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The Best SUVs For Camping, KBB Says For New Go Subaru Outback, Used It’s Forester

Which are the best new and used SUVs for camping this summer? Check out the nine best from KBB, and I'll explain why the Subaru Outback and Forester models should be on your list.

Which Subaru models make the best vehicles for camping? According to a new report from Kelley Blue Book (KBB), they've listed the nine best new models and the ten best used models for shoppers. Check out KBB's best model picks, which include the Subaru Outback and Forester, and I'll explain why they are the best for getting the furthest off the grid. 

KBB says, "The 2024 Subaru Outback is the all-arounder wagon-meets-SUV you never knew you needed. The Subaru Forester is the roomier, taller cousin of the Outback, and all the reasons that make the Outback a great choice for camping apply here, too."

2024 Subaru Outback camping in the mountains

Before I explain the benefits of the Outback and Forester, here are KBB's top new vehicle picks for summer camping.

The Eight Best New 2024 Model Year SUVs For Camping

  • Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • Ford Bronco Sport
  • Ford Bronco
  • Toyota Land Cruiser
  • Subaru Outback
  • Toyota 4Runner
  • Hyundai Sante Fe XRT
  • Volvo Cross Country

What Does KBB Say About The Subaru Outback?

"With SUV-like ground clearance, standard AWD, a spacious rear cargo area, and plenty of room for five adults, the Outback is an excellent camping companion. The Wilderness model gets even more ground clearance, underbody protection, roof rails upgraded to support a rooftop tent, and even an upgraded AWD system with special modes."

2024 Subaru Outback pricing

For the 2024 model year, the Outback is available in nine trim levels. The Base is priced at $30,190, Premium ($32,490), Onyx Edition ($37,400), Limited ($37,090), Touring ($41,640), Onyx Edition XT ($40,655), Wilderness ($41,255), Limited XT ($41,490), and Touring XT ($44,090). In addition, destination and delivery fees are included in the price above ($1,295).

NOTE: The 2025 Subaru Outback model is a carry-over model with no changes. There is no advantage for customers to wait. I would say it's better to get the 2024 Outback now with its special financing offered by Subaru of America. 

The 10 Best Used SUVs for Camping

  • 2009-2011 Honda Element
  • 2012-2018 Jeep Wrangler
  • 2016-2021 Toyota Land Cruiser
  • 2017-2019 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack
  • 2014-2018 Subaru Forester
  • 2012-2018 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2500
  • 2016-2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
  • 2010-2013 Chevrolet Suburban 2500
  • 2011-2015 Nissan Xterra
  • 2008-2014 Chevrolet Express 1500 AWD

What Does KBB Say About The 2014-2018 Subaru Forester?

Price Range: $9,000-$20,000

"As a bonus, the Forester is typically less expensive than the Outback (while also a bit less luxurious), yet it still offers EyeSight advanced driver assists, X-Mode AWD with hill descent control, and more."

Getting Further Off The Beaten Path

If you want to get further off the beaten path and find the best camping spot, SUV shoppers need to know these things about the Outback and Forester. 

All models come with:

  • 8.7 inches of ground clearance (9.4 Outback Wilderness)
  • Subaru's Symmetrical all-wheel-drive is standard on all models
  • X-Mode is standard on all trims, and Dual-Function X-Mode on some trims for all-terrain performance
  • Excellent fuel mileage efficiency (unlike big SUVs)
  • Top-rated safety crash scores
  • Roof Racks to carry more camping gear
  • Available trailer hitch to carry a bike carrier
  • Body and fender cladding 
  • Rugged Wilderness trim levels
  • Underbody Protection on Wilderness
  • All-terrain tires (Wilderness)
  • Outback offers a 2.4-liter turbo to carry additional cargo up the mountain pass

I Would Add The Crosstrek Wilderness To The List

It's not on KBB's best camping vehicles list, but I would say the 2024 Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness should be on your list if you are looking for a small SUV. The all-new Crosstrek Wilderness roof rails can handle up to 700 pounds of static load for bikes, kayaks, or rooftop tents. Extra tie-down points provide even more cargo-hauling versatility so that you can bring extra camping gear.


Let us know of your camping experiences in a Subaru vehicle. Click the red Add New Comment link below.

Thanks for reading, everyone. I hope you enjoyed this Subaru Outback and Forester camping story. See you tomorrow for my latest Subaru Report.

Before you go, check out the Subaru Outback Car Camping Setup

I am Denis Flierl, a top Torque News and Subaru reporter since 2012. I’ve invested over 13 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role, working with every major car brand. I am an experienced Rocky Mountain Automotive Press member. You'll find my expert Subaru analysis here. Follow me on my X SubaruReportAll Subaru, WRXSTI, @DenisFlierlFacebook, and Instagram.

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Photo credit: Subaru