Subaru Outback: changes on the way?

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A reader sent me these photos of a possible mid-cycle refresh for the Subaru Outback. The 2022 Outback is out in the US, which means this would have to be a 2023 model. Possibly coming out in a few months.
Upfront, the bumper, and grille are new. Although I really hate the black plastic cladding on these cars, I have to admit, it is super convenient. Most car bumpers these days are just so fragile and exposed to anything…
The rear trim of the car seems slightly different. 
The main difference I can see is on the sides, where the wheel arch cladding is much larger. And the parts at the bottom of the doors seem much more aggressive as well. 
Too bad Subaru can’t seem to find a way to integrate all that black plastic a little bit better…


Conversation 6 comments

  1. That’s the European version that went on sale this year. TBD on if it’s actually a facelift preview for the US version or they just intentionally have slightly different styling

  2. changes so subtle, only a Subaru Outback aficionado will spot them. It almost looks like they're going back to their 2015 front end styling. I had 2 of these, a 2015 and 2018… both were great cars, loaded with convenience features and tech. Decent value (especially for leases) but the new ones are creeping on $40K which makes them less of a value play.

    neither car was sporty to drive, they were just "OK" while the 2.5i and CVT combo was anemic and uninspiring.

    agree with Vince, the arch cladding seems to have gotten worse while the "styling" at the bottom of the doors always seemed overwrought and useless. It looks like they have incorporated 360 cameras in the mirrors, look at the top pic

    the green car appears to have a different roof rack, wonder what that is. The built-in cross bars of the Outback were a huge selling point and super useful for paddleboards, canoes, ski boxes, etc.

    I do like the rear bumper, it actually looks like it could provide protection.. the embedded lights look like they could be rear fog lights, but I'm sure for the US market they'll just replace them with cheaper reflectors.

    The one thing all Outbacks need is a larger sunroof, similar to the one offered on the Forester. I always disliked the small sunroof opening on the 2015/2018

  3. Imo, Subaru makes the ugliest vehicles on the market. Truly no excuse for this. Lucky for Subaru they are so capable.

  4. I find the 2.5 totally adaquate especially in the legacy while returning up to 37 mpg. These engines take 10k miles to fully break in.

  5. agree with FFEMT6… the Subaru styling leaves a lot to be desired. Check out this render I came across today, if Hyundai wanted to enter this market, they would offer quite a nice alternative to the Outback…

  6. Yep, euro model. The Outback Wilderness sold in the states is similar, it has the bigger wheel guards and beefed up black trim.

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