2023 Subaru Outback Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons.
The crossover SUV has been the king of the hill for years now, and midsize options seem to be particularly popular. Drivers seem to appreciate the combination of utility and practicality that does not come at the cost of performance or style. The popularity of this vehicle type has led to a vast number of midsize SUVs for buyers to take a look at, allowing nearly every driver to find exactly what they are looking for. Undoubtedly, the 2023 Subaru Outback will be near the top of the list for many people.
As many people know, the Outback actually began its life as a wagon. It has now firmly transitioned into the realm of the midsize crossover, however. This year, the Outback gets a slightly refreshed look with a new grille design and new headlights.
Subaru gives buyers plenty of options to consider when shopping for a 2023 Outback. There are actually eight separate trim levels to get to know. While some things remain consistent throughout the lineup, such as the all-wheel-drive system, other things vary greatly from trim to trim. In order to prevent overpaying or experiencing buyer's remorse, drivers will want to get to know each of the models before making their decision.
Compare the Base vs Premium Trims. What is the difference?
The 2023 Outback comes standard with symmetrical all-wheel drive and a 2.5L four-cylinder engine. This SUV gives drivers the ability to create 182 horsepower along with 176 lb-ft of torque. The base model has a continuously variable transmission and the ability to tow up to 2,700 pounds. Hill descent control and X-Mode both come standard to enhance the performance of the new Outback.
Underneath the entry-level Subaru Outback are 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels. They are black with a machine finish. Subaru gives every Outback some impressive exterior features, including adaptive LED headlights and LED foglights. Plain black side mirrors are found on the base model of the Outback only. This vehicle also shows off body-colored door handles and black roof rails.
The interior of the base model of the Outback is a little less impressive. Drivers find manually adjustable front seats and cloth upholstery. Like most new vehicles, this SUV has 60/40 split-folding rear seats. Every 2023 Outback has two rows and seating for up to five.
An illuminated front USB-A port comes standard. There are eight cupholders to be found throughout the cabin, and a center console is included inside all models. For added convenience, the new Outback comes equipped with a removable cargo-area tray and underfloor storage in the cargo area. Single-zone automatic climate control is only found on the base 2023 Outback.
Another thing that separates the entry-level Outback from every other trim level is the infotainment system. The base model has dual 7-inch touchscreens, and the sound system has only four speakers. Every 2023 Outback has both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for simpler smartphone integration. Otherwise, there is a noticeable lack of tech inside the most affordable version of this Subaru SUV.
EyeSight comes standard on the base Outback. This gives the SUV a sway warning, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control with lane centering. Automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, and automatic high beams are all standard as well.
Next up is the Outback Premium. Integrated turn signals in the side mirrors and a window wiper de-icer are the only changes made to the exterior. Inside, the driver gets a power-adjustable seat. The front seats gain heat as well. Premium models also have a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.
The interior of the Outback Premium adds an illuminated USB-C port in the front, and rear USB ports are added as well. There is also a removable and retractable cargo cover to protect valuables. A rear gate LED light helps drivers load and unload the Outback after dark. Dual-zone automatic climate control becomes standard at this point. This is also where the Outback upgrades to an 11.6-inch touchscreen.
That is not the only tech upgrade made by this trim level. The Premium gains Wi-Fi capability and adds two more speakers, making the total six. While no active safety features are added, this model does get Subaru Starlink, which comes with roadside assistance and other passive features.
It will cost shoppers just over two grand to upgrade from the base Outback to the Premium model.
Compare the Premium vs Onyx Edition. What is the difference?
While the Onyx Edition of the 2023 Outback makes no mechanical changes, it does swap to 18-inch black alloy wheels. A hands-free power liftgate with programmable height is added as well. In the cabin, this model gets water-resistant synthetic leather for the upholstery. The Onyx Edition also is the first model to come with keyless entry and push-button start, as well as an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Kids are safer in this model, thanks to the anti-pinch protection added to the windows.
One of the most significant upgrades made by the Onyx Edition is blind-spot monitoring with lane change assist and rear cross-traffic alert. Otherwise, safety features remain the same. This trim level costs just under $3,000 more than the one that came before it.
Compare the Onyx Edition vs Limited Trim Levels. What is the difference?
The exterior of the 2023 Outback Limited looks very similar to the Onyx Edition. It sticks with 18-inch wheels, although they have a slightly different design. Moving to the interior, the front passenger gets an eight-way power-adjustable seat. Heated rear outboard seats become part of the standard equipment list. Leather-trimmed upholstery is yet another upgrade.
Limited models of the Outback have memory functions for the driver's seat and side mirrors. Perhaps the most exciting upgrade made for this trim level is the premium sound system that features a 12-speaker sound system with an amplifier. Reverse automatic braking becomes standard and driver attention monitoring becomes optional.
It costs less than two grand to upgrade from the Onyx Edition to the Limited. The sound system and reverse automatic emergency braking seem to justify this increase.
Compare the Limited vs Touring Trims. What is the difference?
Extra luxury is added to the 2023 Outback when buyers choose the Touring model. The upgrades begin with satin chrome side mirrors and a chrome insert for the door handles. While several models list a power moonroof as an optional feature, this is standard for the Touring. Ventilated front seats are yet another upscale feature for this Outback.
Premium leather is added by the Touring model, along with a heated steering wheel. This trim level also comes standard with integrated navigation and a rare CD player. Driver attention monitoring is also included in the Outback Touring model. Getting these extra features will cost buyers over $4,000 in comparison to the Limited trim level. This price jump is harder to justify than the last one as most of the upgrades are bells and whistles rather than useful features.
Compare the Touring vs Onyx Edition XT. What is the difference?
The Onyx Edition XT is the first Outback to get an upgraded engine. Underneath the hood of this model is a turbo 2.4L that generates 260 horsepower as well as 277 lb-ft of torque. A continuously variable transmission remains standard. Going with this engine will mean upgrading the towing capacity to 3,500 pounds.
Other than the engine, the Onyx Edition XT is quite similar to the standard Onyx Edition. It rides around on the same wheels, and it loses the upgrades made by the Touring and Limited models of the new Outback. Examples include the heated steering wheel and ventilated front seats. One nice thing about this trim, however, is the addition of a full-size spare tire. Despite the more powerful engine, the Onyx Edition XT is actually around $1,000 less than the Touring model.
Compare the Onyx Edition XT vs Wilderness Trims. What is the difference?
Even though it does not have "XT" in its name, the 2023 Outback Wilderness has the turbocharged engine. Buyers should be aware that this model has worse fuel economy than the others with the 2.4L engine. To live up to its name, the Wilderness trim goes up to 9.5 inches of ground clearance instead of the standard 8.5 inches.
Underneath the Wilderness trim are 17-inch wheels with all-terrain tires. This model maintains the LED foglights, but they are hexagonal in shape to help set it apart. The moonroof becomes an optional rather than a standard feature. For the roof rails, the weight capacity increases from 150 pounds to 700 pounds.
Like the Onyx Edition models, the Wilderness trim level has water-resistant synthetic leather upholstery. While the Onyx Edition trim level kept the navigation feature, this is missing from the Wilderness model. This trim level also goes back down to six speakers. Buyers will pay around $400 less for this trim in comparison to the Onyx Edition XT.
Compare the Wilderness vs Limited XT. What is the difference?
The off-road features of the Wilderness trim level are gone when buyers move up to the Limited XT. On the bright side, the upscale features of the Limited model come back. The only difference is that the Limited XT has the turbocharged engine for a more satisfying drive. Buyers will pay around $1,200 more for the Limited XT when compared to the Wilderness. It is over $4,000 more than the standard Limited trim level.
Compare the Limited XT vs Touring XT. What is the difference?
As one may expect, the Touring XT is equipped quite similarly to the other Touring model. Once again, the only real difference is what is residing underneath the hood. This trim level costs an extra $2,500 when compared to both the Limited XT and the standard Touring model.
While every 2023 Outback is well-equipped, buyers will want to go with a model with the turbocharged engine if they can. For that reason, the Onyx Edition XT is the right choice in many cases. It is the most affordable Outback with the 2.4L, and it has a respectable amount of features for the price.
That said, there will be some buyers who prefer luxury over performance. For them, the Limited model is a good bet. It does not have all of the extras that the Touring model does, but it does a much better job of justifying its price tag. If cost is not an issue, buyers can get the best of both worlds by bringing home the Limited XT.
As for the Wilderness model, it is not all that more capable than the standard Outback. If off-roading is the ultimate goal, buyers will be better off looking at other brands. Thanks to the standard all-wheel drive and hill descent control, all Outbacks should be able to handle a bit of trail driving.
The 2023 Subaru Outback Onyx Edition XT is the right choice for those after an engaging SUV for their family to enjoy.
• 2022 Subaru Outback Trim Levels