Skip to main content

The 13 Best SUVs Under $40K - 2 Subarus Are Near The Top Says Consumer Reports

What are the best 2023 model-year SUVs you can buy for under $40,000? The 2023 Subaru Outback and 2023 Subaru Ascent are among the best new picks by Consumer Reports. Check out the top thirteen best SUVs.

Are the 2023 Subaru Outback and 2023 Subaru Ascent the best SUVs for new car shoppers this year? According to an updated ranking by Consumer Reports (by subscription), the Outback and Ascent are not the best, but they are close.

CR says they only include new SUVs recommended because of their reliability and top safety scores. Consumer Reports only includes models they own, test drive for thousands of miles, put through an extensive array of tests, and ask owners about their experiences. The top vehicles also have the highest IIHS crash scores.

2023 Subaru Outback

If $40,000 exceeds your new car budget, check out the best SUVs by Consumer Reports under $30,000 here.

In Consumer Report's best SUVs under $40,000 in the 2-Row category, they pick the Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid number one with a score of 88. It is followed by the Hyundai Tucson Hybrid (83), Honda CR-V (83), Subaru Outback (80), Kia Sportage Hybrid (80), Toyota Venza (80), Ford Edge (78), and Toyota RAV4 Hybrid (78).

In Consumer Reports' best SUVs under $40,000 in the 3-Row category, they pick the Kia Telluride number one with a score of 87. It is followed by the Toyota Highlander (80) and Toyota Highlander Hybrid (86), Hyundai Palisade (80), Chevrolet Traverse (78), and Subaru Ascent (76).

2023 Subaru Ascent

Why is the 2023 Subaru Outback ranked one of the best 2-Row SUVs under $40,000 by Consumer Reports?

CR says, "The Outback has a reputation as a smart alternative to an SUV, and the addition of comfort and convenience features with the 2020 redesign made this wagon even better. The base 2.5-liter four-cylinder does the job but can feel strained under stress. The turbocharged 260-hp, 2.4-liter engine transforms the Outback, giving it effortless acceleration. The ride is very comfortable, and handling is responsive and secure."

"Some tasks through the large infotainment screen require more than one step, however. Thoughtful details like built-in crossbars and a dual-position cargo cover are nice touches."

What is the 2023 Outback pricing?

The 2023 Outback remains affordable. You will only spend $40,000 on the 2023 Outback if you buy the upper-trim Touring ($41,070). In addition, all trim levels come standard will all-drive, which you won't find in all SUVs.

The 2023 Outback now comes in nine trim levels for U.S. customers; the base trim is priced from $29,620, Premium ($31,920), new Onyx Edition with a 2.5-liter engine ($34,720), Limited ($36,520), Touring ($41,070), Outback Wilderness ($39,670), Onyx Edition XT ($39,820), Limited XT ($40,920), and Touring XT ($43,520). Pricing includes $1,225 destination and delivery fees.

Is the 2023 Outback fuel efficient?

In Consumer Reports testing, the 260 horsepower, 2.4-liter turbocharged engine in the Outback "gives the wagon effortless acceleration yet still got 24 mpg overall in our tests."

What is the 2023 Outback fuel mileage?

CR's mpg is 16/32 city/highway and 24 combined mpg. The EPA fuel mileage rating of the 2023 Outback XT 2.4-liter turbo is 22/29 city/highway mpg and 25 combined mpg. The estimated fuel economy of the standard 2.5-liter engine is 26/32 mpg city/highway and 28 combined mpg.

The EPA says the 2023 Outback Wilderness gets an estimated 21/26 city/highway mpg and 23 combined mpg.

Why is the 2023 Subaru Ascent ranked one of the best 3-Row SUVs under $40,000 by Consumer Reports?

CR says, "The Ascent is a functional, easy-to-live-with three-row SUV. The Ascent's turbocharged four-cylinder delivers ample power in daily driving and gets 22 mpg overall. The jumpy initial takeoff takes some getting used to, however. The Ascent's plush ride is steady and controlled, and the suspension does an excellent job of mopping up bumps. This is not the most agile SUV in corners but it is ultimately secure at its handling limits. The cabin is quiet, and the second-row captain's seats are roomy and comfortable. Even the third row is usable for shorter trips. Controls are very straightforward."

What is the 2023 Ascent pricing?

The 2023 Subaru Ascent base starts at $35,120, and Premium trims begin at $39,180. The Ascent Onyx Edition starts at $42,520, the upper Limited starts at $42,820, the new Ascent Onyx Edition Limited is priced at $47,520, and the top-trim Touring has a starting MSRP of $49,420. Pricing includes destination and delivery fees ($1,225).

Is the 2023 Ascent fuel efficient?

The 2023 Subaru Ascent base and Premium trim levels get an EPA-estimated 21/27 city/highway mpg and 23 combined mpg. Because they are slightly heavier, the Ascent Limited and Touring trim levels get an EPA-estimated 20/26 city/highway mpg and 22 combined mpg.

Are the Outback and Ascent safe vehicles?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the 2023 Subaru Outback and the 2023 Subaru Ascent the highest Top Safety Pick+ score in crash tests.

In its latest rankings, Consumer Reports says the 2023 Subaru Outback is #2 of fourteen 2-Row midsize SUVs and the fourth-best overall among SUVs under $40,000. Likewise, CR says the 2023 Subaru Ascent is #6 of twenty 3-Row midsize SUVs and the six-best overall among 3-Row SUVs under $40,000.

In the link below, shoppers looking for a compact SUV can check out the latest list of the best 2023 model year SUVs under $30,000.

You Might Also Like: Consumer Reports 6 Best SUVs Under $30K - One Subaru Model Is The #1 Overall Pick

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.

Subaru Report - We’ve got you covered! Check back tomorrow for more unique, informative SUBARU news, reviews, and previews you can trust.

Leave your comments below, share the article with friends, and tweet it out to your followers!

Photo credit: Subaru


Gashema Ferdinand (not verified)    May 20, 2023 - 1:59PM

Subaru car . How the different system of payment.
What are the different of Subaru price.