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Consumer Reports 10 Most Popular Used Models - Where Do Subaru Forester And Outback Rank?

Consumer Reports' updated list of the most popular used cars and SUVs includes two of Subaru's top models. Check out the top ten used cars and SUVs that are the most researched models by car shoppers. Which years should shoppers be looking at?


What are the most popular used cars and SUVs you can buy today? Consumer Reports (by subscription) has ten of the most researched used models hot with new car shoppers. The vehicles here represent the top car model pages on 

A previous CR new SUV ranking included two Subaru of America (SOA) SUVs, among the best-selling vehicles in its all-wheel-drive lineup. They are the 2023 Subaru Forester compact SUV and the 2023 Subaru Outback midsize SUV. Now they have the Forester and Outback among its most popular used car picks.

2020 Subaru Forester, 2020 Subaru Outback

Many of these used models sit at the top of CR's vehicle rating charts because of their high Overall Score, which means they've scored well in their road tests, have good reliability, come with critical active safety features, and performed well in crash tests.

Here are the ten most popular used cars and SUVs on The vehicles are listed in order of popularity, with the most researched model at the top. CR says these 3-year-old models are attractive because most leases end after three years.

CR's ten most popular 2020 model year used car and SUV picks by shoppers.

The most popular used model is the Honda CR-V, followed by the Toyota RAV4. The Subaru Forester is number three, and the Subaru Outback is number four overall. The Toyota Highlander, Toyota Camry, Ford Escape, Mazda CX-5, Honda Accord, and Honda Civic are the following top ten picks. 

I have driven both the 2020 Subaru Forester and the 2020 Subaru Outback. The Forester is a good pick if you want a compact SUV that is a good city commuter, but is also a capable off-pavement SUV.

I recommend the 2020 Subaru Outback for customers who want the versatility and utility of an SUV but the ride quality of a car. Outback also has off-road capability if you live outside the city limits.

2020 Subaru Forester is a top used CR pick

What does CR say about the number three most popular used SUV, the Subaru Forester?

"This popular small SUV delivers a combination of roomy interior, excellent visibility, commendable fuel economy, simple controls, comfortable ride, and responsive handling. The 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, combined with the CVT, yielded 28 mpg overall, among the best in class at the time." 

"But acceleration isn't exhilarating, and the engine's noise isn't the most pleasant. The cabin is roomy, with a generous rear seat and easy access. The controls are simple to use, including the infotainment system. The EyeSight suite of FCW and AEB is standard but doesn't include BSW or RCTW; try to find a model built with those two features."

What is the price of the 2020 Subaru Forester?

The price range of the 2020 Forester compact SUV is $22,075 - $26,675, depending on trim level, mileage, and condition. The owner reported fuel mileage is 28 mpg. 

A 2.5-liter Boxer engine powers the Forester and has an EPA fuel mileage estimate of 26/33 city/highway mpg and 29 combined mpg. In CR's testing, they achieved 20/38 city/highway and 28 combined mpg.

2020 Subaru Outback is a top CR pick

What does CR say about the number four most popular used SUV, the Subaru Outback? 

"The Outback wagon has a long-running reputation as a smart alternative to an SUV, and the redesigned 2020 model doesn't stray from its proven formula. This next-generation Outback adds comfort and convenience features. The base 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine does the job but can feel strained under stress."

"The 260-hp, 2.4-liter turbo engine transforms the wagon thanks to its effortless acceleration. The ride is very comfortable, and the handling is responsive and secure. However, some tasks through the large infotainment screen require more than one step. While the standard EyeSight system included FCW and AEB, BSW and RCTW were optional."

The price range of the 2020 Outback midsize SUV is $22,925 - $29,200, depending on trim level, mileage, and condition. The owner reported fuel mileage is 26 mpg. 

The 2020 Outback XT 2.4-liter turbo gets an EPA-estimated 23/30 city/highway mpg and 26 combined mpg. That's a substantial improvement over the 3.6R six-cylinder rated at 20/27 city/highway and 22 combined mpg.

The 2020 Outback 2.5-liter engine's estimated fuel economy is 26/33 mpg city/highway and 29 combined mpg. That's a one-mile-per-gallon improvement over the 2016-2019 model year.

Consumer Reports says the 2020 Subaru Forester and 2020 Subaru Outback are two of the ten most popular used SUVs representing's top car model pages. 

I suggest adding the 2020 Subaru Crosstrek to your used model shopping list. The Crosstrek comes with standard all-wheel-drive, all-weather, all-terrain capability and is a top pick for used small SUV shoppers this fall.

For additional articles related to the 2020 Subaru Forester and Outback, here are a few for your consideration:

Also Check Out This Related YouTube video: One Year With the Subaru Outback | 2020 Subaru Outback Long-Term Review | MPG, Maintenance & More

Denis Flierl brings over thirty years of combined auto industry and automotive journalism experience to Torque News readers. He is an accredited Rocky Mountain Automotive Press (RMAP) member. The last twelve years have been spent with Torque News, covering Subaru vehicles and the latest news. Check back daily for his expert Subaru analysis. You'll find the latest stories on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

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