, and copper accents.

The 2023 Subaru Outback is available in the following colors:

  • Abyss Blue Pearl
  • Geyser Blue
  • Crystal White Pearl
  • Brilliant Bronze Metallic
  • Magnetite Gray Metallic
  • Crystal Black Silica
  • Ice Silver Metallic
  • Autumn Green Metallic
  • Cinnamon Brown Pearl
  • Crimson Red Pearl
Exterior
Wheelbase 108.11 in
Length 191.3 in
Width 82.01 in
Height 66.89 in
Ground Clearance 8.7 in - 9.5 in
Curb Weight 3,896 lbs

Interior Quality and Technology

2023 Subaru Outback - Performance, Price and Photos Interior
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The 2023 Subaru Outback’s cabin is best described as utilitarian. However, everything is logically laid out and with every new refresh comes higher quality materials and improvement in fit and finish levels. The dashboard features leather elements, with stitching, and depending on the trim level, you can get chrome, brushed aluminum, gunmetal grey, or copper highlights.

Interior colors and seat upholstery options include cloth and perforated leather, as well as Subaru’s unique waterproof StarTex material. Slate Black, Titanium Grey, and Warm Ivory are among the available colors. The Touring trim has Java Brown Nappa Leather upholstery.

The latest Outback is now more spacious than ever and seats five people in absolute comfort. The back seats, in fact, see an improvement and they now provide 1.4 inches more legroom than the previous model. With the classic wagon roof, headroom for rear-seat passengers will never be a problem. As for cargo room, with the rear seats in place, the Outback has 32.6 cubic feet at its disposal, and with the seats folded, it opens up to a colossal 75.7 cubic feet.

Some highlight features across various trims include:

  • Onyx Edtion XT comes with a Sunroof
  • Heated steering wheel on Limited, Touring, and XT trims
  • 12-way adjustable driver’s seat on Limited and Touring trims
  • Smart rear view auto-dimming mirror on Touring trim
2023 Subaru Outback - Performance, Price and Photos Interior
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2023 Subaru Outback - Performance, Price and Photos
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While buyers will appreciate the extra rear-seat legroom and higher quality materials in the cabin, they’ll also be happy to find the better implementation of technology on this latest Outback. For the first time in an Outback or any Subaru for that matter, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come integrated into the Starlink infotainment system.

The base model still features with a dual 7.0-inch-screen setup but higher trims now come with a tablet-style, 11.6-inch center touchscreen. The integration of knobs for climate control and volume was smart thinking by Subaru. Go for one of the top trims and Subaru will equip your Outback with a 12-speaker, 576-watt Harman/Kardon Audio system.

Other convenience features include the optional wireless charging pad for your phone, a plethora of illuminated USB A and USB C ports spread out throughout the cabin, and a WiFi Hotspot. Also, the 2023 Outback is now the brand’s first vehicle to feature what3words (W3W) navigation. All models still come with analog dials with a 4.2-inch readout in between the gauges, but the inclusion of an all-digital instrument cluster at least on higher trims would have been welcome.

Interior Dimensions
Seating Capacity 5
Headroom (front) 40.1 in
Legroom (front) 42.8 in
Headroom (rear) 39.1 in
Legroom (rear) 39.5 in
Cargo Room 32.6 cu-ft

2023 Subaru Outback Price and Availibility

Official prices for the 2023 Subaru Outback aren’t out yet, but you can expect it to carry an estimated price between $28,000 and $29,000 for the base trim with the top-of-the-line trims costing just over $40,000. The latest Outback goes on sale sometime later in fall this year.

Safety

Subaru stays committed to producing safe vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) awarded the Outback the maximum five stars in the crash test safety ratings while it was the 2021Top Safety Pick+ in the 4-door wagon category at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

The EyeSight system is now standard on all 2023 Outback models. Adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, automatic emergency braking, and automatic high beams are all standard EyeSight features. Blind-spot monitoring, emergency evasive steering, and rear cross-traffic alert come with higher trims. In addition, the Touring trim includes an extra Wide-angle Mono camera that works along with the eyesight system to identify pedestrians and cyclists.

Main Competition

2023 Subaru Outback - Performance, Price and Photos
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Now technically, the Outback should compete against similarly sized high-riding off-road wagons like the Volvo V60 Cross Country ($46,545) and the Audi A4 All-Road ($46,595). However, these models are premium offerings from a segment above in terms of price, and where you could max out an Outback in the mid-40s, that’s where these premium European wagons start. Now the extra cash will get you a higher quality product, but Subaru has worked hard to close the gap.

This leaves us with the Outback taking on an endless number of vehicles from the compact to mid-size SUV space. Buyers really are spoilt for choice as far as the number of lifestyle crossovers available in the $25,000 to $40,000 price range. You’ll probably be looking at the Toyota Rav4, the Honda CRV, the Mazda CX-50, or the Subaru Forester to name a few. But if you’re a wagon enthusiast, then the Outback is a no-brainer.

Sure Subaru could have thrown in a more traditional transmission in place of that CVT along with a digital driver display along and a hybrid variant of some sort. Well, that might have to wait for a future date, but for now, the Outback still enjoys a monopoly. Here are 10 things to know about the Subaru Outback before you buy.

Khris Bharath
Khris Bharath
Khris is a classic car aficionado and adores his Jags and Alfas, although he keeps tabs on everything from super exotics like an old EB 110 to the latest from Lucid. Formula One is very close to his heart, and he diligently makes time to tune in for the Grand Prix on Sundays. Khris also loves his road trips and he prefers a stick shift over an auto any day.  Read full bio
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