2026 Subaru Outback.

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2026 Subaru Outback illustration.

Let’s just imagine what would happen if Subaru decided to make the next-generation 2026 Outback truly modern and more interesting. Something like this would have to happen in another dimension, a place where all current designers would be fired the company has decided to push the envelope and come up with something special.

The current generation Outback came out in 2020 and received a weirdo facelift last year that made the whole thing worse. We’ve seen the new 2025 Forester, which isn’t really modern but has the rare quality of looking a bit better in person. And its new interior is really pleasant. However, there is no sign of the next Outback looking like it should look like in the 21st century anytime soon. The current model is very popular for Subaru with over 161 000 units sold last year alone.

2026 Subaru Outback illustration.

Instead, the next Subaru Outback will probably look closer to this. It’s not as bad as it could be, and will probably still have too much plastic crap all over and lots of gold trim, like many current Subarus these days.

Subaru isn’t alone, as many manufacturers don’t want to rock the boat, especially while they are spending billions on new EV platforms. At least the next Outback will probably come with a Hybrid option since the Forester Hybrid is already on its way.

Subaru has recently mentioned they will introduce 3 new EVs by 2026. That’s less than 2 years away and we haven’t heard anything about any of them. At least one could be based on Toyota’s EV platform, also scheduled for 2026. “By 2026” means some of these new EVs could be coming out before. I guess there could be an EV version of the next Outback if they can find a platform that allows it. Or the Outback could just migrate entirely to a new EV platform? Which could be quite a daring move for Subaru.

We’ll see…

Conversation 7 comments

  1. Whatever, lol, no Subaru will EVER look as modern as that render. I’ve given up on Subaru design engineering at this point.

  2. That looks more suv and less wagon. I hope subaru doesn’t do that with the outback. Perhaps a new model can be designed like that. However, subaru lives and breathes the wilderness, rugged estetic. I don’t see them doing something that modern.

  3. Hmm… A cleaned up, less AWD looking version of the top photo would actually be a great start for Chevy’s next Volt/Bolt whatever thingy. I kind of liked the 80’s Tron “future” look of the original Volt. But then, they hit the FAIL button and gave us a Korean Cruze for the 2nd gen. That Cruze redesign also failed to win buyers and killed the model. Let’s hope for another wonderful retro futurism design for the Volt/Bolt.

    But THIS – not for Subie. I could maybe see the bottom one, more or less.

  4. That illustration would be the death of Subaru. Keep outback the way it is. Don’t off road them, that’s what jeeps are for.

  5. Pretty and practical don’t always work out for those who favor either. I’m not fond of the plastic, but at 82 with an 81 year old bride, a comfortable driver’s and front passenger’s seat for each of us — and great visibility — trump the design angle.

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