It's only the first quarter of 2023, but it gives a good read on where Subaru will end up this year. Subaru of America (SOA) has an impressive increase, and that's before its two new models make their dealer launch this spring. So is Subaru ready to explode?
SOA reported another double-digit sales increase in March, continuing the upward trend in 2023. Subaru says sales were up 22.8 percent in March, the eighth consecutive month of month-over-month sales increases for the Camden, N.J. automaker.
In addition, three hot models had significant jumps in sales. Forester, Impreza, and Ascent are the surprise models in March. The WRX performance sedan also had impressive results.
SOA reported 53,213 new Subaru vehicles were delivered to customers for March 2023 compared with March 2022, when they had 43,322 sales. "We closed March and the first quarter on a high note. Thanks to the exceptional efforts of our Subaru retailers, we surpassed our March 2022 sales by 23 percent," said Jeff Walters, the new President and Chief Operating Officer at Subaru of America.
Subaru is up in sales by 8.3 percent for the first quarter of 2023. So Subaru finally has more winners than losers in the first three months. Click on each red model link story for more details.
Subaru's first-quarter winners
The hot Crosstrek subcompact started the first two months of 2023 hot, and in March, the subcompact SUV continued its hot streak. As a result, the 2023 Crosstrek was SOA's overall sales leader again. In addition, Crosstrek was the top performer by volume, achieving its best March ever with 14,040 vehicle sales, surpassing its March 2022 sales of 13,460, up 4.3 percent. The hot Crosstrek is up 10.9 percent for the first quarter of the year, the most of any Subaru SUV nameplate.
The refreshed 2023 Subaru Ascent is the fourth best-selling SUV in the lineup, with 5,794 3-Row SUVs delivered to customers in March. The Ascent picked up the pace and was up 43.2 percent compared with the 4,047 models sold in March 2022. The Ascent is up 0.6 percent in the first three months of 2023.
Customers aren't waiting for the next-gen Impreza.
The 2023 Subaru Impreza compact sedan and hatchback had a significant surge in March, up 63.3 percent before the next-generation hatchback arrives this spring. SOA delivered 3,802 compact models to customers in March compared with 2,329 sales in March 2022. Impreza is now up 0.6 percent in the first quarter.
The sport-tuned WRX has an impressive start.
The next-generation 2022 Subaru WRX was up 1,373 percent in March, with 3,005 performance models delivered to customers. The WRX had another significant increase over last March 2022, when it only had 204 sales because Subaru Corporation switched to the new model. The WRX is now up 1221.0 percent in the first three months.
The next-generation 2023 BRZ sports coupe is the bottom dweller in SOA's lineup, with 285 sales in March, down 2.1 percent from March 2022, when SOA delivered 291 models to customers. BRZ is up 1.4 percent in the first quarter of 2023.
Subaru could sell more Solterra EVs if they could get them.
The all-new 2023 Subaru Solterra EV, in its fourth month of sales, had 513 compact electric SUV sales in March. Subaru of America pre-sold Solterra for the 2023 model year. The EV's sales represent all new models arriving from the factory in Japan to customers who ordered the new electric model last year.
Subaru's first-quarter losers
The newly upgraded 2023 Subaru Outback midsize SUV decreased 4.1 percent in March, with 13,245 models sold compared with 13,808 in March 2022. As a result, the Outback moves up to second place in the lineup. Outback is down 0.6 percent in the first three months of 2023.
In March, the 2023 Subaru Forester compact SUV dropped to third in SOA's lineup. However, Forester was up an impressive 56.2 percent, with 10,264 models sold compared with 6,572 in March 2022. Forester drops 3.0 percent in the first quarter of 2023.
The 2023 Subaru Legacy midsize sedan dropped 13.3 percent, with 2,265 models delivered to customers compared with 2,611 sales in March 2022. The Legacy sedan is now down 8.3 percent in the first three months of 2023.
Subaru has an impressive start in the first quarter of 2023. Subaru now has five winners and only three losers. Subaru's remarkable increase in sales comes before its two new models arrive this spring. The 2024 Impreza hatchback and the 2024 Crosstrek subcompact SUV will arrive for U.S. customers this spring. With its two new model launches, it could be a good year for Subaru of America.
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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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