2 Things Consumer Reports Hates About the 2023 Subaru Outback

Like its previous models, the 2023 Subaru Outback has earned solid ratings. The raised wagon has stayed true to its original formula that pleases those who need a family car to those who are taking long road trips. The 2023 model does have some minor changes and improvements compared to previous models, but not many.

The significant difference is that the updated model features Automatic Emergency Steering, which will help drivers keep themselves and their passengers safe, and some other minor exterior and interior updates. Overall, the 2023 Subaru Outback is almost identical to the 2022 Outback. Just as with prior modelsConsumer Reports found two major flaws you should be aware of before purchasing the 2023 Subaru Outback.  

Some controls are difficult to use on the 2023 Subaru Outback

A white 2023 Subaru Outback.
2023 Subaru Outback | Subaru of America, Inc.

One of the main complaints among 2023 Subaru Outback drivers is difficulty accessing and understanding controls. Another major concern is there is a start/stop feature that starts every time the engine comes on. This can be distracting, frustrating, and dangerous. 

Although the steering buttons are smooth and the heated seats are enjoyable, the features are not easy to reach. Some features, like the heated seats, take several steps to access, resulting in distracted driving and frustration. 

 It is noteworthy, however, that once the intended features are reached, they are all of good quality, except when it comes to calls. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are both available either via Bluetooth or plugged in, which can assist a driver and avoid distractions, but the quality of calls is not up to par. 

The slow, cumbersome infotainment system

The SUV features a large touchscreen, but as previously noted, it has some issues. Despite its large size, tiny buttons on the bottom of the screen are blocked when a driver attempts to access climate controls and the gear selector. The numerous buttons are also confusing, and drivers have trouble deciphering which symbol means what. When they reach the correct symbol, some features require several steps. These steps only become more frustrating when they have to be completed on a screen that is unresponsive. To only add on to the frustration, the infotainment system often suffers from a severe lag. 

Does the good outweigh the bad with the 2023 Subaru Outback?

Despite the minimal flaws, the Subaru Outback has many positive features and aspects. There is a reason it has earned a Consumer Report score of 85, and earned a solid following. Anyone who loves a smooth, steady ride will enjoy cruising in the 2023 Outback.

It has smooth acceleration, excellent handling, and fantastic suspension, even for those who enjoy the outdoors. Although cars with continuously variable transmissions(CVTs) are notorious for rough transitions, consumers found that the Outback’s CVT did not. 

Both drivers and passengers will also enjoy the interior comfort the 2023 Outback offers. It has a spacious interior with standard heated seats and an automatic dual-zone climate system. Both forward and rear seats were found to be supportive, with ample space and comfort. 

In addition to an enjoyable ride, 2023 Outback offers a safe one, largely thanks to its impressive visibility. As with most SUVs, the Outback’s raised position offers drivers elevated visibility, but the Outback has additional visibility built into its design.

It provides a third window that is useful in seeing the three-quarter blind spots, and it also has triangle front windows, which increase visibility. Most importantly, the SUV’s windows are large with only small pillars in between, helping drivers see all angles while driving. 

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