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Jeep Wrangler Vs Subaru Crosstrek - Why One AWD Model Is The Worst Choice

Which AWD SUV should you buy, the 2023 Subaru Crosstrek or the 2023 Jeep Wrangler? Here is why one all-wheel-drive model is the worst choice for new car shoppers.

Is the 2023 Subaru Crosstrek or the 2023 Jeep Wrangler the best choice for those with active lifestyles? Both brands are known for their all-wheel-drive prowess and off-road capabilities. When you compare the price, this is where the two models are significantly different.

What is the price of the 2023 Subaru Crosstrek?

The 2023 Subaru Crosstrek now comes in six trim levels for U.S. customers. The base trim is priced from $24,870, Premium, ($26,020), Special Edition ($27,970), Sport ($29,220), Limited ($30,720) and Crosstrek Hybrid ($38.070). Prices include destination and delivery fees ($1,225).

2023 Subaru Crosstrek Vs 2023 Jeep Wrangler

What is the price of the Jeep Wrangler?

The Wrangler Unlimited Sport starts at $36,855, the Unlimited Willys Sport (at $39,700), Unlimited Sport S ($40,155), and the Unlimited Freedom ($43,350). Prices include destination and delivery fees ($1,595).

Even with a $600 price increase on all 2023 Crosstrek trim levels, the small SUV is considerably less than the Jeep Wrangler. A new report from iSeeCars says you will pay significantly more than the Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the Wrangler.

The iSeeCars report says the vehicle with the most significant dealer markup is the Jeep Wrangler,, which is priced at 24.4 percent or $8,433 over MSRP. iSeeCars Executive Analyst Karl Brauer says, “As demand continues to exceed the supply of new cars, dealers (like Jeep) are pricing new cars above MSRP while removing new car incentives.”

2023 Subaru Crosstrek Vs 2023 Jeep Wrangler

Does Subaru charge well over MSRP for the 2023 Subaru Crosstrek?

The Crosstrek is also in high demand, but most Subaru dealers are not charging over MSRP A new report from Kelley Blue Book reveals the average price of a new Subaru model has increased 1.8 percent in the last 12 months, the lowest percentage of increase of any car brand.

In contrast, the average price of a new Jeep model has increased by 21.6 percent in the last 12 months, which is the most significant increase of any car brand. Brauer says, “As demand continues to exceed supply for these popular vehicles, dealers are adding market adjustments generally ranging from $2,000 to $10,000 on top of their MSRP, with markups especially high for the V-8 Wrangler Rubicon 392,” said Brauer.

Why does Subaru not charge over MSRP?

Recently, Tom Doll, Subaru President and C.E.O. of Subaru of America, asked its dealers to live by the Subaru “Love Promise,” which says to treat customers with the long term in mind because the automaker wants its customer to return and buy another Subaru vehicle.

Doll says Subaru takes pride in NOT doing what a typical car dealer (like Jeep) would do and giving new cars huge markups. He says it goes against the H.E.A.R.T. (honest, empathy, appreciation, respect, trust) pillars which is the foundation of the Subaru brand.

If a customer compares pricing, the 2023 Subaru Crosstrek is an excellent value for active customers shopping for a “go-anywhere” compact all-wheel drive SUV The 2023 Jeep Wrangler is rugged and in high demand, but you will pay well over MSRP for the new vehicle.

You Might Also Like: Why the Subaru Forester Won’t Tip Over In A Crash Like the Jeep Wrangler

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 USA, Jeep


Arthur T LeDoux (not verified)    October 15, 2022 - 10:51PM

You're comparing apples to oranges here.
Your cost analysis is valid though it only applies if that's the main consideration.
The Subaru makes sense in a tight budget and is probably a good vehicle for every day use. Most likely better in gas mileage.
However most people who want a jeep aren't as concerned with that. They want the versatility the jeep provides, it can be configured several ways from it's stock appearance. Convertible, no doors and can go out on trails that the Subaru can't. I'm sure the Jeep can also tow much better than the Subaru. Plus have you ever been to a Jeep rally? I never heard of a Subaru rally?
It's like two different worlds.

Dusty Felker (not verified)    October 16, 2022 - 10:56AM

Just a price comparison is fine, but the author missed a great opportunity for testing! Do ya get what you pay for with each vehicle, a head-to-head comparison of abilities are always worth reading. Thank y’all!

Roy norman (not verified)    October 19, 2022 - 11:28AM

I have had both. Had a 2014 jku for 7 years. Great vehicle for bad weather and lots of options for aftermarket. It's expensive on gas (14l/100km)/tires/maintenance. Harsher ride (solid axle) and part time 4wd (jlu with 2.0l turbo I believe can get auto 4wd). Headlight suck (upgrade to LED).
Had the 2018 6spd crosstrek for a year. Drives like a car. Under powered with the 2.0l motor (can get the 2.5 in auto only in upper trims). More room in the back seats. More reliable. Better on gas 7-8l/100km. Auto is a chain CVT which requires fluid replacement every 60-70k so do not tow anything heavy (1000 lbs).