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19 Limited/20 Onyx (7TH)
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776 Posts
If we are talking value I would want to know the re sale difference. Unless you drive it till it s dead. I trade off too often for that.
 

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2019 Ascent Touring (me) 2020 Forester Limited (Spouse) 2016 Outback Limited (Daughter)
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579 Posts
The reason they have the Base trim is because there is a segment of the buying public that wants/needs what Subaru offers while not having much desire for creature comforts and bells/whistles qw 23ll qw want/need the lowest cost possible. It's purely a subjective thing for the buyer and a good marketing decision by the manufacturer. While I personally wouldn't be well served by a Base trim vehicle....I actually only go for top trim personally...I have friends and relatives that would cheerfully sign on for Base trim and be very happy with it. "Value" is in the eye of the beholder.

One comment about value has to be noted. Base vehicles are best when purchased. Leasing is a poor financial situation for Base trims because residuals are generally lower for Base vehicles compared to higher trims. Base trim vehicles do not retain their financial value as long/well.
 

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69 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😢). 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😩. 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 was taking to the local sales mgr and he said that they have a regular customer that comes in and orders a base OB and has them install only leather seat skins. Period.
Was there once when they finished and called them to say it was ready.
Seems you're not the only value shopper 👍
 

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Outback Wagon, 2004, H6 3.0
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149 Posts
Everyone is a ‘value shopper’, people just have different values.
Yes. But the problem I see is the following. The "progress" in the cars is driven by the luxury segment. New tech gets introduced there and over time trickles down to middle tier and then to economy models. After a while you can't get what you want because it is just not available anymore.
 

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2021 Outback 2.5i Premium
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506 Posts
I agree to a point. I bought the base model 2013 and 2019 Outbacks.
On the 2013 I added fog lights, compass rear view mirror, cargo cover, seat back protectors myself rather easily. No display or Eyesight at the time, so I didn’t miss them.
On the 2019 I did the same, but now getting used to the benefits of the display, I always wished I had the larger one the more upscale models came with. The fog light addition was much more difficult and now the rear bumper protector wasn’t included with the base. Kinda missed it.
Come 2021, and deciding base vs Premium, the fog light addition would have been even more difficult, and I wanted that big display, now that I used it a lot for maps while traveling or going to new places around town. So I splurged on the Premium, finally figuring my time was worth something, and am very satisfied with the package.
I didn’t even quantify the difference in price between the base and Premium. I wanted one equipped just like the Premium package sitting right outside the showroom door, and went for it.
But even a base Outback is a fine, capable vehicle.
 

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2 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.
Ok. There must be different trim levels in each country. The base trim in Canada has fog lights, heated seats, Apple car Play but it does not have the bigger screen.
 

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2017 Outback Limited 2.5, Twilight Blue/Ivory, Eyesight. Also 1995 BMW 525i with 240,000 miles
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2,434 Posts
We ordered a 2022 Touring XT to replace our 2017 2.5 Limited. We wanted more stuff and more power. Almost bought a loaded Lexus RX, but we felt the touring was much more logical.
 

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2020 Limted XT Black/Ivory
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1,044 Posts
Ok. There must be different trim levels in each country. The base trim in Canada has fog lights, heated seats, Apple car Play but it does not have the bigger screen.
That sounds like a base premium. They also added fogs to the 22 base I believe.

edit: nevermind the premium comes with the big screen, I thought that was an option.
 

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2018 Outback 3.6 R Touring
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188 Posts
I buy all my cars 'loaded'. Especially good for Minneapolis is heated leather seats, and Blind Spot Warning. If I wanted a service 'truck' I would buy one. But for the family - I want all the bells and whistles.
 

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2021 Outback Premium and 2021 Impreza
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11 Posts
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.
I am also with you...I live in Western New York and while today its near 90- we all know it can get cold come Jan and Feb. Heated seats and the mirrors are quite nice and worth the few extra dollars to me. I wanted a Onyx but could not justify it in the end...I figure how fast can I go driving back and forth to work :) But I think the Onyx looks awesome- If I get another Subaru again in a few years I might switch to the Ascent If it is still made
 

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2020 Outback
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442 Posts
We are very happy with our Premium+ (value package added). It had the right combinations of options for us (heated seats are a must for us here in NE Ohio also) but our next car several years down the road will be some form of electric/hybrid. Be nice if it could be another Outback. We’ll see.
 

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2018 Outback Limited 3.6r with CVT
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63 Posts
I am also with you...I live in Western New York and while today its near 90- we all know it can get cold come Jan and Feb. Heated seats and the mirrors are quite nice and worth the few extra dollars to me. I wanted a Onyx but could not justify it in the end...I figure how fast can I go driving back and forth to work :) But I think the Onyx looks awesome- If I get another Subaru again in a few years I might switch to the Ascent If it is still made
I went 5th gen on purpose because the new ones were way to expensive and I couldn't justify even Grand Subaru's 40k price tag on a Limited XT. When it's more cost effective for me to upgrade my '18 to a newer model I will but I plan on running this one until the wheels fall off, and considering that something like 97% are still on the road that were built in the last 10 years, if that's actually accurate, I should get 10-15 years out of this one, hopefully.
 

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69 Posts
Everyone is a ‘value shopper’, people just have different values.
Yes, I agree completely.
I decided to special order mine WITH a CD player, but added Popular Option #2 afterwards.
The Onyx is, IMO, well equipped in its "base" form.
Still waitin for July delivery and already have new shoes waiting.
 

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2010 Outback 3.6R 2014 Legacy 2.5i
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2,700 Posts
best value is used but not in this market...

here is the reasoning

A. Chip shortages driving up the prices of new cars which in turn drives up prices of used cars
B. Seat foam shortages (do not know if Subaru is impacted by this one yet)
C. Tax Refund/Stimulus checks
 

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2021 Outback Premium and 2021 Impreza
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11 Posts
best value is used but not in this market...

here is the reasoning

A. Chip shortages driving up the prices of new cars which in turn drives up prices of used cars
B. Seat foam shortages (do not know if Subaru is impacted by this one yet)
C. Tax Refund/Stimulus checks
How true- Since I used a 1,000 Subaru loyalty certificate and the Chase 750 bonus when I bought my 2020 Forester- I used it for 1.5 years and got more on the trade then I paid for it.. Hence forth why I traded it in for the Outback, I needed tow a small camper and the Forester could not.
 

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2020 Outback Touring XT, in Crystal White Pearl
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992 Posts
One of the great things about Subaru, and most of the Japanese and Korean brands, is that you pretty much get all of the advanced safety systems, even with the lower trims, and base model. Whereas in most European brands, you have to get some sort of option package (often labeled as the "Technology Package").

I would agree that the base Outback represents a heck of a value.

But even with my Touring, the value calculation is still pretty good. I compared it to somewhat direct competitors from Toyota, Mazda, etc., but also against more luxury brands like Acura, Volvo, Audi, etc. You didn't have to pay that much more for the base models of these more-luxury brands. But then you were giving up a lot of features. By the time you optioned the more-luxury brands to get a comparable feature list, then the dollar difference became quite large. I'm not saying that the interior of my Outback is the same as an Audi Q5, or a Volvo XC60, or even an Acura RDX (all of which I test drove and cross-shopped). But the differences were not really that great, at least to me (versus my Touring XT). Except for some loss of "status", which I care less and less about, as I age.... And in some functional ways, I think the Outback is better.
 

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2017 Outback Limited 2.5, Twilight Blue/Ivory, Eyesight. Also 1995 BMW 525i with 240,000 miles
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2,434 Posts
One of the great things about Subaru, and most of the Japanese and Korean brands, is that you pretty much get all of the advanced safety systems, even with the lower trims, and base model. Whereas in most European brands, you have to get some sort of option package (often labeled as the "Technology Package").

I would agree that the base Outback represents a heck of a value.

But even with my Touring, the value calculation is still pretty good. I compared it to somewhat direct competitors from Toyota, Mazda, etc., but also against more luxury brands like Acura, Volvo, Audi, etc. You didn't have to pay that much more for the base models of these more-luxury brands. But then you were giving up a lot of features. By the time you optioned the more-luxury brands to get a comparable feature list, then the dollar difference became quite large. I'm not saying that the interior of my Outback is the same as an Audi Q5, or a Volvo XC60, or even an Acura RDX (all of which I test drove and cross-shopped). But the differences were not really that great, at least to me (versus my Touring XT). Except for some loss of "status", which I care less and less about, as I age.... And in some functional ways, I think the Outback is better.
Excellent points. This is why we ordered a 2022 OB Touring XT instead of purchasing a Lexus RX or similar. The OB had similar features for far less money.
 

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2023 Outback buyer...? Current VW wagon
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34 Posts
Excluding the turbo, a base OB comes with the same engine, chassis, drivetrain, and 80%+ of the features of a touring 2.5.
Lets call it $25k vs $40k (b/c you want options on your Touring, I'm sure)

A cost increase of $15,000 ... 15/25 is 60%
You're paying 60% more for a 'loaded' vs a base. Again, a reminder that the major components are the same - engine, etc.
60% more for 20%+ for exclusive features.

You can rationalize it however you want, but you can't say that the $40k OB represents a good value, when compared to a $25k OB. I'd also question the resale value, for those who believe the higher end models "hold their value" more - you need to break it down to depreciation dollars per month, and see who comes out ahead.
Say after 3 years that Touring is now worth $30k and the Base is what? $15k - probably more like $18k
10,000/36 vs 7,000/36 = $278 vs $194 per month. Don't forget, higher sales tax on the purchase, higher registration and insurance costs, etc.
You're free to spend your money how you wish and we all rationalize it in our own ways (I've found the increase cost owning a new(er) car worth it for safety features). But as far as "value" goes...

it is all about the base. No touring.
 
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