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CR’s 11 Most-Reliable Midsize SUVs - Why The New Subaru Outback Gets Cut

Is the newly-remodeled 2023 Subaru Outback a reliable midsize SUV? The Outback fails to make the list of Consumer Reports' most reliable new 2-Row SUVs. Is there a problem?


The Subaru Outback has been on the Consumer Reports' (by subscription) most reliable new midsize SUVs list for a while now, but things have changed. The 2023 Outback fails to make the most reliable new midsize SUVs in the 2-Row category. Is there a problem with the newly-remodeled 2023 Subaru Outback?

Earlier this year, Consumer Reports had the Outback on its most reliable and fuel-efficient 2-Row SUVs list. CR said the Outback is reliable, fuel-efficient, a top safety pick winner, and "perfect for around-town drives, commutes, and longer trips." Consumer Reports ranked the Outback number one of eleven midsize SUVs you could buy.

2023 Subaru Outback

What changed?

Consumer Reports now ranks the 2023 Outback number three of twelve midsize SUVs. CR gives the 2023 Outback a 3/5 score in predicted reliability. CR says, "We expect the 2023 Outback will have about average reliability compared to new cars." This prediction is based on data from 2020, 2021, and 2022 models.

Consumer Reports most reliable new Midsized SUVs update

The first place 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid scores 88 points, the 2023 Toyota Highlander is second with 86 points, and third, the 2023 Toyota Venza with 80 points. Next is the Lincoln Nautilus (79), Ford Edge (78), Honda Passport (76), Chevrolet Blazer (75), Lexus GX, Nissan Murano (74), Acura MDX (74), and Toyota 4Runner (59).

2023 Subaru Outback

The 2023 Outback has an overall score of 80 points but fails to make the updated CR list.

Why is the remodeled 2023 Subaru Outback left off the list?

Due to its new remodel, Consumer Reports likely keeps Outback off its updated list. New in-vehicle electronics could have more problems than the outgoing model. CR says, "We include a prediction for a new or redesigned model based on its reliability history or the manufacturer's track record."

Subaru Outback track record

The Subaru Outback has had two additional recalls since our last report. The 2022 Outback was recalled in July because of a loose electrical connection. In September, the 2022 models were recalled for an improper windshield attachment.

The 2020 Subaru Outback (the first year of its redesign) had four recalls. The 2021 Subaru Outback had one recall for a CVT select lever cable nut that was not tightened properly. The drive chain may break, causing a loss of drive power. The fuel pump may fail (defective Denso fuel pumps). A third recall was for a rearview camera that may shut down, and the fourth was for a possible loose or missing brake pedal mounting bracket bolt.

The 2023 Outback recently had a stop-sale. Check out the video and the updated report in the link below.

You Might Also Like: Still Waiting For Your 2023 Subaru Outback? New Stop Sale Update

Is the 2023 Subaru Outback a reliable midsize SUV?

According to Consumer Reports new vehicle reliability report, the Outback drops from a predicted reliable score of 60 last year to 51 for the 2023 models.

Our take

We suspect the 2023 Outback fails to make Consumer Reports' most reliable new midsize SUVs in the 2-Row category because of the redesigned 2023 models. They base the information on "predicted," not actual reliability issues.

Should customers avoid the 2023 Outback?

The 2023 Subaru Outback midsize SUV should be as reliable as before but gets new updates with a redesigned front fascia and exterior cladding, the latest version of EyeSight safety technology, and a new wide-angle mono camera on Touring trim levels. Subaru also updated the Outback's multimedia system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The new technology upgrades could present unique problems for the 2023 Outback, but we will not know for another year. Stay tuned.

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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 USA