Considering a new or late model used Subaru, is now the best time to make a purchase?

I’m interested in replacing a 2003 Subaru Outback, of course for another Outback, sometime soon. I’m not pressured to make purchase ASAP, it’s just that my car is starting to have some wear issues and is costing more than it’s worth to keep up. She (her name is Mia) has 190K miles and has served me well, and a family member will take her off my hands, so I’ll looking at a “clean deal” with the purchase of my next car.

So I’m wondering if now is the best time to consider buying a car, or should I wait for the 2016 models to come out and purchase a 2015 car? New is wonderful when I can order the options I want, but the price is getting a little high for my budget ($32K for everything I’d like on a Subaru Outback Premier model). Subaru of America is offering a $1000.00 rebate for the purchase of a new Subaru (I’m assuming that could include an unsold 2014, if there are any left that weren’t used as lease vehicles), but my guess is the offer is a push to empty the lots for the introduction of 2016 models. I don’t mind buying a one year old car with low mileage, as the price is much more affordable, but I’m assuming that this would mean buying a car which has been used as a lease vehicle. Is it wise to buy a car that has been used as a lease? If I buy a new 2015 when 2016 models are out, is there much of a savings? Or should I consider buying a 2014 Outback now that has low mileage? The main feature that I want from an Outback is the safety package which would probably need to be added by the dealer if I buy a used vehicle. Is the package as good if installed by the dealer as it is when factory installed?

At that kind of money I would want only factory equipped for the warranty coverage. No after market anything. The time to buy a vehicle is when you want to. No matter when you buy or how much you pay someone in your family or at work will say you did all wrong. Also there are great deals on financing new vehicles out there.

I don’t think you’ll save money by waiting. Prices seem to only go up. Since the manufacturer is offering a $1000 rebate incentive now, now’s the time to buy your new Subaru Outback.

If the “safety package” your interested in is Subaru’s Eye Sight Assist don’t expect it to be added to a non equipped vehicle. I used to install a lot of OEM/dealer accessories, cruise control, park assist, remote start, satellite radio etc. A system like Eye sight assist won’t be available as a “kit”, typically to replace a wiring harness and install the necessary module/sensors will run in the thousands (5-8) if anyone is willing to attempt this.

A look at my near by dealers inventory (as you should do) shows they have 16 Outbacks, 5 of them with Eye sight assist. This is a specific feature, wait until Sept.-Oct. the choices will be slim on the 2015 models.

I will just add that you should not assume because a lease or program vehicle has very low miles that it will be as new. Many people who lease a vehicle will not spend one dime on maintenance and that includes cheap oil changes.
A missed oil change or two can create engine problems to the next owner’s chagrin.

If someone can back up oil change claims with paperwork then it’s at least a maybe.

There is no best time. Do your research on the trim you want, test drive a few in the same trim to be sure you are comfortable with the car. Then, when you figure everything, see what price would be a good deal. make the offer to a few dealers and when they say no, give your phone number and walk out. They might call you, or you’ll get tired and up your offer.

For that budget I would only buy new, that way you get the full warranty. If you need to cut back on options that’s what I would do. Subarus are in high demand, so finding a good discount may be difficult.

I would warn against buying a used Subaru unless you have complete knowledge of how the car was driven and maintained.

The best time to buy a new car is when you need and want a new car. Dealerships have the advantage 24/7 and that’s 365 days a year.

There is never a “good” time to buy a new vehicle, and this is particularly true for Subaru’s. Subaru has achieved very high scores from Consumers Reports and that drives demand up. Subaru dealers are few and far between, so if your heart is set on a Subaru, you are not in a good negotiating position.

Around my neck of the woods, Subaru does not participate in the Costco program because they don’t feel the need to.

But you are not in a hurry, so that is in your favor. You can go into the dealer, pick out something that you like and then let them make you an offer. They will try to get you to make the first offer, but the rule in negotiating is that the one that makes the first offer, looses.

Also use the internet. I you make the first contact through the internet by using a site like, and you are patient (do not respond to the first e-mail), eventually you will get a first offer that is something like $500 below invoice on your selected model.

When you find the model you want, write down all the option codes and look them up on the internet to find out what the exact invoice price is. One trick of the dealers is to offer something based on the invoice of the base car and then go full retail on all the options. Do not let the dealers include things like nitrogen in the tires or a paint protective package in the price.

Good luck.

Looking at a few dealers websites in the Seattle-Tacoma area you can get a '15 outback for $2,000-$3,000 off (internet pricing) the OP should check with a few local dealers as well as checking and Truecar for pricing.

By your username, it appears you live near Philadelphia. Is this correct? If so, your incentives are probably like mine near Baltimore. There are no current rebates on the Outback. But they do have a $2000 average discount on the car near me. You might wait until July, but doing so will reduce the selection. All dealers have new and used car inventories on line. Use the Suabru USA web site to find dealers near you, maybe within 50 miles, and see if there are any in inventory you want to see in person. Some dealers have a guaranteed price on line, and some don’t. If you can afford about $30,000, get the new one. And one more thing: the 2015 models are out of production. If you don’t find one you like, you will have to wait for the 2016 model year.

“Docnick Long Lost Magliozzi Brother
May 27
I would warn against buying a used Subaru unless you have complete knowledge of how the car was driven and maintained”

Why just Subarues?

If you’re using the Subaru “Build Your Car” site, don’t expect to actually pay that much for a car. I was able to special order my 2015 Legacy back in August and by shopping around in the 3 towns near me, I paid significantly less than Subaru’s MSRP from their website. Of course, YMMV. One big thing I figured out is all the dealerships will now do “Internet Price” which seems to be a no hassle, e-mail based inquiry, and often seems to be less than if you go in and fight with the sales guys. I have no idea why this is. But it does make it easier to shop around.

“Why just Subaru’s?”

I am assuming it was a reference to the AWD system and the fact that if the previous owner didn’t maintain it properly, it could cost you money. How many car renters/leasers would buy a set of tires for one bad flat.

Buying a leftover new car is seldom worth it. If some idiot totals it in the next few years you will lose more than you saved because it will be one or two model years older thus woth less as appraised by the insurance company.

@“oldtimer 11” So… buying a leftover new car is frequently worth it then? I mean, getting a car totaled at all is extremely rare on a per person basis - getting it totaled during the timeframe where a one model year difference is going to affect you has to be much smaller.

And if you’re worried about that case, get gap insurance so it pays off your loan at least.

The only thing I might add is that you check the electronics and connectivity of the infotainment system as they are improving each year and were quite far behind other makes. If you aren’t happy with that in the 2015, the 2016 model may be worth the wait.

We’re going through much the same question and here’s what I’ve found:
–I keyed in 2016 Subaru and according to three sites, it doesn’t look like pricing or features are expected to change very much, although manufacturers can always update a model any time they want (I was hoping for a hybrid Outback but it doesn’t appear it will be in 2016).
–Subaru modified the 2015 Outback and it has a better IIHS crash rating than a 2013 one, and the optional safety packages (on the high end model) are notably better too.
–Leased cars can be a good deal, since the leasor needs to maintain the vehicle or they will lose big time when the lease is up.
–Subies hold their value so well that financing a new one (with a lower interest rate for a new car) may compare favorably to financing a used one, especially since you’ll get a better warranty.