CR says to avoid the Jeep Grand Cherokee and buy the Subaru Outback instead

Is the 2023 Subaru Outback the best two-row SUV? Consumer Reports (CR) says there’s one new midsize SUV you should avoid buying, but the Outback is one model you won’t regret buying. Why does CR say the 2023 Subaru Outback is the best choice for SUV buyers over the 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee? Both have recently been remodeled, and it comes down to one crucial fact; reliability.

CR says the Jeep Grand Cherokee ranks below average in predicted reliability and toward the bottom of its midsize two-row SUV ratings. The 2023 Outback is expected to receive average reliability compared to the average new car. CR ranks the Outback as the number two overall midsize SUV out of thirteen new models.

The Outback is better than the Jeep Grand Cherokee because it scored well in their road tests, has good reliability, has active safety features and performs well in crash tests.

Consumer Reports reasons to buy the Outback: Ride, transmission, seat comfort, driving position, fit and finish. Reason to skip: Some climate control features require multiple steps.

2023 Subaru Outback

CR says many SUV dealers don’t realize that the Outback, still considered a wagon, “is a smart alternative to an SUV.” Why do they say the Outback is a good choice for SUV shoppers?

“Its 260-horsepower 2.4-liter turbocharged engine gives the wagon easy acceleration, but still got 24 mpg overall in our tests. The base 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine got 28 mpg in our test of the similar Legacy sedan. The ride is very comfortable, and handling is responsive and confident. But some tasks via the large infotainment screen require more than one step,” says Consumer Reports.

What is the Outback’s EPA-estimated gas mileage?

EPA fuel mileage figures for the 2023 Outback XT 2.4-liter turbo are 22/29 city/highway mpg and 25 mpg combined. Estimated fuel economy for the standard 2.5-liter engine is 26/32 mpg city/highway and 28 mpg combined.

The EPA says the 2023 Outback Wilderness gets an estimated 21/26 city/highway mpg and 23 combined mpg.

What sets the Outback apart for shoppers considering a two-row SUV?

The 2023 Outback also comes with a higher ride height of 8.7 inches of ground clearance, making the Outback easy to get in and out of. The Outback has the driving dynamics and handling of a car but has standard all-wheel drive for all-weather and winter performance.

Outback gets the highest safety score

The 2022 Subaru Outback earns the highest Top Safety Pick+ award from The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Consumer Reports says, “All Outback trims get the EyeSight safety suite with standard forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection; blind spot warning is optional.”

The best winter vehicle for driving on snow and ice

The 2023 Outback ranks as the best small SUV for snow driving in iSeeCar’s latest rankings, with a total of 8.8 points in its Quality Score. It has a reliability score of 8.4, a value retention of 8.0 and a safety score of 10.0. The Outback beats competitors like the Jeep Wrangler, Ford Escape, Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 for winter driving.

The Outback comes standard with Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive but adds X-Mode for extra off-road capability. And some trims come with the new dual-function X-Mode for off-road capability. Outback XT and Wilderness trim levels now offer a Deep Snow and Deep Mud feature for additional severe weather capability.

What is the price of 2023 Subaru Outback?

The 2023 Outback now comes in nine trim levels for US customers; the base trim is priced from $29,620, Premium ($31,920), new Onyx Edition with a 2.5-liter engine ($34,720), Limited ($36,520), Touring ($41,070), Outback Wilderness ($39,670), Onyx Edition XT ($39, XT ( $40,920) and Touring XT ($43,520).Price includes destination and delivery charges ($1,225).

The 2023 Subaru Outback flies “under the radar with many midsize SUV customers.” Still, it scores highly in reliability, owner satisfaction, road tests, mileage and safety. You can read more in the full report here.

Consumer Reports says new two-row SUV buyers should avoid the 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee and buy the 2023 Subaru Outback instead.

You may also like: 2023 Subaru Model Outlook and what customers should know before buying

Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with all major car brands. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out the 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, Twitterand Instagram.

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