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2 New Subaru Models Outpace The Best But Customer Loyalty Still Declines

A new report says Subaru customer loyalty declines even though they have two of the top-selling models. See why new car shoppers are switching car brands faster now.


A new S&P Global Mobility top 10 industry trend report says car brand loyalty drops to an eight-year low for any month and year. The report reveals that for two months in a row, more households have been defecting than remain loyal to their car brand, including Subaru.

Until recently, Subaru has the most loyal customers, but things changed with more new vehicle shortages this year. Subaru isn't alone, as all mainstream (non-luxury) car brands saw a decline in customer loyalty. In January 2020, brand loyalty was 53.0 percent, and in June 2022, it was 50.3 percent. The industry average is 49.5 percent.

2022 Subaru Crosstrek
photo credit: Suburban Subaru

Other data from the report shows Subaru is among the four car brands with the most significant decline in Asian customers defecting to other brands. Subaru saw a 3.7 percent decline in Asian inflow, Nissan 2.6%, Acura 1.7%, Toyota 18.0%, and Honda 8.7%.

What car are the Asian customers buying? 15.2% are buying a new Tesla, followed by Hyundai 5.1%, Ford 3.9%, and Kia 3.1%.

2022 Subaru Crosstrek

In the subcompact SUV market trends, a new "sweet spot" has emerged among mainstream customers. Subcompact SUV models sold have more than doubled from three years ago. This is where Subaru's number one selling model, the 2022 Crosstrek, resides.

The ten best-selling subcompact SUVs

The Honda HR-V saw the most growth in sales among subcompact SUVs, followed closely by the Subaru Crosstrek. The next fastest growing models are the Ford Bronco Sport, Jeep Compass, Hyundai Kona, Nissan Rogue Sport, Volkswagen Taos, Chevrolet TrailBlazer, Mazda CX-30, and Toyota Corolla Cross.

Crosstrek is now the best-selling all-wheel-drive model for SOA, with 99,252 models delivered to customers through the first eight months compared with 89,203 sold in 2021. Crosstrek is now 2,345 model sales ahead of the Outback midsize SUV and 30,101 ahead of the Forester.

2022 Subaru Outback
Subaru Outback rises to the top

In the first six months of 2022, S&P Global data shows more than one of every three lower midsize utility registrations was a 2022 Subaru Outback. In June 2022, more than four of every ten segment buyers acquired an Outback midsize SUV. In June 2022 current year-to-date segment share was 11 percentage points higher than runner-up 2022 Ford Edge.

The 2022 Outback has been the number one selling model for Subaru of America most of the year. According to Subaru of Indiana Automotive (SIA), production of the 2022 Outback stopped, and the all-new 2023 Outback began rolling off assembly lines the week of August 17. The Outback should continue its hot streak.

S&P Global Mobility research says brand loyalty drops to an eight-year low for any month and year, including Subaru. And the report says the 2022 Subaru Crosstrek and 2022 Subaru Outback are the two standout models for Subaru of America.

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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