Why Are Subarus So Expensive? (Top 10 Reasons In 2023)

Subaru is a well-known automobile manufacturer with a reputation for producing reliable and durable vehicles. While many people appreciate the performance and safety features of Subaru vehicles, some may find them to be more expensive compared to other car brands. 

Subarus are expensive due to their standard all-wheel drive, durable build, and superior safety features. High resale value, rigorous quality control, and advanced technologies, like the BOXER engine and EyeSight Driver Assist, further justify the price.

In this article, we will explore the factors that contribute to the expense of Subarus. So, keep reading!

10 Key Factors That Makes Subarus So Expensive

Subarus, known for their durability and performance, often come with a higher price tag compared to other vehicles in their class. 

There are several key factors that contribute to the overall cost of Subarus. 

From advanced technology and safety features to their reputation for reliability and the unique characteristics of the brand, we will explore the reasons behind the price of Subarus.

#1- Advanced Technology and Safety Features

Subaru vehicles are equipped with advanced technology and safety features, such as advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. 

These technologies require significant research and development investments, as well as ongoing updates and improvements. 

The inclusion of such cutting-edge features enhances the driving experience and ensures a high level of safety, but it also adds to the overall cost of manufacturing and, consequently, the retail price.

#2- Reliability and Longevity

Subarus have gained a reputation for their reliability and longevity, which is attributed to their quality engineering and robust construction. 

The use of durable materials and meticulous manufacturing processes contributes to the vehicle’s longevity, reducing the likelihood of major repairs or premature replacement. 

While this reliability may initially increase the purchase price, it offers long-term cost savings for the owners, making Subarus a sound investment.

#3- Unique Boxer Engine Design

One of Subaru’s distinguishing features is its Boxer engine design. 

This horizontally-opposed engine layout provides a lower center of gravity, improving stability and handling. 

The Boxer engine design also offers smoother power delivery and better fuel efficiency. 

However, the development and production of this unique engine design require specialized manufacturing techniques and components, which adds to the overall cost of the vehicle.

#4- All-Wheel Drive Capability

Subaru vehicles are renowned for their standard all-wheel drive (AWD) system, which provides enhanced traction and stability in various driving conditions. 

The integration of AWD into every Subaru model ensures consistent performance and increased safety, especially in adverse weather conditions. 

However, the inclusion of AWD components and the engineering required to incorporate this system into each vehicle contribute to the higher cost of Subarus compared to front-wheel-drive vehicles.

#5- Safety Standards and Crash Test Ratings

Subaru prioritizes safety and consistently receives high ratings in crash tests conducted by reputable safety organizations. 

The company’s commitment to meeting and exceeding stringent safety standards necessitates the use of advanced safety technologies and the incorporation of structural reinforcements. 

These safety features add to the overall cost of manufacturing, as well as the peace of mind they offer to Subaru owners.

#6- Research and Development Investments

Subaru invests significantly in research and development to innovate and stay ahead of the competition. 

This includes the development of new technologies, improving fuel efficiency, and enhancing performance while maintaining their reputation for reliability. 

The costs associated with research, engineering, and testing are factored into the retail price of Subarus, reflecting the brand’s commitment to continuous improvement.

#7- Environmental Initiatives

Subaru has a strong commitment to environmental sustainability and has implemented initiatives to reduce the environmental impact of its vehicles.

These include the production of partial zero-emission vehicles (PZEVs), reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and utilizing recyclable materials in manufacturing. 

These environmentally conscious practices require additional investments and processes, which contribute to the overall cost of Subaru vehicles.

#8- Customization Options

Subaru offers a wide range of customization options, allowing customers to tailor their vehicles to their preferences. 

From various trim levels to additional features and accessories, the ability to personalize a Subaru comes with added costs. 

The availability and implementation of customization options add value to the vehicles but can also contribute to a higher price point, as each customization requires specific engineering and manufacturing considerations.

#9- Brand Reputation and Resale Value

Subaru has cultivated a strong brand reputation for its reliability, safety, and performance over the years. 

This reputation, coupled with the high resale value of Subaru vehicles, contributes to their higher initial cost. 

Customers are willing to pay a premium for a brand that is known for its quality and retains its value well over time.

#10- Limited Production and Market Niche

Subaru maintains a relatively smaller market share compared to some of its competitors, focusing on a niche market of customers who prioritize features like all-wheel drive, versatility, and off-road capability. 

The limited production volumes associated with this niche approach, along with the specialized features and components, can drive up the cost of manufacturing. 

Consequently, the limited supply and unique characteristics of Subarus contribute to their higher price point.

What Is So Special About the Subarus?

What sets Subaru apart from other automotive brands? 

Subaru has earned a special place in the hearts of drivers worldwide with its unique combination of features and values. 

From their renowned symmetrical all-wheel drive system to their commitment to safety and durability, Subaru has cultivated a loyal following. 

Here are the key aspects that make Subaru vehicles truly special:

Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive

One standout feature of Subaru vehicles is their standard symmetrical all-wheel drive (AWD) system. 

Unlike many other automakers that offer AWD as an optional feature or only on select models, Subaru incorporates it as a standard feature across their entire lineup. 

This AWD system provides enhanced stability, traction, and control, making Subaru vehicles well-suited for various road conditions and terrains. 

The symmetrical design, with power delivered to all four wheels, ensures balanced performance and a confident driving experience.

Boxer Engine Technology

Subaru utilizes boxer engine technology, which sets them apart from most other automakers who primarily use inline or V-shaped engines. 

The boxer engine layout positions the cylinders horizontally, with pistons moving in a horizontal motion, creating a lower center of gravity. 

This design contributes to better weight distribution, improved handling, and reduced vibrations. 

The horizontally opposed configuration also offers inherent balance, enhancing vehicle stability and responsiveness.

Safety and Reliability

Subaru places a strong emphasis on safety and reliability, making it a top priority in their vehicle designs. 

Subaru vehicles consistently earn high safety ratings, thanks to their advanced safety features and robust construction.

Features such as EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, which includes adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and pre-collision braking, help prevent accidents and mitigate their severity. 

Additionally, Subaru’s commitment to longevity is reflected in their reputation for building durable vehicles that can withstand the test of time.

Commitment to the Environment

Subaru is widely recognized for its commitment to environmental sustainability. 

They were the first automaker to achieve zero-landfill status in their manufacturing plants, showcasing their dedication to minimizing waste and reducing their carbon footprint. 

Subaru also offers a range of environmentally friendly vehicles, including hybrid and electric options, to cater to customers who prioritize eco-conscious transportation. 

By aligning their values with those of environmentally conscious individuals, Subaru has attracted a loyal customer base.

Community and Brand Loyalty

Subaru has fostered a unique community and brand loyalty that sets it apart from other car manufacturers. 

The company’s support for various charitable causes, such as the Subaru Love Promise, resonates with customers who appreciate their philanthropic efforts. 

Subaru owners often develop a strong sense of camaraderie and belonging through events like Subaru owner meet-ups and rallies. 

This community-driven approach has created a passionate following and contributes to the special bond that Subaru drivers feel with their vehicles.

Why Is Subarus So Famous Despite Expensive Price Tag?

Subaru, despite its higher price tag compared to other automobile brands, has gained fame and popularity for several compelling reasons. 

From its commitment to safety and durability, to its unique all-wheel drive system, innovative technology, strong brand reputation, and active community engagement, Subaru has established itself as a premium brand worth the investment.

Differentiation through safety and durability

Subaru has made safety a top priority, and this commitment sets it apart from other car manufacturers. 

With features like symmetrical all-wheel drive, advanced driver-assistance systems, and reinforced frames, Subaru vehicles are designed to provide exceptional protection for occupants. 

This emphasis on safety adds value to the brand and justifies the higher price point for many customers who prioritize their well-being and the safety of their loved ones.

Innovative all-wheel drive system

Subaru’s renowned symmetrical all-wheel drive system is a key selling point that contributes to its fame. 

Unlike many other car brands, Subaru offers all-wheel drive as a standard feature across most of its lineup. 

This system enhances traction, stability, and overall performance, making Subaru vehicles highly capable in various weather conditions and off-road adventures. 

The added confidence and versatility provided by Subaru’s all-wheel drive system make it a compelling choice for customers, justifying the premium price.

Cutting-edge technology and features

Subaru continues to innovate and integrate advanced technology into its vehicles. 

From intuitive infotainment systems to driver-assistance features like EyeSight® and Subaru’s DriverFocus® Distraction Mitigation System, the brand prioritizes convenience, connectivity, and safety. 

These technological advancements enhance the driving experience and align with customers’ evolving expectations, making Subaru a desirable choice despite the higher price tag.

Strong brand reputation and reliability

Subaru has cultivated a strong brand reputation for reliability and longevity.

The brand consistently ranks highly in reliability surveys, and its vehicles are known for their durability and robust performance. 

Subaru owners often develop a deep sense of loyalty due to their positive ownership experiences and the brand’s reputation for standing behind its products. 

This trust in Subaru’s quality and dependability justifies the higher upfront cost for many customers who seek long-term value and peace of mind.

Active community engagement and brand loyalty

Subaru has fostered a vibrant and engaged community of owners known as the “Subaru Nation.” 

This community-driven approach creates a sense of belonging and loyalty among Subaru owners. 

From sponsoring outdoor adventure events to supporting charitable initiatives, Subaru’s active engagement reinforces its brand image and resonates with customers who align with the brand’s values. 

This emotional connection and sense of community contribute to Subaru’s fame and can outweigh the higher price for customers who prioritize the overall ownership experience.

Is Buying Expensive Subarus Worth It?

Subarus are often touted as a top-tier brand in the automobile industry, known for their safety features, off-road capabilities, and durability. 

However, these vehicles often come with a higher price tag, prompting potential buyers to question whether the investment in an expensive Subaru is worthwhile. 

Here we discuss the various factors involved in determining whether buying an expensive Subaru is indeed worth it. 

Quality and Performance

Subarus are known for their robust engines, all-wheel-drive system, and rugged build quality. 

The company’s vehicles are designed to perform well under diverse weather conditions and challenging terrains. 

This high level of performance and reliability often justifies the higher price for potential buyers who prioritize driving performance and versatility.

Safety Features and Ratings

Safety is one area where Subaru excels, with most models receiving top marks in safety tests. 

Subarus come equipped with EyeSight Driver Assist Technology – a suite of safety features that includes automatic pre-collision braking, adaptive cruise control, and lane-keep assist. 

These advanced safety features, designed to prevent accidents and protect occupants, add value to the vehicle and can make the higher price worth it for safety-conscious buyers.

Resale Value

Subarus often command high resale values, which can make the initial higher purchase price more palatable. 

A combination of durability, reputation, and demand means that Subarus depreciate slower than many other vehicles. 

Buyers who consider the resale value of a vehicle as part of their purchase decision may find that the higher initial investment in a Subaru can pay off in the long run.

Alternative Options and Cost-Effectiveness

While Subarus offer many benefits, other brands might provide similar features at a lower price point. 

Depending on your priorities, such as fuel efficiency, comfort, or specific tech features, you might find a more affordable vehicle that meets your needs. 

Therefore, it’s important to research and test-drive different brands and models before making a decision.

Personal Preferences and Value Assessment

Ultimately, the worth of an expensive Subaru comes down to personal preferences and the value you place on the vehicle’s attributes. 

If you value safety, performance, and resale value, the cost of a Subaru might be a justified investment. 

However, if these factors are less important to you than price, other brands may offer a better fit for your budget and needs.

Top 3 Comparable Alternatives To Expensive Subarus

Looking for more cost-efficient alternatives to Subarus? 

There are numerous options available that offer similar features and reliability without the high price tag. 

Consider less expensive brands, used car markets, and leasing options. Drive your dream car without draining your wallet.

#1 – Affordable Car Brands 

If you’re open to exploring other brands, there are several automakers that produce reliable, feature-packed vehicles at a fraction of the cost of a new Subaru.

  • Hyundai 

Hyundai has a reputation for manufacturing high-quality, durable vehicles with extensive warranties. 

Their models like the Tucson or Santa Fe can be comparable to Subaru SUVs like the Forester or the Outback, offering similar levels of comfort, performance, and safety features but at a more affordable price point.

  • Kia 

Kia is another brand known for its value for money, offering advanced safety features and modern infotainment systems in their vehicles. 

The Kia Sportage, for example, could be a good alternative to the Subaru Crosstrek.

  • Honda and Toyota

Honda and Toyota have long been praised for their reliability and resale value, comparable to Subaru’s strong selling points. 

Models like the Honda CR-V or the Toyota RAV4 can be excellent alternatives to Subaru SUVs.

#2 – Used Car Market 

The used car market can be an excellent source for more affordable Subarus or similar vehicles. 

While used cars come with more miles and potentially more wear and tear, they can still offer excellent value. 

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) vehicles from Subaru or similar models from other brands offer additional peace of mind with extended warranties and thorough inspections.

#3 – Leasing Instead of Buying 

If owning a new Subaru is out of your budget, consider leasing one. 

Leasing allows you to drive a new car for a set period without the large upfront cost of buying. 

While you don’t own the car at the end of the lease, this option gives you the opportunity to drive a new Subaru (or a similar vehicle) every few years, always benefiting from the latest technology and safety features. 

Do consider the mileage limits and potential end-of-lease fees when considering this option.


Subarus are often regarded as reliable and versatile vehicles, which can contribute to their higher price. Let’s take a closer look at some FAQs related to the expensive nature of Subarus.

How does Subaru’s focus on safety features affect the price of their vehicles? 

Subaru prioritizes safety and equips their cars with state-of-the-art safety features, such as the EyeSight driver-assist technology, which includes adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, and pre-collision braking. These advanced safety systems can contribute to the higher cost of Subaru vehicles.

Does Subaru’s brand reputation impact the cost of their vehicles? 

Yes, Subaru has a strong brand reputation for quality, reliability, and longevity. Customers often perceive the higher prices as an investment, anticipating that their vehicle will have fewer mechanical issues over time and hold its value well.

Does the resale value of Subaru vehicles influence their initial pricing? 

The high resale value of Subaru vehicles is a factor in their initial pricing. Subarus are known to maintain their value exceptionally well over time, which is a factor that justifies their higher upfront cost.

Does the demand for Subaru vehicles affect their pricing? 

Yes, the demand for Subaru vehicles can influence their pricing. Models with high demand may command higher prices, particularly in regions where all-wheel drive and off-road capabilities are highly valued, such as mountainous or snowy areas.

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