• XT turbo arrives as powerful new flagship
  • Prices up across the range
  • Welcome infotainment upgrade

The updated 2023 Outback SUV is now on sale in Australia, debuting the anticipated new 2023 Subaru Outback XT petrol turbo models.

The new variants arrive in two trim grades: Outback AWD Sport XT and Outback AWD Touring XT, effectively mirroring the middle and top-spec grades already offered with the existing variants.

Prices are up across the range, however, increasing by around $3000 on existing models.

Outback AWD $42,690 (2021: $39,990)
Outback AWD Sport $47,190 (2021: $44,490)
Outback AWD Touring $50,990 (2021: $47,790)
Outback AWD Sport XT $52,190 (new variant)
Outback AWD Touring XT $55,990 (new variant)

In XT form, the Outback is blessed with a 2.4-litre turbo four-cylinder petrol engine producing 183kW between 5200-6000rpm and 350Nm between 2000Nm-4800rpm.

Both numbers represent a significant step up from the 138kW/245Nm outputs offered with the existing cheaper and less powerful 2.5-litre naturally-aspirated petrol models.

To complement the turbo boost, XT models also get re-tuned suspension, with revisions to damping force front and rear, and the spring constant of the front coils.

“We have heard our customer’s request for a turbocharged Outback loud and clear, so we are extremely pleased to add two all-new, turbocharged Subaru Outback variants to the MY23 Subaru Outback line-up,” said Subaru Australia boss, Blair Read.

On the styling front, the XT models are made distinct from their non-turbo siblings through the addition of dual tailpipes, XT badging, and LED fog lamps with six LEDs.

Infotainment tweaked for 2023

The 2023 Outback’s equipment and safety list is largely unchanged from the early 2021 launch range, with new features limited (a very welcome) upgrade to wireless Apple Carplay and Android Auto, along with a new 3.0A USB-C port replacing one USB-A port in the front row.

There’s also a light update to the 11.6-inch infotainment display, including new shortcut buttons, updated climate control buttons, and – finally – full-screen Android Auto. (Click here to see how little space Android Auto is given in the new 2022 Subaru WRX, compared to the larger Carplay space. We’ve asked Subaru if the WRX is due for a firmware update.)

The steering wheel gets a redesigned button layout on the left and right spokes, and removes the mid-mounted buttons.

The integrated navigation now allows address and point of interest searches to be performed via the same text field, and lastly, there’s an expanded range of voice control features:

  • Auto Start Stop
  • Lane Departure
  • Cruise Control
  • High/Medium/Low Fan Speed level settings
  • Search for closest location
  • Seat heater/seat ventilation settings

2023 Subaru Outback equipment highlights

Central information display with 11.6-inch tablet-like infotainment touchscreen
Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity
Auto Stop-Start
Subaru Intelligent Drive (SI-Drive) featuring Intelligent (I) and Sport (S) mode
X-Mode (two mode)
Auto-folding door mirrors
Hands-free powered tailgate

The Outback AWD Touring XT also adds auto door mirror adjustment and
auto driver seat adjustment.

2023 Subaru Outback safety features

SRS airbags: dual front, dual front side, dual curtain, driver’s knee, and front passenger cushion
Subaru Vision Assist featuring:
Adaptive Driving Beam (ADB)
Blind Spot Monitor (BSM)
Eyesight® Assist Monitor
Front View Monitor (FVM)
Lane Change Assist (LCA)
Side View Monitor (SVM)
Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)
Reverse Automatic Braking (RAB)
Subaru Eyesight® Assist featuring:
Adaptive Cruise Control
Emergency Lane Keep Assist
Lane Centring Function
Lane Departure Prevention
Lane Departure Warning
Lane Sway Warning
Lead Vehicle Stay Alert
Pre-Collision Brake Assist
Pre-Collision Throttle Management
Autonomous Emergency Steering
Brake Light Recognition
Intelligent Speed Limiter
Speed Limiter
Speed Sign Recognition
Driver Monitoring System featuring:
Distraction warning
Drowsiness warning
Facial recognition
Climate control setting (last used)
MID display (last used)

Outback AWD Touring (non-turbo)


The new Subaru Outback is offered as standard with a five-year / unlimited-kilometre warranty, along with 12 months complimentary Subaru Roadside Assistance.


The Outback AWD, Outback AWD Sport and Outback AWD Touring offer a 2000kg braked towing capacity.

Moving to the Outback AWD Sport XT and Outback AWD Touring XT upgrades that to a 2400kg braked towing capacity, but it requires the installation of an electric brake controller if the towing mass is greater than 2000kgs – and can only tow a trailer with a maximum of two axles.

Mike Stevens

2023 Subaru Outback pricing

All listed prices exclude on-road costs

Outback AWD $42,690 (2021: $39,990)
Outback AWD Sport $47,190 (2021: $44,490)
Outback AWD Touring $50,990 (2021: $47,790)
Outback AWD Sport XT $52,190 (new variant)
Outback AWD Touring XT $55,990 (new variant)

The story to here

May, 2022: Outback XT confirmed for Australia


  • XT to join MY23 line-up
  • 2.4-litre mated to auto transmission only
  • Lands locally fourth quarter 2022

The 2023 Subaru Outback is set to gain turbo power in Australia, with the marque’s XT variant confirmed to join the model range by the year’s end.

The 2.4-litre turbo-petrol, which has previously never been offered here, will be mated to an automatic transmission only.

Citing customer demand as one of the main reasons for bringing the XT Down Under, Subaru said it would join the MY23 Outback’s line-up as its top-spec grade when it lands locally at the end of 2022.

At this stage it is expected it would sit above the current Touring grade, though the company has not confirmed any further details of what the MY23 range will look like.

2023 Subaru Outback

Until now, Subaru’s North American division has offered two engines in the Outback – a 2.5-litre naturally-aspirated donk and the 2.4-litre turbocharged engine (both four-cylinder petrols), with Australian buyers having to make do with the former’s 138kW/245Nm offering – as the US wagon is produced in Lafayette, Indiana, while Australian-delivered examples come from the manufacturer’s native Japan.

“We heard customers wanted us to bring it [XT] to the Outback, and we knew there was demand from Australian customers for the turbo model from people who were looking for more towing capacity or power. So, with great support from Subaru Corporation, we’ve been able to make it happen for the 2023 model year,” Subaru Australia’s General Manager, Blair Read, told Wheels this week at the launch of the new WRX.

2023 Subaru Outback

“[Previously] it [the 2.4-litre engine] was only being produced in the American plant. It wasn’t available in the Japanese plant where our vehicles are sourced. So there are some big differences between the American spec Outback and the Australian spec Outback. The two markets [America and Japan] were on different development cycles.”

Asked if there was potential for the XT grade to join other models in Subaru’s local portfolio, Read said he could not comment on what might be in the pipeline, but that if a Forester XT was available, the Australian arm would jump at the chance to get it for our market.

“Well first of all, it’s great for XT to return and great to offer it on Outback and to bring the 2.4. XT is an iconic nameplate for Subaru,” the boss added.

“Is there a Forester XT in the pipeline? Nothing we can comment on this stage. But yes, if it was available, we’d be interested.”

Designed primarily with the North American market in mind, the 2023 model-year update to the Outback sees its front end redesigned to fall in line with Subaru’s recent releases such as the new WRX, while extra black plastic cladding is aimed at both providing a more aggressive stance on top of extra protection.

On top of the cosmetic changes, a number of equipment upgrades and improvements have been made to the 2023 model, with the latest version of Subaru’s EyeSight driver assist tech standard across the range, including a wider field of view for the camera, updated control software, and an electric brake booster.

At the back end of 2021, Subaru added the Outback Premium Special Edition into the local MY22 line-up, dropping it in between the base Outback and the Outback Sport in both price and features, going on sale from $44,190 before on-road costs.

For the extra $3500 on top of the entry-level Outback, the Premium variant gains black Nappa leather seat accents, heated front and rear outboard seats, satellite navigation and a hands-free powered tailgate.

As yet full pricing and features for MY23, including the new XT grade, have not been revealed and are likely to be confirmed closer to local launch later this year.

2022 Subaru Outback Touring – currently Australia’s top spec grade

Subaru’s 2022 model range, however, has been hit with a cost increase in recent weeks, as supply chain issues force the Japanese manufacturer to readjust its list prices.

Off the back of the BRZ coupe going on sale recently for $1300 to $1400 more than last year, Subaru has awarded the Impreza, XV, and Outback ranges with higher premiums, each up by $800 before on-road costs.

Last year, Subaru revealed it had sold 150,000 examples of its Outback lifted wagon Down Under, 25 years after the model first went on sale here. In 2021, the Subaru Outback passed the ANCAP safety test with flying colours, being allocated the full five-star safety rating.



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