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Subaru Outback Is Only The 3rd Best New Midsize SUV Says Consumer Reports

What are the best Midsize SUVs for new model shoppers? In the 2-Row category, see where the 2023 Subaru Outback ranks and two models that score higher according to Consumer Reports.


Should you put the 2023 Subaru Outback on your shopping list this winter? Consumer Reports (CR) latest reliability rankings now say the redesigned Outback is the third best in the midsize 2-Row SUV category. See why the 2023 Subaru Outback is the best pick for new SUV shoppers traveling in winter's snowy conditions.

CR's top ten midsize 2-Row SUVs

CR says the 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid and 2023 Toyota Venza score above the 2023 Subaru Outback. The Hyundai Santa Fe gets a top score of 88 points, the Toyota Venza 80 points, and Subaru Outback 80 points. They are followed by the Ford Edge (78), Honda Passport (76), Chevrolet Blazer (75), Nissan Murano (74), Hyundai Santa Fe (73), Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport (68), and Jeep Grand Cherokee (55).

2023 Subaru Outback

The 2023 Outback is ranked #3 of the nine new midsize SUVs recommended by Consumer Reports.

CR says, "The Outback has a reputation as a smart alternative to an SUV, and the addition of comfort and convenience features with the 2020 redesign made this wagon even better. The base 2.5-liter four-cylinder does the job but can feel strained under stress. The turbocharged 260 horsepower, 2.4-liter engine transforms the Outback, giving it effortless acceleration. The ride is very comfortable, and handling is responsive and secure."

Where does the Outback need improvement?

"Some tasks through the large infotainment screen require more than one step," the report says.

2023 Subaru Outback

What is the price of the 2023 Subaru Outback?

The 2023 Outback 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.

The Outback is one of the best SUVs for driving in the snow

All Outback trim levels come standard with Subaru's Symmetrical all-wheel-drive system for all-weather performance and have 8.7 inches of ground clearance. The midsize SUV comes with X-Mode for all-terrain performance, and some trim levels have dual-function X-Mode for extreme winter driving (Deep Snow/Deep Mud mode). The SUV earned the Top Safety Pick+ crash scores from the IIHS.

Is the Outback fuel efficient?

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.

Owner satisfaction ratings

In its Owner Satisfaction surveys, CR says that when asked if they would "buy this car again," 70% of owners said yes. Only 38% of Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport owners said yes, 62% of Chevrolet Blazer, 63% of Ford Edge, and 67% of Honda Passport owners would buy the car again.

Is the Outback reliable?

CR says they expect the 2023 Outback will have average reliability compared to other new 2023 model-year cars. This prediction is based on data from the 2020, 2021, and 2022 models.

Our Take

The Outback has a car's driving dynamics and ride quality but has an SUV's utility. You can easily carry bulky items in the back and more oversized items with the rear seats folded flat.

The 2023 Subaru Outback should be on your list this winter because all trim levels come standard with all-wheel-drive, and you won't pay extra for it like some SUVs on the list. The Outback comes with additional snow clearing ground clearance (8.7 inches on standard models and 9.4 inches on the Wilderness trim.) Active customers use a vehicle for more than a commuter or grocery hauler; the Outback will get you further off the grid.

Consumer Reports now ranks the redesigned Outback as the third-best overall 2-Row Midsize SUV. The 2023 Subaru Outback is the best choice for those who need a more capable all-weather vehicle.

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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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Photo credit: Subaru USA


Jeff (not verified)    December 22, 2022 - 10:09PM

This article begs for more information on why CU favors the Santa Fe. You don't have to be such a 100% Subie fanboy ALL the time, Dennis, do you? I drive a 22 Subaru Outback Premium, in case anybody was wondering.

Myth (not verified)    December 25, 2022 - 6:46AM

I find it hard to believe any report that has a Hyundai or Kia on the list anywhere. How many have been stolen now? And a manufacturer that will not pay up the $172 to make it right……….

Chaim E. (not verified)    December 27, 2022 - 12:50PM

The new Outback is a piece of crap. All the mats are cheap foam now instead of latex, and the brand has become 100% about spin-offs like Onyx, Wilderness, and XT. They spent more time developing Eyesight than it will ever be worth (it can't keep a straight line) and it is somehow actually smaller inside than previous models, even with a larger chassis. The customer service (e.g. roadside assistance) has gone to crap and the prepaid maintenance plan no longer includes road hazards. Would have been better off getting warranty through GEICO. Steer clear; don't waste $45k like I did.

Coe (not verified)    December 28, 2022 - 7:02AM

It is not clear in your article if you rate the Hyundai Santa Fe as 1st or 8th on your list.