2023 Subaru Outback gets new cladding and lights, more tech

The 2023 Subaru Outback makes its debut at the New York Auto Show with a number of changes. It’s this generation’s mid-cycle refresh, and Subaru has made minor appearance updates and added more tech to its lifted wagon.

Starting with the exterior, the 2023 Outback gets a new front fascia with a honeycomb-style (very large honeycombs) grille. The LED headlights are redesigned, and the fog lights are far more prominent in the lower front bumper. Subaru says the front bumper cladding and wheel arch cladding are both modified to provide more protection to the vehicle. These changes apply to all Outback models except for the Wilderness, as that model will carry along for 2023 looking unchanged.


The refreshed Outback’s new tech consists of an update to the Subaru EyeSight systems and the cameras used to make the systems work. Expect assist systems to work smoother than before and under a greater range of conditions. Subaru says this is thanks to updated control software and the addition of an electric brake booster. If your Outback has blind-spot warning, it’ll also have a new “Automatic Emergency Steering” function that could steer you away from and possibly avoid accidents at up to 50 mph. If you get the top-of-the-line Touring trim, it adds a new “Wide-Angle Mono Camera.” Subaru claims this new camera expands the system’s field of view and is able to recognize bicyclists and pedestrians sooner than before. This sure sounds like camera tech that should be applied to the rest of the lineup, regardless of trim level.

2023 Subaru Outback
2023 Subaru Outback

Those who use their Outback for exploring will be happy to know about a new navigation technology called “what3words” or “W3W.” Here’s how Subaru describes it: “W3W has divided the world into a grid of 10-foot squares and given each square a unique combination of three words — a what3words address. Customers can navigate to and share trailheads, scenic overlooks and other hard to find places with precise accuracy using just three words. The feature is standard on models equipped with the Starlink 11.6-inch Multimedia Navigation system.”

We’ll need some time with this one to fully understand it, but it sounds intriguing nonetheless.

Subaru’s last big tech update comes in the form of a digital rearview camera mirror that is exclusive to the Touring model. Beyond the tech, Subaru notes that the naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder will now be available for the Onyx trim.

Pricing for the 2023 Outback isn’t out yet, and while official timing wasn’t provided, we expect the updated Outback to hit dealers later this year.

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