With Subaru's super tight inventory, what is the best way to buy the new 2022 Subaru Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, or other new all-wheel-drive models? If you visit the retailer, you won't find many new models sitting on the lot or showroom floor.
A report from Edmunds says, "If you can plan and be patient with the process, ordering your next vehicle from the factory can give you more options and potentially a better price than buying off the dealer lot."
photo credit: Boise Subaru
Subaru of America is unique regarding tight inventory because its U.S. retailers have been selling through their pipeline for years. The current automobile climate is nothing like it was in 2020. In a recent report from Automotive News (by subscription), Subaru National Retailer Advisory Board Chairman Patrick Wergin says, "When it comes to ordering vehicles, Subaru of America and the retailers have done a phenomenal job with this for years."
Here's the easiest way to buy a new Subaru and still get the best deal
Edmunds says ordering a new vehicle from the factory ensures you get the exact trim level, color, and option package you want and is a little-known method to save time tracking down a vehicle that fits your needs. You can also lock in the price ahead of time, and there are no surprises.
photo credit: Boise Subaru
Visit the Subaru of America website
1. Read reviews online about the model you are buying and talk to current Subaru owners.
2. Visit Subaru's website here, find and configure the model, trim level, and option packages you like. The configurator tool will allow you to build your custom vehicle and see the price, including destination and delivery fees.
3. Contact the Subaru retailer by email, text, or phone and communicate with the salesperson. You can find out availability and how long the vehicle will take to arrive once you've placed your order. You can even negotiate the price before you ever visit the retailer.
4. If you feel comfortable with the salesperson and information, you should visit the retailer's showroom. Sit down with the salesperson, discuss any further questions, and begin to work out the final details of the car purchase. Order your new Subaru model and get the price in writing.
The Edmunds report says, "I was surprised by how easy it was," said Dillon Griffith, a Fresno, California, native who custom ordered a Subaru Outback in 2021 after becoming disappointed by the lack of on-the-lot Outbacks. "I sat down with the salesman, and he walked me through the order guide," he added.
There are no great deals right now on Subaru models
Because there aren't a lot of new models available right now, it's a seller's market, and you won't find manufacturer incentives and significant discounts on new cars. Subaru President and CEO of Subaru of America asked retailers to sell new Subaru models at MSRP.
Even though it's a "seller's market," Doll asked its U.S. retailers to honor the Subaru Love Promise and not mark up hot new models like the Outback Wilderness way above the MSRP.
Edmunds says, "You can negotiate as if the vehicle was on the lot, but these days you'll likely pay the manufacturer's suggested retail price." But you don't have to pay way above MSRP.
The Subaru retailer where Griffith purchased his Outback was asking $2,000 over MSRP at delivery. Still, Griffith avoided the markup because the salesman didn't notify him beforehand. That day he also noticed an Outback like his on the lot with a $4,000 markup.
The most important thing through this process is to have patience. It will take two to three months if you order a 2022 Outback midsize SUV from the factory in Lafayette, Indiana, and four to six months to get a 2022 Forester compact SUV or Crosstrek subcompact SUV from Japan.
In Griffith's case, the dealer told him about three to four months, and his Subaru Outback arrived near the end of that timeframe.
Do I have to put down a deposit?
Most Subaru retailers will ask for a $500 non-refundable deposit to order and ensure your new vehicle is built to your specifications. The deposit will be applied to your down payment.
In the current automotive climate, the easiest way to buy a new 2022 Subaru Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, or other new models is to plan and be patient with the process. Ordering your next all-wheel-drive Subaru from Subaru of America's ordering system can give you more options and potentially a better price than buying off the retailer's lot.
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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: LHM Boise Subaru