Are Subarus Reliable? Which Subarus aren’t?

Subaru is the 21st largest car manufacturer in the world. With sales data indicating steady sales of 600,000 to 700,000 units per year. Subaru has maintained a steady presence in the auto market over the last decade.

It is best known for producing reliable luxury segment cars. But are Subarus reliable as they say, we’ll find that out in this article.

Are Subarus Reliable?

Subarus are one of the most reliable cars available on the market. Coming from Japanese origin, Subarus share their common trait of being reliable. More than 97% of Subarus sold in the last decade are still on the road. Subarus are known to be less problematic and long-lasting.

In the most recent reliability rankings, 5 out of 6 Subaru models have scored above average. Among 26 brands, Subaru has managed to secure a respectable 8th spot for its reliability. The problems per 100 vehicles of Subarus are also well below the industrial average.

Also read: Are Subarus Expensive to Fix? 7 Questions Answered

Do Subarus Last Long?

Subarus might not be the best cars in the world, but they are known to last very long. The average life span of a Subaru is between 200,000 and 250,000 miles. Some cars have even reported crossing the 300,000 miles mark, with proper care and maintenance.

With an average mileage of 15,000 to 20,000 miles per year, Subaru cars tend to last somewhere between 16 to 20 years. Most Subaru cars lasting for 2 decades is a testament to the higher build quality of their cars. They are known to outlast their Japanese counterparts like Toyota, Honda, and Suzuki.

Do Subarus Tend to Rust?

Unfortunately, Subarus tend to rust a lot. The parts that are most likely to catch rust include the undercarriage, side rails, and wheel domes. The main culprit behind this rusting problem is the popularity of Subaru cars in cold weather areas.

Since most cold-weather areas use the salt mixture to melt ice on roads. This salt can often progress the corrosion on the surface of your car. As you might know that Japan doesn’t use salt to melt ice on roads. Hence, manufactures don’t bother much about external protective coatings. This leads to the inability of Subarus to fight against rust.

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Are Subarus Expensive to Fix?

Fixing Subarus is not an expensive affair but a difficult one instead. The cars are simple and prone to be less problematic. So, mechanics will usually charge the base rates for most repairs. Unlike the other cars of the same segment like Audi, BMW, and Mercedes, for which mechanics often charge extra.

Subaru only has a 3% market share in the automotive industry. So the number of service centers is understandably low. With new models coming in each year, it is difficult to find a mechanic that is familiar with the dynamics of each model. Hence, you might have to face difficulties in that regard.

Also read: Do Mitsubishi Last Long? (and Costs of Maintenance)

Are Subarus Comfortable?

Subaru is known to manufacture the most comfortable cars at the cheapest price. The riding quality, ease of access, and passenger comfort are the highlights of Subaru cars. Subaru Forester has been ranked as the most comfortable SUV under $35,000.

The cabin noise is lowest in the Subaru cars. In addition to that, they offer endless elbow room, headspace, and legroom. All these factors combined, make sure that your driving experience is smooth and fun.

What are the Most Common Problems with Subarus?

Subarus are known to be the least problematic. But even the best cars have problems. Analyzing the most common problems will enable us to answer they are reliable or not.

Some of the most common problems with Subarus are

  1. Fuel pump failure
  2. Head gasket failure
  3. The parasitic drain of the battery
  4. Suspension issues
  5. Unintended acceleration
  • Fuel Pump Failure: The impeller blades inside the fuel pump are often prone to damage. This prevents the pressure from building up. As a result, the ability of the pump to send fuel to the engine is compromised.
  • Blown Head Gasket: Cooling system issues are common with Japanese cars, as they cannot deal with the tropical climate. A blown head gasket is a clear indication that there is something wrong with the cooling system of the car.
  • Parasitic Drain of Battery: The electrical systems of Subaru cars are known to draw power even when the car is turned off. This parasitic load has adversely affected the battery life in Subarus as well.

Also read: Are Japanese Cars Good? Best in the World?

Are Subarus Safe?

Subaru is practically the safest brand for on-road driving. The 2021 Subaru Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, Ascent, and Legacy have scored the highest marks for safety from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Subaru cars are laced with modern safety tech and driver-assist features. The airbags and intricate design of the cabin ensure the safety of drivers and passengers even during the worst of collisions. Many Subarus have been the top pick of the year for safety by IIHS.

Is the Quality of Elements in Subarus Good?

Subarus have improved a lot in the past decade when it comes to quality. The quality of elements was not on point in the past. But recent surveys have shown a positive trend in the reliability rating of Subaru cars due to enhanced quality.

Subaru has chosen quality over quantity. Instead of flooding markets with tens of models, the company has rather maintained the quality of their already available cars. This is the reason why each incoming model of Subaru is a highly upgraded version of the outgoing model.

Do Subarus Depreciate Fast?

Subarus are among the slowest depreciating luxury brands. The average depreciation of a Subaru car in the first three years of operation is only 30%. This is by far the best resale value for a brand producing luxury segment vehicles.

The reason behind the high resale value of Subaru cars is their long life. Even after 3 years of operation, the car has more than 80% of its useful life remaining. Hence, people are willing to pay higher sums when they know that this second-hand car will last another 15 years.

Does Subaru Offer Good Engines?

Engines are in fact the unique selling point of Subaru cars. They offer high performance and optimum power levels. The inherent Japanese reliability makes them the best engines in the market. Their square and flat design enable them to be more efficient and dependable.

Some of the best engines produced by the Subaru are:

  1. Subaru EJ20T WRX STI – 600 hp
  2. Subaru EJ257 – 300 hp
  3. Subaru EZ36D – 256 hp
  4. Subaru FB20D – 152 hp

Also read: 3 Subaru Engines to Avoid (They Will Ruin You)

Are Subarus Expensive to Maintain?

Subarus are cheaper to maintain if you compare them to other cars of the similar segment like Lexus, BMW, and Porsche. The average maintenance cost of a Subaru for the first 5 years is $465. This is way below thousands of dollars in maintenance for luxury brands like Mercedes and BMW.

Subarus might be the cheapest to maintain luxury segment cars. The average maintenance cost of a Porsche can be in the neighborhood of $1,200. This is about 3 times the average maintenance cost of a Subaru.

The maintenance cost of a Subaru car rises steadily as the car reaches the end of its life span. The total maintenance cost of 10 years would sum up to $8,798. The following illustration will show the average maintenance cost for a Subaru during the first 12 years of operation.

Are Subarus Expensive to Insure?

Subarus are neither expensive nor cheap to insure. Rather they have maintained a reputation of having average insurance premiums. The average insurance cost of a Subaru car is around $2,000 per year. The reason behind these low premiums is the fact that Subaru cars aren’t considered among the top-tier luxury vehicles yet.

The insurance cost of a Subaru is way below the cost of BMW, Mercedes, and Porsche. Which can cost up to $5,000 or more. On the other hand, it is slightly expensive than its Japanese counterparts like Honda and Toyota, which cost around $500 per year for insurance.

Also read: 15 Cars that NEVER Rust (100% Galvanised)

Are Subarus too Expensive to Buy?

Yes, Subarus are slightly expensive to buy. But they have good enough reasons to be expensive. They are laced with unique and efficient flat engines. The lower maintenance cost and good value for money makes them the perfect candidate for a luxury segment car buyer.

All Subaru cars come with a standard AWD system. They are also equipped with great safety tech. Hence, the hefty price tag on Subarus is well justified. Still, the company has managed to produce pretty affordable cars as well.

The most affordable Subarus include:

  1. Subaru Impreza – $19,755
  2. Subaru Crosstrek – $23,295
  3. Subaru Legacy – $23,955
  4. Subaru Forester – $25,845
  5. Subaru Outback – $28,070
  6. Subaru WRX – $28,420
  7. Subaru Ascent – $33,345

What are the Most and Least Reliable Subarus?

Subaru Crosstrek and Forester are the most reliable cars produced by the company. However, Subaru Ascent and Impreza have been the worst-rated cars in terms of reliability.

Most Reliable Subarus

  • Subaru Crosstrek: Crosstrek is the premium segment mid-sized SUV manufactured by Subaru. The car has received appraise for its 2.5-liter engine, capable of producing 182 hp. The reliability score of Crosstrek was 78 out of 100.
  • Subaru Forester: Forester scored a commendable 77 score for reliability. It is a compact crossover SUV that has been manufactured by Subaru since 1997. The car has had a good reputation ever since.

Least Reliable Subarus

  • Subaru Ascent: Subaru Ascent has a surprisingly low reliability score. Significant problems have been found with this car, making it the worst Subaru on market. It scored 18 out of 100 on the reliability index.
  • Subaru Impreza: Impreza was a good car to begin with. But the problems with this car kept on increasing. Still, Impreza has managed to score 3.5 out of 5 for reliability.

What are the Best Subaru Alternatives?

The buyers of Subarus crave reliability in their cars. Their requirements can only be met with equally dependable cars, the dependability that only Japanese vehicles have to offer. Hence, the best alternative for Subarus will be the likes of Lexus GS and Infiniti QX80.

  1. Lexus GS: Lexus GS is often regarded as the most reliable and comfortable sedan. The car has outperformed and outclassed most of its rivals. Lexus GS has had minor setbacks. But generally, this car has been cited as the most dependable luxury segment sedan. The features and lasting capability of Lexus GS makes it the favorite candidate to replace a Subaru car.
  1. Infiniti QX80: Infiniti cars have a good reputation for being reliable. Infiniti QX80 has been ranked 1st among 19 full-sized luxury SUVs. It has an average ownership cost as well. This makes Infiniti QX80 a viable option to replace a Subaru car.