2023 Subaru Outback in RI

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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.


The Base has a nice blend of necessities and bonuses, with a list that includes cloth seats, keyless entry, single-zone automatic climate control, LED steering-responsive headlights, automatic high beams, LED fog lights, raised roof rails, paddle shifters, a USB-A port (front row), 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. It also has the Subaru EyeSight suite of active safety features installed, equipping it with pre-collision braking, advanced adaptive cruise control with lane centering, lane departure and sway warning, lane keep assist, and automatic emergency steering. Its 7-inch touchscreen infotainment has been improved from the previous model year. Its main features are smartphone integration (Android Auto and Apple CarPlay), Bluetooth for hands-free phone and audio streaming, SiriusXM satellite radio, and an audio system with four speakers.


The Premium gets upgraded with dual-zone automatic climate control, integrated turn-signal indicators on its exterior mirrors, windshield wiper de-icers (front and rear), heated front seats, a power driver’s seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter knob, 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 infotainment touchscreen grows to 11.6 inches and the smartphone integration becomes wireless. There’s also a Wi-Fi hotspot and a third pair of speakers.

Onyx Edition & Onyx Edition XT

The sleek Onyx Edition has navigation, 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 Onyx Edition and above grades are issued blind-spot detection with lane change assist and rear cross-traffic alert. It gets the same infotainment upgrades as the Premium.

The Onyx Edition XT gets the more powerful engine, plus a moonroof, a power front passenger’s seat, heated rear outboard seats, and extra driver-assist features (the 180-degree front monitor and Subaru’s DriverFocus distraction mitigation system).

Limited & Limited XT

The Limited ramps up the comfort factor with 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. Reverse automatic braking is added to the driver-assist suite, and a deluxe Harman Kardon sound system with 12 speakers augments the infotainment setup. In addition to the stronger engine, the Limited XT gets a heated steering wheel, a moonroof, navigation, and DriverFocus.

Touring & Touring XT

The Touring is even more luxurious, with the addition of ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, power-folding side mirrors, a moonroof, and a digital rearview mirror. The seats are also upgraded with Nappa leather upholstery, while a 180-degree front monitor and the DriverFocus distraction mitigation system join array of the safety technologies. Integrated navigation and a CD player join the multimedia arrangement. The XT variation simply gets the higher-output engine.

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