The 2022 Subaru Outback is one of the top-rated SUVs in Consumer Reports' updated Most and Least satisfying list (by subscription) and what owners say about their vehicle. But the Outback also frustrates owners in one crucial area. In the 2-Row category, the most satisfying new models are the 2022 Jeep Wrangler, 2022 Subaru Outback, and 2022 Toyota Venza.
Consumer Reports says the updated 2022 Outback scores high overall in customer satisfaction, and it's tied with the Wrangler with the highest percent of owners saying they would buy the exact vehicle again.
photo credit: Subaru of America
Seventy-one percent of Outback owners answered "definitely yes" to the question asked by the Consumer Reports Annual Auto Survey "Considering all factors (price, performance, reliability, comfort, enjoyment, etc.), would you get this car if you had to do it all over again?".
The Outback is an excellent example of a model that satisfies overall but also frustrates. The Outback scores highest in the driving experience, comfort, and styling, yet the CR report says the Outback has the worst scores, and owners are the least satisfied with the infotainment system's ease of use.
photo credit: Subaru of America
What is the Outback's infotainment issue?
Subaru Report reached out to Consumer Reports to find out why the Subaru brand dropped from 5th to 14th overall among automakers in a recent report.
Consumer Reports' spokeswoman Chontell says, "Based on our survey results for seven models of Subaru; it was just "Good" overall, mainly people having issues and not satisfied with the in-car electronics portion. The data is from 2019-2021 models, and we say in the article that these scores are based on the percentage of owners who responded definitely "yes" about whether they would buy the same vehicle and do it all again," CR says.
So while Outback owners would buy the exact vehicle again, the brand's electronics are not meeting owner expectations.
David Amodeo, director of global automotive at J.D. Power, says automakers have to keep up with software updates to satisfy car owners. "For instance, cellphones update all the time with over-the-air software releases and, increasingly, automakers must take advantage of this approach to fix problems, improve features and add capabilities to keep owners satisfied," says Amodeo.
A recent story in the New York Times (by subscription) reports that it's not just Subaru owners experiencing software issues. Automakers are having problems making the transition to the digital age "and struggle to integrate the latest technology into vehicles, which must meet safety requirements that smartphones and other electronics do not."
The 2022 Subaru Outback is one of the most satisfying new 2-Row SUVs you can buy now, but the infotainment system's ease of use is frustrating owners.
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