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The Best-Selling Subaru Models

A white 2019 Subaru Forester Sport is shown from the front driving on a tree-line road.

Subaru is a smaller company, not like giant conglomerates like General Motors, Ford, Stellantis, and Toyota. Subaru doesn’t produce the massive number of vehicles that these larger companies do, but this is probably why Subaru has won so many more accolades than the Goliaths of the industry. The folks at Subaru are able to focus more on quality control instead of producing massive numbers of vehicles, so when you stop into Ruge's Subaru, your used Subaru dealership, you are going to find an exceptional car at a very affordable price that will perform better than most other models.

At Ruge’s Subaru, we are proud to offer these great cars and SUVs. We carry the full lineup of new and used Subaru models, giving you the ability to choose the one that is right for you. Even though Subaru may not be big, it is fierce, staking out a position as one of the most award-winning automotive companies in the world. For example, Subaru models have earned more Top Safety Pick awards than any other brand since 2013, showing that Subarus are built for safety.

In addition, Subarus are built to last. Experian has pointed out that over 96% of Subaru vehicles sold in the last ten years are still on the road today, which is why buying a used Subaru is such a great value. Finally, Kelley Blue Book has named Subaru the most trusted brand in the automotive industry for the last eight years while awarding it the Best Performance Brand winner six times.

Subaru Reflects the Changing Taste of American Consumers

Looking back over the past five years, four of the five top-selling models of Subaru are the same today as they were back then. However, their position rankings in the brand have been different. In addition, one model is no longer in the top five, having been replaced by another.

The top two models in 2017 were the Outback at number one and the Forester at number two. This is because SUVs were already showing their popularity even five years ago. However, the number three and five models were sedans, the compact Impreza and the midsize Legacy. While the Impreza is still a top five best-selling model for Subaru, the Legacy has declined in popularity.

This move away from the Legacy has nothing to do with the quality of this car. Rather, it is just a matter of public tastes, as drivers have moved away from sedans and more toward SUVs. Part of this is because of the extra space provided by SUVs. While both models may feature similar engines and fuel economy numbers, you are going to get a roomier interior and larger trunk space in an SUV than in a sedan. In addition, folks like the higher ground clearance in an SUV, especially here in Rhinebeck, where we get more than our fair share of snow in the winter. An SUV gives you more advantages in that kind of weather.

1. Subaru Forester

Where the Forester was number two in sales among Subaru models in 2017, this compact SUV recently edged out the former number one Subaru Outback. There were 154,723 Forester models sold in America in 2021, compared to 154,623 Outbacks during the same year. The Forester is slightly smaller and lighter than the Outback but with the same 8.7-inches of ground clearance. Just like all Subaru models, the Forester features Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system, as well as standard EyeSight Driver Assistance Technology, with additional safety features available on higher trims.

Subaru has equipped every 2022 Forester with a 2.5-liter Boxer-4 gas engine with a Lineartronic continuously variable transmission (CVT). This will give you an impressive 29 miles per gallon combined, providing an excellent combination of fuel efficiency and performance.

2. Subaru Outback

While the Outback is no longer number one in sales for Subaru models, it still sold an impressive 154,623 units in 2021. This midsize SUV offers more trunk space than the Forester, as well as more trims and engines to choose from. While the base engine on the Outback is the same 2.5-liter Boxer-4 as on the Forester, drivers also have the option of choosing a more powerful 2.4-liter Turbo Boxer-4 with a CVT. This engine uses its turbocharger to deliver 260 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque. As a result, the 2022 Outback can tow up to 3,500 pounds.

The 2022 Outback also comes in eight different trim levels. This allows you to choose the Outback you want with the features and performance you desire. It is this kind of quality and ability to offer drivers different options that have helped make the Outback the second most popular Subaru model.

A blue 2016 Subaru Crosstrek is shown rounding a corner after visiting a used Subaru dealership.

3. Subaru Crosstrek

Back in 2017, the subcompact SUV Subaru Crosstrek ranked number four in popularity. Today, the Crosstrek has moved up the charts, ranking number three in sales with 127,466 units sold in 2021. This is a sporty model that is ideal for a commuter looking for impressive fuel economy or a young driver wanting a first vehicle that is safe, affordable, and fun to drive.

Despite its small size, the Crosstrek has the same 8.7-inches of ground clearance as the Forester and Outback. In addition, drivers get to choose between three different engines on the Crosstrek, including a 2.0-liter Boxer-4 Hybrid that will help you save on gas, a great feature for commuters and new drivers alike who are looking to save money at the gas pump. Subaru also gives Crosstrek drivers the option of choosing a six-speed manual transmission on the 2.0-liter Boxer-4 engine that comes on the Base model of the Crosstrek.

4. Subaru Ascent

The newest member of the five most popular Subaru models is the Ascent. The reason why this model wasn’t in the top five in 2017 is because it wasn’t introduced to the public until 2019. This seems like a mere technicality, but it shows the growth and development of Subaru over the last five years. The Ascent is a midsize three-row SUV, the first Subaru model to provide seating for up to eight passengers. This is why it is such a popular model with family drivers.

Subaru sold 59,980 Ascent models in 2021, showing that drivers who need a larger vehicle are choosing Subaru for its quality, reliability, and safety features. The safety is a result of standard EyeSight Driver Assistance Technology features on the Ascent. As for performance, each 2022 Ascent features a 2.4-liter Turbo Boxer-4 with a CVT transmission that delivers 260 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque. This is so strong that it allows the Ascent to tow up to 5,000 pounds, making it ideal for folks who want to take advantage of the outdoors by towing a boat or camper. As for space, the Ascent has over 75.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the first row of seats, allowing you to use your Ascent for moving things along with passengers.

A silver 2019 Subaru Impreza Sport is shown on a wet city street.

5. Subaru Impreza

The Subaru Impreza is actually two vehicles. The first is a four-door compact sedan that seats five passengers comfortably. The second is a compact hatchback that provides 20.8 cubic feet of easily accessible trunk space that can be expanded to 55.3 cubic feet with the rear row of seats folded down. While the Impreza was the third most popular Subaru model in 2017, today it ranks fifth, with both the sedan and hatchback selling a total of 34,791 models in the past year.

No matter which style of Impreza you choose, you will get a very efficient 2.0-liter Boxer-4 gas engine. The engine is so efficient that the Impreza sedan can give you up to 32 miles per gallon combined, while the Impreza hatchback gets up to 31 miles per gallon combined. Subaru gives drivers a choice of transmissions on the 2022 Impreza, either a CVT or a five-speed manual. This allows you to decide which one you feel more comfortable with on your Impreza.

Make Your Next Vehicle a Subaru

With the best track record for quality, longevity, safety, and reliability, it is clear that Subaru is doing something right. No matter which model you choose, you will get the benefits of Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and the EyeSight system, setting your Subaru apart from other vehicles on the road. Come in today, and let us show you why your next car or SUV should be a Subaru.