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3 Models Launch Subaru To An All-Time Record - One Car Is The Biggest Surprise

The 2020 Subaru Forester, Outback, and 2021 Crosstrek all had a banner month leading the brand to an all-time record in September. See which model was the big surprise.

Just when you think the Subaru Outback is no longer relevant, the wagon roared back and had its best September ever. Before last month, Outback was in a major slide all year falling further behind the top-selling Forester. The Forester has been on fire all year and still is the only model in the all-wheel-drive lineup in positive figures (+2.0 percent) over last year. Forester also had its best September ever.

Subaru of America reported record September sales led by the surprise Outback wagon with 17,023 sales, a 51 percent increase in September 2020 compared with the same month a year ago. Forester sales increased 16.6 percent continuing its impressive run with 15,648 models delivered to customers. The hot Crosstrek subcompact SUV had its best month of 2020, showing a 0.5 percent increase with 11,950 sales.

2021 Subaru Forester, 2021 Subaru Crosstrek, 2021 Subaru Outback

After a slow first half of 2020 due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, this was the first month of 60,000+ vehicle sales (60,103) for the Camden, N.J. automaker. Subaru is still behind (-16.9 percent) last year's record pace with 436,560 year-to-date sales compared with 525,329 in 2019.

The 3-Row Ascent SUV (5,744 sales) and Legacy sedan (2,825) both posted increases with Ascent up 8.0 percent and Legacy up 18.4 percent over September 2019. The three performance models were up big last month, with the BRZ sports coupe posting a 126 percent increase, while the sport-tuned WRX and performance-tuned WRX STI posted a 47 percent increase in September.

2021 Subaru Forester, 2021 Subaru Crosstrek, 2021 Subaru Outback

Part of Subaru Outback's big rebound is that the plant in Lafayette, Indiana ramped up production and delivered more models to retailers who have been in short supply most of the summer. The Labor Day holiday was a big selling weekend, and there was a pent up demand from more conservative Outback buyers who were waiting on the sidelines.

What is the best Subaru deal?

Subaru offered the best lease deals on the Outback of any model. You can lease a 2020 Outback for $249 per month, the same as the Crosstrek, which is priced thousands less. And Subaru continues its no-interest financing on the Outback through November 2, 2020.

Most retailers have the least number of 2020 Forester models on their lots of the four all-wheel-drive SUVs, as Subaru, which makes the vehicle in Japan, makes the change to 2021 models.

You Might Also Like: The Subaru Outback’s Split Personality - Family Hauler Or Best Off-Road SUV

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 DR, Competition Subaru


Rosemary Dean (not verified)    October 3, 2020 - 9:44AM

I love my 2018 Outback, but there is an issue with Starlink. If you adjust the volume, it picks up a different channel. And it doesn't save favorite phone numbers. Is there a fix for cars still under warranty?

Mitch (not verified)    October 3, 2020 - 11:55PM

In reply to by Rosemary Dean (not verified)

I have a 2019 Forester, and I have updated the Starlink firmware twice since I bought it. Both times, Subaru notified me via email and provided instructions on how to update it. You just have to connect it to WiFi and follow the steps to check for updates. In my case, the first update fixed an annoying bug that caused my preset radio stations to get deleted periodically. Hopefully that can fix your issues too.

Margaret Gray (not verified)    October 3, 2020 - 1:34PM

Just drove home in my new Crosstrek. Although it is called yellow it is in truth a noxious bilious green. Beware future buyers of the plasma "yellow" colour. Whoever named it should be shot