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Car Brands With the Best And Worst Customer Loyalty - Subaru Drops To 5th

Subaru's high customer loyalty with its Forester, Outback, and Crosstrek customers is slipping. See why some customers are leaving the brand.


How loyal are Subaru Forester, Outback, and Crosstrek customers? According to a recent report from Automotive News (by subscription), Subaru's loyalty rate in 2020 was 70.4 percent, in 2021 through August 31, 2021, Subaru of America's loyalty rating slipped to 69.2 percent. This year, Subaru dropped again to 63.8 percent.

Subaru wasn't the only automaker to slip. Overall consumer loyalty among all car brands dropped again in 2022 through August 31, 2022, according to U.S. registration data analysis by Experian.

2023 Subaru Crosstrek
photo credit: Patrick Subaru

In 2021, Subaru was third in customer loyalty behind Ferrari and Tesla. Now Subaru drops to fourth place behind Tesla, Ford, and Ferrari.

How does Subaru's customer loyalty rank with the top ten car brands in 2022? Here are the top ten car brands in customer loyalty through August 2022. The U.S. industry average is 59.2 percent brand loyalty. Now four automakers rank ahead of Subaru, with Hyundai-Kia moving up.

1. Tesla 81.2
2. Ford 68.8
3. Ferrari 67.7
4. Hyundai-Kia 66.5
5. Subaru 63.8
6. Toyota 62.7
7. GM 61.6
8. BMW 57.0
9. Mercedes-Benz 54.5
10. Honda 52.8

2023 Subaru Crosstrek
photo credit: Patrick Subaru

Which automakers have the worst customer loyalty?

Jaguar Land Rover has the worst loyalty rate at 30.4 percent, Mitsubishi at 46.2 percent, Volvo at 47.6%, Stellantis at 48.1%, and Mazda at 50.0% round out the bottom five car brands.

Why is Subaru's loyalty slipping? It's due to low new vehicle inventory, global microchip shortages, and supply chain issues regarding the lack of parts. Subaru of America still has the tightest supply of new cars. A report from Automotive News (by subscription) reveals Subaru's new model inventory is now at six days supply as of October 1, 2022, up two days compared with September 1, 2022, at four days. It's still well below the U.S. average at a forty-two-day supply.

2022 has been defined by short supplies of new Forester, Outback, and Crosstrek, the brand's top three selling all-wheel-drive models. Subaru was forced to shut down new vehicle production in Japan five times this year.

Many Forester, Outback, and Crosstrek customers are return customers trading in a Subaru vehicle. With few new models to sell, many customers are ordering a new model and waiting for months for Subaru to deliver the new car.

Subaru customers remain loyal to the brand even with the razor-thin new car inventory of its most popular models; the Crosstrek Outback and Forester. They are willing to wait months for their new all-wheel-drive to be built and delivered.

The good news is customers looking for a 2023 Subaru Forester compact SUV, 2023 Crosstrek subcompact SUV, 2023 Outback midsize SUV, and other new models, supply is increasing. Check out the report below.

You Might Also Like: The 2023 Subaru Model Outlook And What Customers Should Know Before You Buy

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


Paul C (not verified)    December 21, 2022 - 11:22AM

I'm honestly surprised to see Mazda that low on the list. We've had a 2005 Mazda3 hatch, 2006 Mazdaspeed6, 2010 Mazda CX-9, and now a 2020 Mazda CX-5 - all of which have been excellent cars in both reliability, comfort, and quality.
On the other hand, I have a 2015 WRX limited that I bought new in July 2014 and it is my first and last Subaru. The interior quality of the car is terrible. One example, specifically is the steering wheel. I am on #2 at 84k miles and it is because the "leather" on it peels off. You can scratch it off with a fingernail. The one part of the car where you hands are on it for the life of the car is crap. Mention it on Subie forums and brand defenders reply with things like "oh but do you use hand sanitizer or hand lotion...?!?!".
Of course you do. I've owned 20+ cars and this is the only one that had this problem. My 2003 jetta with 140k miles? no problems. My 2010 CX-9 with 160k miles? looked almost new when traded in.

Richard (not verified)    December 23, 2022 - 7:59AM

A heated steering wheel should be an option on all models not just the high end Subarus I'd buy a onxy XT if it came with one. I just don't understand the marketing from Canada to the US version it gets just as cold here. Can,t get what you want then you look at other brands that do.