2023 Subaru Outback in RI

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Overview

The uniquely appealing Subaru Outback doesn't fit neatly into any category: it’s classified as a station wagon, but it offers extra ground clearance (8.7 inches for most trims but 9.5 in. for the Wilderness edition) and a tough-clad exterior – qualities more often found on off-road utility vehicles. For the 2023 model year, the Outback is back with plenty of great changes: a restyled front end, enhanced infotainment features, and upgraded driver-assistance technologies. Plus, the flashy Onyx Edition is now eligible for the base 2.5-liter naturally aspirated Subaru BOXER engine. Previously, the Onyx Edition was limited to the more potent 2.4-liter turbocharged BOXER, so if you’re sold on this trim’s sleek black exterior accents, water-resistant upholstery, and dual-function X-MODE driving system but prefer fuel economy over outright power, you’ll be able to choose.

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What’s New?

While this refreshed Outback remains the handsome all-wheel drive wagon that outdoor enthusiasts know and love, Subaru has made a few cosmetic updates in addition to the improved equipment. For instance, the front end looks more modern with a bigger grille, restyled LED headlights and fog lights, and a new high-contrast fascia. Subaru also redesigned the arch cladding at the wheels: in addition to looking sharper, this change provides more protection off the pavement.

The redesigned Outback also has the latest version of STARLINK Multimedia Plus. While it still comes with the expansive 11.6-inch touchscreen, it’s now eligible for wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as the Subaru-first what3words (W3W) system. W3W features cutting-edge location technology that provides a simple way to discover new places using only three words. W3W organizes the world into a grid of 10-foot squares and gives each a unique combination of three words (otherwise known as a what3words address) to help you navigate and share interesting destinations.

To top it off, the ’23 Outback comes with the latest version of Subaru’s EyeSight Driver Assist Technology suite, which operates under a greater range of conditions thanks to its wider field of view, updated software, and new electric brake booster. Outbacks with blind-spot detection, lane change assist, and rear cross-traffic alert now get automatic emergency steering, too. This works in conjunction with the pre-collision braking system to help drivers avoid collisions at speeds below 50 mph. Plus, the Touring trim is equipped with a new wide-angle mono camera that operates alongside the dual-camera EyeSight system and expands the field of view to recognize pedestrians and bicyclists sooner.


Trim Levels and Performance

Subaru continues to offer their Outback in Base, Premium, Onyx Edition, Limited, Touring, Onyx Edition XT, Wilderness, Limited XT, and Touring XT trim levels. The Base, Premium, Onyx Edition, Limited, and Touring each come with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 182 hp and 176 lb.-ft. of torque and can tow up to 2,700 lb. The remaining trims are supplied with a turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 260 hp and 277 lb.-ft. of torque and can tow 3,500 lb. All are joined to a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system. According to the EPA, the 2.5-liter models achieve an estimated 26 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. The XT models return 23 city/30 highway, while the Wilderness pulls off 22 city/26 highway.


Amenities by Trim

The all-new 2023 Outback is packed with enticing features. The Base comes with LED steering-responsive headlights, LED fog lights, raised roof rails, keyless entry, single-zone automatic climate control, cloth upholstery, transmission paddle shifters, a front USB-A port, an overhead console sunglasses holder, illuminated vanity mirrors, 60/40-split flat-folding and reclining rear seatbacks, and a cargo area with an underfloor storage compartment and a removable tray. The Premium gains side mirrors with turn signal indicators, windshield wiper de-icers (front and rear), heated front seats with driver’s power adjustments, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, dual-zone automatic climate control, a front USB-C port, two rear USB charging ports (one Type-A and the other Type-C), a retractable/removable cargo cover, and an LED cargo area light.

The sleek Onyx Edition has black exterior accents, a hands-free liftgate, proximity entry with PIN-code access and push-button start, StarTex water-repellent upholstery, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink. The Limited adds a power-adjustable front passenger’s seat, heated rear outboard seats, leather upholstery, and position memory settings for the driver’s seat and side mirrors. The Touring receives power-folding side mirrors, a moonroof, ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, Nappa leather upholstery, and a digital rearview mirror. The Onyx Edition XT lacks the underfloor storage compartment, but it builds off the regular Onyx Edition with a more powerful engine, a moonroof, a power front passenger’s seat, and heated rear outboard seats. The XT version of the Limited is also issued the moonroof, as well as a heated steering wheel. Since the Touring is already loaded with those deluxe features, the XT variation simply gets the higher-output engine. The Wilderness is its own beast entirely. It’s like the Onyx Edition XT, but with higher ground clearance (9.5 in.), all-terrain tires, hexagonal LED fog lights, and stronger roof rails.


Driver-Assistive Technologies

Every ’23 Outback trim receives the Subaru EyeSight suite of active safety features. It consists of pre-collision braking, advanced adaptive cruise control with lane centering, lane departure and sway warning, lane keep assist, and automatic emergency steering. High beams are included across the board as well. The Onyx Edition and above grades are issued blind-spot detection with lane change assist and rear cross-traffic alert, while the Limited, Touring, and XT variants embrace reverse automatic braking (which is available for the Wilderness). The Touring, Limited XT, and Touring XT also get the DriverFocus distraction mitigation system. Meanwhile, a 180-degree front-view monitor is provided in the Touring, Onyx Edition XT, Wilderness, and Touring XT.


Infotainment

The Outback gets a better assortment of multimedia features for 2023. The Base has a 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio streaming, SiriusXM satellite radio, and a four-speaker sound system. The Premium, Onyx Edition, and Wilderness get an 11.6-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and a six-speaker sound system, while the Limited welcomes a premium 12-speaker Harman Kardon unit. The Touring and Touring XT receive navigation and a CD player. While the Onyx Edition XT also comes with navigation, it reverts to the six-speaker sound system. The Limited XT is like the regular Limited but with navigation.

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