2023 Subaru Outback in RI

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The Subaru Outback occupies a unique spot in the auto industry. Although it’s classified as a station wagon, it has a lifted suspension (8.7 inches for most trims but 9.5 in. for the Wilderness model) and a rugged exterior – qualities that are more characteristic of tough off-road utility vehicles. The Outback’s unique status has been heightened for the upcoming 2023 model year, as it will return with a few notable improvements: a new front end, enhanced infotainment features, and improved driver-assistance technologies. Not only that, but the stylish Onyx Edition trim will now be offered with both a turbo and non-turbo engine. The ’23 Outback isn’t expected to roll into dealers until later this year, so until then, here’s what we know so far.

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Attention-Getting New Exterior

While the redesigned Outback will still be the handsome all-wheel drive wagon that outdoor enthusiasts have come to know and love, it will show off a few cosmetic updates. For instance, the front end has been redone in a more modern way with a bigger grille, restyled LED headlights and fog lights, and a new high-contrast front fascia. What’s more, Subaru has also redesigned the Outback’s wheel arch cladding which, in addition to looking sharper, lends additional protection off the pavement.

Improved Onyx Edition

This flashy trim will be offered with the base 2.5-liter naturally aspirated Subaru BOXER engine for 2023. Previously, the Onyx Edition was limited to the more potent 2.4-liter turbocharged BOXER, so if you’re attracted to this trim’s sleek black exterior elements, water-resistant upholstery, and dual-function X-MODE driving system but prefer fuel economy over outright power, you’ll have the choice. The 2.5-liter powerplant will return an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 26 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway, versus the 2.4-liter’s 22 city/29 highway.

Enhanced Driver-Assistance Technologies

The ’23 Outback will come 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. EyeSight will bundle several crucial driving aids, such as a pre-collision braking system, advanced adaptive cruise control with lane centering, and a DriverFocus distraction mitigation system. Other available driving aids will consist of reverse automatic emergency braking, a head-up display, and a front view monitor that captures images of the driver’s blind spots and displays a 180-degree view of them in the 11.6-inch touchscreen.

Outbacks with blind-spot detection, lane change assist, and rear cross-traffic alert will 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 will be 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.

Plush Interior

Subaru plans lots of upscale amenities for the ’23 Outback. Depending on the trim, these may include a hands-free liftgate, one-touch folding heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, a 12-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with four-way lumbar support, heated and ventilated front seats with new seatback pockets, USB-C charging ports, and a smart rearview mirror with auto-dimming, a compass, and HomeLink. Every trim will also offer a generous 75.6 cubic feet of maximum cargo space, and thanks to the newly available LED cargo lights, you’ll have an easier time seeing your gear back there when it’s dark out.

The redesigned Outback will also receive 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.