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Record Number Of Subaru Outbacks Fly Off Dealer Lots, New Forester Isn’t Far Behind

The outgoing Subaru Outback is still outselling the all-new Forester. See why it’s a good time for customers to buy one.

At Subaru of America, things are looking good as they had their best sales in May ever. It was the first May that Subaru's U.S. sales topped 60,000. The aging 2019 Subaru Outback and the newly-redesigned Forester lead the way, but it was the outgoing Outback outselling the all-new Forester SUV again.

The newly-redesigned Forester (71,466 YTD sales) is still number two in the stable behind the number one outgoing Outback (76,206 YTD) by a small 4,740 unit margin. Outback posted a 7.9 percent increase in May, while Forester posted a 10.3 percent increase compared to May 2018. The two models showed the only positive growth in the entire stable. The Ascent family hauler is selling well too, but it doesn’t have a full 12-month sales as it first arrived in June 2018.

Why is the aging Outback selling so well before the all-new seventh-generation model arrives later this summer? Why aren’t customers waiting for the improved model?

0% financing and incentives

Customers are taking advantage of Subaru of America’s zero percent financing deals and it helped move out 2019 Outback inventory in record numbers. The 2019 models are being offered with 0% financing now through July 1, 2019, for terms of up to 36 months. You can lease a 2019 Outback 2.5i trim for $249/Month on a 36-month lease. Subaru doesn't need to offer any special incentives to sell the new fifth-generation 2019 Forester. You can get 3.49 percent APR financing on Forester or lease a new SUV for $265/Month on a 36-month lease.

Subaru of America is also offering additional incentives to customers because the SUV wars are heating up. There is plenty of competition in the SUV market and customers are benefitting because the Camden, N.J. automaker is offering discounts of up to $1,424 average per vehicle, so it’s a good time for Outback, Forester, and Ascent buyers.

The newly-redesigned 2020 Subaru Outback is set to hit dealer showrooms sometime in August so Forester will have to make significant gains in the next few months to move ahead of the popular Outback SUV/Crossover. The new Outback will likely be a big hit with customers when it arrives and will continue to outsell Forester to keep it’s number one status. The outgoing Outback is the hot SUV in the all-wheel-drive lineup with its attractive financing and incentives.

You Might Also Like: Why It’s The Best Time For You To Buy A New Subaru Forester, Outback, Crosstrek

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Photo credit: Subaru


Bob (not verified)    June 4, 2019 - 5:48PM

In reply to by Denis Flierl

You can save a fair bit by buying the outgoing model. I bought the 2018 Forester which had a $2000 discount. With dealing I figured that I likely saved over $5000 by not buying new as there would have been no discount there plus a bit more tax. Can't say that I notice much difference between the two of them. B.

W_B (not verified)    June 4, 2019 - 7:45PM

In reply to by Bob (not verified)

We just took May delivery of a 2019 Outback Premium. Good up front discout (excess of $2000) and favorable financing. I presume they wanted to clear the '19s off the lot before the 2020s arrive. I didn't see any reason to wait when everything we wanted and more was on this vehicle. Even it was the color the wife wanted.

T.D.Lewis (not verified)    June 4, 2019 - 12:54PM

The 2020 Outback does away with the 6 cylinder engine. That's why I bought the 2019 a couple months ago.

D.G. (not verified)    June 7, 2019 - 11:17AM

In reply to by T.D.Lewis (not verified)

Meh. More power, more towing capacity, new framework with better overall results on the vehicle performance and durability? Yep, I'll wait for the new Outback. It might be a first for the Outback, but the framework is established with the Ascent already, so saying that you're worried about how it will be with the new Outback means you haven't been doing your research.

Chris (not verified)    June 4, 2019 - 2:12PM

Love the picture for this article. When my husband and I were dating we used to put his Zodiac boat and 20 hp motor in the back of his outback.

Will Coucheron-Aamot (not verified)    June 4, 2019 - 4:18PM

Flying off dealer lots and straight into Subaru garages for oil consumption issues and other assorted recalls.

Stephen Blake (not verified)    June 4, 2019 - 8:21PM

In reply to by Will Coucheron-Aamot (not verified)

^^ Here is the real reason they are offering such good financing. Multiple generations of Subaru with the same oil consumption problem. I'm currently dealing with a 2013 Outback that burns at least 1.5 qts oil per 5000 miles. And sometimes the oil light will come on after only 1500 or 2000 miles. Buyer beware. Just Google "Subaru class action lawsuit oil consumption" and you may reconsider your next car purchase. My engine won't be replaced because Subaru of America fails to admit the issue unless you were involved in the lawsuit. That's business, I guess.

John Mudryk (not verified)    June 5, 2019 - 9:30AM

In reply to by Stephen Blake (not verified)

My 6.5 year old 2013 Outback, is over 100.,000 miles now and never users more than an extra quart per 7500 mile oil change. And, even that consumption has only begin in the last year. It sounds like a lot of hand wringing going on accompanied by exaggeration. It's only one quart oil oil every so often.

David Oleson (not verified)    June 4, 2019 - 4:42PM

You talk about the new model, but fail to tell us of the changes being made? Are they changing the engine? Is there something new about the drive train? I love my 2015 Outback, & I am hard pressed to think of anything that would improve it.

Peter (not verified)    June 4, 2019 - 7:47PM

After 265K miles, I finally donated my 2000 Outback to my NPR station last year. I looked at new Outbacks but was disappointed to find out the stick shift is no longer available. I ended up with a 2015 Forester with a six-speed manual. After 40 years of driving stick, I'm never switching to a juice drive.

sT (not verified)    June 4, 2019 - 8:28PM

You won't notice many changes on the outside, but on the inside it's a completely different car, especially with the new large touch screen, luxury nappa leather or new water resistant fabric. Even though the current deals are great, the new interior is worth it to me to wait. The turbo should be fun too...

Shaun (not verified)    June 4, 2019 - 10:42PM

Don't know about you, but I will not buy a subaru again ever. I bought a brand new forester that gave me so much problems.

Stefan Brooks (not verified)    June 4, 2019 - 10:58PM

What isn't listed in the article is I understand the lack of 3.6R engine option beyond 2019 in the Outback can as another reason (for me) to buy 2019 models now. To me it needs that engine option. I'm curious to see what the new 4cyl w turbo will do for the Outback, but I know that the Ascent has it.

D.G. (not verified)    June 7, 2019 - 11:20AM

In reply to by Stefan Brooks (not verified)

Then do some research and see what the new Outback is going to come equipped with. New framework gives the Outback a towing capacity of 3500 pounds when coupled with the 2.4L Turbo, which has 260 HP and 277 Ft-Lbs of torque (same as the Ascent).

Mario Orrico (not verified)    June 5, 2019 - 12:37PM

I am the owner of a 2019 Forester touring and I thoroughly like it. There are no compromises on this vehicle. Even the power is more than adequate in all situation. The control layout is superb, screens are clear and effective, the eyesight system is flawless, the seat comfort and appointments are first rate, the sound system is excellent. I am into automobiles a lot, I traded a great 2014 A6 with the supercharged 6 cylinder. Regrettably I stopped the wait for the Audi E-tron because of cost, but the Forester made me forget about it. I also owned an earlier Outback for several years.

Robert Nickolisen (not verified)    June 12, 2019 - 9:45PM

I am in a quandary. 2019 Forester Touring vs 2019 3.6 Outback Touring vs. 2020 Outback Touring. Forester is a great car. Outback obviously larger and more of a wagon. I can get 3700 off the Forester.....over 5000 off the 2019 Outback. The 2020 has a lot of great improvements but will cost 5000 more. Suggestions.

Dan Wellington (not verified)    June 17, 2019 - 11:12AM

In reply to by Robert Nickolisen (not verified)

I'm seriously considering buying the 2019 Outback because it still has port injection. I'm just trying to get comfortable with the idea of owning a vehicle with a CVT transmission.