Subaru Guaranteed Trade Program better than Lease? My experience so far

13 months ago I was buying a 2019 Subaru WRX limited with harmon kardon package ($35,205). It was one of the first WRX 2019s on the lot. At the time I asked about leasing so in 2-3 years I could trade up when its on the new global platform.

I was given a ridiculous lease estimate of $450 including the discount he was offering if I buy it. At the time a base model lease was advertised as $350 before tax/fees.

Anyway… I bought the car for $32,205 (excluding tax and $363 of fees) and now it’s been over 12 months so I can see my Subaru Guaranteed Trade program value which is currently $28,950 until sept 30th (which puts it at 14 months) with upto 15k miles.

So… That’s like leasing the car for $232.50 plus tax and $363 in fees…. $271 if you roll that in for Maine tax. Not the most amazing leasehackr deal out there, but not bad for a top trim+package sports car for a short period.

Even factoring in the interest rate I gained equity.

Just wanted to throw this experience out there because most subarus lease poorly and it can save money in areas where dealerships always offer you rough NADA/KBB pricing for a pristine car because “market”. Through this program Subaru owns the car, not the dealership so there is no negotiation. I’m going to continue to track my trade value as it updates to see if this continues to be a better deal than lease.


You didn’t include tax on the sales price, but that’s in the thousands, depending on where you live.

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Why would I? If I trade it in towards another car I don’t pay tax on the value towards another car. I added tax for the amount it lost value which is a fair comparison to tax on a lease being monthly. I also didnt pay tax on the whole sale value because I traded a car still worth a lot.

In California you pay sales tax on the new car price regardless of trade-in value. Some other states may also have similar law.

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I have two Subaru’s currently (my first ones)

A 36.5K MSRP 2017 Outback Limited 2.5 @ 365/36/12K…including 9.5% tax and ZERO drive off.

A 34.6K MSRP 2019 Forester Limited @ 375/36/12K…including 9.5% tax and ZERO drive off (had loyalty coupon for $500)

Both have 24/24K service included.

I didn’t go crazy getting these deals…made a few calls, checked out numbers online. No hardcore bargaining…so my guess is left a little bit on the table…but I’m happy.

These seem like pretty good prices for their most popular models…whenever I look at other manufacturers, the lease deals are usually worse (don’t throw back loaners/demos or leases that require 5K in loyalty!).

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SGT is always lower than the trade-in you can get on your own. It is based on 15k/year mileage.

That’s not always the case. I am 100% sure my dealership wouldnt offer as much as the subaru trade even at 12k miles. My dealership offers rough nada trade price and uts a fight to get that increased by $500

Wow then yes… bad deal to buy new cars on a regular basis in cali… that state loves taxes. But I dont feel bad because usually cali is getting all the EV deals

I got couple of thousands more on my every Forester on trade-ins, but I was on a lower end mileage wise. That is the problem with SGT - you get the same price on 6k or 10k and 15k miles a year.

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Are SGT values published?

Nope. They have your VIN and they show SGT to you in your account or invite you to check it in the targeted email. Based on your particular car and 15k miles.

Not to be an :eggplant:, but that’s realllllllllllllly torturing the definition of a sports car.


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Pretty ignorant thing to say…
I just used mine in a motor sports event this past weekend doing autocross… the most popular car there? Subaru WRX and WRX STI.
Other motorsport event I went to this summer… New England Forrest Rally… most popular car? WRX and WRX STI.

Its also literally the definition of a sports car per Wikipedia… " A sports car is designed to emphasise handling, performance or thrill of driving." Compare an impreza to the WRX and it is exactly that.

A WRX is not a sports car. Full stop.