Pros/ Controlled and refined ride, nicely executed interior, standard AWD
Cons/ More "inoffensive" than "exciting," Non-turbo is gutless, CVT-only
Bottom Line/ The new Outback is a good reminder of how and why Subaru is on such a tear in North America. It's more car-like than anything else in the class, but still capable of tackling most trails.
Table of contents
2023 Subaru Outback Review: Updating the SUV Anomaly
Since 1996, Subaru’s Outback has perennially been one of the brand’s most important models. Consistently pulling in healthy sales figures globally, it defines much of what Subaru is all about.
It’s unsurprising, then, that the Fuji-based company has cautiously evolved the Outback over the decades. The brand never deviating from the proven formula of a slightly lifted, mid-sized wagon with protective body cladding (brief foray with the Outback sedan, notwithstanding).
Now in its sixth generation, the Outback receives a mid-cycle refresh for 2023 and while it’ll take a keen eye to spot the differences, the changes collectively make a great car better.
With the exception of a beefed-up brake booster for the automated braking systems, the Outback heads into 2023 without any mechanical updates. The pair of “boxer” four-cylinder engines soldier on unchanged with a naturally-aspirated 2.5 L producing 182 hp and 176 lb-ft of torque, and the zestier 2.4 L turbocharged variant delivering 260 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque. In all Outbacks, power is distributed via a CVT transmission to all four wheels with Subaru’s celebrated full-time, symmetrical all-wheel-drive system.
|Price /||$28,395 - $42,295|
|Engine /||2.5-liter 4-cylinder / 2.4-liter turbo 4-cylinder|
|Power /||182 hp / 260 hp|
|Torque /||176 lb-ft / 277 lb-ft|
|Fuel Economy (city/hwy) /||22–26 mpg / 26–33 mpg|
|Cargo Capacity /||32.6 cu ft|
Our Final Verdict
|Quality and Styling||7.0|