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The Newly-Upgraded Subaru Outback Is Stuck In The Middle Between Good And Great

The newly upgraded 2023 Subaru Outback is the second-best model in Subaru's lineup. See why the Outback is good, but the midsize SUV is not great. Check out the report here.

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The newly-upgraded Subaru Outback is right in the middle between good and great in Subaru of America's (SOA) all-wheel-drive lineup. 2023 Subaru Outback sales decreased slightly in March, moving the midsize SUV to second place in Subaru of America's (SOA) lineup. The newly-upgraded Outback finished the month behind the 2023 Subaru Crosstrek subcompact SUV again.

Outback was the second top performer in March.

SOA reported the newly upgraded 2023 Subaru Outback midsize SUV decreased by 4.1 percent in March, with 13,245 models sold compared with 13,808 in March 2022. As a result, the Outback moves to second place in the lineup. Outback is down 0.6 percent in the first three months of 2023.

2023 Subaru Outback
photo credit: Schumacher Subaru

The Outback is good but not great.

The Outback is good in sales performance but not great for the first quarter of 2023. It's just slightly behind last year's numbers, with 32,767 midsize SUVs delivered to customers throughout the first three months. In addition, the Outback is 205 model sales behind 2022, with 32,972 models sold in the first three months.

Outback is still behind the Crosstrek.

The Crosstrek subcompact started the first two months of 2023 hot, and in March, the subcompact SUV continued its impressive streak. As a result, the 2023 Crosstrek was SOA's overall sales leader again. In addition, Crosstrek was the top performer by volume, achieving its best March ever with 14,040 vehicle sales, surpassing its March 2022 sales of 13,460, up 4.3 percent.

2023 Subaru Outback
photo credit: Schumacher Subaru

The hot Crosstrek is up 10.9 percent for the first quarter of the year, the most of any Subaru SUV nameplate. Crosstrek has 41,562 sales in the first three months of 2023 and is now 8,795 model sales ahead of the Outback.

It's up and down for the Outback

The 2023 Outback midsize SUV that received new upgrades should be ahead of the 2023 Crosstrek's sales volume. However, there are two reasons why Outback is not the best in sales. First, the Crosstrek is significantly less expensive, and second, it's more fuel efficient than the Outback midsize SUV. With new vehicles getting more expensive and interest rates rising, Outback sales have dropped slightly while the Crosstrek is exceeding expectations.

The newly-upgraded Outback should be the hot model in Subaru of America's all-wheel-drive lineup with its new improvements and the outdoor-themed Outback Wilderness trim level. But the midsize SUV sales are up and down.

The 2024 Outback could be a game-changer. Subaru of America announced the 2024 Outback model changes and pricing recently. Check out the 2024 Outback's new upgrades and pricing changes in the link below.

For the 2024 model year, the Outback will be available in nine trim levels. The 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). In addition, destination and delivery fees are included in the price above ($1,295).

The 2023 Subaru Outback is a good midsize SUV in sales performance for Subaru of America, but it could be better. But the next-generation Crosstrek arrives this spring and will be a model that's hard to beat. The 2024 Outback comes this fall with new upgrades. The additional 2024 Outback improvements could change its sales performance outlook.

You Might Also Like: The 2024 Subaru Outback Pricing, Model Guide, and Its Most Significant New Upgrade

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: Schumacher Subaru

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Jerry Levy (not verified)    April 8, 2023 - 11:05AM

As the owner of 2 previous Outbacks, my issue with the new ones are 1. Very high prices, 2. Inability to get the optional more powerful engine unless I buy the very highest and most expensive versions of the car.

KR (not verified)    April 12, 2023 - 10:03AM

The headline says the Outback is good but not great implying not that good of a car. The story seems to be about sales numbers. That headline is bullshit and of course you know that. Kind of shameful.

Lisa (not verified)    April 13, 2023 - 8:57AM

I’m on my 5th outback and it’s given me the most grief with the recalled entertainment system that is no longer usable (they admittedly can’t fix) and windows that are sometimes tricky to get rolled up (reset, reprogrammed, still happens). I’m now considering other vehicles as I approach replacing this one. I love the outback but not sure there will be anymore in my future.