Skip to main content

10 Best Commuter Cars - KBB Says Subaru Outback Is The 2nd Best Pick

What are the best cars for commuting this winter? Kelley Blue Book picks the 2023 Subaru Outback as the second-best model you can buy. See which model is number one.


If you no longer can work remotely from home and have been called back to the office, which new vehicle is the best for commuting this winter? Kelley Blue Book (KBB) picked the best new models for those who have to commute to work and drive the kids to school.

KBB says their top carpooler picks had to be safe. Therefore, they only included vehicles with high ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). They also considered fuel economy, infotainment, comfort, and convenience.

2023 Subaru Outback
photo credit: Competition Subaru

KBBs' 10 Best Cars for Carpoolers

KBB picked the Toyota RAV4 number, Subaru Outback number two, followed by the Kia Sportage Hybrid, Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5, Chevrolet Equinox, Ford Mustang Mach-E, Hyundai Santa Cruz, Kia Seltos, Volvo XC40 Recharge.

We will answer your questions about the redesigned 2023 Subaru Outback. Why is it the best for commuters and carpoolers this winter?

What KKB says about the Outback

KBB says, "As does nearly every Subaru, the base Outback provides all-wheel drive as standard. Subaru EyeSight is also included. The safety tech features forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane-centering, lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control."

2023 Subaru Outback
photo credit: Schumacher Subaru

"The base Outback also provides single-zone automatic climate control, a 7-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. For commuters, we suggest taking a step up to the Premium trim. Among our must-haves, it adds dual-zone automatic climate control, an 11.6-inch touchscreen, heated front seats, a 10-way power driver's seat, and Wi-Fi capability," says KBB.

Safety features

The 2023 Subaru Outback was picked as the safest new car you can buy today. The Outback recently picked up a global safety award, the Car Safety Performance Five Star Award, that's only given to the safest cars. It could help you decide if you should pick the Outback. Check out the complete report here.

What are the Outback's crash scores?

The 2023 Subaru Outback gets a five-star rating from the NHTSA and earns a Top Safety Pick+ award from the IIHS. The 2022 Subaru Outback also achieved the highest-ever score in its class for child occupant protection. The Outback is the only midsize car with the highest score in the new IIHS side impact crash test.

Infotainment features

The affordable Outback Premium trim comes standard with the latest version of Subaru's Starlink 11.6-inch Multimedia Plus system featuring wireless Apple CarPlay and wireless Android Auto with a full-screen display.

Comfort and convenience

Premium trims also come with the all-weather package, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a dual-zone automatic climate control system, a 10-way power driver seat, and a rear gate LED light.

What is the price of the 2023 Outback?

The 2023 Outback now comes in nine trim levels for U.S. customers; the base trim is priced from $29,620, Premium ($31,920), new Onyx Edition with a 2.5-liter engine ($34,720), Limited ($36,520), Touring ($41,070), Outback Wilderness ($39,670), Onyx Edition XT ($39,820), Limited XT ($40,920), and Touring XT ($43,520). Pricing includes destination and delivery fees ($1,225).

What is the Outback fuel mileage?

The EPA fuel mileage rating of the 2023 Outback XT 2.4-liter turbo is 22/29 city/highway mpg and 25 combined mpg. The estimated fuel economy of the standard 2.5-liter engine is 26/32 mpg city/highway and 28 combined mpg. The EPA says the 2023 Outback Wilderness gets an estimated 21/26 city/highway mpg and 23 combined mpg.

Our take

The 2023 Subaru Outback should be on your list this winter because all trim levels come standard with all-wheel-drive, and you won't pay extra for it like some SUVs on the list. The Outback comes with additional snow clearing ground clearance (8.7 inches on standard models and 9.4 inches on the Wilderness trim.)

The Outback has a car's driving dynamics and ride quality but has an SUV's utility. You can easily carry bulky items in the back and more oversized items with the rear seats folded flat.

KBB should have mentioned that the Outback comes standard with Subaru's X-Mode for added off-road capability. And some trims come with the new dual-function X-Mode for all-terrain ability. The Outback XT and Wilderness trim levels now offer a Deep Snow and Deep Mud function for additional severe weather capability.

KBB says the 2023 Subaru Outback is the second-best commuter car for carpoolers. We say it's the best commuter car for winter and severe weather driving.

You Might Also Like: 4 Things To Know About The Subaru Outback Before You Buy A New Midsize SUV

Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report, where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Subaru Report - We’ve got you covered! Check back tomorrow for more unique, informative SUBARU news, reviews, and previews you can trust.

Leave your comments below, share the article with friends and tweet it out to your followers!

Photo credit: Subaru


Joe ales (not verified)    November 27, 2022 - 1:57PM

I have a 2018 outback premium model. This is without a doubt the best made midsized. Safety features of a volvo $$ or Mercedes $$$ but a much more affordable price. 90% of models 10 years old ...still on the road. All subaru's !!