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2020 Outback Limited XT Black on Ivory
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2,256 Posts
I chuckle a little at some comments about "bare bones" base model cars. I remember when that really was the case. Base model really were bare bones.
  • standard transmission
  • no air conditioner
  • crank up windows
  • push down door locks
  • no cruise control
  • no rear defroster

Now days, base models have all of those and an order of magnitude more. That's plenty good enough for me.
I remember when a passenger seat was optional on nearly all PU trucks !
 

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Premium Member
2020 Onyx
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10,335 Posts
I thought they always had bench seats. I guess I'm a young whippersnapper but I do remember when FM radio was the upgraded sound system and seat belts were optional.
 
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329 Posts
I chuckle a little at some comments about "bare bones" base model cars. I remember when that really was the case. Base model really were bare bones.
  • standard transmission
  • no air conditioner
  • crank up windows
  • push down door locks
  • no cruise control
  • no rear defroster

Now days, base models have all of those and an order of magnitude more. That's plenty good enough for me.
You forgot the 'radio delete' option, and rubber mat floors! :eek:
 

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2009 OB 2.5i SE, 2012 Legacy GT
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33 Posts
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.
From a purely financial stand point, the base model is the best value. For a lease, the base has the highest residual value. For 3/36K lease it is 62%, the Premium, LTD, & Touring are 60%, the XT models are 61%.

As for long term, look at 10 year Outback values, base might be worth $1k less than a premium and maybe $2k less than the limited. In general, option and trims depreciate at higher rates than the vehicle itself.

I buy my cars for long term and option them out for what best suits my needs and wants. I usually end up with a premium or limited model, but I know as depreciating asset that base model would cost me less long term.
 

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2012 Outback Ltd 3.6r
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532 Posts
I chuckle a little at some comments about "bare bones" base model cars. I remember when that really was the case. Base model really were bare bones.
  • standard transmission
  • no air conditioner
  • crank up windows
  • push down door locks
  • no cruise control
  • no rear defroster

Now days, base models have all of those and an order of magnitude more. That's plenty good enough for me.
Forgot No Power Steering, No Passenger Side Mirror (and mirrors were not power adjust, or even adjustable from inside the cabin), Hub Caps, No Spare, Optional Shoulder Belt (too 'young' to recall no seat belts, No Rear Wiper, No Carpet (just a rubber covering in some models).

In the 2020+ base model, really the only item Subaru should probably include is the tinted glass. Come on, it's on every other trim, and probably isn't significantly more expensive than the non-tined glass they're using. Might even make the glass cheaper, having more volume, not to mention less storage space for yet another item at the factory.
 

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2020 Outback Touring XT, in Crystal White Pearl
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992 Posts
I "inherited" a '68 Olds Delmont 88 (A no-frills version of the Delta 88) when my grand-uncle passed away, around 1988 or so. It had almost no options. AM-only radio. Heater, but no AC. Vinyl bench seat. Four doors, wind-up windows. It had a 455 in it, but with only a single 2-barrel carb! It was in good shape, basically, but in his later years he had been parallel parking "by feel". So the plastic covers over the front and rear turn-signals (on the four corners of the car) were all cracked or missing, and he had wired in (and screwed on) generic "dome-style" turn signals.

I used it for my short drive to/from work. In the summer, I had "4/40 air conditioning" - 4 windows down, 40 mph..... (It had those openable "wing vent" windows, that you could open so far that they scooped air into the car.)

That said, one time our family and a neighbor family took it to the Great America theme park that was about an hour or so away. My wife, me, and our two young kids all sat in the front bench, and the other family (four of them, too) all sat in the back. It wasn't even that cramped!
 

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9 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.
The base model is a fine vehicle. I bought a 2020 touring xt because at 70 years old my messed up back needs the best seat possible and I think this may be the last vehicle I purchase.
 

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2016 Subaru Outback Limited, 2.5l CVT
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57 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).
I have the limited model 2016 OB. The one option I wish it didn't have is the sun roof. To me it's useless on the highway with the wind noise and in town speeds don't generate the air exchange I would like. If the sunroof gets opened more than 3 times a year that's a lot. I prefer to use the A/C and drive in quiet comfort.
 

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4 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.
Great 👍 job! Allot less to go wrong. Lesson learned for me. I wanted to finally get a LIMITED Outback....my last car! Wish l had the base model now. Hoping this last trip to dealership will be the last for the parasitic draw! Enjoy your base model...again, Great call !
 

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22 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.
Retracted
Congratulations on being an educated consumer; sure wish your post would have been here to read while I traded in my 2018 Outback for the 2020 3.6 Touring model,(what a joke this car turned out to be), You might want to ask a whole many more questions while test driving the vehicle of choice for more than 2 miles around the perimeters of the dealershipo_O The End.
 

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2023 Outback buyer...? Current VW wagon
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34 Posts
Congratulations on being an educated consumer; sure wish your post would have been here to read while I traded in my 2018 Outback for the 2020 3.6 Touring model,(what a joke this car turned out to be), You might want to ask a whole many more questions while test driving the vehicle of choice for more than 2 miles around the perimeters of the dealershipo_O The End.
I have questions - how'd you get a 2020 with a 3.6? Why'd you get rid of a 2 year old vehicle?
 

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05 OBXT & 16 Crosstrek
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764 Posts
Not to mention, anyone spending 40 grand on a non-xt touring is a terrible negotiator.
I didn't even pay 40k for my touring XT this month. (39k) not the best, but pretty good considering the market.


Base certainly is a fantastic bang/buck. You got a great, safe, reliable vehicle that is quite capable. Everyone's needs and wants are different, and I gotta admit... The vented seats are so comfy!
 

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20 Outback Premium; former 19 Outback Premium, 85 GL Wagon, 87 GL-10 Wagon
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2,332 Posts
A fun thread to read. Everyone has their own priorities and values. In terms of sales, isn’t the Limited the volume leader followed by the Premium?

We bought one vehicle with leather because it was required to get other features we wanted. We hated it and said never again. Yes I know most people prefer leather, but for us cloth is cooler (we’re in AZ) and is more durable with less maintenance in the long run.

Subaru doesn’t offer the crash notification features of Starlink on the base, and there are additional features the Premium has that we like so that was the logical choice for us. There are a few things on the Limited we’d also like, but it’s a no go for us because of the leather. The turbo would be fun, but the practical side of me couldn’t justify the price difference of $4.5-6K of the Onyx over the Premium. The turbo price bump on the higher trim levels is less, so not as easy of a choice.

All the trim levels are selling well, so it seems Subaru is doing a good job with marketing. Those buying a Premium or Limited have it best as dealers have more of those in stock to choose from, well at least they do in normal times.
 

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2016 2.5i Premium / 2020 2.5i Premium / 2021 Rav4 Prime / 2012 F150 ecoboost
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2,669 Posts
I chuckle a little at some comments about "bare bones" base model cars. I remember when that really was the case. Base model really were bare bones.
  • standard transmission
  • no air conditioner
  • crank up windows
  • push down door locks
  • no cruise control
  • no rear defroster

Now days, base models have all of those and an order of magnitude more. That's plenty good enough for me.
I wish I could get a manual transmission. I would actually pay more for it.
That being said, when it comes to value, I have a grin on my face every time I drive our new Rav4 and step on the gas. 300hp, NA (not a turbo), $31,500 and 50+ mpg make it a really good value IMO. Beats our two Outback Premium in every value category, hands down.
 

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20 Outback Premium; former 19 Outback Premium, 85 GL Wagon, 87 GL-10 Wagon
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2,332 Posts
I wish I could get a manual transmission. I would actually pay more for it.
That being said, when it comes to value, I have a grin on my face every time I drive our new Rav4 and step on the gas. 300hp, NA (not a turbo), $31,500 and 50+ mpg make it a really good value IMO. Beats our two Outback Premium in every value category, hands down.
Yet the Prime is not the ultimate vehicle or that’s the only thing everyone would buy, though as a class the RAV is still tops in the CUV class in terms of sales. The only vehicle I can recall that was so dominant that it was the only thing virtually everybody bought was the Model T.
 

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2016 2.5i Premium / 2020 2.5i Premium / 2021 Rav4 Prime / 2012 F150 ecoboost
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2,669 Posts
Yet the Prime is not the ultimate vehicle or that’s the only thing everyone would buy, though as a class the RAV is still tops in the CUV class in terms of sales. The only vehicle I can recall that was so dominant that it was the only thing virtually everybody bought was the Model T.
True, people have different needs and/or wants.
In terms of value, fun to drive, and fuel consumption I am pretty darn happy though with the way I went with the fourth vehicle in our family fleet.
(we have a F-150 now, two Outbacks (MY16 & 20), and the Rav4P).

When it comes to going somewhere, everybody wants to drive the R4 if it's available (we have 4 drivers in the household), but I very much restrict it's usage, so it's there for me when I want it, LOL). The > 200hp electric motors make for a very unique experience, powerful low end acceleration while being dead quiet. Test drive one, it's different. And the fuel mileage is outstanding.

I will have to see though how the performance will compare in the snow. We live high up and get plenty of it each winter. I'll know in a few months .... :)
 

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2023 Outback buyer...? Current VW wagon
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34 Posts
I wish I could get a manual transmission. I would actually pay more for it.
That being said, when it comes to value, I have a grin on my face every time I drive our new Rav4 and step on the gas. 300hp, NA (not a turbo), $31,500 and 50+ mpg make it a really good value IMO. Beats our two Outback Premium in every value category, hands down.
Ha, funny. I just bought a R4P b/c the current Foresters and Outbacks weren't offering all I wanted. The Prime will be a stop-gap vehicle, though, as the cargo space is a bit too small. My 2016 VW Wagon was a stick, 1.8 turbo gas, got 38 mpg, and had more space than the Prime. Wanted a bit more ground clearance and the LKA/ACC for long drives, though. Figure I'll dump the Prime after 1-2 years and not lose any cash to depreciation due to the scarcity and high resale + tax credit. At that time maybe a hybrid or PHEV Outback will be available. If not, the new Tucson is competitive... or Ford Maverick...? Who knows, lots of good options coming up.

Not sure I'll ever go back to a pure ICE, though. I knew my VW was likely my last manual, but not being able to regen brake on mountain roads would irk me more. Its just satisfying to capture that energy that used to be wasted!
 
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