Subaru Outback XT 2023 first drive at Launch

Subaru launches the 2023 Outback XT

Subaru Outback XT model details – I have just got back from the launch of the Subaru Outback XT. This is the turbocharged version of the popular SUV wagon and it’s a beauty.

2023 Subaru Outback Touring XT Sapphire Blue front qtrWith a 2.4L turbocharged boxer engine the XT has outputs of 183kW of power and 350Nm of torque. The key here is delivery. The maximum torque comes in around 2,000rpm which helps for towing as well as relaxed cruising.

Driving the XT through the picturesque Megalong Valley and the Blue Mountains, you can really notice the improved performance. Ride and handling have always been an Outback feature but there is a new level of responsiveness that is appreciated.

Towing is rated at 2400kg which is amongst the best in class. This enhances the XT adventurous appeal with the ability to easily tow smaller camper trailers, hybrid vans and jet skis.

The Subaru Outback is the thinking persons SUV. It has class leading AWD capability, 213mm ground clearance, permanent symmetrical AWD and advanced X-Mode assistance. Add to that class leading Eye Sight safety features and its easy to see why they are so popular.

Pricing is excellent with the top model coming under $56,000 plus the usual costs.

This is a Motoring Minute

I’m Rob Fraser

2023 Subaru Outback Touring XT Sapphire Blue driving 1

Full Outback XT Details HERE


Motoring Minute Subaru Outback XT Video

2023 Subaru Outback Sport XT Autumn Green driving

Quick Subaru Outback XT Thoughts

Driving impressions

  • You can definitely tell the difference between the turbo and non turbo versions.
  • The XT has more punch, torque is felt lower in the rpm range and that makes for more responsive and enthusiastic driving.
  • One issue I have is that Subaru had the 3.6L engine a few years ago that was 191kW/350Nm and they removed it. Now here we are back again at nearly the same place.
  • The turbo 2.4L boxer delivers the torque lower in the RPM range which is better though.
  • We didn’t have the chance to tow on the days drive unfortunately but from past experience this will be an excellent towing vehicle
  • Likewise the revised suspension tune allows for firmer handling yet remains compliant for excellent ride.
  • It also allows the higher tow rating of 2400kg, which is impressive in the SUV class
  • Off road the 213mm ground clearance and advanced X-Mode allows the Outback to put almost every other AWD SUV costing many thousands of dollars more to shame.
  • Even some 4WDs as well.
  • The closest to the Outback is the Land Rover Discovery Sport, and we know just how good that is.
  • Combination of Symmetrical AWD and advanced X-Mode is awesome
  • 213mm ground clearance is good, VERY GOOD. Note that the Toyota HiLux SR5 and Fortuner has 216mm, Land Rover Discovery Sport 212mm, Nissan Pathfinder 179mm, Hyundai Santa Fe 176mm, Jeep Grand Cherokee 216mm.
  • The real limitations are approach and departure angles that require some focused attention.
  • We took the Outback XT on some trails that other manufacturers of 4WDs would take their dual range vehicles on and caution us to take care.
  • Well done Subaru – big tick

2023 Subaru Outback Touring XT Sapphire Blue central screen driving

Subaru Outback XT Final Thoughts

I’ve always been a fan of the sophistication, capability and luxury of the Outback. The XT is simply better.

This is an ideal vehicle for snow trips, towing light recreational vehicles and small boats, jet skis etc.

It also should be on the shopping list for empty nesters or Gray Nomads that want to tow and travel Australia, but really don’t want the big 4WD and all the associated issues.

The XT lets them still explore deep into the outback (pun intended) but drive an SUV wagon comfortably.

The problem with the Outback is that it’s so capable that owners forget it’s an AWD SUV not a 4WD.

Being greedy, I am very appreciative of the extra output from the turbo version, but please Subaru, when can we have a 225kW/400Nm version.

2023 Subaru Outback Touring XT Sapphire Blue central screen

What is good?

  • Awesome value for money
  • Infotainment and connectivity Technology
  • AWD capability

What is not so good?

  • Would love 225kW/400Nm version
  • No HUD
  • No massage seats

2023 Subaru Outback Touring XT Sapphire Blue driver instruments

Also look at

The Subaru Outback XT sits in a bit of an unusual segment. Its a wagon styles SUV, that is reasonably large, with five seats and yet extremely capable for the adventurous buyers.

You could also look at the Land Rover Discovery Sport, Audi A4 Allroad, Nissan Pathfinder, Hyundai Santa Fe, Mazda CX-8, Skoda Kodiaq RS, Kia Sorento

Subaru Outback XT engine overseas model shown

Subaru Outback


Outback XT Touring

Model Price$55,990 MLP*
Engine2.4L 4 Cyl Turbo Boxer
Drivetrain8 step CVT Symmetrical AWD
Battery Capacity / typeN/A
Power183kW @ 6,000rpm
Torque350Nm @ 2,000 – 4,800rpm
Fuel ADR9.0L/100km
Fuel on TestTBC
Fuel capacity63L
Range (WLTP) / efficiency863km Max
Fast Charge / Home (240V)N/A
SafetyFive star ANCAP (March 2021)
CO2 Emissions204g/km
0-100kmh/Top SpeedTBA
Servicing12 Mth / 12,500km – Capped Price
Warranty5yr/ Unlimited km with 5Yr. conditional roadside assist

*MLP Includes GST and LCT but excluding statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. See your dealer for RDAP. Does not include price of options. Some features mentioned in the article are options. RDAP means Recommended Drive Away Price (without options but including all other charges)

2023 Subaru Outback Touring XT Sapphire Blue front interior

Overall Rating    


Behind the Wheel9
Ride and Handling9
Fit for Purpose10
4WD / Towing *10(5/5 – 5/5)
Value for Money10

*Towing and AWD capability is measured against similar vehicles in the same class.

2023 Subaru Outback Sport XT Autumn Green profile


Overall Length4870mm
Wheels18×7.0 Alloy
Tyres225/60 R18
Max ground clearanceUp to 213mm
Wading DepthTBC
Departure angleTBC
Turning Circle KTK11.0m
Boot Capacity Min522L
Boot capacity MaxTBC
Battery WeightN/A
Kerb Weight1770kg
Payload (kg)430kg
GVM (kg)2200kg
Towing Capacity2400kg
Tow Ball rating240kg

2023 Subaru Outback Touring XT Sapphire Blue rear

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