Is the 2023 Subaru Outback the best Two-Row SUV? Consumer Reports (CR) says there is one new midsize SUV you should avoid buying, but the Outback is one model you won't regret buying. Why does CR say the 2023 Subaru Outback is the best pick for SUV shoppers over the 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee? Both are recently redesigned, and it comes down to one crucial fact; reliability.
CR says the Jeep Grand Cherokee is below average in predicted reliability and towards the bottom of their Midsize Two-Row SUV ratings. The 2023 Outback is expected to get average reliability compared to the average new car. CR ranks the Outback as the number two overall Midsize SUV of thirteen new models.
Consumer Reports reasons to buy the Outback: Ride, transmission, seat comfort, driving position, fit, and finish. Reason to skip: Some climate-control functions require multiple steps.
CR says many SUV shoppers don't realize the Outback, which is still considered a wagon, "is a smart alternative to an SUV." Why do they say the Outback is a good choice for SUV shoppers?
"Its 260 horsepower 2.4-liter turbocharged engine gives the wagon effortless acceleration yet still got 24 mpg overall in our tests. The base 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine got 28 mpg in our test of the similar Legacy sedan. The ride is very comfortable, and the handling is responsive and secure. However, some tasks through the large infotainment screen require more than one step," says Consumer Reports.
What is the Outback's EPA-estimated gas 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.
What sets the Outback apart for shoppers considering a Two-Row SUV?
The 2023 Outback also comes with a higher ride height of 8.7-inches of ground clearance, making the Outback easy to get in and out. The Outback has a car's driving dynamics and ride but has standard all-wheel-drive for all-weather and winter performance.
Outback gets the top safety scores
The 2022 Subaru Outback earns the highest Top Safety Pick+ award from The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Consumer Reports says, "All Outback versions get the EyeSight safety suite with standard forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection; the blind-spot warning is optional."
The best winter vehicle for driving on snow and ice
The 2023 Outback is rated the best small SUV for snow driving in iSeeCars recent rankings, with an overall 8.8 points in its quality score. It has a reliability score of 8.4, a value retention is 8.0, and a safety score of 10.0. Outback beats competitors like the Jeep Wrangler, Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, and Toyota RAV4 for winter driving.
The Outback comes standard with Subaru's Symmetrical all-wheel-drive but adds 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.
What is the price of the 2023 Subaru 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).
The 2023 Subaru Outback flies "under the radar with many midsize SUV shoppers." Still, it scores high in reliability, owner satisfaction, road tests, fuel mileage, and safety. You can read more in the complete report here.
Consumer Reports says new Two-Row SUV shoppers should avoid the 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee and buy the 2023 Subaru Outback instead.
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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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