KBB’s 2023 Resale Value Study Shows Three Subaru Models Leading Their Segments

December 15th, 2023 by

KBB Cost To Own AwardsWhen shopping for a new vehicle, there are already enough considerations without having to predict depreciation and calculate operating costs outside of noting fuel economy. Thankfully, Kelley Blue Book (KBB.com) does that for you. They provide 5-year cost-to-own of all models sold and each year they publish the results and name the lowest cost-to-own models in each of 28 segments. And yet again, three of those lowest cost-to-own winners are found in the Ewing Subaru of Plano showroom. These winning models are the Subaru Forester, Outback, and Ascent.

They do not exactly represent niche categories, either. The Forester’s Compact SUV category is the largest and most competitive segment in the industry. The Outback’s 2-row Mid-size SUV and Ascent’s 3-row Midsize SUV categories are not far behind. One note is what KBB describes as an “SUV” in these instances are generally car-based crossover models. They have a separate Off-Road SUV category for such models as Ford Bronco and Jeep Wrangler.

KBB takes a comprehensive look at operating costs by considering the following:

  • Insurance
  • Maintenance costs
  • Fuel costs
  • Depreciation

Depreciation is the largest factor and can be difficult to predict, though also the one you have the most control of, at least in terms of how long you keep your vehicle. The longer you keep your car, the more its condition will impact its resale value. It can also be counterintuitive based on this statement by KBB: “…choosing a slightly pricier model can save you money in the long run. And that also means less expensive cars can cost more over time.” A traditionally high resale value has helped Subaru models rise to the top because they earn that higher resale value due to the quality, reliability, and durability factors in combination with the overall desirability of their models. 

2024 Subaru Forester

Forester on Top of the Most Popular Category in the US

The Forester has earned high loyalty from its owners even as it competes with sales leaders such as the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, and Nissan Rogue. It has regularly appeared on this Lowest Cost to Own winner list. Taking into account the average original model cost, the 2023 Forester has an estimated 5-year cost-to-own of $37,367. That is $3,365 less than the segment average.

2024 Subaru Outback

Outback is the Lowest Cost-to-Own Midsize 2-row SUV

This is the 4th year in a row for the Outback on this list. And yet, even KBB admits that the Outback can be a bit difficult to classify since it is seen as wagon-based, while its competitors share no sheet metal with a sedan. Still, based on its size, overall interior space, and capability, they concluded that it only fits as part of the Midsize 2-row SUVs category with models such as the Honda Passport or Hyundai Santa Fe. With this classification, the Outback has the lowest cost to own among them for the fourth year in a row. Adding the average purchase price with the expected 5-year ownership costs, KBB figured a 5-year cost to own of $47,833 for the Outback, which is a whopping $8,772 less than the segment average.

2024 Subaru Ascent

Ascent Has the Lowest 5-Year Ownership Cost of Mid-Size 3-Row SUVs

The mid-size 3-row SUV has no shortage of competitors for these popular family vehicles. Families can have so many challenges to their budget so the importance of a low-vehicle operation cost is paramount. The Ascent was figured to have an overall 5-year cost-to-own cost of $47,833, which is $5,087 less than the segment average.

When vehicle shopping, it is easy to gauge the short-term benefits, but important to consider the long-term benefits as well. You can feel better about those long-term costs when you walk into Ewing Subaru of Plano.