After six months of waiting, Subaru has finally released a software update for the 2020-2022 Subaru Outback. Check out the details here. The new update makes the Outback touchscreen easier to navigate and control than the previous version but only has some capabilities of the 2023 Outback.
Subaru changed the newly-refreshed 2023 Outback's touchscreen, and now some features are available for 2020-2022 Outback midsize SUVs. The update also included the 2020-2022 Subaru Legacy, which uses the same multimedia display screen.
The Outback's infotainment touchscreen update includes easier heating and A/C controls, one-touch heated seat controls, and an AVH or "Auto Vehicle Hold" feature shortcut. The AVH holds your car in place when it comes to a stop.
In the video below from Alex Prestigiacomo (Bachman Subaru), he covers the Subaru touch screen update that is now available for 2020-2022 Subaru Outback midsize SUVs. This retroactive update makes the Subaru 11.6" infotainment touchscreen look and performs similarly to the newly-updated 2023 touchscreen.
How do you get the new Outback touchscreen update?
You can reference the technical service bulletin (TSB) when talking with your Subaru service department: 2020-2022 Outback/Legacy: TSB 15-261-20R - March 13th, 2023. The updated link is here. This update is from March 2023 for North American Subaru Outback models (Canada and US only).
The new update offers some 2023 Outback system features.
David Meltzer, who works at a Subaru retailer, says, "The new Outback update added new features but not everything the 2023 and 2024 can do. Think of it like an iPhone each fall. While an iOS update adds some new features, it does not add them all. For that, you need a new phone. The same thing here applies to the 202-2022 Outback update. In 2023, Subaru added more features because the system, which was CP 1.0, is now CP 1.5."
The 2023 Outback added Wireless CarPlay, Android Auto, and full-screen Android Auto. Meltzer says, "And while the over-the-air update is available in this car, this particular update was too big for that and does require dealership installation. One of the most underutilized features in this car is voice commands. So many things people do by touch can be done by voice command. On the 2023 version CP 1.5, the voice commands are extended to control the heated seats. The CP 1.0, even with the new features, cannot do that."
Subaru's new CP 1,5 system has been added to the 2023 WRX and 2023 Ascent. In addition, it's available on the next-generation 2024 Impreza and 2024 Crosstrek.
The 2020-2022 Subaru Outback touchscreen update should take about one hour to complete. Now improvements will include some of those in the 2023 Outback model year.
The update showcased in the video below was performed on a 2022 Outback Wilderness, but it's the same for all Outback trim levels.
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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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Photo credit: Subaru