Stylists at the Exploding Galaxy have tweaked the front end of their Outback and Legacy models for 2023, with a wide-mouth mason grille now bookended by redesigned LED headlamps. There’s also a smattering of new technology, all of which the company figures is worth a $1,000 price hike.
And, in the fine print, we learned Subaru is now charging different Destination & Delivery charges for different states.
Oddly, none of the new design features are making their way onto the jacked-up Wilderness trim, perhaps in an effort to either further differentiate it from the pack or simply because its natty orange addenda doesn’t play nicely with the new styling. At any rate, non-Wilderness examples now get expanded black wheel-arch cladding, a mystifying new design trend at Subaru that sometimes looks as if someone shaded in the wrong parts of a paint-by-number picture.
The company says they’ve given their EyeSight driver assistance tech a rethink, apparently permitting it to operate more smoothly overall and in a greater range of road conditions. Improvements are said to be the result of a wider field of view, updated control software, and the addition of an electric brake booster. It’s not immediately clear if all cars get the wider field of view since it is noted that only the top-level Touring trim adds a so-called Wide-Angle Mono Camera in addition to the dual-cam EyeSight system. This permits the thing to recognize pedestrians and bicycles sooner when the vehicle enters an intersection at low speed, sounding an alert and stabbing the brakes if necessary.
Inside, cars fitted with the 11.6-inch Starlink infotainment touchscreen now enjoy wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a feature one doesn’t really know they want until they use it. Subaru also boasts of ‘improved on-screen controls’ for this screen, which must surely be better than the oft-befuddling displays currently in use. The weirdo dual 7-inch information display is still standard kit on base models.
One other change? The blacked-out Onyx trim is now available with the naturally aspirated 2.5-liter boxer which produces 182 horsepower and 176 lb-ft of torque instead of just the 2.4L turbo which makes 260 hp and 277 units of twist. Guess someone at Subaru clued into the fact that some customers just wanted the Onyx appearance; sans turbo, they’ll save roughly $5,000, which is no small chunk of change. The turbo engine is also available in the Limited XT and Touring XT trims. Everything gets all-wheel drive and a CVT.
Interestingly, Subaru is one of the first OEMs this author has noted charging different destination & delivery charges depending on the state in which the car is delivered. The fee is $1,020 for Legacy and $1,225 for Outback but “may vary” in CT, HI, MA, ME, NH, NJ, NY, RI, and VT. And if you’re in Alaska, tack on an extra $150 regardless.
The 2023 Outback and Legacy will be available at Subaru dealers this autumn.