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New Subaru Outback Wilderness Report Card - CG Says It Gets 4 A's And 3 B's

The 2023 Outback Wilderness is Subaru's most sought-after new model, and it just earned a Best Buy award from Consumer Guide. In its report card, here are the grades it receives in seven test categories.

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For customers looking at the Subaru Outback Wilderness, check out its new report card before buying the rugged model. Consumer Guide (CG), the publisher of authoritative, unbiased new-car reviews for 56 years, announced the recipients of its 2023 Best Buy Awards. They announced the 2023 Subaru Outback Wilderness trim level is its Best Buy pick in the Midsize Car category.

CG says the Outback Wilderness "represents the finest balance of attributes and value in its class." For 2023, 41 Best Buys have been awarded in 18 classes, giving consumers another voice in what vehicles are the best buys for 2023.

2023 Subaru Outback Wilderness report card

Consumer Guide's editorial team drives more than 100,000 miles annually, evaluating what these vehicles do well and what they don't. "Whether driving through the city, on highways, in rural areas, on long trips or simply picking up the kids at school, these vehicles are tested in the same way that typical car buyers would use their vehicles," says CG.

The CG report card on the 2023 Subaru Outback Wilderness

The Consumer Guide report card on the 2023 Outback Wilderness gives the rugged SUV four A's and three Bs in its tests. Outback gets an A for fuel economy, an A- for fit and finish, a B+ for room and comfort, B+ for value, and a B for power and performance. The Outback gets an A-for Big Guys, and for Tall Guys, CG gives the Outback an A- grade.

2023 Subaru Outback Wilderness

CG says report card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for the specific trim level (Wilderness trim) evaluated.

Big and Tall comfort ratings are for the front seats only. The "Big" rating is based on a male tester weighing approximately 350 lbs., and the "Tall" rating is based on a 6'6" tall male tester.

What is the Outback fuel economy?

The EPA says the 2023 Outback Wilderness gets an estimated 21/26 city/highway mpg and 23 combined mpg.

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.

Fit and Finish

Subaru interiors have come a long way. The Outback Wilderness trim has a durable interior with seats wrapped in a StarTex water-repellant material. A copper-colored contrast stitch weaves its way throughout the interior, complementing the anodized copper-finish accents on the steering wheel, shifter assembly, and meter rings.

The headliner features a darker color, and gunmetal grey replaces the standard chrome touch points such as ventilation grilles and cupholders. Brushed aluminum pedals give the Wilderness a sporty look. The rear seat back is wrapped in waterproof material in the cargo area, and a waterproof rear cargo tray protects the load floor.

2023 Subaru Outback Wilderness

Room and Comfort

Consumer Reports ranked the Outback the best in the 2-Row Midsize SUV category in room and comfort. In its scoring, CR measured interior space and calculated cargo room by checking how many suitcases and duffel bags could fit in the back. They also had testers of various shapes and sizes repeatedly get into and out of the front and rear seats.


According to Kelly Blue Book's (KBB) 2022 Best Resale Value Awards, the Subaru Outback takes home the best Midsize SUV 2-row award.

KBB's Best Resale Value Awards recognize 2022 model-year vehicles for their projected retained value through the initial five-year ownership period. These latest KBB accolades for Subaru show consumers that they maintain their value better than other models. This can make the most significant difference when you trade your vehicle after 3-5 years. You'll get more for your trade-in than other automakers' vehicles.

Power and Performance

The 2023 Outback Wilderness is powered by a 2.4-liter turbocharged Boxer engine producing 260 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque. 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."

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.

Our take- Outback Wilderness Vs. Forester Wilderness

Besides cost and fuel mileage, the 2023 Subaru Outback Wilderness is the clear winner over the 2023 Subaru Forester Wilderness.

The Outback has additional ground clearance, horsepower and torque, towing capacity, and advanced dual-function X-Mode for outdoor enthusiasts who want to get further off the grid. The 2023 Subaru Outback Wilderness is the more capable model to handle extreme off-road terrain.

The Consumer Guide report card on the 2023 Outback Wilderness gives the rugged SUV four A's and three Bs in its tests. They say it's the best buy pick for new SUV shoppers in the Midsize Car category.

You Might Also Like: The Most And Least Fuel-Efficient Cars - New EPA Report Says Subaru Is Now The Best

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

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Dana (not verified)    January 3, 2023 - 6:18AM

I ordered one and then cancelled my order the next business day. Didnt realize when test driving the wilderness cuts out the retractable cross rails you need the $600 thule ones that dont comeoff quickly.
Also couldn't get android auto to connect but looked up online that subaru doesnt support full screen AA, yet carplay is full screen. That is not an AA issue.. its Subarus issue.
Also the stereo on a $42 000 car was the biggest turd for sound quality. Looked it up and the speakers are $2 dinky magnet paper junk. They didnt even use 6x9 speakers that the cutout is for.. its a 6 inch circle speaker. You cant just replace speakers either. The amp is too weak and also tuned to remove sound the stock speakers couldnt handle so you need speakers, a 4 or 5 channel amp AND a digital sound processor for OK sound.