Skip to main content

The 2023 Subaru Outback is one of the most popular vehicles in the world. It’s a safe, reliable SUV that comes at an affordable price. For most people, it’s a no-brainer to purchase the Outback. However, deciding which version of the small SUV is the best option can be challenging. In fact, experts disagree on the best 2023 Subaru Outback trim. Base, Premium, Onyx Edition XT, Limited, Wilderness, or another model?

The 2022 Subaru Outback, experts disagree about the best trim for the small SUV.
Subaru Outback | Subaru

According to Edmunds, the most popular version of the Outback is the Limited trim. Starting three slots above the Base model at $36,520, it’s a very well-equipped model that remains affordable. As the most popular Outback, it’s clear that consumers think it’s the best version of the vehicle. However, not every expert believes customers are purchasing the best trim for the Subaru SUV.

Best Outback trim, according to Edmunds

The Subaru Outback has cheap insurance rates, making it a solid choice for a cheap, capable vehicle.
2022 Subaru Outback | Subaru

First, the experts at Edmunds recommend buying the 2023 Subaru Outback Onyx Edition XT. Adding the XT to the trim level basically means it uses the optional turbocharged engine. The publication believes the more potent engine option is necessary for the popular Subaru. In short, Edmunds said of the Onyx Edition XT, “it’s the least expensive way to get the kind of power this vehicle needs.”

For $39,820, the Outback Onyx Edition XT receives a number of upgrades. For example, it has 18-inch wheels, additional off-road driving modes lower trims don’t have, a hands-free power liftgate, water-repellent simulated leather upholstery, blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert, and evasive steering assist.

Since every Outback has all-wheel drive, the next most important feature is the engine. Standard Outback models use a 2.5-liter four-cylinder good for 182 horsepower and 176 lb-ft of torque. However, the Onyx Edition XT gets the Wilderness’ turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder, with an output of 260 hp and 277 lb-ft.

Buy the 2023 Subaru Outback Premium, says Car and Driver


Experts Disagree on the Best 2022 Subaru Outback Trim

Next, another prominent expert, Car and Driver, disagree with Edmunds about the best 2023 Subaru Outback trim. C/D suggests buying the Premium model, which is just one above the Base trim. It says the Premium model offers the best set of standard and optional features for the price. Since it’s affordable, the Outback Premium’s features provide exceptional value.

For example, every Premium model has heated/power-folding exterior mirrors, windshield wiper de-icer, tinted rear windows, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, rear air vents, heated front seats, an 11.6-inch touchscreen, wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

Unlike Edmunds, C/D doesn’t think the turbocharged engine is necessary. Although buyers can add it optionally for a fee, the value just isn’t there. C/D says it offers slightly improved acceleration and an additional 800 pounds of towing capacity, which won’t make or break most buyers.

The best 2023 Subaru Outback trim

In conclusion, we find it difficult to disagree with either expert’s opinion. On the one hand, the Onyx Edition XT is an excellent collection of features and tech without breaking the bank. More importantly, it has an optional turbocharged engine, which some experts believe is worth the power.

However, we think the Premium model is better for most buyers. Not only is it cheaper, but it comes with all the features small SUV owners love. Extra power and towing capacity are excellent, but most owners will be better off saving money. Additionally, heated seats, a larger touchscreen, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto for just over $30,000 is an excellent value.