Is the 2023 Subaru Outback a reliable and fuel-efficient new SUV? What about the 2023 Subaru Ascent? An updated report by Consumers Reports (by subscription) says the two Subaru SUVs are among the best you can buy today. I have covered both models extensively, and CR has given these two Subaru models listed top rankings before.
With all the two-and-three Row SUVs available for shoppers, the newly updated study from Consumer Reports ranked the best in the Two-Row SUV category and the best picks in the Three-Row segment. They are picked for their reliability and fuel efficiency.
I cover Subaru vehicles exclusively here at Torque News. I have driven both models, and we'll focus on the Subaru Outback 2-Row midsize SUV and the Ascent 3-Row sUV family hauler and why they are top picks again.
Consumer Reports says the 2023 Subaru Outback and the 2023 Subaru Ascent are safe, reliable, fuel-efficient, and perfect for around-town drives, commutes, and longer trips. The Outback and Ascent received updates for the 2023 model year, and CR says they like what they see.
Consumer Reports compiled the list of Two- and Three-Row Midsized SUVs that scored well in their road tests, have average-or-better predicted reliability ratings, and get 21 mpg overall or better.
CR's Most Reliable and Fuel-Efficient New 2-Row Midsized SUVs
The Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid scores highest in the 2-Row SUV category, scoring 88 points. The Subaru Outback is second-best, with a score of 80. They are followed by the Toyota Venza (80), Ford Edge (78), Honda Passport (76), Nissan Murano (74), Hyundai Santa Fe (73), and Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport (68).
CR's Most Reliable and Fuel-Efficient New 3-Row Midsized SUVs
In the 3-Row SUV category, the Kia Telluride is number one, with 87 points. It is followed by the Toyota Highlander Hybrid (86), Toyota Highlander (80), Mazda CX-90 (80), Hyundai Palisade (80), Subaru Ascent (76), Kia Sorento Hybrid (75), and Mazda CX-9 (74).
Is the 2023 Outback reliable?
Consumer Reports says the 2023 Subaru Outback should be on your shopping list. They scored the Outback number two of fifteen Midsize SUVs. CR says, "We expect the 2023 Outback will have average reliability compared to the average new car." This prediction is based on data from the 2020, 2021, and 2022 models.
CR says, "The Outback is a smart alternative to an SUV. Its 260-hp, 2.4-liter turbo 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."
Is the 2023 Subaru Outback fuel efficient?
In Consumer Reports testing, the 260 horsepower, 2.4-liter turbocharged engine in the Outback "gives the wagon effortless acceleration yet still got 24 mpg overall in our tests."
The base 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine achieved 28 mpg in their testing. 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.
Is the Outback a safe vehicle?
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the 2023 Subaru Outback the highest Top Safety Pick+ score in crash tests.
Here is the 2023 Subaru Outback updated moderate overlap crash test YouTube video (extended footage) from the IIHS
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 $1,225 destination and delivery fees.
Because the 2023 Subaru Outback may be sold out, here is pricing for the 2024 Outback.
The 2024 Outback Base is priced at $30,190, Premium ($32,490), Onyx Edition ($37,400), Limited ($37,090), Touring ($41,640), Onyx Edition XT ($40,655), Wilderness ($41,255), Limited XT ($41,490), and Touring XT ($44,090). Destination and delivery fees are included in the price above ($1,295).
Is the 2023 Ascent reliable?
Consumer Reports says, "We expect the 2023 Ascent will have average reliability compared to the average new car. This prediction is based on data from 2020, 2021, and 2022 models."
Is the 2023 Subaru Ascent fuel efficient?
The 2023 Subaru Ascent base and Premium trim levels get an EPA-estimated 21/27 city/highway mpg and 23 combined mpg. Because they are slightly heavier, the Ascent Limited and Touring trim levels get an EPA-estimated 20/26 city/highway mpg and 22 combined mpg.
What does CR say about the Ascent?
"The Ascent is a very functional, easy to live with three-row SUV. Power comes from a turbocharged four-cylinder that delivers ample power in daily driving and gets 22 mpg overall. The jumpy initial takeoff takes some getting used to, however. The Ascent's plush ride is steady and controlled, and the suspension does an excellent job of mopping up bumps. This isn't the most agile SUV in corners, but it's ultimately secure at its handling limits. The cabin is quiet, and the second-row captain's seats are roomy and comfortable. Even the third row is usable for shorter trips. Controls are very straightforward."
Is the Ascent a safe vehicle?
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the 2023 Subaru Ascent the highest Top Safety Pick+ score in crash tests.
What is the price of the 2023 Subaru Ascent?
The 2023 Subaru Ascent base starts at $35,120, and Premium trims begin at $39,180. The Ascent Onyx Edition starts at $42,520, the upper Limited starts at $42,820, the new Ascent Onyx Edition Limited is priced at $47,520, and the top-trim Touring has a starting MSRP of $49,420. Pricing includes destination and delivery fees ($1,225).
Because the 2023 Subaru Ascent may be sold out, here is pricing for the 2024 Ascent 3-Row SUV.
The 2024 Subaru Ascent Base trim starts at $35,490, and Premium trims begin at $38,090. The Ascent Onyx Edition starts at $42,890, the upper Limited starts at $43,190, the Ascent Onyx Edition Limited is priced at $47,890, and the top-trim Touring has a starting MSRP of $49,790. Pricing includes destination and delivery fees ($1,295).
My take on the Subaru Outback and Ascent SUVs.
What sets the Outback and Ascent apart from the other Consumer Reports recommended SUVs? The Outback and Ascent midsize SUVs ride higher with extra ground clearance than most family haulers. Both have 8.7 inches of ground clearance, Subaru's Symmetrical all-wheel-drive, and X-Mode for all-terrain performance.
If you choose the outdoor-themed 2024 Outback Wilderness trim level, it has 9.4 inches of ground clearance and features a dual-function X-Mode for extreme all-terrain capability.
The 2023 Subaru Outback consistently ranks among the most reliable and fuel-efficient new SUVs in the Two-Row SUV category. Likewise, Consumer Reports says the Ascent scores among the best in the Three-Row SUV category, making the list for the third time. Both are excellent picks.
For additional articles related to the 2024 Subaru Outback and 2024 Ascent, here are a few for your consideration:
- 2024 Subaru Ascent SUV Pricing, Model Guide, And The One Trim Level That’s Missing
- 6 Things You’ll Love About The New 2024 Subaru Outback, 3 You Won’t
- The New Outdoor-Themed 2024 Subaru Outback Wilderness Pricing And Model Guide
Here is the BEST Subaru to BUY! 2024 Subaru Outback Wilderness Review YouTube video from TheStraightPipes
Denis Flierl brings over thirty years of combined auto industry and automotive journalism experience to Torque News readers. He is an accredited Rocky Mountain Automotive Press (RMAP) member. The last twelve years have been spent with Torque News, covering Subaru vehicles and the latest news. Check back daily for his expert Subaru analysis. You'll find the latest stories on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Social Media Platform X, and Instagram.
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