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Newer Subaru Outback Wins A Month But Loses The Year To A Hot Older Model

The 2023 Subaru Outback was the most popular model last month, but it lost to another model for the top sales crown. Check out the new report here.


How popular is the 2023 Subaru Outback? Subaru of America announced year-end results, and the newly-refreshed Outback was not the most popular model last year. It loses to another model, the aging Crosstrek, which needs a remodel, and takes the sales crown for 2022 and bragging rights as the top model. In 2021, Outback lost to Forester and hasn't been the sales leader since 2019.

Even though the Outback is behind the Crosstrek in popularity, the refreshed 2023 Subaru Outback midsize SUV was the sales leader in December, with 14,797 SUVs delivered to customers compared with 12,643 in December 2021, up 17.0 percent. Customers like the changes for the 2023 model year.

2023 Subaru Outback results

The Outback was the second best-selling model in the lineup behind Crosstrek, with 147,262 models sold for the year compared with 154,623 in 2021. Outback finished the year down 4.8 percent.

The Crosstrek subcompact SUV was the surprise model in 2022. SOA delivered a record 155,142 Crosstreks to customers in 2022 compared with 127,466 in 2021. The hot Crosstrek finished the year up 21.7 percent, leading all Subaru models in total sales.

What is the Outback worth a look for new 2-Row SUV shoppers?

What sets the Outback apart from other SUVs? All Outback midsize SUV trim levels ride higher with extra ground clearance than most family haulers. The Outback comes with 8.7 inches of ground clearance. All trim levels come standard will all-drive, which you won't find in all SUVs and X-Mode for all-terrain performance. The Outback also gets the highest safety scores from the IIHS.

2023 Subaru Outback results

Subaru designed the more rugged 2023 Outback Wilderness for outdoor enthusiasts who want to get further off the grid. The Outback has additional ground clearance over the standard Outback (9.5 inches vs. 8.7 inches) and additional towing capacity (3,500 lbs. vs. 2,700 lbs). The Outback Wilderness is the more capable model to handle extreme off-road terrain.

What is the 2023 Outback pricing?

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.

How does the 2023 Subaru Outback 2-Row midsize SUV compare with other top SUVs under $40,000? According to the latest study by Consumer Reports, Outback is among the best in its rankings in the 2023 model year 2-Row category.

What's next for the Outback midsize SUV?

Because the 2023 Subaru Outback received a refresh this year, the 2024 Outback will get only minor changes in the fifth year of its life cycle. The 2025 Outback models and the Legacy sedan will get a complete redesign. Customers may want to wait for the 2025 model change if they don't need a new car for two years.

The 2025 Outback will get significant upgrades, and Subaru says new hybrid models are coming in 2025. Subaru plans to expand its hybrid offerings with new models coming in 2025. The Outback midsize SUV could be the next model in the lineup to get hybrid technology.

Subaru announced last year that 40 percent of its global sales will have some form of electric power by mid-2025 to 2030, and the Japanese automaker has set a target to "sell only electric vehicles" worldwide by the first half of the 2030s. Subaru could use its 1.8-liter turbocharged direct-injection (DIT) engine in the next-generation 2025 Outback. Subaru will couple the small turbocharged engine with hybrid technology they are now developing with Toyota. Stay tuned.

For the year-end, the 2023 Subaru Outback finished on a high note with the best sales of any model in December. The Outback comes close but loses to the Crosstrek for the top sales leader in the lineup.

Are you more likely to buy an Outback Hybrid model when Subaru of America offers it? Let Subaru know in the comments below.

You Might Also Like: Head To Head Subaru Forester Wilderness Vs. Outback Wilderness - The Winner Is Clear

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


Laura Kopecky (not verified)    January 7, 2023 - 8:54AM

Not interested in a Hybrid Outback. I'm on my 4th now and gas is just fine. I hope SOA improves on the Info computer board as my 2021 is pure crap.

Joe Campise (not verified)    January 9, 2023 - 2:37PM

I would love to see a Subaru Outback in a hybrid model. I would definitely look to buy one. Subaru needs to offer hybrId alternatives in all models.