With new car prices at the highest they've ever been, what are the best new cars and SUVs under $30,000 for 2023? A recent U.S. News ranking says the newly-upgraded 2023 Subaru Outback and 2023 Subaru Forester, which needs a remodel, are two of the best new models for new car shoppers. The next-generation Forester comes next year, and the Outback just received new updates.
A new report from Kelley Blue Book says the average transaction price of a new vehicle in the U.S. hit a record high in December at $49,507. We recently reported that Subaru's average transaction price for a new all-wheel-drive vehicle is now $37,009.
Should you look for a used Subaru SUV instead? Subaru's used car prices are not dropping as many automaker's used models come down in price. You can read why in the new report here.
Subaru's pricing has gone up, but there are still affordable models and trim levels under $30,000 for new car shoppers looking for an all-wheel-drive Subaru SUV. U.S. News ranks the 2023 Subaru Outback and 2023 Subaru Forester among the best for customers looking for the best value.
U.S. News lists the Subaru Outback among the best cars, but the Outback is more like an SUV with a car-like ride. It has the utility of an SUV but the driving dynamics of a car, and it's easy for passengers to get in and out.
U.S. News best cars under $30,000 for 2023
2023 Subaru Outback
2023 Mazda CX-5
2023 Hyundai Tucson
2023 Mazda CX-30
2023 Kia Soul
2023 Hyundai Kona
2023 Subaru Forester
2023 Hyundai Santa Fe
2023 Ford Bronco Sport
2023 Kia Seltos
2023 Nissan Rogue
2023 Mazda CX-50
2023 Honda HR-V
2023 Volkswagen Taos
2023 Toyota RAV4
2023 Kia Sportage
2023 Buick Encore GX
What is the best 2023 Subaru Forester trim level?
All 2023 Forester trim levels increased by $550 in price, including destination and delivery. The 2023 Forester comes in six trim levels; The Base Forester starts at $27,620, Premium ($30,620), Sport ($32,190), Limited ($34,300), Wilderness ($35,245), and Touring ($37,720). Pricing includes dealer fees ($1,225).
The Premium trim level is the best value and is priced at just over $30,000. It comes with enhanced roof rails and added tie-down points for improved versatility. The Premium trim has steering responsive LED headlights, keyless access with push-button start, fog lights, heated seats and mirrors, a leather steering wheel, and a windshield wiper de-icer.
Premium also comes with a 10-way power driver's seat with power lumbar support, 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels in black with machine finish, roof rails, dark tint privacy glass, and a panoramic power moonroof.
U.S. News says, "Though the popular Subaru Outback sometimes overshadows it, the 2023 Subaru Forester is an exceptionally practical choice for shoppers needing a roomy cabin, loads of cargo space, and the confidence of all-wheel drive. A low starting price is just icing on the cake."
What is the best 2023 Subaru Outback trim level?
The 2023 Outback now comes in nine trim levels for U.S. customers; the base trim is priced from $29,620, Premium ($31,920), new Onyx Edition with a 2.5-liter engine ($34,720), Limited ($36,520), Touring ($41,070), Outback Wilderness ($39,670), Onyx Edition XT ($39,820), Limited XT ($40,920), and Touring XT ($43,520). Pricing includes $1,225 destination and delivery fees (an increase of $50).
The Premium trim level is the best value and is priced at just over $30,000. The 2023 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium and Limited trim levels are where many buyers will land and offer the best value with the smallest price increases. Unless you need the Outback XT's extra power and off-pavement capability, you will pay about $5,000-$8000 less for a comparably equipped 2.5i trim level.
U.S. News says, "The 2023 Subaru Outback has plenty to offer for a sub-$30,000 vehicle. All Outbacks come with all-wheel drive, a long list of safety technologies, and ample cargo and passenger space."
What sets the Forester and Outback apart from other SUVs?
Apart from 8.7 inches of ground clearance and standard all-wheel-drive, the Outback and Forester come with X-Mode for added all-weather performance. The Outback XT and Wilderness and Forester Sport and Wilderness come with dual-function X-Mode for additional all-terrain performance.
What are the best new SUVs under $30,000 for 2023? U.S. News says the newly-updated 2023 Subaru Outback and the older Forester with no new upgrades are two of the best and should be on your list this winter.
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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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