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If You Want The Best Subaru Model, It's Not Forester Or Outback

It’s not the all-new Forester or the top-selling Outback that is the most-awarded model in the stable of all-wheel-drive vehicles. It's the 2019 Subaru Crosstrek.


You would think the newly-redesigned Subaru Forester would be the most-awarded vehicle in the stable but it’s not. And it’s not even the top-selling Outback. Which model gets most accolades from Kelly Blue Book? It’s the 2019 Crosstrek that walks away as the top Subaru vehicle with the most awards.

What does it mean for consumers?

Kelly Blue Book (KBB) gives out a slew of awards every year like the Best Buy Awards, Best Auto Tech Awards, Best Resale Value Awards, Lowest Cost to Own Awards and Brand Image Awards. In addition, the various car accolade lists created by KBB's editorial staff this year, included the 10 Coolest Cars Under $20,000, Best Family Cars, and 10 Best SUVs Under $30,000. The awards can help when you are making the decision which car to buy.

2019 Subaru CrosstrekWhy 2019 Subaru Crosstrek?

Up until this year, the Subaru Crosstrek was leading all nameplates as the only model up in sales over the previous year. With the arrival of the new fifth-generation Forester and Subaru offering incentives on the outgoing Outback models, that has changed. But Crosstrek still gets more accolades from KBB than any other Subaru model. If you are looking for a compact SUV hatch, it’s worth a look and it could save you money.

The Subaru Crosstrek scored two of Kelley Blue Books top awards. The compact SUV earned the Best Resale Value Award and 5-Year Cost to Own Award. The 2019 Crosstrek small SUV holds its value better than all other Subaru vehicles in the lineup and is the lowest cost-to-own vehicle in the popular Compact SUV / Crossover category.

2019 Subaru Crosstrek

KBB says the 2019 Crosstrek compact SUV has the best resale value of any car in the segment. At 36 months, Crosstrek retains 63.7 percent of its value and at 60 months: 49.3 percent. Crosstrek beat the all-new 2019 Toyota RAV4 and the newly-redesigned 2019 Subaru Forester to take home the honors.

KBB says, “The 2019 Subaru Crosstrek is a small but mighty crossover that offers the all-season practicality of ground clearance and all-wheel drive, plus the city-friendly size that makes it easy to maneuver around town.”

2019 Subaru Crosstrek

Along with the 2019 Subaru Crosstrek being the sixth most-awarded vehicle among the 350 automotive models available in the marketplace, the Subaru brand was number three on KBB’s 10 Most Awarded Brands of 2019 list. They were only behind number one Honda and Toyota at number two.

If you are looking for a compact SUV hatch, the 2019 Subaru Crosstrek is worth a look and it could save you money.

Watch 8 Outdoor Accessories For Subaru SUV Campers: Forester, Outback and Crosstrek Owners and click to subscribe to Torque News Youtube channel for daily Subaru and automotive news analysis.

You Might Also Like: Subaru Crosstrek Suddenly Sees Brand's Biggest Decline, Last Year It Was The Mega-Star

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Photo credit: Subaru, Timmons Subaru


Jmk (not verified)    July 20, 2019 - 11:43AM

22nd in Quality, JD Powers. Missing structural welds. Recalled engines. Their quality has slipped since the days of their Zero bomber planes

Homer Ogle (not verified)    July 20, 2019 - 12:08PM

Japan used to make junk,but not anymore.Crosstreks are good because they are made in Japan.Don't get greedy and keep it that way.

mircea munteanu (not verified)    July 20, 2019 - 4:07PM

In reply to by Homer Ogle (not verified)

I have the 2017 Impreza made in USA and build quality is terrible, wireing harness for rear power windows replaced, head unit( overheated), right LED headlight replaced, strut mount cover replaced, right front body seal too thick makes the door hard to close still arguing why the dealer on that.....took forever to get map updates, had to wait for the recall notice on the harman_kardon unit,. Japonise made is way better, maybe unlucky being the first batch of the first year redesign

JeWRX (not verified)    July 21, 2019 - 8:34PM

In reply to by Homer Ogle (not verified)

Actually that's not true. The only Subaru's still built in Japan and shipped over to the states are the WRX and STI. Everything else is built in the states. They manufacture parts in Japan(not sure), but it's assembled here (100% sure that only WRX and STI are the only 2 still built in Japan).

Steven in NJ (not verified)    July 20, 2019 - 12:14PM

I've been a loyal Subaru owner from 1981 until 2003 when I went to Hyundai. My driving needs have changed and I no longer wanted to spend the extra $$$ for the AWD. Plus, I felt that the Subaru cars has boring interiors.

Fast forward to 2019 and I was comparing costs and went with the 2019 Hyundai Kona which is also a top-rated CUV. The Crosstrek had flair, but the interior of the Kona, with all the electronics and safety features (LKA, BSM, FCA, etc.) sold me on the car!

Lang (not verified)    July 20, 2019 - 12:29PM

I owned one. It's dangerously underpowered and unreliable. Oil consumption issues, CVT problems, etc. I had my engine replaced at 35,000 miles. The presentation of this vehicle is great. It is capable, good looking, roomy yet compact. I have owned 4 Subarus over the years, but I don't think I will ever consider another. I think the reason why Subaru owners "love" their cars so much is because they need to spend an inordinate amount of time maintaining them to keep them running properly.

King Arthur USA (not verified)    July 20, 2019 - 1:57PM

Scotty Kilmer suggests that Subaru have a problem with cyclinder head gasket boxer engine. He recommends Toyota.

Keith Kollmann (not verified)    July 26, 2019 - 4:19PM

In reply to by King Arthur USA (not verified)

This is a problem all Subaru owners know and ideally accept, at around 120k it starts leaking, but once you replace the head gasket the car is good for another 100k. I would give a lung for a Legacy station wagon, they are still sold in Europe.

Keith Kollmann (not verified)    July 26, 2019 - 9:57PM

In reply to by Greybird7 (not verified)

That is correct, the Subaru I had before had 286k and never had a problem, here is a list of those with the gasket issue:

Impreza 1999 to 2011
Forester 1999 to 2010
Legacy 2000 to 2009
Outback 2000 to 2009
Baja 2003 to 2006

I am looking at a 2012 Outback, but it has CVT, and there is a new problem to face.

Alex McDonough (not verified)    March 30, 2020 - 2:16PM

In reply to by danwat1234 (not verified)

Hybrids are only sold in those states which have higher mileage and emissions standards than federal standards, and the MSRP is 35k.

The car is rated at 29mpg combined with AWD on all the time. I don't need a hybrid.

BabyFarkMcgeeZax (not verified)    July 20, 2019 - 4:30PM

The Crosstrek is slow, has little room, pretty disappointing mpg and has a CVT that rubber bands so bad you'd think it had Parkinson's.

agnes cannan (not verified)    July 21, 2019 - 12:25PM

In reply to by BabyFarkMcgeeZax (not verified)

my 2019 crosstrek is at 12000 miles and I have a since new average of 36 mpg,who can find fault with that.suv,4 wheel drive and all.i could not be happier.been driving for 55 years,one of the nicest autos I have owned

Deborah (not verified)    July 20, 2019 - 8:43PM

We own an Outback and Lease a Crosstrek. Love them both.

I wish Subaru would make a Crosstrek in silver with a light grey interior. Or n the Tungen color they have on the outback with the light tan interior.
This is Colorado, it's hot. Dark interior is not practical. Please Subaru, cmake a light colored Crosstrek with light colored interior.

Lance Royce (not verified)    July 20, 2019 - 10:47PM

I own a black 2019 Crosstrek Limited and I’m 72 and the best car I have ever owned. All the safety and road features make driving easy and fun. The high quality fit and finish is perfection!

I highly recommend the Crosstrek for all ages.

Ernest Lautsch (not verified)    July 21, 2019 - 1:38AM

Crosstrek has a low roof in cargo area as does the Outback, but the Outback is better storage space than Crosstrek. We now own our second Forester with plenty of cargo room for camping and trips to the market, etc. My wife loves the Forester for everyday use and she enjoys the ease of access and not siting low in the vehicle.

Greycloud7 (not verified)    July 21, 2019 - 7:57AM

I beg to differ, but I realize my views are not rooted in the current craze for technology, glitz, and complexity. Were I to buy a new Subaru, it would be the rear wheel drive BRZ, in a base model, stripped of every possible "convenience" and amenity, and with the standard transmission. People today simply have forgotten, or never knew, what it feels like to actually drive a car. Today's vehicles are so loaded up with gadgets and driver-assist technology, that driver skills have atrophied. We've become passengers, rather than active, engaged participants in the driving experience. The BRZ is the closest thing in the Subaru stable, to what I'd call a "real" automobile. Technology and convenience also come with a hidden price: All those bills you'll have to pay, when the gadgetry breaks down.
Thanks, but no thanks.