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10 Best Interiors Under $50K - Subaru Is Still Catching Up To The Competition

Which car brands make the best interiors? The 2021 Subaru Forester, Outback, and Ascent miss out on another competition.


Does Subaru make the best car interiors? According to a new report from Autotrader, the 10 Best Car Interiors Under $50,000 for 2021 does not include a 2021 Subaru Forester, Outback, or Ascent.

The 10 Best Car Interiors Under $50,000 for 2021

Autotrader’s 2021 car model winners with the best interiors are the Buick Envision, Genesis G80, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Kia K5, Lincoln Corsair, Mazda3, Mercedes-Benz GLA 250, Nissan Kicks, and Volkswagen ID.4.

2021 Subaru Forester, 2021 Subaru Ascent, 2021 Subaru Outback

Even though Subaru has come a long way with its interiors, they still have a ways to go before they win another best interiors competition. The Japanese automaker’s interiors were the weak point for all their cars when they had more hard plastic inside than anything else a few years ago. Subaru interior materials were cheap, and the fit and finish were poor.

Have Subaru’s interiors improved? Subaru has upped its game, and the Subaru Impreza did win Ward’s Auto 10 Best Interiors in 2017. It is the only Subaru model with the best interior award.

Ward’s said about the Impreza, “The compact car’s mix of quality materials, thoughtful-but-restrained use of color, easy-to-use features, and easy-to-reach switchgear place Subaru on our seventh annual list for the first time.”

2021 Subaru Forester, 2021 Subaru Ascent, 2021 Subaru Outback

The Subaru Ascent 3-Row family hauler was nominated for Ward’s Auto 10 Best Interiors in 2019, and the Subaru Outback Onyx Edition and Legacy Sport trim were both nominated for the award in 2020. But all three models fell short of winning.

Subaru’s number one selling 2021 Forester compact SUV has never been nominated for a best interior award. Consumer Reports gives the Forester a 4/5 rating for front seat comfort, a 5/5 for rear seat comfort, and 4/5 for interior fit and finish.

Subaru’s core values are affordability, all-wheel-drive, off-pavement performance, roomy interiors, easy access, excellent visibility, intuitive controls, good fuel economy, and a comfortable ride.

Even though lower-quality interiors have been an issue for the brand in the past, Subaru is making strides to improve this weakness area. The 2021 Subaru Forester, Outback, and Ascent are making progress in upping their interior game, but they haven’t arrived yet.

You Might Also Like: Subaru Says You And Improving Quality Are Its Top Priorities In The Next 10 Years

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: main image Schumacher Subaru, Subaru


Earendil (not verified)    March 14, 2021 - 12:24PM

I'm happy with the interior of our 2020 Ascent. But I'm a simple man, so take my opinion with a grain of salt.

C sheroki (not verified)    March 14, 2021 - 2:00PM

I have a Subaru Forrester 2019 and it has the most uncomfortable seat that I have ever been in. When I asked the dealer if there was anything they could do he told me to go to a private interior shop and ask them to add more cushioning to the seat!

Keil Miller Jr (not verified)    March 14, 2021 - 4:02PM

I have a 2021 forester base. Will give you more information than this article.

The good: Climate control is 3 familiar knobs with an auto feature that works without being complicated. Upright seating similar to a truck is good for people who are older and have back problems like myself. Radio is a small touch screen and easy to use. It's not large and distracting. The lcd in the speedo is small and full of good info. Rpm and speed analog gauges retained. Has usb charger port and can display phone gps on radio screen. Plastic interior is easy to clean. Auto braking, cruise control, and lane assist are all unobtrusive.

The bad: led display above radio is useless and repetitive. The keys on my keyring hit my knee. The pocket below radio does not fit a phone well. The armrest has a cut out for usb cords with intentions of putting phone there. Phone in this box does not fit well either. No rubber floor mats or rubber floor (snow, spilled drink).

Don Kwasny (not verified)    March 14, 2021 - 7:59PM

I have a 2006 Subaru Outback. The interior, leather seats, etc are all in great condition. That is the one thing about Subaru they have always used good quality interior materials that last in their interiors.