May 20, 2022

Botu Linum

The Car & Automotive Devotees

Why The New Subaru Outback Onyx Is Now Your Best Pick Over Wilderness

3 min read

If you’ve been waiting on the sidelines for the refreshed 2023 Outback, should you buy the rugged Wilderness trim level or the upgraded 2023 Subaru Outback Onyx Edition? With the Onyx Edition upgrades, there are several reasons why you should consider buying it over the Wilderness.

The 2023 Subaru Outback gets a refresh with a new front fascia incorporating a more prominent grille, redesigned LED headlights and fog lights, and a more rugged front bumper cover. All Outback trim levels also get expanded wheel cladding for additional protection. The 2023 Wilderness trim doesn’t get any new exterior upgrades.

Onyx Edition now comes with two engine options

Subaru of America announced the 2023 Outback Onyx Edition is now available with the 2.5-liter naturally aspirated Boxer engine. Before, the 2.4-liter turbocharged engine was the only engine you could get.

The Onyx XT comes with the 2.4-liter turbocharged Boxer engine producing 260 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque. The new 2023 Onyx XT with the naturally aspirated 2.5-liter Boxer produces 182 horsepower and 176 lb-ft of torque.

2023 Subaru Outback features, upgrades, pricing, fuel mileage

What is the difference in fuel mileage?

You should consider the Onyx XT with the more fuel-efficient 2.5-liter engine with fuel prices rising.

The EPA fuel mileage rating of the 2022 Outback Onyx XT 2.4-liter turbo is 23/30 city/highway mpg and 26 combined mpg. The 2022 Outback Wilderness gets an estimated 22/26 city/highway mpg and 24 combined mpg. The estimated fuel economy of the Onyx Edition with the 2.5-liter engine is 26/33 mpg city/highway and 29 combined mpg.

What is the difference in price?

Subaru has not released 2023 Outback pricing but compared with 2022 models, the Onyx Edition is around $2,000 less than the Wilderness trim. The Onyx Edition with the 2.5-liter engine could be even less.

The 2022 Subaru Outback Onyx Edition XT is priced at $36,270, and Outback Wilderness ($38,120). Pricing includes $1,125 destination and delivery fees.

Onyx Edition features

The Onyx Edition features black-finish exterior elements with 18-inch alloy wheels, badging, and an exclusive gray two-tone interior. The seats are wrapped in a water-repellant durable StarTex material. The Onyx Edition also comes with a hands-free power gate, front view monitor, dual-function X-Mode, and a full-size spare tire.

Ground extra clearance is a big difference

The Onyx Edition is rugged enough for most customers if you aren’t navigating steep or rocky trails. The 2023 Outback Onyx Edition has 8.7 inches of ground clearance and 9.5 inches for Wilderness. The Wilderness also gets suspension upgrades for improved off-road performance.

Our take

The 2023 Subaru Outback Onyx Edition is a capable off-pavement all-wheel-drive midsize SUV that will handle almost anything you can throw at it. If you are going deep off-road and navigating steep rocky trails, the Wilderness trim is the model you want.

The 2023 Subaru Outback Onyx Edition with the 2.5-liter engine hits the sweet spot delivering enough horsepower if you aren’t pulling a camper or trailer and gets improved fuel mileage over the 2.4-liter XT and Wilderness models, and will cost less.

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Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report where he covers all of the Japanese automaker’s models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Photo credit: Subaru