The Subaru Outback sells well for its segment. In fact, according to J.D. Power data referenced in a CNBC video on the U.S. wagon market, the Outback makes up basically the entire U.S. wagon market.
To be clear, that market is still incredibly small. The data shows that wagons represent 1.4 percent of all U.S. sales, with the Outback accounting for 1.2 percent of all U.S. sales on its own. Put another way, 85 percent of all wagons sold new in the U.S. are Outbacks.
Looking at sales numbers, it’s pretty clear that the Outback doesn’t have true competitors in the wagon space. Subaru managed to move 178,854 of them last year, while Volkswagen sold 14,124 Golf Sportwagens. Volvo V90, V90 Cross Country, V60 and V60 Cross Country sales combined for 2,540 total deliveries.
Mercedes, Audi and Jaguar do not break out wagon sales in their sales reports. Still, no one denies that they’re strongly outsold by their sedan and crossover counterparts. The exception to this is the Buick Regal TourX, which Buick expected to account for half of Regal sales. The company doesn’t break out wagon sales for the Regal nameplate, but the Regal as a whole sold 14,118 units last year.
And even the bestselling wagon still saw a sales decline last year, with Subaru delivering 178,854 Outbacks compared to 188,886 in 2017. That’s not great news, but a growing market for premium wagons may bring some more variation to this segment in the coming years.
Still, though, no one is expecting it to take over the crossover market. That’s apparent looking at the current players in the wagon game, most of which are crossover-ified. The Outback, for instance, is marketed as a crossover by Subaru and has gotten less wagon-like with every generation.
Apparently that’s working for Subaru, who for now has a near-monopoly on new wagons in the U.S. It’s still nothing compared to the crossover market, but it’s an extra 178,854 sales for Subaru.