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Top Car Brands All Have One - Subaru Is Still Missing An Important Vehicle Offering

What are the most considered car brands when new car shoppers are looking for a new vehicle in 2023? A Kelley Blue Book report says that Subaru remains in the 10th spot overall again this year. Check out the new report and discover what Subaru is missing in its all-wheel-drive lineup.


Is Subaru a car brand customers consider when buying a new car in 2023? An updated Kelley Blue Book Brand Watch report and data from Cox Automotive say among the mainstream (non-luxury) brands, Subaru stays at number ten overall in the latest information for 2023. So why doesn't Subaru move up higher?

The KBB report says Subaru of America is tenth overall among mainstream car brands at eleven percent of new car shoppers who considered the Japanese automaker. Keep reading to discover the one thing that will help Subaru improve with customer consideration.

2024 Subaru Baja pickup

Top 10 car brands in customer consideration

Toyota is number one, followed by Chevrolet, Ford, Honda, GMC, Hyundai, Nissan, Kia, Jeep, and Subaru, round out the top 10 mainstream car brands.

KBB says when customers consider buying a new vehicle, they think of Subaru when considering safety. Models like the 2023 Subaru Outback, Forester, Crosstrek, Ascent, and other new Subaru models are regarded as the safest new models by new car shoppers. The 2023 Subaru Outback midsize SUV, Forester compact SUV, Ascent 3-Row SUV, and Legacy sedan earn the highest Top Safety Pick+ awards from the IIHS.

2024 Subaru Baja Pickup

A recent Kelley Blue Book Brand Watch says Subaru took back the top spot in safety from Ram, helped by the Subaru Outback being the only midsize car to get the highest "Good" rating in the new IIHS side crash test.

SUVs remain the most-shopped vehicle category

KBB says SUVs remained the most-shopped category, with 67 percent of mainstream (non-luxury) shoppers considering them "a percentage that has held steady for many quarters."

What Subaru does right is they have a good mix of all-wheel-drive SUVs like the 2023 Crosstrek subcompact SUV, Forester compact SUV, Outback midsize SUV, and Ascent 3-Row SUV. Recently, Subaru has stayed in the tenth spot. But another vehicle needs to be added to the lineup.

KBB says every vehicle segment slipped in consideration in the fourth quarter of 2022 except one. "Americans looked hard at pickup trucks," says KBB. So what do the top mainstream car brands all have in common? They all have at least one pickup offering for customers, except for Kia, which has two new electric pickups on the drawing board.

Subaru needs a pickup

We have talked extensively about Subaru not offering a pickup, which hurts the automaker, especially in the U.S. market. Subaru of America would benefit the most if it added a new all-wheel-drive midsize pickup to its North American vehicle lineup. With pickups the hottest segment, Subaru needs one now more than ever.

Subaru of America stays in the top ten non-luxury car brands for customer consideration because of hot models like the Subaru Crosstrek, Outback, and Forester. But they could move up with an all-new midsize Subaru Baja pickup offering. So let us know in the comments below if you would buy a new midsize Subaru pickup if the automaker offered one this year.

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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


Damien (not verified)    February 15, 2023 - 8:53PM

I have a 2020 Outback touring XT…..and am excited to put myself into a 2023 touring XT…..I’m all for the safety features…..and they just went up a notch.

Bob Weller (not verified)    February 16, 2023 - 4:52PM

Considering the cost of battery replacement in new E vehicles, I am not ready to bite the bullet. I like my Forester, but I am in no hurry.

Edgar (not verified)    February 18, 2023 - 3:34PM

I'd say it depends on the pick up if they bring out a truck with actual bumpers on the front and back with no wrap around like most trucks / SUVs it would be a hugh selling point for us contactors. Also needs to be capable of having a cap and or a ladder rack. It cannot be another brat/ el Camino type. If they can do this have at least 10-12" clearance, awd, and comparable accessories as our trucks today I think they have a chance but I think price is gonna make or break em cuz if they are around the same price I've a feeling people will go for 4x4 over awd everyday.

Nanc (not verified)    February 19, 2023 - 8:38PM

I have had 2 Bajas which i liked. Unfortunately they quit making them.i now drive a Nissan truck. I would love to buy a new Subaru 4door pickup.

Stephen (not verified)    February 22, 2023 - 10:31PM

Sorry, no interest in a pickup: But offer me a hybrid or EV Crosstrek or Impreza wagon with a minimum 300 mile range and rapid recharge, and I’m I all in!