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The 2023 Subaru Outback is an escape from the mundane in a sea of norm-core crossovers. Sure, Subaru’s cornerstone wagon-SUV-crossover thing may not have the most exciting performance – yet its all-weather capability and adventurous styling have made it a top pick for drivers who want more personality than the average grocery-getter. But look at most of the Subaru Outback alternatives, and you probably won’t find much excitement. They’re plenty practical, but there isn’t much to stir the soul. You have to think outside the box to find an Outback competitor that isn’t boring.

What are some interesting Subaru Outback competitors?

A green Subaru Outback drives through heavy rain with its headlamps illuminated. Large pine trees are in the background.
2023 Subaru Outback | Subaru of North America, Inc.

We’ve collected a few alternatives that manage to fill the 2023 Subaru Outback‘s functional roles while still having fun, interesting personalities:

  • Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • Volvo V60 Cross Country
  • Hyundai Santa Cruz
  • Audi A4 Allroad 

1. Jeep Grand Cherokee 

A white 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee drives in front of a mountain range.
2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee | Jeep, Stellantis

The Jeep Grand Cherokee has been around since about the same time the Outback hit the scene. While other SUVs of its ilk have gone a bit soft, the Grand Cherokee has kept its status as a legitimate off-roader with everyday creature comforts. Over the years, the Grand Cherokee and Outback have come closer together in both form and function.

The 2023 Grand Cherokee is an adequately outdoorsy option for those seeking a Subaru alternative. Spacious two-row seating, an excellent four-wheel drive system, ample cargo space, and an outdoorsy aesthetic make it a worthy adversary to the Outback.  

2. Volvo V60 Cross Country 

Side view of a Volvo V60 Cross Country driving off-road in the mountains.
Volvo V60 Cross Country | Volvo

The Volvo V60 Cross Country is quite a similar wagon to the 2023 Subaru Outback. If any Japanese automaker could fit in at a Scandinavian car meet, it’s Subaru. Practical yet funky wagons like the 2023 Outback abound in the Subaru lineup. However, if you’re looking for the real thing, the Volvo V60 Cross Country is the model to consider.

The V60 Cross Country comes with all of the signature Volvo features, like a turbocharged engine, minimalist styling, and impressive safety features. The Volvo also has standard all-wheel drive and higher ground clearance. As Motor Trend points, out the V60 Cross Country is showing its age and due for a redesign. Still, it’s competitive package and worthy of consideration as a Subaru Outback alternative.

3. Hyundai Santa Cruz 

Rear view of a 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz in black.
2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz | Hyundai

The Hyundai Santa Cruz offers many of the same capabilities as the Subaru Outback while adding a twist of its own. It picks up where the cult-classic Subaru Baja left off by slapping a small pickup bed on the back of a crossover. While the Tucson it’s based on may not be the most thrilling vehicle, the Santa Cruz is interesting by virtue of being different with its crossover-meets-pickup combination.

Plus, Hyundai has seriously stepped up its design game over the last few years to make some of the most visually striking vehicles on the road. The Hyundai Santa Cruz is no different. The Santa Cruz has a look all its own and an impressive cabin to match.

4. Audi A4 Allroad

A 2023 Audi A4 Allroad, a Subaru Outback competitor, sits with its back toward the camera and mountains in the background.
Audi A4 Allroad | Audi

If you’re ready to move from the Subaru Outback to an authentic luxury alternative, the Audi A4 Allroad is a great pick. Audi continues to stick to wagons, while other brands have abandoned the body style in the U.S. market. And the A4 Allroad’s higher ground clearance and standard Quattro all-wheel drive system match well against the Subaru Outback. 

The downside for the Audi A4 Allroad is its price. While the Subaru Outback starts under $30,000, the A4 Allroad starts in the mid-$40,000 range. That’s not surprising for a luxury brand, but it’s an important difference to consider against the Outback.

What’s the best Subaru Outback alternative?

The Subaru Outback is an impressive vehicle offering more than the sum of its parts – but the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Volvo V60 Cross Country, Hyundai Santa Cruz, and Audi A4 Allroad are mighty good alternatives. Each one offers the kind of utility, capability, and fun that Subaru drivers love. Still, there’s only one Outback. And it’s unlikely to lose its seat as America’s favorite wagon. 


Not Sure About an SUV? Consider a Subaru Outback or Other Wagon in 2023