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Subaru Is Out In The Cold In KBB’s Most Trusted And Best Performance Brand Awards

Where is Subaru in Kelley Blue Book's Best Brands awards? Last year, Subaru was the Most Trusted Brand and the Best Performance Brand. See why Subaru gets shut out in 2023.

In Kelley Blue Book's (KBB) Brand Image Awards for 2023, where is Subaru of America? In last year's awards among mainstream car brands (non-luxury), Subaru was named the Most Trusted Brand, and the Japanese also took home the Best Performance Brand award. But in the 2023 awards, Subaru is nowhere to be found.

Until this year, Subaru was the Most Trusted Brand award winner for eight consecutive years. And in 2022, it was Subaru's sixth time in the last eight years that it was the Best Performance Brand winner. But Subaru is shut out of both awards in 2023.

2023 Subaru KBB Brand Image Awards

Last year, Subaru achieved high average scores across all ratings of its Forester subcompact SUV, Outback midsize SUV, Crosstrek subcompact SUV, and other non-luxury models. But this year, something changed for the Camden, N.J., automaker.

In 2023 among mainstream car brands, Toyota earned the Most Trusted Brand award from KBB, and Dodge was the Best Performance Brand winner. Honda takes home the Best Overall Brand award from KBB. Honda also wins the Best Value Brand, Dodge takes home the Most Refined Brand, and Ford the Best Styling award.

2023 Subaru KBB Brand Image Awards

The 2023 Kelley Blue Book Brand Image Awards are based on consumer automotive perception data from KBB's Brand Watch report. Brand Watch is an online brand and model perception tracking study tapping into 12,000 plus in-market new-vehicle shoppers annually on Kelley Blue Book's

KBB recognizes automakers' achievements in creating and maintaining brand attributes that capture the new-vehicle buying public's attention and enthusiasm. The awards are based on the consumer sentiment of vehicles rated on comfortability, quality, safety, and performance factors.

Kelley Blue Book says its Brand Image Awards recognize automakers whose model lines of cars, trucks, and SUVs create enthusiasm among shoppers. "Brand image isn't just whether or not consumers know that a brand exists. The automakers that are awarded have brand images that can excite and attract new car shoppers. And doing this is essential to success in the marketplace," says KBB.

Where is Subaru?

It's been a rough year for Subaru as they have experienced a significant sales decrease across its all-wheel-drive lineup of cars and SUVs. Subaru only has one new model, the all-electric 2023 Solterra compact SUV they have added to the lineup. At the same time, other car brands have introduced more new models and have more redesigns than Subaru.

We expect a different outcome in KBB's 2024 Brand Image awards as Subaru of America has the redesigned 2024 Impreza compact hatchback, 2024 Crosstrek subcompact SUV, updated 2024 Outback and Outback Wilderness, and the all-new outdoor-themed 2024 Crosstrek Wilderness coming this year.

You Might Also Like: Meet Subaru’s All-New Outdoor-Themed 2024 Crosstrek Wilderness - Details And Images Are Here Now

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 Cross Creek Subaru


UrbieGnone (not verified)    April 9, 2023 - 10:53PM

This is hilarious. The new 2024 Impreza and Crosstrek are the lamest iterations of those vehicles yet. The Solterra is as exciting as a RAV4 (i.e. not exciting at all), and Subaru discontinued STi so no wonder they're not on the performance brand rankings.

All in all, I don't see Subaru ranking high for 2024, or anytime soon, unless they return to their roots

The1Metallian (not verified)    April 9, 2023 - 11:33PM

I think Subaru is a little tone-deaf, and asleep at the wheel. Only one EV (years after every other maker), no PHEV, no "green" variants of their highest selling models, and their cars are either boring as shite or gas guzzlers. I remember reading an article about the Civic performance models and the question by the Oped was "with similar performance than the WRX but consuming 10 MPG less, why would anyone buy the WRX?"

I think it's easy to see why their sales decreased sharply, and the things mentioned here as their 2024 strategy don't seem to address any o fthese issues.