Skip to main content

KBB's 10 Best AWD Models And SUVs Under $30K - Subaru Outback Scores Both Again

Which are the best new SUVs under $30,000 for shoppers in 2023? How about the best all-wheel-drive vehicles under $30,000? KBB ranks the 2023 Subaru Outback among the best in both categories again. Check out the top-rated models here.


Subaru is known for its affordable compact and midsize SUVs, and the Japanese automaker has an all-wheel-drive lineup, but which model is the best? In two separate reports, Kelly Blue Book (KBB) announced its 10 Best SUVs Under $30,000 for 2023 and the Best All-Wheel-Drive Vehicles Under $30,000. KBB says the 2023 Subaru Outback is again one of the best picks for shoppers in the new year. There are also three more Subaru vehicles on the two lists.

KBB's 10 Best All-Wheel-Drive Vehicles Under $30,000 for 2023 ranked from first to last.

2023 Subaru Outback
2023 Toyota RAV4
2023 Subaru Forester
2023 Ford Maverick
2023 Mazda CX-50
2023 Honda HR-V
2023 Mazda CX-30
2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz
2023 Subaru Legacy
2023 Nissan Altima

2023 Subaru Outback snow

What does KBB say about the Outback?

"With standard all-wheel-drive, a practical wagon body shape, and high-riding ground clearance, the 2023 Subaru Outback, an IIHS Top Safety Pick+, is the gold standard for high-value all-wheel-drive transportation," says KBB.

Kelley Blue Book also picks the 2023 Subaru Forester compact SUV as the third-best all-wheel-drive model for shoppers this year. What does KBB say about the Forester?

KBB says, "As with all Subarus except the BRZ sports car, the 2023 Subaru Forester comes with standard all-wheel-drive. It also gets an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award and has a roomy cabin with lots of cargo space."

2023 Subaru Forester snow

Along with Outback and Forester, Kelley Blue Book picks the 2023 Legacy midsize sedan as the third-best new vehicle for shoppers. What does KBB say about the 2023 Legacy?

"It should be no surprise to see this list positively peppered with Subarus. The last Subaru on our list, the 2023 Subaru Legacy, is for those who prefer a sedan but want something larger than an Impreza. Like the Outback and Forester, the Legacy is also an IIHS Top Safety Pick+," says KBB.

KBB's 10 Best SUVs Under $30,000 for 2023 ranked from first to last.

2023 Kia Seltos
2023 Toyota RAV4
2023 Hyundai Santa Fe
2023 Honda HR-V
2023 Kia Sportage
2023 Hyundai Tucson
2023 Subaru Outback
2023 Mazda CX-50
2023 Subaru Crosstrek
2023 Nissan Rogue

Subaru scores two models on this KBB list of the best SUVs for 2023. The Outback ranks best in both lists, and the 2023 Subaru Crosstrek is among the best models for 2023.

What does KBB say about the Outback?

"The 2023 Subaru Outback straddles the line between off-road wagon and streamlined SUV. Whatever you call it, it comes with standard all-wheel-drive, offers lots of passenger and cargo space, and even includes advanced safety equipment like adaptive cruise control with lane centering and automatic emergency braking by default," says KBB.

2023 Subaru Crosstrek snow

What does KBB say about the Crosstrek?

KBB says, "The 2023 Subaru Crosstrek is one of the most affordable, reliable ways to go on a family adventure. The Crosstrek supplements standard all-wheel drive with X-Mode (for off-pavement) and 8.7 inches of ground clearance. It's capable off-road yet pleasant on the daily commute."

"Subaru Crosstrek is a Top Safety Pick and comes standard with plenty of safety features. We recommend opting for the more powerful 2.5-liter engine in the Crosstrek Sport and Limited models. Its fuel economy is almost the same as the less-powerful base engine, and both trim levels are under $30,000."

We'll take it further and give customers looking for an all-weather winter vehicle more information on the four Subaru models.

What is the price of the 2023 Subaru Outback?

The 2023 Outback now comes in nine trim levels for U.S. customers; the base trim is priced from $29,620, Premium ($31,920), new Onyx Edition with a 2.5-liter engine ($34,720), Limited ($36,520), Touring ($41,070), Outback Wilderness ($39,670), Onyx Edition XT ($39,820), Limited XT ($40,920), and Touring XT ($43,520). Pricing includes $1,225 destination and delivery fees.

For the complete 2023 Outback model guide, check here.

What is the price of the 2023 Subaru Forester?

The 2023 Forester comes in six trim levels; The Base Forester starts at $27,620, Premium ($30,620), Sport ($32,190), Limited ($34,300), Wilderness ($35,245), and Touring ($37,720). Pricing includes destination and delivery fees ($1,225).

For the complete 2023 Forester model guide, check here.

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).

For the complete 2023 Crosstrek model guide, check here.

What is the price of the 2023 Subaru Legacy?

The 2023 Legacy sedan now comes in five trim levels. The 2023 midsize sedan starts at $25,415 for the base trim, Premium ($27,715), Limited ($32,465), Sport with a new 2.4-liter turbo engine ($34,915), and Touring XT ($38,715). Destination and delivery fees are included in the pricing above ($1,020).

For the complete 2023 Legacy model guide, check here.

We would add...

New SUV shoppers should know that the Outback, Forester, and Crosstrek also come standard with Subaru's X-Mode for added off-road capability. And some trims come with the new dual-function X-Mode for all-terrain ability. The Outback XT and Wilderness trim levels, Forester Sport and Wilderness trim, and Crosstrek Sport and Limited trim levels now come standard with a Deep Snow and Deep Mud function for additional severe weather and all-terrain capability.

Additionally, two separate studies ranked the Outback and Forester as the best all-wheel-drive cars and SUVs for ice and snow this winter. A recent report from iSeeCars and another from Kelley Blue Book ranked the 2023 Outback and 2023 Forester among the best new vehicles for driving in severe winter conditions. Click on the link for the complete report.

You Might Also Like: Head To Head Subaru Forester Wilderness Vs. Outback Wilderness - The Winner Is Clear

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.

Subaru Report - We’ve got you covered! Check back tomorrow for more unique, informative SUBARU news, reviews, and previews you can trust.

Leave your comments below, share the article with friends and tweet it out to your followers!

Photo credit: main image Secor Subaru