The new Outback is here! With 9 trims, there’s something for everyone. Compare features, gas mileage, and engines in our 2023 Subaru Outback review.

What’s New for the 2023 Subaru Outback?

The Outback is back with another model year. It’s been one of Subaru’s premiere crossovers since the mid-1990s and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change anytime soon. It’s earned a reputation as a well-rounded vehicle that gives the Acura RDX, Ford Escape, and Honda CR-V a run for their money in one way or another. The 2023 Subaru Outback remains largely the same as it has been for the past few years. Minor exterior styling updates can be found on the 2023 models. The Onyx Edition XT is an added trim that comes with the 2.4-liter turbocharged engine. Wireless integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is also now available.

2023 Subaru Outback - subaru.com

2023 Subaru Outback – subaru.com|  Shop 2023 Subaru Outback on Carsforsale.com

Body Style

Starting Price

MSRP $28,395

Drivetrain

Drivetrain

AWD

Drivetrain

Fuel Economy

26 City / 33 Hwy (MPG)

Number of Seats

Seating

Seats 5

The Breakdown

Great ground clearance

Good cargo space

Capable for off-roading

Most models have an 11.6-inch touchscreen

Standard AWD

Standard adaptive cruise control on all models

Dual-zone climate control on most models

Acceleration hesitates with the CVT

Built-in navigation and a Wi-Fi hotspot aren’t standard

The cabin is OK, but could use a refresh

2023 Outback Specs

Trims & Pricing

Base - $28,395
Premium - $30,695
Onyx Edition - $33,495
Limited - $35,295
Wilderness - $38,445
Onyx Edition XT - $38,595
Limited XT - $39,695
Touring - $39,845
Touring XT - $42,295

2023 Subaru Outback Powertrain 

Subaru Outback 2.5L H4 - carsforsale.com
Subaru Outback 2.5L H4 - carsforsale.com

There are two engine options for all of the 2023 Subaru Outback trims. Several Outbacks have a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine that makes 182 horsepower and 176 lb-ft of torque. The Wilderness trim and XT trims add more power with a 2.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. That one makes 260 horsepower and 227 lb-ft of torque. Both engines mate to a Lineartronic continuously variable transmission (CVT). The 2023 Outback comes with a four-wheel independent raised suspension across the lineup.

There is an X-MODE on the 2023 Outback that optimizes engine output and transmission ratio. It also increases the AWD system management to reduce wheelspin, giving optimal traction on some of those low friction surfaces you may encounter. Dual-function X-MODE is included with Onyx Edition models with a snow and dirt mode as well as a deep snow and mud mode. The Wilderness trim has the dual-function X-MODE as well, but also offers low, medium, and high-speed variations.

When it comes to towing, the Outback has some ability. The base 2.5-liter engine has a maximum towing capacity of 2,700 lbs while the turbo can tackle 3,500 lbs.

2023 Subaru Outback Fuel Economy & MPG

2023 Subaru Outback - subaru.com
2023 Subaru Outback - subaru.com

With different powertrain options, the fuel efficiency changes a little bit. Trims with the 2.5-liter engine gets the best gas mileage with 26 miles per gallon (MPG) in the city and 33 MPG on the highway. The XT models, with the turbocharged 2.4-liter, drops those numbers to 23 MPG in the city and 30 MPG on the highway. Fuel economy for the Wilderness is estimated at 22 MPG in the city and 26 MPG on the highway. The 2023 Outback holds up to up to 18.5 gallons in its fuel tank.

Interior, Comfort, & Cargo Space

The cabin doesn’t look particularly luxurious or futuristic, other than the vertically-aligned touchscreen, but it is functional. There are hard knobs for tuning the radio and controlling volume. The gear shifter works fine. There’s decent storage in the center console and glove compartment. Eight cup and bottle holders are scattered throughout the cabin, too.

The seats are well-cushioned at all trim levels, but the material changes as you move up the ladder. There’s cloth upholstery, StarTex water-repellent upholstery, leather-trimmed upholstery, and, finally, Nappa-leather-trimmed upholstery. A 10 or 12-way power adjustable driver’s seat is nice, but other elements adding even more comfort to this cabin are height adjustable three-point front seatbelts and height adjustable head restraints. The seats up front are also designed to reduce whiplash.

There’s a good amount of space in both rows for passengers who may be seated there during lengthy car rides. Front passengers receive 40.1 inches of headroom and 42.8 inches of legroom. They also have 58.1 inches of shoulder room. In the back seat, there’s 39.1 inches of headroom, 39.5 inches of legroom, and 57.4 inches of shoulder room.

The Outback has 32.6 cu-ft in behind the second row. With the rear seat lowered, cargo volume expands to 75.6 cu-ft. This should be plenty of room for people to utilize in most cases, whether they’re loading camping gear, luggage, furniture, or any number of other items that need to be hauled.

Entertainment & Technology

2023 Subaru Outback - subaru.com
2023 Subaru Outback - subaru.com

Infotainment is a mixed bag in the 2023 Subaru Outback. It, of course, depends on which trim level you settle on. The digital touchscreen measures either seven or 11 inches. You’ll get four speakers, six speakers, or 12 speakers with a Harman Kardon premium audio system. The Touring and Touring XT trim have CD players for those Subaru owners who still use them. 4G LTE Wifi capability is standard on all trims except for the base model. It’s not available there.

There are plenty of features included at all levels. Every Outback has HD radio, AM/FM stereo, at least one USB port, Bluetooth, and integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Only the top trims get wireless Apple and Android connectivity, though. Rear USB ports are illuminated, which is a nice benefit for any night-time drives.

Safety Features

Subaru has a lot of features that come standard in every 2023 Outback. Some, though, are specific to certain trim levels. Standard features on all trims include a rearview camera, adaptive cruise control with lane-keep assist, forward collision warning, and automated emergency braking that are standard, but other packages really depend on which of the nine trims you end up buying. LED daytime running lights and fog lights are standard on all nine trims, too.

Blind-spot detection that includes rear cross-traffic alert and lane change assist are standard on seven trims, optional on another, and not available on the base model. The 180-degree monitor is available with four trims. Front windshield wipers have two speeds with an intermittent mode and mist feature. All front and rear wipers, except for those on the base trim, have de-icers and heated side mirrors.

2023 Subaru Outback Trims & Pricing

2023 Subaru Outback Base - subaru.com
2023 Subaru Outback Base - subaru.com

Base – $28,395

The Base trim doesn’t have frills. Seats are manually adjustable. Heated front seats aren’t available. A leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter handle? Not available either. It’s got the standard safety and infotainment features already mentioned, though. The 2023 Subaru Outback Base trim rides on 17” aluminum-alloy wheels with a black machine finish.

Harman Kardon Audio System - subaru.com
Harman Kardon Audio System - subaru.com

Premium – $30,695

The Premium trim (and all above it) is where you’ll get the upgrade to the 11.6-inch touchscreen with wireless smartphone technology. Dual-zone climate control is added along with the 10-way power driver seat and power side mirrors. Heated front seats, wiper de-icers, heated side mirrors, a retractable cargo-area cover, and a rear gate LED light are all added, too. The Premium trim has six speakers as part of its audio system. Some features that aren’t included here, but are optional are a sunroof, power tailgate, keyless entry, and blind-spot monitoring.

2023 Subaru Outback Onyx Edition - netcarshow.com
2023 Subaru Outback Onyx Edition - netcarshow.com

Onyx Edition – $33,495

Moving up to the Onyx level comes with 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with a black finish, water-repellent upholstery, keyless access, a push-button start, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a hands-free power lift gate.

2023 Subaru Outback Heated Rear Seats - subaru.com
2023 Subaru Outback Heated Rear Seats - subaru.com

Limited – $35,295

Inside of the 2023 Subaru Outback Limited is leather-trimmed upholstery and a 12-way power-adjustable driver’s seat. The front seats have four-way adjustable lumbar support. The front passenger has an eight-way power adjustable seat. The rear outboard seats are also heated. A heated steering wheel isn’t standard in the Limited, but it is available. Outside are 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with a black machine finish. The power-tilt and sliding moonroof is still optional at this level.

2023 Subaru Outback Touring - subaru.com
2023 Subaru Outback Touring - subaru.com

Touring – $39,845

The power sunroof is standard at the top of the non-turbocharged and non-off-road-oriented trims. Power-folding side mirrors are available at every level, but the Touring versions have a satin chrome finish to them. This is one of just two trims that offer ventilated front seats and one of just three trims that come standard with a heated steering wheel. It’s the last of the trims that gets 33 miles to the gallon on the highway, too. Nappa-leather-trimmed upholstery is used throughout the cabin.

2023 Subaru Outback Wilderness - subaru.com
2023 Subaru Outback Wilderness - subaru.com

Wilderness – $38,445

Most of the differences between the Wilderness and other 2023 Subaru Outback models have to do with improving off-roading abilities. It has a lifted suspension, black exterior badging, a revised bumper and fender design, and an upgraded roof rack with a 700 lb. weight limit. It utilizes 17-inch wheels and all-terrain tires.

2023 Subaru Outback Onyx Edition XT - subaru.com
2023 Subaru Outback Onyx Edition XT - subaru.com

Onyx Edition XT – $38,595

You can tell by the ‘XT’ distinction that the Onyx Edition XT kicks off the trims that come with the 2.4-liter turbocharged engine. It has the same wheels as the non-turbo Onyx. A full-size spare tire is standard here, though. This is the first trim with 10-way adjustable power seats. They’re made of water-repellent fabric.

2023 Subaru Outback 2.4L Turbo H4 - Raiti's Rides on youtube.com
2023 Subaru Outback 2.4L Turbo H4 - Raiti's Rides on youtube.com

Limited XT – $39,695

You’ll find the same features here as you would in the 2023 Outback Limited trim. The difference with the XT is the turbocharged engine.

2023 Subaru Outback Touring XT - subuaru.com
2023 Subaru Outback Touring XT - subuaru.com

Touring XT – $42,295

Again, there are no major changes between the Touring and the Touring XT outside of the 2.4-liter turbocharged engine.

Warranties

The 2023 Subaru Outback offers several different limited warranties. First, there’s a new car warranty that expires in three years or 36,000 miles. The powertrain warranty lasts for five years or 60,000 miles. A wear item warranty goes for three years or 36,000 miles. The rust perforation warranty covers five years of ownership and unlimited mileage. You can report corrosion at any point of ownership during those five years, regardless of how many miles you’ve driven.

What we think

2023 Subaru Outback - subaru.com

2023 Subaru Outback – subaru.com|  Shop 2023 Subaru Outback on Carsforsale.com

There’s a car here for everyone. If you want the turbo, then you’ll obviously need one of the XT trims. If you’re a thrill-seeking wanderer, then the Wilderness is your best bet. Even though all the 2023 Subaru Outback models have good ground clearance, making it easier to conquer steep, rocky terrain, the Wilderness has the most clearance of the bunch. If budget is more top-of-mind than the amenities, then the Base trim should suit you just fine.

Assuming this is my only vehicle and it’s a day-to-day driver along with my conduit to exploration, I’d settle somewhere in the middle. The Limited has premium features, gets the better gas mileage, and costs less than the XT versions or the higher-end Touring model. It still has leather-trimmed upholstery, a 12-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, AWD, and the generous amount of standard safety features that can be found in every other trim. The moonroof is optional with the Limited, so if that’s an important part of the equation, it can be added for a little bit extra. The Limited has a nice mix of everything Subaru is offering for the 2023 Outback.

Want to see how the Outback has evolved since it debuted in 1995? You’ll want to click on our Subaru Outback Through the Years feature. Or, if you want alternatives to the 2023 Outback, take a look at our list of the Top 10 Compact Crossovers Under $20,000.

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Jesse Batson

Jesse Batson earned his journalism degree from South Dakota State University. No stranger to newsgathering and reporting, Jesse spent 13 years in TV news. 10 of those years were spent working in Charlotte, NC, home of NASCAR. A highlight of his time there was being able to take a lap around the Charlotte Motor Speedway. His interest in vehicles, starting with Matchbox cars, a Big Wheel, and the Transformers, evolved into taking photos of motocross events. Now, he puts his research skills to use on car culture, reviews, and comparisons.

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