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Subaru Outback XT vs Volkswagen Passat Alltrack: 2023 spec battle!


The Subaru Outback XT is soon to be released in Australia, but how does it stack up against Volkswagen’s Passat Alltrack in 2023 in terms of raw numbers?

Subaru will soon launch a new flagship version of its Outback wagon to the Australian market wearing the famed XT turbocharged nameplate.

A turbocharged 2.4-litre option has been locked in for the Outback in 2023, so here at Chasing Cars, we have compared the new variant against one of its biggest competitors: the Volkswagen Passat Alltrack

We’ve broken down the most important information points and compared them back to back to see which car comes out on top in the spec sheets. 

Subaru Outback Touring 2021 long termer towing front
The Subaru Outback is gaining a turbocharged XT variant in 2023

How do the two stack up in terms of price? 

The upcoming Subaru Outback XT is set to cost $52,190 before on-road costs for the Sport variant and $55,990 before on-road costs for the flagship Touring version. 

Meanwhile, the base 162TSI Volkswagen Passat Alltrack starts slightly cheaper than the Outback XT at $50,790 before on-road costs, however the premium variant is $6800 more expensive than the flagship Outback XT, priced from $62,790 before on-road costs. 

Volkswagen Passat Alltrack 2021-14
The Volkswagen Passat Alltrack is a strong competitor for the Outback

What do you get for your money?  

As standard, the Subaru Outback comes standard with Eyesight driver assistance technology, roof rails with integrated cross bars, X-Mode for the all-wheel drive system and a powered tailgate. 

The Sport grade adds water repellant seat upholstery, heated front and rear seats and sports pedals. 

The top-spec Touring grade adds nappa leather seat trim, a sunroof, a nine-speaker Harman Kardon sound system and a powered, memory driver’s seat. 

Subaru Outback 2023 XT badge
The XT badge will return for the 2023 Outback, bringing turbo power

For 2023, the Subaru Outback gains several new features including new 18-inch alloy wheel design, wireless Apple CarPlay and wireless Android Auto connectivity, redesigned software for the 11.6-inch touchscreen, one USB-C port and extended voice command software. 

The Volkswagen Passat Alltrack, meanwhile, comes in two specifications: base and premium. 

The base Alltrack 162TSI includes IQ drive assistance, 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, fog lights and tail lights, a rear view camera, adaptive chassis control, an 8.0-inch central touchscreen, wired and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, cloth-trimmed seats and power adjustable lumbar support. 

Volkswagen Passat Alltrack 2021-8
Inside the base Volkswagen Passat Alltrack

The premium variant of the Alltrack includes further specification such as a 360-degree camera, ambient lighting, an electric tailgate, larger 19-inch alloy wheels, a panoramic glass sunroof, vienna leather seat trim, a larger 9.2-inch navigation and infotainment system and a harman kardon sound system. 

Powertrains compared  

Outputs for the Outback XT are rated at 183kW/350Nm from the 2.4-litre turbocharged flat-four, a generous boost over the existing 138kW/245Nm 2.5-litre naturally aspirated engine. 

The Passat Alltrack is powered by a 162kW 2.0-litre turbo engine

The 2.4-litre unit will be mated to a CVT automatic transmission and is the same engine found in the current Subaru WRX, but detuned slightly in this application 

Volkswagen’s Passat Alltrack wagon, meanwhile, is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol four-cylinder engine that produces 162kW/350Nm, making it quite a close match to its Subaru counterpart. 

The Passat Alltrack’s 2.0-litre unit is an EA888 engine and is paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

Volkswagen Passat Alltrack 2021-7
Volkswagen has utilised a version of the 2.0-litre EA888 engine for the Passat Alltrack

Both models feature all-wheel drive systems. Each model has been marketed as a light off-roader, with the Outback having a ground clearance of 213mm, while the Passat Alltrack has just 173mm of ground clearance to navigate trails and light off-roading situations.

Standard safety equipment  

As of 2021, the Subaru Outback carries a five star ANCAP safety rating. The wagon scored well in the four key areas of testing, with a particular highlight being the safety assist testing that scored an impressive 96 percent. 

The new 2.4-litre turbocharged flat-four engine that will be found in the Subaru Outback XT

The Outback is equipped with dual front, dual front side, dual curtain, driver’s knee and front passenger seat cushion airbags as standard. Several safety features are included such as blind spot monitoring, lane change assist, rear cross traffic alert, front and rear AEB, adaptive cruise control and adaptive high beam assist. 

With the Volkswagen Passat Alltrack, the model scored most recently a five-star ANCAP rating in 2015, however the model is now unrated as the safety rating has officially expired

However, Volkswagen noted last year that since 2015 the Passat has more than doubled its standard safety equipment despite now being an unrated vehicle in 2023 . 

Volkswagen Passat Alltrack 2021-16
The Volkswagen Passat Alltrack is designed for adventuring and light soft-roading

The Passat Alltrack is fitted with driver and front passenger, driver’s knee, front side, outer rear and front and rear curtain airbags as standard. 

Standard safety technologies for the Alltrack include Volkswagen’s IQ drive system that includes driver fatigue detection, front AEB with pedestrian detection, parking assist, speed limiter and adaptive cruise control. A rear-view camera and adaptive chassis control is also standard. 

Warranty and servicing cost  

We ran a Subaru Outback for six months during 2022 here at Chasing Cars

All new Subaru Outbacks are currently covered by a five year/ unlimited kilometre warranty, with servicing prices yet to be determined as the XT will be a new model for 2023. 

However, the clearest indication of service cost of the upcoming Outback XT is to look at the current Subaru WRX Sportwagon (that features a similar platform and 2.4-litre turbocharged engine) that costs $2365 to service over five years.

The Volkswagen Passat Alltrack also has a five year/ unlimited kilometre warranty, with servicing costing $2800 with a five year care plan.