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What 9 Industry Experts Say About Subaru And What It Means For You

Subaru has received nine awards from auto industry experts but what does it mean for customers looking to buy a 2019 Subaru Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, or Ascent? See why some awards carry more weight than others.

Subaru receives lots of awards from auto industry experts but which ones can customers trust? The list is long with top safety picks, quality awards, resale value, customer satisfaction, brand loyalty, and lowest ownership cost awards. Take a look and see what it means for you.

All of Subaru’s 2019 models tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) are Top Safety Pick+ award winners. The 2019 Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, Ascent, Impreza, Legacy, and WRX all get the top award. IIHS is a trusted organization that customers can trust. Safety is something consumers should pay attention to.

Safety matters to consumers

The IHS Market award says 97 percent of Subaru vehicles sold in the last 10 years are still on the road today. This is solid research based on IHS Markit U.S. vehicles in operation vs. total new registrations for MY2009-2018 ending in December 2018. They can’t fudge these numbers but many automakers have this many vehicles still on the road after 10 years.

Kelly Blue Book has their Brand Image Awards and Subaru has taken the Most Trusted Brand award for 5 years running. This award is based on Kelley Blue Book's 2015-2019 Brand Watch study calculated among non-luxury shoppers. Kelley Blue Book is a good resource for consumers, but this award is hard to quantify and doesn't carry as much weight.

Trust has to be earned

Kelly Blue Book also has its Lowest Cost To Own award and Subaru has the lowest 5-Year Cost to Own of all brands for 2019 according to KBB. It’s based on 2019 model-year vehicle's projected cost to own for the initial five-year ownership period using Kelley Blue Book 5-Year Cost to Own data which considers depreciation and costs such as fuel and insurance. This information is accurate to a point but does not factor in costly repairs not covered by the manufacturer after the warranty is up.

The 2019 IntelliChoice Best Overall Value of the Year, 5-year cost of ownership award is based on the Motor Trend study. They say Subaru has the lowest ownership cost of all popular brands. IntelliChoice also says the Subaru brand gets the Best Overall Value award of any automaker. Motor Trend is a trusted automotive website and is a good resource for consumers.

Residual value can be measured

ALG has given Subaru an award for having the best resale value of any brand. ALG says for 4 years running, Subaru vehicles hold their value better than any other brand. The award is based on ALG's residual value forecast for the 2019 model year. When it comes to residual values and depreciation data, this information seems to be fairly accurate. Checking used values of Subaru Crosstrek, we found it’s cheaper to buy new vs used.

J.D. Power gives Subaru the #1 Brand Loyalty award among mainstream auto brands. Subaru received the highest score among mass-market brands in the J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Automotive Brand Loyalty Study of customers' satisfaction. This award is based on the opinions of a representative sample of consumers who have used or owned the vehicle and gives customers an idea of a typical buying or ownership experience. Brand loyalty does not mean the product is the best and another award that doesn't carry as much weight.

Brand loyalty doesn't mean quality

American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) says Subaru is rated #1 in owner satisfaction among mainstream auto brands. Honda shares the top spot with Subaru. This award is based on interviews with 4,805 customers, chosen at random and contacted via email between August 7, 2018, and July 27, 2019. This data should be accurate and a good tool for customers.

The bottom line

Just because a vehicle or brand like Subaru gets awards and does well in these studies, doesn’t mean you should take it as gospel. The 2019 Subaru Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, and Ascent are quality all-wheel-drive family vehicles, but do your due diligence and research the vehicle you are thinking of buying.

You Might Also Like: Customers Say Subaru And Honda Are The Best In New Satisfaction Survey

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Photo credit: Subaru USA, Torque News, Subaru Canada


Monroe Mayer (not verified)    August 26, 2019 - 1:29PM

I bought a new Subaru Legacy station wagon in 1993. Once it hit 200,000 miles I swiped it for a '94 Legacy wagon wtih only 126,000 on her. That one is on my driveway now, and starts every morning....and runs fine.....

Lawrence (not verified)    August 26, 2019 - 8:18PM

Ok top picks mean squat...

I purchased a 2017 Crosstrek that has been nothing but a money pit. I have spent more repairing this junker than I have done on every single auto I have ever owned. I am 74 and that is a lot of autos. Bushings seem to fail about every 6 months. Subaru mechanics have said that should not happen and that is just about all Subaru has said period. I'm on my second set of front axles. Mechanics have not said a peep about that. It seems to not want to hold an alignment which results in needing tires frequently. I should have known something was not kosher when on my first oil change I was told by the dealer that I needed 3 of 4 headlamps replaced, that I needed brakes within the next 2500 miles and that the tires would need replacing soon. THAT WAS ON MY FIRST OIL CHANGE.

I'm on a fixed income and I just can't afford to put $1000 or more into the vehicle every other month. So since March, it has just sat in the garage. So much for awards. Bull Phucky. This is my third Subaru and my last Subaru.

Matt Oanes (not verified)    August 27, 2019 - 10:11AM

In reply to by Lawrence (not verified)

Did you buy the car new? These aren't typical problems with Crosstreks, especially the issues you are noting. Axels, tires and brakes sounds a lot like you're riding the car hard. Moreover, and most importantly, it sounds like your dealership is probably giving you a run for your money... (never, ever, ever, take your car to your dealership for basic upkeep, they will swindle you and charge you for things you don't need) you would know if 3 of 4 headlamps needed to be replaced... (I'm assuming you're referring to the bulbs and not the actual lamps which there are 2, unless your referring to the fog lamps which are separate). In fact, these are ALL common things dealerships tell unsuspecting customers. Take your car to an actual mechanic and ask them to inspect your tires, brakes, wheel alignment, etc. You're tires are probably still under warranty by the manufacturer (Yokohama). You must not be mechanically inclined from the sounds of it? It sounds like your dealership is the problem, not the car...

ko3epor (not verified)    August 28, 2019 - 7:42PM

In reply to by Lawrence (not verified)

I had (still have actually) Honda Accord EX-L V6 '07 like this. Leather trim separating on steering wheel from day 1. Rear door crooked hinge and rattle from day 1. Bad brakes (pulsating) within first 2K miles. TOTAL A/C failure at 25K. Bad transmission leak at 50K (dealer put some goop on it, so it's holding )))) for now. Looking to buy another Suby as we got '17 Forester XT Touring which is a blast!!!!

mutugi (not verified)    August 31, 2019 - 10:34AM

Subaru corporation is working hard but not smart. I'm talking about random changes like axing manual transmission, turbo....
my question is. why did they bring the turbo back for outback n legacy.? are they copying someone.?