Subaru of America, Inc. unveiled the 2023 Subaru Outback at the prestigious New York International Auto Show, showcasing an iconic SUV that has undergone a refresh in both style and technological advancements for the upcoming model year. Among the notable updates are enhanced safety features and cutting-edge in-vehicle technologies. A significant addition to the lineup for 2023 is the Onyx Edition trim level, which will be available with a choice of two engine options.
Upon its arrival in Subaru retailers this fall, the 2023 Outback will offer a diverse range of trim levels, including Base, Premium, Onyx Edition, Wilderness, Limited, and Touring. The XT models and Wilderness will feature the potent 2.4-liter turbo engine as standard. Notably, the Touring models will now incorporate a new Wide-Angle Mono Camera to augment their safety features.
The Outback lineup, excluding the recently introduced Wilderness variant, boasts a more assertive aesthetic with a redesigned front fascia featuring a prominent grille, updated LED headlights and fog lights, and a robust front bumper cover. The sides of the vehicle showcase expanded wheel arch cladding, not only contributing to a more rugged appearance but also providing additional protection.
Standard across the 2023 Outback lineup (excluding Wilderness) is the latest iteration of EyeSight Driver Assist Technology. This advanced system has been refined for smoother operation across a wider range of conditions, attributed to a broader field of view, updated control software, and the integration of an electric brake booster.
The top-tier Touring trim now incorporates a Wide-Angle Mono Camera in conjunction with the dual-camera EyeSight system. This additional camera further expands the field of view, enabling earlier detection of pedestrians and bicycles when the vehicle approaches intersections at low speeds. The EyeSight system issues alerts to the driver and, if necessary, engages the brakes to prevent collisions with pedestrians and cyclists. Additionally, the Touring trim introduces a full LCD Smart Rear-View Mirror with auto-dimming, compass, and Homelink®.
For models equipped with Blind-Spot Detection featuring Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, EyeSight now incorporates Automatic Emergency Steering. This innovative feature collaborates with the Pre-Collision Braking System, offering collision avoidance assistance at speeds below 50 mph.
ONYX EDITION UPDATES
Adding to its versatility, the Onyx Edition is now offered with the 2.5-liter naturally aspirated SUBARU BOXER® engine, providing a balanced combination of performance and efficiency. Distinguishing itself with a distinctive look, the Onyx Edition boasts black-finish exterior elements, 18-inch alloy wheels, and unique badging, creating a visually striking presence. Inside, the Onyx Edition features an exclusive gray two-tone interior, with seats wrapped in a water-repellant durable StarTex® material, ensuring both style and resilience.
Building upon the solid foundation of the Premium trim, the Onyx Edition introduces several additional features to enhance the overall driving experience. These include the convenient Hands-Free Power Gate, providing ease of access to the rear cargo area. The Front View Monitor offers enhanced visibility for maneuvering in tight spaces, while the Dual-Mode X-MODE adds versatility to tackle a variety of terrains. For added peace of mind on the road, the Onyx Edition comes equipped with a full-size spare tire, ensuring preparedness for unexpected situations. This combination of features positions the Onyx Edition as a well-equipped and stylish option within the Outback lineup.
PERFORMANCE AND CAPABILITY
The 2023 Outback excels in delivering a harmonious blend of SUV capability and a car-like ride and handling, setting a standard with its Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, Active Torque Vectoring, Vehicle Dynamics Control, and X-MODE featuring Hill Descent Control. With an impressive ground clearance of 8.7 inches (9.5 inches for the Wilderness variant), surpassing that of many SUVs, the Outback maintains a conveniently low step-in height for effortless front and rear passenger entry.
Equipped with the 2.4-liter turbocharged BOXER engine, standard on XT models, the 2023 Outback showcases robust all-around performance. Generating 260 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 277 lb-ft of torque at 2,000 rpm, this engine ensures a powerful and responsive driving experience. Meanwhile, the standard naturally aspirated 2.5-liter BOXER engine delivers a spirited performance, producing 182 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 176 lb-ft of torque at 4,400 rpm.
All 2023 Outback models come paired with a Lineartronic CVT featuring an 8-speed manual mode function, complemented by steering wheel paddle shifters for added control. The 2.4-liter turbo engine achieves an estimated 23/30 mpg city/highway and boasts an impressive 3,500-lb. towing capacity, marking the highest towing capacity in the history of the Outback lineup. On the other hand, the 2.5-liter engine achieves up to an estimated 33 mpg, providing a remarkable range of over 600 miles on a single tank, underscoring the Outback’s commitment to efficiency and long-range driving capabilities.
STRUCTURE AND SAFETY
Introduced in 2017, the Subaru Global Platform has undergone optimization specifically for the Outback, featuring a structure that boasts a remarkable 70-percent increase in both torsional and front-suspension rigidity. Additionally, it achieves a 100-percent enhancement in both front lateral flexural and rear subframe rigidity when compared to the previous platform used in the Outback. The overall result is a sturdier foundation that significantly improves crash protection, absorbing over 40-percent more energy in front/side crashes compared to the prior model.
In the event of an unavoidable collision, the 2023 Outback prioritizes the safety of its occupants with the inclusion of eight standard airbags, which includes a dedicated driver knee airbag. Subaru anticipates that the 2023 Outback will excel in safety assessments, projecting top safety scores, and aiming for a TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) after testing later in the year.
The standard EyeSight Driver Assist Technology is a cornerstone of the safety features, featuring Advanced Adaptive Cruise Control with Lane Centering. This system offers steering assistance when the vehicle veers towards the outside of its lane, aiding the driver in maintaining a straight path. The DriverFocus™ Distraction Mitigation System utilizes an infrared camera and facial recognition technology to identify signs of driver fatigue or distraction, issuing audio and visual warnings to alert both the driver and passengers. Additional available driver-assist technologies encompass Reverse Automatic Braking and the EyeSight Assist Monitor, complete with a head-up display.
For enhanced visibility and safety, an optional Front View Monitor captures images within the driver’s blind spots in front of the vehicle, projecting a comprehensive 180-degree view on the 11.6-inch display. This feature proves beneficial for assessing road conditions ahead, navigating during parking maneuvers, and tackling off-road terrains with added confidence.
COMFORT, CONVENIENCE, AND VERSATILITY
Across all trim levels, the 2023 Outback comes equipped with a range of standard features, including power door locks, windows, and side mirrors, along with Welcome Lighting, a Sound Insulation Windshield, and convenient One-Touch Folding Rear Seats. Stepping up to the Premium trim enhances the experience with the inclusion of the All-Weather Package, a 10-way power front driver seat featuring lumbar support, and an LED rear gate light. The Limited trim introduces Keyless Entry with Push-Button Start and heated rear seats for the outboard positions. Elevating to the Touring trim brings additional comfort with ventilated front seats and a 360-degree heated steering wheel, enhancing the overall array of standard features.
For modern connectivity and device compatibility, the Outback offers front and rear USB A ports and two 12-volt DC power sockets as standard. The Premium trim and higher levels further incorporate front and rear USB C ports.
In terms of cargo versatility, the 2023 Outback excels with a cargo floor length of 75 inches when the rear seatbacks are folded, providing a spacious 75.6 cu ft of cargo space. The wide rear gate opening accommodates longer items such as camping gear, golf clubs, or strollers with ease. Loading convenience is enhanced with an available Hands-Free Power Gate, allowing the owner to effortlessly open the rear gate by waving in front of the Subaru emblem positioned at the center of the rear gate. Additionally, a single-touch lifting cargo cover facilitates easier access to the cargo area. To further enhance cargo-carrying capabilities, the Outback features standard roof rails with tie-down points and integrated retractable cross bars. The Outback Wilderness variant retains its robust roof rails, enabling the capability to mount a roof tent for adventurous excursions.
The exterior of the 2023 Outback is meticulously crafted to accentuate ruggedness and functionality, all while exuding a palpable sense of adventure. Notably, the Outback lineup (excluding Wilderness) has been updated with a fresh front fascia, featuring an assertive front bumper cover, a more expansive grille, and redesigned LED headlights and fog lights. The wheel arch cladding has also undergone enhancements, not only for an improved aesthetic but also to enhance functional aspects.
Inside, the interior design prioritizes an open and spacious feel, achieved through a wide windshield and long lines extending from the center of the instrument panel to the door panels. The centerpiece of the interior is the tablet-style 11.6-inch Full HD center information display, offering direct touch controls for multimedia, HVAC, X-MODE, and various vehicle settings. The base model is equipped with dual 7.0-inch displays for a streamlined control interface.
The top-tier Touring trim elevates the Outback’s interior to new heights, introducing luxurious appointments both inside and out. Notable features include Black Nappa leather with contrasting tan stitching, adding a touch of sophistication. The high-gloss black molding for the pillars, chrome-plated decorated door handles, and satin tone-plated side mirrors contribute to the Touring trim’s premium aesthetic, enhancing the overall visual appeal of the vehicle. The meticulous attention to detail in the interior design ensures that the 2023 Outback offers a refined and comfortable environment for both drivers and passengers.
SUBARU IN-VEHICLE TECHNOLOGY
The 2023 Outback introduces the cutting-edge STARLINK 11.6-inch Multimedia Plus system, featuring standard wireless Apple CarPlay® and Android™ Auto with a full-screen display. This advanced system boasts an expansive 11.6-inch high-resolution touchscreen seamlessly integrated with the combination meter for enhanced visual cohesion. The on-screen controls for audio, HVAC, X-MODE, and various vehicle features have been improved for user-friendly operation. Notable standard features include the innovative Valet Mode, Bluetooth® hands-free phone and audio streaming connectivity, AM/FM stereo, rear vision camera, SiriusXM® All-Access Radio, and SiriusXM Travel Link® (complimentary 4-month subscriptions), HD Radio®, and over-the-air updates to ensure the system stays current.
For those opting for advanced navigation capabilities, the 11.6-inch Multimedia Navigation system includes voice-activated navigation powered by the latest version of TomTom® and a complimentary 3-year subscription to SiriusXM Travel Link.
Setting a new standard, the 2023 Outback becomes the first Subaru vehicle to integrate what3words (W3W), an innovative location technology simplifying precise location communication using just three words. Dividing the world into 10-foot squares, each assigned a unique combination of three words, what3words addresses facilitate accurate navigation and location sharing. This feature is standard on models equipped with the STARLINK 11.6-inch Multimedia Navigation system.
Manufactured at Subaru of Indiana Automotive (SIA) in Lafayette, Indiana, the 2023 Outback shares production space with the Ascent, Impreza, and Legacy, reaffirming Subaru’s commitment to quality and craftsmanship in the United States.