Should you buy the newly-upgraded 2023 Subaru Outback midsize SUV? The Outback received new upgrades for the 2023 model year and the base trim level comes packed with features and is priced at $29,620, including destination and delivery fees. On the surface, it looks like a good value for shoppers, but there's a reason most new model shoppers shouldn't buy it.
What does the base trim include in that price?
The 2023 Outback base comes standard with Subaru's Symmetrical all-wheel-drive, X-Mode for severe weather capability, and 8.7 inches of ground clearance. It's loaded with features like EyeSight safety technology, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, LED steering responsive headlights, LED fog lights, and a rear vision camera.
The base trim also has a USB-A input/charge port and a 3.5 mm auxiliary input jack in the front center console. The standard security system includes remote keyless entry, and the 2023 model dome and cargo area lights have been upgraded to LED.
In addition, the Outback Base is equipped with the Starlink dual 7.0-inch center information display with improved on-screen controls. Subaru says the upper 7-inch touchscreen operates audio controls while the lower 7-inch touchscreen controls climate, EyeSight, X-Mode, and other vehicle systems.
The multimedia system also offers AM/FM/HD Radio, Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio streaming connectivity, and SiriusXM and SiriusXM Travel Link (4-month free Platinum subscription).
Here's why you don't want to buy the base 2023 Subaru Outback
The base trim has smaller 17-inch wheels, and the 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels are unavailable. The base does not have the all-weather package with heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, windshield wiper de-icer, rear wiper de-icer, and heated side mirrors.
The base trim does not have a power-adjustable driver's seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel, keyless entry, push-button start, hands-free power rear gate, or a retractable rear cargo cover.
Why you should step up to the Premium or Limited trim levels
The 2023 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium and Limited trim levels are where many buyers will land and offer the best value with the smallest price increases. Unless you need the Outback XT's extra power and off-pavement capability, you will pay around $5,000-$8000 less for a comparably equipped 2.5i trim level.
With gas prices averaging $3.45 per gallon in the U.S., the 2.5-liter naturally-aspirated engine in the Subaru Outback Premium, Onyx Edition, Limited, and Touring trims is a good choice for commuters who won't use their vehicle for off-road and mountain pass adventures.
What is the price of all 2023 Outback trim levels?
The 2023 Outback 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 $1,225 destination and delivery fees.
The 2023 Subaru Outback base trim level is packed with features, but there are better values for new midsize SUV shoppers. For an additional $2,300, the Outback Premium trim level is the better value with its added features.
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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.
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