What 9 Industry Experts Say About Subaru And What It Means For You
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.
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Photo credit: Subaru USA, Torque News, Subaru Canada