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2013 and earlier-Subaru Outback Prices Paid and Buying Experience



  • the end of the month is always a very good time to buy, end of qtr probably as good or better ... my guess, and it's just a guess, is that you're not going to save much by waiting and it's possible the price of a used '09 may bump up if folks see the '10s (higher price w/ less content than in '09 from what I can see w/ the pricing games being played) and figure a used '09 for a bit less is attractive.

    No one knows for sure, but of course the selection of '09s will dwindle ... good luck.
  • abchin486abchin486 Posts: 78
    For a new car, yeah, the end of the month is def a good time, but you can get teh same price regardless if you do research and know what you want to pay. right now, it does not matter when you buy, dealers just wants the stuff off the lot. By waiting till the end of the month, the dealer will reach their bottom line quicker and they will do it with less resistance because they have quotas to meet. You can still get that same price if you go in the beginning of the month, you just are going to have to fight harder for it.

    For a used, if they do not sell it, it wil just go to an auction. There is no rush to get rid of them (but they stil need to sell them). If you see a used one you want, just try and get it. If you see that it has been sitting on teh lot for a while, then keep pestering them for the price you want.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Adding to the good advice above...

    I definitely agree that selection dwindles, so wait only if you are flexible about color and options.

    The other thing, which happened to me, is that a rebate may increase on the first of the month. So if it's $2000 now and goes up to $2500 on July 1, you may miss out on a bigger rebate.

    Happened to me with an MX-5 purchase in March.
  • 1stin101stin10 Posts: 18
    Thanks, everyone, for the input. Sorry to hear that you missed out on the better rebate on your MX-5, ateixeira. With regard to rebates, does anyone have any memory of what Subaru did about rebates last summer? I realize we're in a different marketplace at this point, but I'm just curious to know the history.

    Also, I would like to learn more about how a dealer decides to send something in his used inventory to auction. Seems like he would need to be desperate to do that since I can't imagine he could make very much. I recently spotted online one used car that, according to the posted CarFax report, has been for sale since early March. They list it for slightly under $500 more than what I'm willing to pay OTD, excluding TTL. So I'll be curious to see if they're willing to deal or let it go to auction.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Can't hurt to ask. Sounds like it's been collecting dust.

    I wrote a letter to Mazda and at least they sent me a gift card. Oh well.
  • I can't say for sure re: when they auction off a used car ... fwiw, we bought my wife's CPO '05 Toyota Matrix XRS (loaded little rocket ship) from a Toyota dealer who had it on the lot for about 4 months or so.

    The "internet" price we bought it (just below the Edmunds price for a CPO) at was nearly $2,500 less than the price on the sticker on the lot IIRC.

    I'd just go in and make an offer (start a bit below where you want to end up to give yourself some room).
  • abchin486abchin486 Posts: 78
    Auctions are last resort. Usually, by the time it goes to auction, it has been determined that they are not able to sell the car. they will take a loss on it most likely.
  • zilchzilch Posts: 6
    "It should be discounted at least 10%, more if the miles are higher. $21-22k seems "about right. "

    um, this is the deal. you can always get 10% off any new car. so why buy a demo for nearly no discount.

    funny, carmax sells used current-year models for more than one can buy a new one with discount.
  • 1stin101stin10 Posts: 18
    I'm curious where folks are seeing new ('09) 2.5i Limiteds for $23.5K. That is still not the case in my neck of the woods, or at least I haven't seen any advertising to that effect, and I've been scanning pretty closely since I plan to buy in the next 2-3 weeks.

    Based on what I've seen locally, $21-22K for a low mileage demo does seem about right. I drove one today with less than 6K miles where dealership is asking $22,500.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I meant 10% less than a brand new one would cost.

    I don't even refer to MSRP any more because the Monroney price has become meaningless.
  • mikgarsmikgars Posts: 7
    Hi 1stin10- check out Heuberger Subaru in Colorado Springs, Co. They have 5 or 6 in stock. I have seen other advertising ~5200 off MSRP but these are generally only for a specific vehicle and most likely that particular car will have been sold (probably weeks ago) if you were to bother trying to inquire about it.
  • 1stin101stin10 Posts: 18
    Thanks, mikgars. I had been considering both Heuberger (have family in CO) and Fitz (had reason to visit MD anyway), but actually struck a deal locally which I'm pretty happy with. I take delivery tomorrow and will provide more details once the transaction is completed.
  • 1stin101stin10 Posts: 18
    Thanks again for the suggestion, mikgars. I ended up buying locally today for $5,142 off MSRP and am pretty satisfied. With the $2K manufacturer rebate, I paid $3,302 under invoice once you adjust for the fact the dealership rolled destination into the final sales price and then lowered it again to absorb the doc fee I refused to pay but which they said could not be eliminated outright b/c it's preprinted on their paperwork for legal reasons.

    I got the color I wanted, and they agreed to throw in the all-weather floor mats. And in addition to what I believe is a good out the door price, the salesman and F&I guy were professional(!!!). After all the hours/days/weeks of online research I did to prepare for this transaction - my first vehicle in 10 years - I had steeled myself for the worst. I did have some brief email exchanges with salesmen who weren't great, but that just made the winning salesman stand out so much more. He was the first to respond to my "blast" email (within 45 minutes), he provided a pdf of the window sticker with his offer so I knew there would be no bait & switch, he thanked me for giving him the opportunity to earn my business, he followed up promptly the next morning with another email (my preferred method of contact) even though he had my phone number, he ultimately agreed to everything I requested in our negotiation, and he treated me with respect through the whole process. The F&I guy was awesome - totally lowkey and straightforward. I was offered extended warranty, considered it and ultimately declined. There was zero pressure.

    I just want to thank the edmunds community, because I learned A TON here. I don't believe I would have had a fraction of as good an experience had I not done my homework, and edmunds along with were both key in helping me become an educated shopper. Very cool. :shades:
  • re ... "...'blast' email..." ... can you describe what that is in more detail?

    having just spend $800 to replace the O2 sensors on my '01 Audi with 103k miles on it I doubt I'll be shopping any time soon but it will be useful to file away for reference.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Congrats, that's a deep discount so kudos.
  • 1stin101stin10 Posts: 18
    Hi, JC. I may have made my initial communication to the dealers sound, unintentionally, a little more mysterious than what it really was. By "blast" email, I just meant one email message going out to multiple dealers (three or four) at one time, requesting a price quote. I did this via, but edmunds and numerous other sites will, of course, assist with getting quotes for you.

    In my case, I used to determine where I might reasonably travel to get the best price for the vehicle I wanted. When I found it was in MD, I made sure to copy the link from that dealer's web site, showing the price and the car's description, into the body of the message that was blasted out to the local dealers. I asked them if they could beat the price, and indicated if not, I would be flying to MD to buy the car in the following three days. (I already had plans to go to MD anyway.)

    One dealership thought I was bluffing, so came back with a price $250 higher than what I asked them to beat. When I ignored them for a day, they began to email and call me every few hours as did another dealership. When I eventually told them I already had a deal, they quickly suggested they would beat that price if I walked away from the existing deal. I told them to forget it.

    So ... did I get the lowest, rock bottom price I possibly could have gotten? No, because I didn't go back and forth amongst the dealers. Some may regard that as foolishly leaving money on the table, but I knew from my research that I was getting a very good price as it was, and I chose to honor the agreement I made with the salesman who demonstrated from the start that he was the most interested in my business and who acted like a professional throughout. To me, it really was not worth the extra $200 or so I might have saved to go back on my word with someone who had been straightforward with me and whose dealership has gotten good ratings with the BBB and elsewhere.

    Hope this was helpful. I'm sure it was way more than what you were looking for, but I'm a little excited right now about the experience. ;)
  • 1stin101stin10 Posts: 18
    Thanks, ateixeira! I'm pretty happy with how it all turned out. And I'm also celebrating the fact I'm able to deduct the sales tax come next April. :D
  • mikgarsmikgars Posts: 7
    Congrats 1stin10 I doubt you could have gotten a much better price than ~5100 off MSRP. Would you mind sharing the general region you are from? If you mentioned it earlier I missed it. I am looking in central Illinois between St Louis and Chicago. I am going to see if Subaru changes it current $2000 back and 2.9% in July and will be purchasing in the coming week or so.
  • 1stin101stin10 Posts: 18
    Thanks, mikgars. I live in Chicago, northwest side of the city, and I bought at the dealership in Arlington Heights.

    Once you zero in on a dealership, I would suggest googling them to see what comes up and checking out their rating on the BBB site. I considered buying in Schaumburg, but decided against it after reading numerous complaints against them (recently as well as years ago) and seeing they got a grade of "F" from the BBB. Even if I had managed to have a smooth transaction with them, this knowledge would have added unneeded stress to my experience. Plus, I don't like putting money in the pockets of people who conduct business in an allegedly shady fashion.

    Good luck to you! I've got my fingers crossed that you'll get an even better deal than I did, especially if Subaru increases the rebate. One person posted on this forum a couple months back that he thought Subaru would raise it by maybe $750 in July as dealers need to clear out the 09s to make room for the redesigned 10s. I was a bit tempted to hang on a couple of weeks more myself, but opted to tap into the added sales motivation of the end of the month & 2nd quarter. Let us know how you do.
  • abt1abt1 Posts: 2
    Good job 1stin10! I plan on buying a new outback next month. Can you give some more details onhow you arrived at such a great price. I stink at haggling, hate it.I would like to know where you started after getting the multiple quotes. At the invoice? You must have started much lower. I am afraid they will not take me seriously if I offered $21,000 for a $24,000 car and then expected another 2G as a rebate How does the rebate come into play? Should I not talk about that until after the deal is made? I read that is manufacturers money direct to me.I also understand that it is 2G right now How do you prove this to the dealer if they try to say it ended or does not apply,as a trick?

  • not TMI, thanks, that's just what I was interested in hearing about.

    enjoy the new car,

  • richmonderrichmonder Posts: 15
    My in-laws need to buy in a hurry...their car was totaled. Where are the rebates available. I live in Richmond, VA and I don't think I can get them or in Pittsburgh where they live.

    Much thanks!!!
  • 1stin101stin10 Posts: 18
    Richmonder, I didn't check your region, but I did find that two of the first Subaru dealers that popped up for Pittsburgh are both offering the updated incentives. Not exactly sure why you're posting here for this info as it took me less than two minutes to find this out via Google ...
  • 1stin101stin10 Posts: 18
    Al, I'm not a great haggler, but I am a decent researcher, and my research shows you are set to buy at a fabulous time. It is definitely a buyer's market, so be confident that you can get a good deal ... because you definitely can!

    Subaru just sweetened their incentives a bit for the 2009s. If you are looking at the Outback 2.5i Limited WITH Nav, the 2.5XT or the 3.0R, those are now all available until Aug 3 with a $3K rebate and the low financing from before. The other 2.5i models have the $2K rebate, which is what I got the end of June.

    To answer your questions, I did not start negotiating at invoice. I asked various local dealers to beat a price that was well under invoice which I found at an out-of-state dealer. As for the rebate, that money did not go directly to me; it was applied by the dealer to my sales price, thus lowering what I paid them. All of the dealers I found were providing quotes that already included that rebate, so you should ask the dealer directly about this if you're unclear about it when you are given a price.

    I don't know if every single Subaru dealer has to offer the latest incentives by the manufacturer, but I would assume they would, since this is money provided by Subaru. So ask up front about the rebates. The current rebates do not end until Aug 3.

    If you wait to buy toward the end of July, I'm sure the salesmen will be even more motivated to lower the price in order to move the 2009s and make their sales quotas for the month. But by waiting you do risk having less of a selection from which to choose if your heart is set on a certain color or particular options/accessories. If you're more flexible, I would wait to get the best deal.

    Lastly, remember that you control this process. If you don't like something, just end the discussion by politely but firmly saying you'll think about it. It won't take long for them to chase after you with a better offer. So good luck and negotiate with confidence because this market has put buyers in the driver's seat.
  • I'm having trouble getting near this price in the Boston area (after $2K rebate), and wonder if the Cash for Clunkers program is bumping up market price a bit. Anybody notice this?

    It would appear that Dealer price is Invoice minus $1000 hold back, not including rebates. True?

    I see Heuberger Motors in Colorado Springs still shows a special price of an SE for under $20K, but the list price on their specials page ($26,310) does not match the MSRP on the inventory price for the listed car (#29902, $24,590) shown here. What's up with that?

    Out and Back
  • My '01 Audi A6 continues to vex us w/ CELs ... after a new coolant temp sensor, new cat, and new O2 sensors since last Sept., still intermittent codes that relate to a known issue w/ the ECU throwing false codes. I'm willing to pay the dealer to "reflash" the ECU with updated programming that was the subj. of a TSB, but doubt I'm willing to spring for a new ECU or even rebuilt if this doesn't work.

    But of course in the meantime the supply of '09 OBs dwindles and I'm not very interested in a '10. Definitely want the SE for the features, don't really want the Ltd. primarily b/c of the poor A/C I hear about but I do like the leather & sunroof ... definitely do not want the built-in NAV.

    I may be picking from among the slim pickins' later this month, we'll see.

    BTW I confirmed w/ my longtime trusted indep. shop that the Audi CVT, to which I am told the new Subie CVT is related (same belts? I'd love to know if it's the same TCU or other parts too) was not a reliable unit and there were some very expensive TCU failures ($2-4k repair costs). So I'm wary of the new CVT, as I am of any new technology til I see it's track record for reliability.

  • Hi, 1stin10, thank you so much for sharing your experience. I am in the process of buying a Limited as well. Contacted local dealers through email, all except one just asked me to call them. :( The one price is about $4000 off the MSRP.

    I have a quick newbie question. How did you get your initial price from the MD dealer from Did you contact them by email? All prices I saw at are MSRP, right?
  • bunzbunz Posts: 3
    Going to be buying an Outback SE in Seattle (and) north area in the next 30 days. What OTD can I expect? Any Subaru dealers I should avoid?


  • abt1abt1 Posts: 2
    Thanks 1stin10,
    That is some great advice. I am trying to do research on how to get the best deal and I find alot of conflicting info. It gets confusing! I will keep this thread updated, to get more advice and to also help out others with my eperience.

  • 1stin101stin10 Posts: 18
    Hi, snowinwind!

    If I were you, I would not call any of the dealers who did not offer a price. Just wait a bit, and they will likely come back to you fairly soon, though I have to say that the end of month pressure to meet their sales quota undoubtedly encouraged the dealers with whom I interacted.

    I would begin to negotiate with the one dealer who did provide a price. $4K off MSRP is pretty good, so to me it shows he's serious about bargaining, but there's still a lot of room to come down.

    I just did a search for 09 Limiteds on, and prices are dropping. Selection is too, but bargains are out there if you're willing to be flexible. I don't know where you're located, but I found prices at Heuberger in Colorado Springs, CO for just above $24K - so similar to the price you were quoted locally - and I found a couple at DullesMotors in Leesburg, VA for even less ... one was about $23,600. There were also competitive prices at a couple of MD dealers and one in NH. So as you can see, these prices are certainly not MSRP. MSRP for a Limited is $28,295. These prices undoubtedly all include the $2K cash rebate, but even still, they are good prices. And it's from there that you want to begin your negotiations, not from MSRP or even dealer invoice.

    I would go back to the dealer who gave you the quote by emailing him a link to one of these dealers with an even lower price. Ask him to beat it. When he does, tell him this is a pretty good price, and you'll be very tempted to buy IF he includes .... the destination fee (a $695 value) and cargo nets or something else you really want. If he agrees, I'd accept the deal and take a copy of the email down to the dealership with you so you have the offer and the corresponding VIN# in writing. If he doesn't, I would consider shopping the quote he did give you to the other local dealers who told you to call them. Instead of callling, email his quote and ask them to beat the price and add in a goodie or two. Also, it's important to give all of these guys a timeframe. Tell them clearly you will be buying a car by close of business Saturday, July 11 or whatever date in the very near future so that you create an enhanced sense of urgency on their part.

    Hope this helped. Good luck! :)
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