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7 Reasons Why Subaru Forester and Outback Are Now Kept The Longest By Owners

See why the Subaru Forester compact SUV and Outback midsize SUV are the most popular models and the longest-kept cars.

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If you buy a 2021 Subaru Forester or a 2021 Subaru Outback, you'll be more likely to keep it fifteen years or longer. A new study from iSeeCars reveals the Subaru Forester and Outback are the longest-kept SUVs by their owners. iSeeCars analyzed over 660,000 cars from the 1981-2005 model years sold in 2020 and determined which cars and SUVs owners are most likely to keep the longest.

The Subaru Forester scored number four on the longest-kept SUV list, and Outback takes the number ten spot. The SUV average is 5.9 percent of owners keep their vehicle 15 or more years. The Forester is 9.8 percent and Outback 6.8 percent in the new study.

2021 Subaru Forester, 2021 Subaru Outback

Why do Subaru owners keep their vehicles longer?

iSeeCars Executive Analyst Karl Brauer says the fourth-ranked Forester compact SUV "Is a reliable vehicle known for its safety and affordability. The vehicle offers standard all-wheel drive and impressive fuel economy, which furthers its appeal to practical consumers."

Brauer says the tenth-ranked Subaru Outback, "Though it is technically a wagon, the Outback competes with vehicles in the compact SUV class because of its cargo space and utility. Subaru attracts practical owners who are passionate about their vehicles, so it is no surprise that their owners keep them on the road for so long."

2021 Subaru Forester, 2021 Subaru Outback

It's not a surprise the longest-kept Subaru models are the number one top-selling all-wheel-drive vehicles (Forester) and number two (Outback) for Subaru of America.

Subaru has been criticized lately for its quality issues, but the Forester and Outback are the most reliable models in its all-wheel-drive lineup. A recent study from Consumer Reports reveals the Forester and Outback are the number two and three most reliable Subaru models, with the Crosstrek being number one. CR says the Subaru Forester has improved the most from last year's scores.

Forester is liked best for its reliability, safety, affordability, standard all-wheel drive, and impressive fuel economy. The Outback is the longest-kept because it's in the wagon category with a car-like ride but offers cargo space and utility like an SUV. If you buy a 2021 Subaru Forester or a 2021 Subaru Outback, you'll be more likely to keep it fifteen years or longer.

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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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Anthony Torregrossa (not verified)    January 27, 2021 - 11:48PM

The subaru s there talking about are 1981-2005
Models. And that's when Subaru s did 250k - 300k
With only a head gasket to worry about.
That was all before the CVT. There were issues with 2014 Forester and some latter models , that s why Subaru bumped up CVT warranty to 100k.
I love my 2020 Forestet sport, but I may trade in just before 60k CVT warranty is up. I do not mind the way CVT drives at all. If you keep your car 5 - 6
Yrs. And out of CVT warranty , the dealer wants $8000.00 to replace it. My mechanic can rebuild
Conventional automatics for 3k. I have seen adds
for older outback for sale with CVT s with 200k on them but not many. Wheel bearing s go at 80k and 900.00 to replace back two. Subaru is still the most reliable car for the first 5 years. But new designs and repair cost are making 15 yrs of ownership very expensive . is there any data out there on CVT life? There failure rate per 1000 units,
Or how many make 3- 400k. Most new automatic
Transmissions today with over 6 speeds are having
Issues. Only 5 or 6 speeds left might be in a Tacoma or 4 Runner.