An updated 2023 Subaru Outback wades into the New York Auto Show on Wednesday, and the wagon-like crossover SUV is receiving a fresh new look along with updated cabin and safety tech.
With the exception of Subaru's recently introduced Wilderness off-road variant, all 2023 Outbacks receive a comprehensive facelift that includes a larger front grille, redesigned front bumper and new LED headlamps and fog lights. The revised front end looks more assertive and SUV-like than before, with unique contrasting U-shaped air intake garnishes that bookend the front bumper. These features echo the peculiar black plastic trim on Subaru's new Solterra electric SUV, but the Outback's treatment seems less likely to be controversial because this model's redesigned wheel arch trim remains separate and distinct.
Either way, updates to the advanced driver assist systems will doubtlessly be far less divisive. Noteworthy changes include a new wide-angle mono camera on the top Touring model. This new unit works with the existing dual-camera EyeSight hardware to improve peripheral detection of cyclists and pedestrians. Touring models also receive a new LCD rearview mirror.
Even if you don't splurge on the lineup-topping Touring spec, models that are optioned with blind-spot detection, lane-change assist and rear-cross-traffic alert gain automatic emergency steering. The EyeSight-based system works with the auto-brake function to avoid potential accidents at speeds under 50 mph.
In terms of cabin tech, an updated version of Subaru's Starlink infotainment system is accessible through the portrait-oriented 11.6-inch touchscreen. New features include a navigation system that incorporates What Three Words geolocation tech (particularly helpful when traveling off-road) and there's wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, too. A Valet Mode is also new for 2023.
Performance for the all-wheel-drive SUV is expected to remain essentially unchanged, with the base, naturally aspirated 2.5-liter flat four once again churning out 182 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque while netting up to 33 miles per gallon (enough for a leg-crossing 600 miles of range). XT models continue to feature Subie's 2.4-liter turbocharged boxer engine delivering 260 hp and 277 lb-ft on regular-grade fuel. These more-powerful models are expected to deliver 23 mpg city and 30 highway - EPA estimates unchanged from the 2022 model year. Also as before, Subaru's Lineartronic continuously variable transmission is standard, complete with eight-speed manual mode. Last year's midrange Onyx Edition returns with an additional engine choice, the base 2.5-liter naturally aspirated four.
While pricing has not yet been released for the Indiana-built 2023 Subaru Outback, this capable, updated SUV shouldn't stray too far from the current model year's pricing when it arrives this fall. Today's base 2022 Outback starts at $28,320 and pricing ranges up to $38,870 for the Touring trim before options (all prices include a $1,175 destination fee).