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Subaru MSRP Vs. Actual New Model Transaction Price - It’s Less Than You Think

How much do Subaru retailers sell a new 2022 Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, and other new models over the manufacturer's suggested retail price? It's less than most automakers.

Are Subaru of America's retailers charging customers way over the manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP)? Some Subaru retailers are charging more than others, as Subaru of America cannot make them charge MSRP. 

A new report from Edmunds reveals that most Subaru retailers are charging $592 over MSRP across North America. It's less than the average for all U.S. automakers. The average difference between the MSRP and the actual transaction price is $782. 

2022 Subaru Outback, 2022 Subaru Crosstrek, 2022 Subaru Forester
photo credit: Schumacher Subaru

Automakers charging the most over MSRP

Cadillac has the highest difference at $4,048 over MSRP, with Land Rover (+$2,565), Kia (+$2,289), Porsche (+$1,721), Acura (+$1,701), Genesis (+$1,603), Honda (+$1,508), Hyundai (+$1,498), Audi (+$1,325), Jaguar (+$1,109), and Toyota (+$1,015) the worst offenders.

Tom Doll, President and CEO Subaru of America, recently asked its retailers to abide by the automaker's "Love Promise" and not charge over MSRP. Some U.S. retailers were charging way over MSRP for its most in demand models like the 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness and Forester Wilderness trim levels. 

2022 Subaru Outback, 2022 Subaru Crosstrek, 2022 Subaru Forester

We reported that one Subaru retailer in Orange County, California, was charging nearly 20 percent ($7303) above MSRP for the new Outback Wilderness. In February, Doll sent out a letter to its retailers asking them to "honor the Love Promise in all customer interactions." The letter from Doll says Subaru received many customers' letters and emails "voraciously complaining about sales of Subaru models at prices above MSRP."

While some Subaru retailers are marking up their new 2022 Forester Wilderness and 2022 Outback Wilderness trim level way above MSRP, not all Subaru retailers do this. The recent report from Edmunds reveals that most U.S. retailers are abiding by Subaru's Love Promise in all customer transactions

How do you get the best price during the new model shortages?

During the new model shortages, ordering a new 2022 Subaru Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, and other models from Subaru retailers and shipping from the factory is the customer's best option. Building the new compact SUV ensures you get the exact trim level, color, and option package you want and is a little-known method to save time tracking down a vehicle that fits your needs.

Subaru of America is unique regarding tight inventory because U.S. retailers have been selling through their pipeline for years. You can now lock in the price ahead of time, and there are no surprises. The most important thing through this process is to have patience.

A report from The Philadelphia Inquirer says Subaru vehicle inventory remains tight. "We are being allocated vehicles probably at about 60 percent to 65 percent of what we normally get," said Jeff Glanzmann, general manager of Glanzmann Subaru in Willow Grove. "Our lot in terms of new-car inventory is certainly not anywhere near what it should be. We will maybe have five or six new cars on the ground at any given time, where pre-pandemic, we might have had close to 200."

The report says Clint Ehlers of Lower Gwynedd bought an Outback Wilderness for a fair price, without a considerable wait. "About six weeks ago, Ehlers spotted a 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness at Glanzmann in the color he wanted, but it was already sold. Upon his return about a month later, he found another blue one, but it was Glanzmann's demo vehicle. So Ehlers ordered a vehicle and waited two weeks for delivery from the dealership," the report says. 

How long will it take to get a new Forester, Outback, or Crosstrek once I order?

Sources tell us the delivery of new models like the 2022 Forester and Crosstrek takes four-to-six months from Japan and two-to-three months for Outback and Ascent models coming from Subaru of Indiana Automotive.

Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds' executive director of insights, says, "Savvy dealers are conducting business during this wave of inflation in a way that's mindful of the possible adverse reaction of their customers." The report reveals that most Subaru retailers are savvy and are not gouging their customers. 

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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: Schumacher Subaru


Tim Beaumont (not verified)    May 7, 2022 - 3:30AM

2021 white on black Crosstrek Limited no sunroof, but all else standard. Bought at Big Island Subaru, Hawaii April 22 2021, $30,245 ($32,128.37 after taxes &fees). Just sold to Tony Honda Kona for $28,000 (could maybe have got $1000 more) with one foor scratch and 6500 miles on May 4 2022. They’re now listing for $37,146 on the their lot. Big Island Subaru only offered $23,500 buy back. Hawaii is sellers market right now.