The iconic Subaru Outback is one of our favourite SUVs, so when it appeared with a fresh face in Japan, it intrigued us. Normally, it shows we’ll see the refresh on American-market Outbacks in a few months, similar to how we saw the Forester update in 2021.
That’s because the Outback defied convention by debuting in the United States before its Japanese counterpart. Remember that American Outbacks are manufactured at Subaru’s facility in West Lafayette, Indiana, whilst Japanese Legacy Outbacks are manufactured in Gunma Prefecture. The sixth-generation Outback went on sale in the United States in late 2019 as a 2020 model, but it didn’t arrive in Japan until February 2021.
We asked Subaru if this appearance would be available in the United States, but a spokeswoman said, “We can’t comment on future product.”
It’s a shame that Japan doesn’t have this option, because not everyone wants their cars to look aggressive, especially with a friendly brand like Subaru. Extra cladding looks fitting on an off-road oriented model like the superb Outback Wilderness, a trim that isn’t available in Japan. It’s a typical grass is greener scenario, but we might come out on top in this case.