2018 Subaru Outback, 2018 Subaru Forester, 2018 Subaru Crosstrek
Denis Flierl's picture

Why Subaru Outback Steals Brand’s Top Sales Slot Again

The 2018 Subaru Outback is Subaru of America’s sales darling again.
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The 2018 Subaru Outback is the brand’s top-selling vehicle again in 2017. This is the second year in-a-row the Outback is at the top of the lineup in sales for Subaru of America. The 2018 Outback (188,886) is the top dog in the lineup beating Forester (177,563) as Subaru’s number one selling all-wheel-drive vehicle in the stable. Subaru has created a niche market of all-wheel-drive vehicles and the Outback sits at the top of their lineup.

Subaru has done a great job of marketing the Outback, they now call it a Crossover SUV, not a wagon. Subaru’s fifth-generation 2018 Outback has been around for more than 20 years, but it’s a different animal than your typical crossover/SUV. It rides 8.7-inches off the ground, comes standard with all-wheel-drive, has a roomy cabin, and has off-road features like X-Mode, Hill Descent Control and Hill Holder. Subaru designed the Outback to be a family hauler with an attitude.

The Outback wagon is a master of outdoors-oriented activities and you'll find owners taking it into the back country for camping, hiking, mountain biking and climbing trips. Many consumers are using the Outback to haul a small utility trailer or camper for recreation. One big advantage Outback has over Forester is the tow rating. The Outback can tow 1200 lb. more than the Forester. Outback has a max tow rating of 2,700 lb. vs. just 1,500 lb. max towing capacity for the 2018 Subaru Forester.

Even though Outback is designed for rough off-pavement use, it gets new interior upgrades making it a comfortable place to spend time, and the cabin is quieter than the outgoing model. The 2018 Subaru Outback also gets new headlights and door mirrors with improved aerodynamics and reduced wind noise.

Forester is due for a complete remodel, and it could be why consumers are holding off buying the popular compact SUV. The all-new 2019 Forester will make its dealer launch later this fall. It will get the new Subaru Global Platform making it roomier inside and it will come with improved driving dynamics and a more fuel efficient Direct Injection 2.5-liter boxer engine.

Until then, the 2018 Subaru Outback will likely continue to lead the Subaru lineup because it’s not your typical family crossover/SUV. The SUV-alternative all-wheel drive vehicle is a different animal with a “go-anywhere” attitude that fits many family’s active lifestyles.

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Photo credit: Subaru Canada by way of Ron Kirk IG/vanisle_outback


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Comments

Have a 2016 Outback. Be careful. The Beancounters have stripped this car. "Go anywhere"? I think not. The "light" duty battery will drain easily and leave you stranded as the electronics will malfunction after a drain. Going on a flight? Better hire someone to drive your car daily as the battery will drain. Paint has blistered. The whole car had to be repainted, covered by my Insurance, Subaru refused to do so under our warranty. The Paint shop said they have seen several identical severe paint issues, ALL SUBARU's. We have had the engine pulled to repair a faulty seal, endless trips for electronic issues. Just drove 2 hours to the dealer without indicator lights, etc. They don't know what is wrong, impounded the car "as it is too dangerous to drive", but had refused our request for a tow. Can't wait until my soy-based wires attract rodents. I will save on rent as I will be living at the dealership. Comment from another owner: Prior to this vehicle ALL Subaru's use a Group 35 (640 CCA) battery, yet the vehicle is sold with a OEM Group 25 (only 550 CCA). Considering the vehicle has tons of electronics that is ALWAYS ON I'm dumbfounded that Subaru would roll these vehicles off the production line with such a small capacity battery. You either have to disconnect the battery (and it takes ~90 miles for the computers to fully reboot and restore all functions - like windows) or bring a jumper battery with you if you plan to park for any extended amount of time (even if the security system is not engaged).
View reviews for a specific Outback model: sort by Lowest Rating Items Per Page: 5 | 10 | 50 Previous 1 ...56789 ... 39 Next Electrical drain 26 of 26 people found this review helpful Value Technology Interior Reliability Safety Performance Comfort By Tom E on 08/07/2016 Vehicle 2.5i Limited PZEV 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT) Review No modern car should leave you stranded. After purchasing a brand new 2016 Outback Limited - the battery is completely drained in 13 days (with not using the vehicle). Dealer reports this is "normal!" WT_?!? That is NOT normal. I would have given higher ratings across the board had it not been for this crucial issue. You cannot park at the airport and go for a 2 week trip without getting stranded. Given this situation, if you buy one of these, also buy a 10mm wrench so you can disconnect the negative battery connection when you plan to take a trip. ... this is my wife's car, had it been mine I would have returned it - this is unacceptable. 2/8/17 Update: Returned from a trip and the OEM battery was depleted in 9 days. In multiple conversations with Subaru of America they have agreed to pay for a larger capacity battery. Prior to this vehicle ALL Subaru's use a Group 35 (640 CCA) battery, yet the vehicle is sold with a OEM Group 25 (only 550 CCA). Considering the vehicle has tons of electronics that is ALWAYS ON I'm dumbfounded that Subaru would roll these vehicles off the production line with such a small capacity battery. You either have to disconnect the battery (and it takes ~90 miles for the computers to fully reboot and restore all functions - like windows) or bring a jumper battery with you if you plan to park for any extended amount of time (even if the security system is not engaged). This remains unacceptable to me ... my wife isn't too worried about it. Costco carries the same batteries used by Subaru = Interstate Batteries. Costco carries the Group 35 for $75-80, or you can get the larger 700 CCA capacity 24F700 battery that has more lead to hold a charge longer - this is what I replaced the OEM with - I have not had a chance to test how long it will hold a charge when the vehicle is not in operation. What I would like Subaru to admit to is that the OEM battery is inadequate but they are not going to do that. It will take more than me complaining about this. Subaru is not alone, this is becoming more common across newer vehicles that have a lot of electronics you cannot turn off. BTW - none of this is mentioned in the owner's manual - and if it did, would you buy it? Overall - we are satisfied with the vehicle but not thrilled like we were and remain with the 1996 Subaru Legacy LSi Wagon (320,000+ miles), which remains my favorite = that's why it is 4 stars. The Outback is sturdy, reliable with the exception above, feels very safe, handles snow well, is comfortable, much bigger than the LSi, and competent. The electronic dash for the radio is difficult to use when driving as you cannot keep your finger in one place with the road bounce = I miss having actual knobs and being able to toggle between my favorite stations quickly and not having to look at the screen - thereby taking my eyes off the road. A good vehicle but I'm hesitant to purchase another because of the ability of the vehicle could leave me stranded - then again, perhaps any of the newer vehicles suffer the same fate.