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The 10 Best Camping Vehicles - Subaru Outback, Forester Now Score Among The Top

What are the best new and used SUVs for camping? Check out the ten best models that include the 2021 Subaru Outback and 2014-2018 Forester.


With summer fast approaching, many outdoor enthusiasts will use their SUVs to go camping. Kelly Blue Book (KBB) just came out with the best trucks, cars, and SUVs for camping in 2021. Two Subaru models are on the lists, the trail-ready 2021 Subaru Outback and the 2014-2018 Forester.

The seven best new cars, SUVs, and vans for camping according to KBB include the 2021 Subaru Outback, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Ford Bronco Sport, Toyota 4Runner, Volvo V90 Cross Country, Chrysler Pacifica, and Mercedes-Benz Metris Getaway.

2021 Subaru Forester, 2021 Subaru Outback

KBB says the ten best, used cars and SUVs for camping include the 2014-2018 Subaru Forester, 2009-2011 Honda Element, 2012-2018 Jeep Wrangler, 2016-2020 Toyota Land Cruiser, 2017-2019 VW Golf Alltrack, 2018-2020 Buick Regal TourX, 2016-2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, 2010-2013 Chevrolet Suburban 2500, 2011-2015 Nissan Xterra, and 2008-2014 Chevrolet Express 1500 AWD.

KBB says the Outback has been the "ultimate" camping vehicle for decades. They say, "The Outback is a surprisingly large vehicle, so when you fold that rear seat down, there are 75 cubic feet of space for cargo. And every Outback comes with a sturdy roof rack. Thanks to its taller ride height and excellent 8.7 inches of ground clearance, the Outback is one SUV alternative that's at home on a fairly rough bumpy off-road trail."

2021 Subaru Forester, 2021 Subaru Outback

What is the price of the 2021 Subaru Outback?

The 2021 Outback comes in seven trim levels, base $27,845, Premium ($30,095), Limited ($34,645), Onyx Edition XT ($36,195), Limited XT ($38,545), Touring ($39,045), and Touring XT ($40,995). Pricing includes $1,050 destination.

The 2014-2018 Forester includes X-Mode, which improves off-road capability. KBB says, "X-Mode uses electronics to fight wheelspin and maintain forward momentum. The system works well and makes the Forester more capable off-road than one might imagine. Fold those seats down, and you'll have a cavernous 74.7 cubic feet of space to fit your mountain bikes, tents, and coolers.

2021 Subaru Forester, 2021 Subaru Outback

The price range of the 2014-2018 Subaru Forester is $11,800 to $20,700.

According to a recent report from Kampgrounds of America (KOA), camping has exploded in popularity in the last six years. An estimated 7 million people have started camping since 2014, with around a million new households purchased a tent in 2018. And outdoor adventure, from biking to hiking to kayaking, is also on the rise.

A recent story from WardsAuto reports 80 percent of Americans have spent time outdoors since the global coronavirus pandemic began last year, and 32 percent are first-timers. The report also says, because there are new items available like rooftop tents and easy-install camper systems, for vehicles like the Subaru Outback and Forester, an alternative term "glamping" (glamor camping) has arisen. It's glamorous when you can be isolated and still enjoy some creature comforts.

2021 Subaru Forester, 2021 Subaru Outback

With the rise in camping, the all-new rugged 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness trim will likely be a hit with outdoor enthusiasts when it arrives this summer. You can read the Torque News report on the model here.

The KOA report also says campers are moving away from using a tent and picking less traditional options like sleeping in their vehicles and rooftop camping. That's why owning a Subaru is so popular with a younger generation with active lifestyles who are flocking to the 2021 Subaru Outback and Forester all-wheel-drive models.

You Might Also Like: Update - The 6 Best New Rooftop Tents For Subaru Forester, Crosstrek, And Outback for 2021

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 USA