Subaru Resale Value – What Matters & How To Improve Your Value

Let’s start at the beginning; what dictates a car’s resale value?

Every time a brand-new car leaves the dealership, the journey of depreciation begins. This is the biggest value snatcher from your car’s worth, hitting hardest in the first few years of your car’s life.

Depreciation is like aging in cars – it’s inevitable but can vary significantly based on usage, maintenance, brand reliability, and build quality. 

Now, some car brands age like fine wine, thanks to their superior reliability and durability, which act as a strong shield against depreciation. Subaru is one such brand that’s known to age gracefully.

Subaru cars have a strong resale value, often outperforming other brands like Hyundai, Mazda, Kia, Volvo, and Nissan. Thanks to Subaru’s reputation for durability, safety, and all-wheel drive capabilities, models like the Outback, Forester, and Crosstrek retain a higher percentage of their original value over time.

Another key cog in the machinery of resale value is market demand. Think of your car as a superstar. The more demand it has, the more its value soars in the used car market. 

Lastly, we can’t ignore the overall cost of ownership, which includes maintenance and repair costs. Brands notorious for their high maintenance costs usually see their resale values taking a nosedive.

What Factors Affect Resale Value?

Before we delve into the comparison, it’s important to understand the factors that affect a car’s resale value. 

Vehicle Condition

Primarily, the car’s condition plays a pivotal role. A well-maintained car that runs smoothly and looks great will obviously command a higher resale value than a vehicle in poor condition.


The car’s mileage is another significant aspect. Lower mileage often correlates with higher resale value since it indicates less wear and tear on the car. Certain features can also boost resale value, such as upgraded technology or a desirable sunroof.

Car Color

Moreover, color can impact a car’s resale value. Neutral colors like black, white, and silver tend to do better than more unusual or bright colors. This is because they are more popular and therefore have a broader market.

Market Location

The location also plays a part. Some cars might be more desirable in certain areas. For example, a pickup truck might have a higher resale value in rural areas, whereas a compact car might be more desirable in urban areas. 

Current Economy

Lastly, market conditions can impact the resale value. If the economy is doing well and people have more disposable income, used cars might fetch higher prices.

Now, let’s dive back into our main topic: How does Subaru’s resale value compare to other car brands?

Subaru’s Resale Value

Subaru has long been synonymous with dependability. It’s like the friend you can call at 3 AM, knowing it won’t let you down. It brings a unique offering to the table with standard all-wheel-drive capabilities across most models and top-of-the-line safety features. These attractive traits contribute to the strong resale value of Subaru vehicles.

Now, let’s talk about how Subaru scores in terms of depreciation. Remember, the slower the depreciation, the higher the resale value. Subaru cars, known for their toughness and long lifespan, have a depreciation rate slower (~15% in year one) than the industry average (~20% in year one). This durability appeal makes them hot commodities in the used car market, helping them retain their value over time.

used car sale

Popular Subaru Models Resale Value

Within the Subaru stable, some stars shine brighter. The Outback, Forester, and Crosstrek are the triumvirate that rules the Subaru resale value kingdom.

Subaru Outback

The Subaru Outback blends the benefits of an SUV with the efficiency of a sedan. This versatile beast, coupled with Subaru’s all-wheel drive, is a favorite among families and outdoor enthusiasts. As per the data from 2021, a five-year-old Outback manages to retain around 41% of its original value.

Subaru Forester

Next is the Subaru Forester, a compact SUV with a strong resale value. It’s the Swiss Army Knife of cars, combining practicality, safety, affordability, and impressive fuel efficiency. This mix makes the Forester a popular choice in the used car market. According to 2021 stats, a Forester that’s seen five years of use can expect to retain about 45% of its original value.

Subaru Crosstrek

Lastly, we have the Subaru Crosstrek. This subcompact SUV packs all of Subaru’s strengths into a compact package, making it a versatile choice that appeals to a broad spectrum of buyers. As per the 2021 data, a five-year-old Crosstrek holds on to about 50% of its initial price tag.

Remember, these figures can fluctuate based on numerous factors like condition, mileage, location, and demand in the used car market. For the most accurate resale values, we recommend trusted resources like Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds, or NADA.

The Showdown: Subaru vs. Other Brands

Subaru has to contend with other brands like Toyota, Evo, Honda, Hyundai, Mazda, Kia, Volvo, and Nissan. Each of these brands has its strengths and weaknesses in the resale value arena.

Toyota Resale Value

Toyota consistently ranks highly for its resale value. With its reputation for reliability and low maintenance costs, Toyota often competes with Subaru in terms of resale value. 

However, some Toyota models might have a slightly higher resale value due to their longstanding reputation and demand.

Mitsubishi’s Lancer Evolution (Evo) Resale Value

This model often holds its value well due to its limited production and performance-oriented audience. However, it may not fare as well in the broader used car market due to its niche appeal.

Honda Resale Value

Honda vehicles are renowned for their reliability and low cost of ownership, factors that bolster their resale value. While some models, like the Honda CR-V, may closely compete with similar Subaru models, the overall resale value is ranked lower than the Subaru resale value, according to a report by Car Edge.

Hyundai Resale Value

Historically, Hyundai vehicles faced higher depreciation rates than Subaru, although the brand has made significant strides in improving its vehicles’ quality and reliability. Still, Hyundai’s resale values tend to be lower than Subaru’s on average.

Mazda Resale Value

Mazda cars are well-regarded for their driving dynamics, and recent models have improved in terms of reliability and interior quality. However, Mazda’s resale value has historically been a bit lower than Subaru’s.

Kia Resale Value

Like Hyundai, Kia has significantly improved the quality of its vehicles, positively impacting their resale value. While Kia’s depreciation rates have improved over the years, they generally have lower resale values compared to Subaru.

Volvo Resale Value

Volvo cars are known for their safety features and luxury interiors, but their resale values are typically lower than Subaru’s due to higher depreciation rates and maintenance costs.

Nissan Resale Value

Nissan’s resale values vary significantly depending on the model. Some Nissan models, like the Rogue, have comparable resale values to similar Subaru models, while others tend to depreciate more quickly.

Subaru blue resale value

To sum it up…

Toyota and Honda, well-known for their reliability and low maintenance costs, go toe-to-toe with Subaru in regard to resale value. The Evo, known for its performance-driven appeal and limited production, can command higher resale values due to its high demand among car enthusiasts. On the other hand, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, and Nissan, despite recent improvements, have not caught up with Subaru in terms of resale value.

The Winner – Subaru

After a thrilling race, Subaru emerges as a top contender. With its impressive reliability, durability, and the magic of all-wheel drive, Subaru takes a commanding position against brands like Hyundai, Mazda, Kia, Volvo, and Nissan while offering strong competition to Toyota and Honda.

Subaru technician

Purchasing A Car With High Resale Value

If you’re gearing up to buy a car, remember that the initial cost isn’t the only factor. The potential resale value should also be a major consideration. Brands with a reputation for reliability and lower maintenance costs often have better resale values. 

Regular maintenance, avoiding “unnecessary modifications”, and choosing popular colors and features can also help maintain a car’s resale value.

How to Improve Your Car’s Resale Value

Keeping the resale value in mind isn’t only important during the car buying process. It’s also crucial during the ownership period. Regular maintenance is the key. Staying up to date with oil changes, tire rotations, and other routine maintenance helps keep the car in top shape and boosts resale value. If you are in the Little Rock area and need Subaru maintenance or performance work, get your quote now

Tips To Improve Your Car’s Resale Value

  • Keeping the car clean, both inside and out, also goes a long way in maintaining its value. It’s not just about aesthetics. Regular cleaning can help prevent long-term damage like rust and stains.
  • If you’re a smoker, try to avoid smoking in the car. Smoke smell is tough to remove and can be a big turn-off for potential buyers. Plus, it can cause damage to the car’s interior.
  • Also, try to keep the mileage down when you can. Lower mileage can significantly enhance the resale value. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy road trips in your car, but perhaps consider alternative transport for those long commutes to work or cross-country journeys.
  • Lastly, maintaining a full-service history can boost the car’s resale value. This is proof that you’ve taken good care of the vehicle and can give potential buyers peace of mind.

So, even as you enjoy your Subaru or any other car, remember to take steps that help to maintain and even boost its resale value. Now, you’re not only a savvy car buyer but also a smart car owner!

Wrapping Up

In the end, a Subaru isn’t just a car you’ll love to drive; it’s also a sound investment. So when you’re ready to make your purchase, remember to consider the potential resale value.

It’s a key factor in ensuring you’re making a wise investment that meets your immediate needs and protects the long-term value of your purchase.

Leave a Replay

About SL Autoworks

SL Autoworks is the #1 Mechanic in Arkansas! We are dedicated to quality and specialize in BMW and Subaru. Call or message us about your maintenance, repair, or performance needs today.

Recent Posts

Follow Us