Trucks & SUVs

Three Subaru SUVs Scored Big in KBB’s 5-Year Cost to Own Awards

Many SUV shoppers only consider the up-front cost of a car. But what SUV shoppers should also be considering is the total cost of ownership beyond the vehicle’s original price. Fortunately, Kelley Blue Book has you covered when it comes time to calculating such costs. It even recognizes specific models as part of its Lowest 5-Year Cost to Own awards. And this year? Kelley Blue Book included three Subaru SUVs among its award winners.

What are Kelley Blue Book’s ‘5-Year Cost to Own’ Awards?

The Subaru Logo with flecks of water on it.
Subaru logo. | Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto

Simply put, Kelley Blue Book’s 5-Year Cost to Own awards recognize new vehicles that have the lowest projected ownership costs over the first five years of ownership.

According to Kelley Blue Book, these awards take depreciation, fuel costs, finance and insurance fees, maintenance costs, and state fees into consideration.

As Eric Ibara, director of residual values for Kelley Blue Book, explained, “Choosing a car with low ownership costs can help shoppers save a significant amount of money over time – often several hundred and sometimes even thousands of dollars – so it’s worthwhile to research the cost to own details of any new car you’re considering.”

And if you’re considering a new Subaru SUV? You’ll be pleased to know that three Subaru SUVs scored big in Kelley Blue Book’s annual 5-Year Cost to Own Awards. Among this year’s winners are the 2021 Subaru Forester, Subaru Outback, and the 2021 Subaru Ascent.

RELATED: Subaru Dominated Consumer Reports’ List of the Best SUVs

The 2021 Subaru Forester has the lowest five-year cost to own among compact SUVs

The 2021 Subaru Forester SUV is no stranger to high marks. In fact, this isn’t even the first time Kelley Blue Book has recognized the Subaru Forester for having low ownership costs. Last year’s model was included in Kelley Blue Book’s round-up too. Kelley Blue Book predicts that this year’s model will run you $36,446 over five years, which is $3,307 less than the segment average.

That’s not all the Subaru Forester has going for it either. Consumer Reports gave the 2021 Subaru Forester a four out of five predicted reliability rating. J.D. Power gave this year’s model a similarly high rating.

As for RepairPal? It gave this year’s model an ‘Above Average’ reliability rating. According to CarEdge, the Forester holds its value pretty well too.

RELATED: Avoid the 2021 Jeep Cherokee and Treat Yourself to the 2021 Subaru Forester

The 2021 Subaru Outback has the lowest five-year cost to own among two-row midsize SUVs

The 2021 Subaru Outback SUV was also among this year’s award winners. In fact, this year’s model was tapped as having the lowest five-year ownership costs among two-row midsize SUVs.

Kelley Blue Book predicts that this year’s Outback will cost $40,614 to own over the first five years of ownership. According to the company, that’s $7,924 less than the segment average.

Unlike the Subaru Forester, the 2021 Subaru Outback has earned some average reliability ratings. While Consumer Reports gave this year’s model a three out of five predicted reliability rating, J.D. Power gave it an ‘Average’ quality and reliability rating.

The good news is RepairPal gave it a slightly higher, ‘Above Average’ rating. CarEdge reports that depreciation is slow and steady for the Subaru Outback SUV too.

RELATED: Consumer Reports Says the 2021 Subaru Outback Is the Most Satisfying 2-Row SUV

The 2021 Subaru Ascent has the lowest five-year cost to own among three-row midsize SUVs

Last but certainly not least is the 2021 Subaru Ascent SUV. According to Kelley Blue Book, this year’s new Ascent will cost you about $45,935 over the first five years of ownership. Overall, the company reports, that’s $3,513 less than the segment average.

The not-so-great news is that the 2021 Subaru Ascent may not be the most reliable Subaru SUV out there. Consumer Reports gave this year’s model a one out of five predicted reliability rating.

Meanwhile, J.D. Power gave it an ‘Average’ quality and reliability rating. CarEdge reports that you can expect the Subaru Ascent to depreciate 40% after five years of ownership too.

RELATED: Pick the 2021 Subaru Ascent Over the 2021 Toyota Highlander if You Value These 2 Things

Is it time you bought a new Subaru?

There’s no denying that scoring three 5-Year Cost to Own awards is an impressive feat for Subaru. But does that mean you should buy a new Subaru SUV? Not necessarily. Instead, we recommend taking each of these models out for a test drive before making any final decisions.