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Subaru Isn’t Gouging Customers During The Chip Shortage But 6 Brands Are

As new car prices reach record highs, Subaru isn’t gouging its new Subaru Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, and other new model customers, but some car brands are. Check out the latest report here.

Are the price of a new 2021 Subaru Forester, 2022 Outback, and 2021 Crosstrek and other Subaru models going up during the tight new car inventories? A new report from Kelly Blue Book reveals Subaru’s new model prices have gone up from 2020 but have dropped 2.6 percent from August 2021 to September 2021.

KBB reports with research data from Cox Automotive, the average transaction price for a new vehicle was up 3.7 percent (or $1,613) from August 2021. Subaru’s average new model price for August was $34,804 and dropped to $33,911 for September.

2022 Subaru Forester, 2021 Subaru Crosstrek, 2022 Subaru Outback

Only three car brands dropped prices from August to September, with Subaru pricing dropping the most (-2.6 percent), Ford prices went down -0.9 percent, and Volkswagen dropped -1.4 percent.

Four car brands with the worst new car deals

And some new car brands are gouging their customers. The report reveals the average transaction price for GM rose 7.4 percent, BMW up 5.3 percent, Toyota was up 5.0 percent, and Mazda up 4.0 percent from August 2021.

2022 Subaru Forester, 2021 Subaru Crosstrek, 2022 Subaru Outback
photo credit: Competition Subaru

Another study from Consumer Reports (by subscription) reveals ten new car models whose MSRP has risen the most. Hyundai and Kia dominate the list of vehicles selling the most over sticker price.

The ten car models with the highest percentage increase over MSRP

The Kia Telluride (20% over MSRP), Hyundai Accent (+20%), Chevrolet Spark (+18%), Kias Seltos (+18%), Hyundai Venue (+17%), Kia Carnival (+17%), Kia Sorento (+17%), GMC Yukon (+16%), Hyundai Elantra (+16%), and Hyundai Tucson (+16%).

Is it a good time to buy a new car?

It’s not an ideal time to buy a new car because of the recent vehicle inventory shortages, but savvy car shoppers don’t have to get gouged by a new car dealer. Research shows Subaru, Ford, and Volkswagen prices have gone down while most automakers are raising prices.

While Subaru of America has among the lowest incentives (manufacture rebates), Subaru retailers sell its new 2021 Forester, 2022 Outback, 2021 Crosstrek, and other new models closer to MSRP than any automaker. Subaru pricing dropped -2.6 percent from August to September, while most automakers have raised prices during the recent vehicle inventory shortage.

You Might Also Like: The New Subaru Outback Just Jumped 7 Spots On The Most Recent Made In America Index

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: main image Competition Subaru


brian (not verified)    October 16, 2021 - 7:23PM

hi, i just wanted to comment that Subaru of America may not be gouging new car prices but some Subaru dealerships are, Subaru Santa Cruz is tacking on a $5,000 "fair market" adjustment to the wilderness outback and will also do the same with the Forester wilderness i was told by their internet sales director. i wont be buying my car from them since they obviously don't care about the loyal customers or understand the image obligations of being a Subaru dealership.

Stephanie (not verified)    October 17, 2021 - 8:06AM

In reply to by brian (not verified)

Can confirm this. One Subaru dealer in RI (Anchor Subaru) had marked up every new vehicle by $4k (June 2021). Got out real quick and went to a nearby dealer that was not marking up.

James Trezza (not verified)    October 18, 2021 - 10:48AM

In reply to by Roberto (not verified)

I think that they meant the Subaru dealers name was Santa Cruz, bottom line is there are many Subaru dealers marking up their vehicles by $2$4k over MSRP. The 2022 Outback I bought in Late July was discounted by $2k below MSRP

James Trezza (not verified)    October 21, 2021 - 2:18PM

In reply to by D (not verified)

I have a friend that works PT at a car dealership and the owners of the dealership also own 5 other car dealerships. My friend who is semi retired said the owner is far from starving so these gouging dealers can/do make Money on every car without inflating the price. Plus they are ripping people off with the trade ins selling double of what they paid and up selling extended warranties and financing so I have no pity on these dealerships

Kathleene Daly (not verified)    October 21, 2021 - 11:08AM

In reply to by brian (not verified)

I've vowed to never again deal with Peninsula Subaru in Bremerton after 25 years as a faithful customer, I recently bought a new 2021 Forester from them. They wouldn't budge on MSRP (though after reading this article I grudgingly understand) but refused to give me a reasonable value for my immaculate, perfectly maintained trade-in. I'd done my homework and knew it was worth over $16,000 in this market. After an hour of negotiating, they finally allowed $10,000. Two days later they had it listed for sale, asking $20,000.

Kathleene Daly (not verified)    October 21, 2021 - 11:31AM

In reply to by brian (not verified)

Peninsula Subaru in Bremerton WA added $3K 'market adjustment' to MSRP on my 2021 Forester, and wouldn't NEGOTIATE AT ALL. Then they gave me only $10K on my trade-in when my extensive homework showed the minimum value for a trade-in for that model/mileage locally was $17K, and 2 days later were listing it to sell for $20K. Not gouging? ROFL.

James Trezza (not verified)    October 17, 2021 - 11:33PM

Who ever wrote this article has a no clue what the truth is. As a owner of a 2022 Subaru Outback Limited , the dealers are selling the Outback $4000 over MSRP. One dealer is Piazza Subaru in Limerick, PA. All they needed to do was call a few dealers and check what they are selling these cars for

CarGuy (not verified)    October 18, 2021 - 5:49AM

I was ready to buy a '21 STI but the dealership insisted on a $2,500k market adjustment. That's $2,500 over MSRP - even more after financing. They refused to talk serious numbers until I had a potential trade appraised.

I scratched that idea for a new Camaro, only to find Chevy dealerships were charging (sometimes more than) $5k over MSRP. I scratched that idea too.

D (not verified)    October 18, 2021 - 10:39AM

In reply to by CarGuy (not verified)

So you were shopping for limited production cars in a time with everything being limited production and you expect dealerships to just give cars away? You understand that it's ok for dealerships to make a profit right?

Brandon B (not verified)    October 27, 2021 - 12:49PM

Yes a lot of dealerships are marking up their vehicles because, well they can, and people will buy them. If you don't want to pay, don't spend your money there, or build your own. Here in Washington state, I'm in sales at Michaels Subaru in Bellevue. Were selling our new Subaru's at MSRP. no mark up.

Thomas A Boynton (not verified)    February 18, 2022 - 1:24AM

These articles are RIDICULAS. All the dealers near me in southern California are marking up their new cars by $8,000 - $10,000. Utterly ridiculas. I'm being told it is because of short supply. During the early months of the Pandemic, if a grocery store marked up toilet paper because of short supply everyone would have gone crazy and the government would have got involved. Absolutely NO ONE is going after these car dealers for marking up their cars by $8,000 or more. Dealer cost for the cars is EXACTLY what it used to be, but because they cannot get as many cars as they used to, they jack the prices up. it's NO different than a grocery store with 30 packages of toilet paper selling them for $800 per package. Would that be ok?

Phillip (not verified)    February 22, 2022 - 5:51PM

I can also confirm. Just reserved my Solterra and was contacted immediately that they would be racking on an additional $5k+ for the new reservations

Pepe (not verified)    February 22, 2022 - 6:01PM

Putnam Subaru in Burlingame are selling theirs at a crazy markups of $10 to $15k. Subaru Forester Wilderness is at $15k markups. I was almost that close to poo’ing in my pants.