Subaru’s recipe for the Sport XT is simple: take its existing Outback platform and combine it with a more potent turbocharged engine to increase driving engagement and add to its braked towing figures.
The Outback Sport XT does come at a premium over the standard Sport variant, though, so let’s take a closer look and see if it’s worth the upgrade.
Subaru Outback Sport XT Competition
Subaru Outback Sport XT
|Volvo V60 Cross Country|
|Volkswagen Passat Wagon|
|Mazda 6 Wagon|
Starting Price: $52,190
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How Much Does It Cost?
The Subaru Outback AWD Sport XT is priced at $52,190, which is a $5000 premium over the standard Outback AWD Sport, which is priced at $47,190.
Keep in mind that these prices are subject to change, and do not include on-road costs.
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Subaru Outback (AWD SPORT XT) Specifications
|Variant||AWD SPORT XT|
|Fuel type||PREMIUM UNLEADED PETROL|
|Engine configuration||VARIABLE DOUBLE OVERHEAD CAM / 16 valves|
|Engine RPM||5200 / 2000|
|Fuel tank size||63.0|
|Fuel usage specs||9.0 / 0|
|ANCAP security rating||5|
For more details and other variants, check Subaru Outback car page.
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What Features Does the Subaru Outback AWD Sport XT Have?
The Subaru Outback Sport XT comes riding on a set of dark 18-inch alloys, and receives adaptive cruise control, a set of heated and water-repellent seats front and rear, black exterior highlights, a hands-free boot lift, front, rear and side-view cameras and satellite navigation upgrade for the 11.6-inch infotainment display that receives wireless Apple CarPlay & Android Auto.
This is atop standard Outback features like a set of roof rails, climate control, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, body-coloured door mirrors, wheel-mounted paddle shifters and DAB+ digital radio.
Adaptive cruise control
LED headlights, fog lights & running lights
Black exterior styling package
Heated and water-repellent seats (front and rear)
Front, rear and side-view cameras
Hands-free boot lift
Body-coloured door mirrors
11.6-inch infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay & Android Auto
Is the Subaru Outback Sport XT Comfortable to Drive?
If there is one thing holding back the driving experience in the standard Outback, it’s the very leisurely performance.
That’s what Subaru has hit on the head with the addition of the Sport XT, transplanting a more potent turbocharged four-cylinder into the platform that has offered some seriously impressive power and torque upgrades.
The Sport XT offers 45kW/105Nm more than the standard Outback AWD Sport, with combined outputs standing at 183kW of power and 350Nm of torque that have increased its accelerating and braked towing figures alike.
There’s 400kg added towing power over the standard Outback, with maximum braked towing figures of 2400kg for the turbocharged XT Sport.
To be clear, the new engine hasn’t completely transformed the Outback, though it has made it more responsive in the mid-range for easy overtakes and brief boosts up to speed.
Power is put to the road via a CVT automatic, which might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it remains undeniably smooth on a mix of low and high-speed driving.
“Once you get a taste of the turbocharged engine, it’s hard to go back to the base model- particularly with its added 400kg towing power”
As an everyday driver, the Outback is lovely on everything from smooth city streets to bumpy country roads.
Around town, the Outback is easy to maneuver and offers a great deal of visibility while parking- and has the added bonus of front and side-view cameras that help avoid scraping those dark rims on the kerb.
On the open road, the XT Sport feels smooth and planted thanks to Subaru’s suspension hardware and the symmetrical all-wheel drive system which helps to inspire confidence as you push around corners.
As a complete package, the latest Outback Sport XT is near perfect, and in a prime position for the Australian market. The slightly lifted platform and AWD system keep it planted, while the capable suspension system handles the worst of Australian road conditions with ease.
Of course, the power upgrades are a standout, which not only adds to the driving experience but also gives it more versatility for light off-road and while towing.
Is it Fuel Efficient?
One major downside of the turbocharged Outback Sport XT is that the power increases have been matched by higher fuel economy figures.
The Sport XT is officially rated at 9.0L per 100km on a combined cycle, which is quite thirsty for the segment, while the standard Outback AWD Sport is rated at 7.3L/100km.
Is it Practical and Spacious?
Subaru has done a great job in terms of the interior packaging of the latest Outback, which remains a heavy-hitter when it comes to space and practicality.
Up front, the soft seats welcome you on arrival, while the driver has a great view out of the cabin, and the spacious cabin design accommodates tall drivers without a problem.
There’s not too much to get excited about inside the cabin, with the exception of some contrast stitching and metallic pedals, though practical elements like storage at the base of the centre console, cup holders and a large folding armrest make it very useable for families.
“The Outback Sport XT is a practicality king, with its large second row, huge boot and roof rails as standard- it’s ready for action.”
Move to the second row and you’ll find no issues when it comes to accommodating tall adults in the rear of the Outback’s cabin, with midsize SUV-rivalling space on offer for both legroom and outstanding headroom.
The second row of the Outback Sport XT also picks up a pair of ISOFIX anchors and top tether mounts for forward and rear-facing child seats, as well as air vents and a pair of USB chargers.
Finally, the Outback offers a very impressive 522L of boot space, which expands to 1267L with the second row folded to help accommodate bulky cargo and sports gear without a problem.
All up, the Outback is a super capable family wagon that offers a tonne of space in the front and rear of the cabin, with the added versatility of a large boot and roof rails as standard so it’s ready for your next adventure.
Is it Safe?
The Outback Sport XT is a safe and well-equipped vehicle when it comes to active safety gear.
Atop its five-star ANCAP safety rating, the Outback comes packaged with forward and reverse autonomous emergency braking, emergency steering assist, lane-departure alerts with lane-keep assist, rear-cross traffic alerts and blind-spot monitoring.
Our Verdict: Is The Subaru Sport XT Worth it?
While it comes at a significant price premium over the standard Sport, spending the extra on the Sport XT is absolutely worth it and lands you with a package that doesn’t require upgrading to the range-topping Touring XT.
The upgraded engine performance makes for a livelier driving experience and adds to your towing capacities and potential light off-roading adventures.
The latest generation Outback is a perfect option for Australian families living in town and country alike, and has SUV-rivalling space and practicality inside.
If you’re tossing up your best options within the family-friendly car space, be sure to connect with one of our car buying specialists who can help find your perfect car at the best possible price.
2023 Subaru Outback XT Sport video review from PerformanceDrive
Five Specs You Need to Know
Five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty
9.0L/100km fuel economy figures (7.3L/100km for standard Outback)
Five-star ANCAP safety rating
522L boot space
2.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder paired with CVT automatic
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