Subaru Outback Forums banner
  • Our 4th of July contest is live! Enter HERE for your chance to win a $400 Walmart gift card.
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of this month's Outback of the Month Challenge!

1 - 20 of 80 Posts

Registered
Joined
30 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is the story of a 2021 Base Model Outback driver. I'm hoping to clarify what can you expect driving the bottom of the barrel new Outback and help you decide if should you even consider this option? I'm not trying at all to upset people who chose differently from me, I'm just explaining the value of the base model from how I see it.
First, out the door, my Outback cost 25k new. This is not a small chunk of change but it could almost purchase 2 upper trimmed well appointed Outbacks. The 0% financing was a pretty sweet deal as well.
Being such a basic car I must be missing a huge amount of features, and I must live like a complete Neanderthal for making such an unwise choice. Well rest assured that Subaru appointed the 2021 Outback Base mode with a ton of features. First, you get the full EyeSight package standard, you get automatic climate control (but only for one zone馃槩). You get automatic high beam, automatic lights and OMG powered windows with one touch up and down. You get the cool cross bars that fold into the roof rails, a rear camera, and probably a few other things I have forgotten.
Do I have the enormous touch screen infotainment system, Nope. Sadly I have two somewhat smaller touch screens instead. Do I have heated seats, rear A/C vents, or a cig lighter plug in the center console, nope. My mirrors are black as well. On the base you also loose the cool keyless access on the back hatch and I have to manually open and close my tailgate馃槱. Sunroof nope, (Come on Subaru and make a large sunroof on the outback like Forester).
Rest assured to the premium, and higher trimmed owners, I am reminded daily of my proper place when I have to push the unlock button on a remote to unlock the doors and I have to manually insert a key into the ignition. Ugh, With every turn of the key, I'm reminded of the Pleb that I am.
Not today, but I someday dream of ventilated leather seats, and living the good life in a Wilderness model.....
At the end of the day, the base model Outback is an incredible value! It represents a small percentage of owners on this forum and many people consider the Premium model to be well worth the cost to upgrade from the base model. For me, the added upgrades to the premium model were not worth the cost and I took the dollars saved to put skid plates, a hitch and get a few accessories.
Again, I'm not wanting to upset anyone with this post. We all have different reasons for choosing our Outbacks. I hope this helps someone who is interested in the lower tiered Outbacks. Also, there are a few videos on YouTube that go into more details of the different trims.
 

Registered
Joined
1,392 Posts
Subaru is a value-oriented brand and for some customers the base model is just right. I don't remember for how many years, but at one time the base model Legacy wasn't called "Base", but had a model name: Brighton.

I definitely want heat-blocking glass, and none of the Subaru base models (OB, Foester, Ascent) currently have it. You have to go up to Premium for that. If I added a heat-block film to the windows of a base model, a lot of the cost savings of the base is wiped out, not to mention the film has to be carefully cleaned and may get damaged over time. So for me the value price point is Premium.

The equipment level on base models today is light years ahead of what it was back in the day. IIRC in the late 1960's, when the Japanese makers started their push, one of the attractions to the Japanese car was its comparatively higher level of standard equipment. IIRC in those days you had to pay extra for radio, heater, 2 speed wipers etc in US and European cars, but these were standard on Japanese cars. And former extras like A/C, power windows, entertainment center have been standard on most everything sold new for the last 20+ years.

Of course we end up paying for all of it. :)
 

Registered
Joined
30 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Subaru is a value-oriented brand and for some customers the base model is just right. I don't remember for how many years, but at one time the base model Legacy wasn't called "Base", but had a model name: Brighton.

I definitely want heat-blocking glass, and none of the Subaru base models have it. You have to go up to Premium for that. If I added a heat-block film to the windows of a base model, a lot of the cost savings of the base if wiped out, not to mention the film has to be carefully cleaned and may get damaged over time. So for me the value price point is Premium.

The equipment level on base models today is light years ahead of what of was back in the day. IIRC in the late 1960's, when the Japanese makers started their push, one of the attractions to the Japanese car was its higher level of standard equipment. IIRC in those days you had to pay extra for radio, heater, 2 speed wipers etc in US and European cars. And former extras like A/C, power windows, entertainment center have been standard on everything sold new for the last 20+ years.

Of course we end up paying for all of it. :)
[/QUOTE priced Ceramic tint and it was only $350-400 from a tint shop down the road.
Subaru is a value-oriented brand and for some customers the base model is just right. I don't remember for how many years, but at one time the base model Legacy wasn't called "Base", but had a model name: Brighton.

I definitely want heat-blocking glass, and none of the Subaru base models have it. You have to go up to Premium for that. If I added a heat-block film to the windows of a base model, a lot of the cost savings of the base is wiped out, not to mention the film has to be carefully cleaned and may get damaged over time. So for me the value price point is Premium.

The equipment level on base models today is light years ahead of what it was back in the day. IIRC in the late 1960's, when the Japanese makers started their push, one of the attractions to the Japanese car was its higher level of standard equipment. IIRC in those days you had to pay extra for radio, heater, 2 speed wipers etc in US and European cars, but these were standard on Japanese cars. And former extras like A/C, power windows, entertainment center have been standard on everything sold new for the last 20+ years.

Of course we end up paying for all of it. :)
For my needs, the price point of the base model got me a new Outback and some nice features. Ceramic tint only costs $300-400 at the local tint shop but I agree the aftermarket film is not as good as the factory option. I definitely can see how the Premium is a good return on value.
Everyone is different in what they are looking for in a car. I'm not trying to say the added features of the higher end trims are not worth it; just that you can get a really nice car with the base model.
 

Registered
Joined
1 Posts
I 100% agree with the original post. I, too, am a base Outback driver. I purposely sought out a base model for one reason... Value. I actually had to drive to another state to purchase mine. I test drove and researched numerous brands, and for the money, I don't think you can purchase a more capable new vehicle for less. Sure, you lack the upper trims鈥 luxuries, but for my use case, I don't need them and am not willing to pay for them. So if anyone is contemplating a base model to save a few bucks, and you need a reliable and capable vehicle, go for it. It most likely has everything you need. Just not everything you 鈥渨ant鈥. 馃槣

p.s.- good luck finding one, though 馃檭
 

Registered
Joined
30 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I 100% agree with the original post. I, too, am a base Outback driver. I purposely sought out a base model for one reason... Value. I actually had to drive to another state to purchase mine. I test drove and researched numerous brands, and for the money, I don't think you can purchase a more capable new vehicle for less. Sure, you lack the upper trims鈥 luxuries, but for my use case, I don't need them and am not willing to pay for them. So if anyone is contemplating a base model to save a few bucks, and you need a reliable and capable vehicle, go for it. It most likely has everything you need. Just not everything you 鈥渨ant鈥. 馃槣

p.s.- good luck finding one, though 馃檭
Exactly! I drove to another state as well to get my Outback. Cross shopping the other brands left no doubt in my mind that the Outback was for me. My initial posts talks about the value of the base Outback compared to other Outback models, but let's not forget the incredible value of the outback across all model lines compared to the competitors.
 

Registered
Outback Wagon, 2004, H6 3.0
Joined
153 Posts
For me a car has to have an A/C and a radio with aux input. That's all. Well, may be a cruise control. I would happily trade all of the gimmicky gadgetry for the quality of fit and finish and mechanical reliability.
I have a sunroof on my other vehicle. I may have opened it a handful of times in 8 years. Yet I paid for it (as part of the package).
 

Registered
Joined
3 Posts
I am with you. I just purchased a "convenience" model which is the base model in Canada. Did you say no heated seats? Heated front seats are included in mine as well as heated mirrors, power seat (driver only). I spent a bit extra on aftermarket stuff like black wheels, curt hitch, splash guards etc and it makes it look more sporty but it was still cheaper than going up a single trim level (4K) to get some nice but not considerable extra features.
And I also agree after comparing with other brands/models that the OB had more main features (roof rack, ground clearance, wheel size, towing capacity). It makes for a very good value purchase IMO.
 

Registered
2018 Outback Limited 3.6r with CVT
Joined
65 Posts
This is the story of a 2021 Base Model Outback driver. I'm hoping to clarify what can you expect driving the bottom of the barrel new Outback and help you decide if should you even consider this option? I'm not trying at all to upset people who chose differently from me, I'm just explaining the value of the base model from how I see it.
First, out the door, my Outback cost 25k new. This is not a small chunk of change but it could almost purchase 2 upper trimmed well appointed Outbacks. The 0% financing was a pretty sweet deal as well.
Being such a basic car I must be missing a huge amount of features, and I must live like a complete Neanderthal for making such an unwise choice. Well rest assured that Subaru appointed the 2021 Outback Base mode with a ton of features. First, you get the full EyeSight package standard, you get automatic climate control (but only for one zone馃槩). You get automatic high beam, automatic lights and OMG powered windows with one touch up and down. You get the cool cross bars that fold into the roof rails, a rear camera, and probably a few other things I have forgotten.
Do I have the enormous touch screen infotainment system, Nope. Sadly I have two somewhat smaller touch screens instead. Do I have heated seats, rear A/C vents, or a cig lighter plug in the center console, nope. My mirrors are black as well. On the base you also loose the cool keyless access on the back hatch and I have to manually open and close my tailgate馃槱. Sunroof nope, (Come on Subaru and make a large sunroof on the outback like Forester).
Rest assured to the premium, and higher trimmed owners, I am reminded daily of my proper place when I have to push the unlock button on a remote to unlock the doors and I have to manually insert a key into the ignition. Ugh, With every turn of the key, I'm reminded of the Pleb that I am.
Not today, but I someday dream of ventilated leather seats, and living the good life in a Wilderness model.....
At the end of the day, the base model Outback is an incredible value! It represents a small percentage of owners on this forum and many people consider the Premium model to be well worth the cost to upgrade from the base model. For me, the added upgrades to the premium model were not worth the cost and I took the dollars saved to put skid plates, a hitch and get a few accessories.
Again, I'm not wanting to upset anyone with this post. We all have different reasons for choosing our Outbacks. I hope this helps someone who is interested in the lower tiered Outbacks. Also, there are a few videos on YouTube that go into more details of the different trims.
I'm like 99% there with ya, but the non heated seats is a non starter for me. I am from Minnesota and I cannot stand the cold, the heated seats make cold weather tolerable for me, I guess if I had never had them I might just be ok but once you experience something like that it is almost impossible to switch back. I had a Honda Fit for a beater for about 6 months and when it was cold I missed the heated seats more than anything else. I enjoy your posts though, keep them coming. I look forward to your big trip updates.
 

Registered
2020 Outback Limited XT Black on Ivory
Joined
2,263 Posts
We all have our reasons for buying what we bought. Those reasons don't make us any smarter or better than the others. We just have different priorities. FWIW, I will tell you that those priorities often change with the passing of time, financial status and family situations. It's why they make different trim levels. Enjoy your new ride!
 

Registered
2020 Limted XT Black/Ivory
Joined
1,050 Posts
We all have our reasons for buying what we bought. Those reasons don't make us any smarter or better than the others. We just have different priorities. FWIW, I will tell you that those priorities often change with the passing of time, financial status and family situations. It's why they make different trim levels. Enjoy your new ride!
My wife wouldn鈥檛 let me get a car without a heated steering wheel 馃槀. Hence why I don鈥檛 have an onyx (the base motor was a non starter for me).
 
  • Like
Reactions: chvvkumar

Registered
Joined
22 Posts
The best value is no doubt premium. Base model has old and weird two small screens which is just not right. $2k from base to premium and you have the modern feeling inside with big screen apple carplay which is super useful and fog lights. Going from premium you have another good deal trim the Onyx. The base, tour and tour xt is not worth it.
 

Premium Member
2020 Onyx
Joined
10,448 Posts
If I could have had the base with the turbo I would have gotten it. I actually prefer a real key, manual rear liftgate, cloth seats.
 

Registered
2021 Legacy Premium
Joined
108 Posts
Haha this thread is all subjective, if I had the discretional income, a Touring XT is a great value for the amount of "luxury" you get in it. That being said, being on a budget the premium hits enough points to give a very nice new vehicle experience without anything feeling overtly cheap or budget.
 

Premium Member
2021 OB Touring, 2011 OB Premium
Joined
634 Posts
Congratulations on your new Outback!

We just recently bought a Touring model and love all the features. I wanted a moonroof and some of the options (e.g., turn signal mirrors) not available on the Base model, or even the Premium. Also, the seats in the Touring are extremely comfortable. Yes, the higher trim models are quite a bit more expensive than the Base model, but they tend to also hold their value.
 
  • Like
Reactions: chvvkumar

Registered
Joined
1,392 Posts
One reason I bought several Toyotas BITD was that with some searching you could find the 6 cyl in a base config body--smaller tires, no leather or nav, fewer gizmos. I wanted the 6, not the other stuff.

This was not possible in some other brands, like Honda IIRC, and I wasn't going to spend 2-3K more on a nav system or leather, that I did not want, just to get the 6 cyl., which by itself cost an extra $3000 MSRP.

In Outbacks Gen 4 had Premium with the H-6 for the first couple years IIRC, then they stopped selling that config. Too much value for money I guess :).
 

Registered
2021 Onyx XT
Joined
163 Posts
This is the story of a 2021 Base Model Outback driver. I'm hoping to clarify what can you expect driving the bottom of the barrel new Outback and help you decide if should you even consider this option? I'm not trying at all to upset people who chose differently from me, I'm just explaining the value of the base model from how I see it.
Titling the thread 鈥楾he Best Value鈥︹ implies all other choices are not the best value, right? Which might upset people? :)

To state the obvious, the 鈥榖est value鈥 is the one which meets the requirements of the buyer at the lowest cost.
 

Registered
2017 2.5i Premium Lapis Blue
Joined
4,636 Posts
When I got my 2017 I just knew I didn't want to go above the Premium level because it only took one look at the box-store-office-chair "leather" seats on the higher levels to know it wouldn't hold up well. I just wish I would have passed on the moonroof as well.
 

Registered
2018 Outback Limited 2.5 w Eyesight
Joined
176 Posts
Compared to even 10 years ago, base models today are like the "Limited" or "Eddie Bauer" (remember that Ford partnership) editions of old. They are a great value, and for many buyers the midrange models now are pretty much as luxurious as anything you'd ever want. I wanted Leather, so I went Limited. Premier was another $2500 and I couldn't even understand half of the extra items on the list, and I spent 20+ years in the auto business

Even my daughter's Civic is a base (LX) model and the only 3 notable things missing vs my Limited Outback are leather, sunroof (but in a Civic, a sunroof eats precious headroom), and alloys (it has steel wheels with wheel covers). It even has heated seats and mirrors, Carplay, etc. Sure, my Outback has all the other toys like auto dimming mirror and rear seat charging ports, but in the end, I can drive the Civic for miles and miles perfectly content.
 
1 - 20 of 80 Posts
Top