New 2023 Subaru Outback ( Overview ). HIGHS
– More ground clearance than a regular wagon, plenty of space for cargo, nicely equipped with standard tech features.
– Poky with base four-cylinder, boring to drive, engine drones during acceleration thanks to the continuously variable automatic transmission.
– Its rugged looks make it attractive to those with outdoorsy lifestyles, but the Outback’s practicality and ride comfort make it a good choice for families too.
The Outback does all the work of an SUV better than most SUVs but without any pretense. It combines a station wagon’s practicality, comfort, easy-driving character and fantastic outward visibility with the ground clearance, ride compliance and all-weather sure-footedness of an SUV. We have our complaints, but there are more strengths than weaknesses.
Spacious cabin and smooth, comfortable ride
Optional turbocharged engine provides plenty of power
Loading the roof or cargo area is easier than in most SUVs
Above-average off-road ability
Slow acceleration from standard engine
Clunky engine auto stop-start system
– What’s new
Subtle exterior styling updates
Smoother operation of the adaptive cruise control system
Updated infotainment system with the 11.6-inch screen
Part of the sixth Outback generation introduced for 2020
The 2023 Subaru Outback straddles the line between wagon and SUV, drawing upon the strengths of each to provide you with a pretty versatile vehicle. Its wagon-like profile doesn’t allow for quite as much maximum cargo space as some rival midsize SUVs do, but the upside is a lower-than-typical roof that makes it easier to load gear up there. As for the SUV stuff, you get standard all-wheel drive and impressive ground clearance, which are great for discovering new off-road trails or just driving in inclement weather.