Subaru Gets Shut Out Of The KBB Best Buy Awards Of 2023
In the new Kelley Blue Book (KBB) Best Buy of 2023 Awards, no 2023 Subaru models can be found. Subaru used to have perennial winners in the KBB awards but is a no-show for its 2023 models. Why are the 2023 Subaru Crosstrek, Forester, Outback, Ascent, and Solterra missing?
While other automakers are coming out with new and completely remodeled vehicles, Subaru has only one all-new model, the 2023 Solterra compact EV. The next-generation Crosstrek, Forester, and Impreza won’t arrive until next year, and the 2023 Outback and Ascent received only minor upgrades.
How do the 2023 Subaru models compare with KBB’s winners?
In the Subcompact SUV category, KBB gives the award to the 2023 Kia Seltos. KBB says, “A low starting price, a long list of standard tech and safety features, and impressive fuel economy make the Kia Seltos a terrific value.”
The 2023 Subaru Crosstrek competes in the Subcompact SUV category. KBB says, “The Subaru Crosstrek is a solid choice in subcompact SUVs. If you want something efficient and affordable but also something that stands out from the crowd, the Crosstrek has the quirks you want and the practicality you need.”
photo credit: Schumacher Subaru
In the Compact SUV category, KBB gives the award to the 2023 Honda CR-V. KBB says, “In addition to a proven history of reliability, excellent resale value, and an inviting interior, the new CR-V is efficient and downright pleasant.”
The 2023 Subaru Forester competes in the Compact SUV category. KBB says, “Fresh from a revamp last year, the 2023 Forester carries on doing what it does best, providing safe, sure, reliable transportation along with strong value. That’s a winning formula. We count Forester among the best SUVs. It’s also been a multi-year recipient of the KBB 5-Year Cost to Own Award for its class.”
In the 2-Row Midsize SUV category, KBB gives the award to the 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe. KBB says, “The Hyundai Santa Fe makes its mark with solid fuel economy, good driving dynamics, and a premium feel inside and out.”
photo credit: Schumacher Subaru
The 2023 Subaru Outback competes in the 2-Row Midsize SUV category. KBB says, “All of the qualities contributing to the Outback’s popularity are still here — things like standard all-wheel drive, strong resale values, safety, space, practicality, and attractive pricing. And since no one buys a Subaru for its looks alone, its 2023 mid-generation revamp shouldn’t send potential customers scurrying elsewhere.”
In the 3-Row Midsize SUV category, KBB gives the award to the 2023 Kia Telluride. KBB says, “The roomy, upscale Telluride is practical, with a stacked roster of standard safety features and convenience equipment, and it’s an excellent value.”
The 2023 Subaru Ascent competes in the 3-Row Midsize SUV category. KBB says, “The Subaru Ascent takes the unique character of the Subaru brand and delivers it in the form of a practical, family-friendly midsize SUV. It has 3-row seating for up to eight people, and every trim comes standard with all-wheel drive. The Ascent gets a nice mid-cycle refresh for 2023 with updated styling, upgrades to safety and infotainment tech features, and some creative new options like the Cabin Connect intercom system.”
In the Electric Vehicle category, KBB gives the award to the 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 5. KBB says, “Its retro styling turns heads, but the 303-mile range, easy-to-use tech, and spacious interior at a reasonable price make the Ioniq 5 a Best Buy.”
The all-new 2023 Subaru Solterra competes with new electric SUVs. KBB says, “Size-wise, the new Subaru Solterra is similar to the Toyota RAV4, making it a compact SUV. The Solterra all-electric SUV has a maximum range of 228 miles and a lot of standard equipment, including all-wheel-drive. ”
The 2023 Subaru Crosstrek, and Forester, are carry-over models with no upgrades, and KBB likes new vehicles. The 2023 Subaru Outback and Ascent, which received a mild refresh but not a complete remodel, need to create more new excitement. The 2023 Solterra is all-new but seems to get lost because it’s a close twin to the Toyota bZ4X EV. KBB says it will appeal to Subaru’s faithful followers, but it has difficulty competing with the new EVs.
Subaru needs new next-generation models, but they were delayed because of plant shutdowns, microchip shortages, and manufacturing challenges. New models are coming, but only in late 2023.
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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: Subaru