Are Subarus Good Cars? Let’s Find Out

Are Subarus Good Cars – When it comes to choosing a new car, reliability, and performance are two crucial factors that cannot be overlooked. One brand that has gained significant recognition in these aspects is Subaru. If you’ve ever wondered, “Are Subarus good cars?” you’re in the right place.

In this article, we’ll delve into the reliability and overall quality of Subaru vehicles, providing you with valuable insights to help you make an informed decision.

Reliable cars are a top priority for most car buyers, and Subaru has built a reputation for producing dependable vehicles.

But what sets them apart?

Are Subarus Good Cars

Subaru cars are well-regarded for their exceptional performance, longevity, and impressive safety features.

Whether you’re driving in snowy conditions, traversing rugged terrains, or commuting through urban streets, Subarus have proven to be reliable companions.

Are Subarus Good Cars?

One of the key factors contributing to Subaru’s reliability is its renowned symmetrical all-wheel drive (AWD) system.

Unlike many other car manufacturers that offer AWD as an optional feature, Subaru includes it as standard in most of their models.


This AWD system enhances stability, traction, and overall handling, making Subaru vehicles suitable for various driving conditions and giving drivers added confidence on the road.

Subarus have also excelled in safety evaluations, consistently earning top ratings from reputable institutions like the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

With advanced safety technologies such as Subaru’s EyeSight driver-assist system, which includes features like adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning, Subaru vehicles offer an extra layer of protection for drivers and passengers.

In the rest of this article, we’ll explore various aspects of Subaru’s lineup, providing you with a comprehensive understanding of what makes Subarus good cars.

So, let’s dive in and uncover the exceptional qualities of Subaru vehicles that have earned them a solid reputation in the automotive industry.

How Reliable is the Subaru Brand?

Over the years, Subaru has enjoyed a solid reputation for reliability and customer satisfaction. However, like any car manufacturer, they have experienced their fair share of ups and downs. If you have concerns about Subaru’s reliability, you’re not alone.

But before you embark on your next adventure, you might be wondering: Are Subarus really reliable?

Are Subarus Good Cars

Let’s examine the reliability ratings and see how Subaru fares compared to other brands.

According to RepairPal, Subaru holds an impressive overall reliability rating of 3.5/5, ranking 14th out of 32 car brands. This rating indicates that Subaru is more reliable than most brands in the market.

The average annual repair cost for Subaru vehicles is $617, slightly better than the $652 average across all models.

This data suggests that Subarus tend to be relatively affordable to maintain.

When it comes to unscheduled repairs, Subaru owners visit the repair shop approximately 0.3 times per year, slightly lower than the average of 0.4 times for all models.

As for the severity of repairs, 13% of Subaru shop repairs are classified as severe, slightly higher than the 12% average for major issues across all models.

These statistics suggest that while Subarus may require occasional repairs, they tend to handle most issues reasonably well.

Examining Common Problems and Model Reliability

While Subaru’s overall reliability is commendable, it’s essential to look at specific models and common issues that might affect its reputation. According to Car Complaints, the Forester and Outback have received the most complaints among Subaru models.

However, it’s crucial to note that these models are also two of the most popular Subaru vehicles, which may contribute to the higher number of complaints.

On the flip side, the Forester and Outback lineups have also produced some of Subaru’s most reliable models. Therefore, while the number of complaints might seem concerning, it doesn’t necessarily indicate overall unreliability.

However, if there’s one model that has affected Subaru’s overall reliability rating, it’s the Ascent, their new three-row SUV.

Despite generally positive reviews from experts and customers, the Ascent has faced some trouble spots, including transmission issues, climate system problems, power equipment malfunctions, and in-car electronics glitches.

The Special Appeal of Subaru

One of Subaru’s standout features is its Boxer engine, which sets it apart from traditional inline engines. The Boxer engine’s unique design positions it lower in the vehicle, providing a well-balanced feeling from left to right.

This lower placement also contributes to a lower center of gravity, resulting in a safer, more stable, and enjoyable driving experience on the road.

The Boxer engine’s design is just one example of Subaru’s commitment to performance and handling.

What Can Affect Vehicle Reliability?

We will examine various factors, including safety features, engine reliability, rust concerns, technological advancements, performance capabilities, affordability, cost of ownership, and repair and maintenance costs.

Are Subarus reliable Cars

So, let’s dive into the details and determine whether Subarus live up to its reputation as a reliable car.

1. Safety: A Top Priority for Subaru

Subaru has consistently earned top marks in terms of safety. Their vehicles are designed to withstand collisions and are equipped with advanced safety features.

The inclusion of the EyeSight technology in their latest models has resulted in the IIHS designating many Subaru models as Top Safety Picks, surpassing their competitors.

Even older Subaru models often come equipped with advanced safety technologies, showcasing the brand’s commitment to passenger safety.

2. Reliable Boxer Engine Design

One of the standout features of Subaru vehicles is their unique BOXER engine. This engine configuration is renowned for its reliability, stability, and power.

While Subaru has faced some engine-related issues over the years, overall, its engine lineup is considered reliable.

With proper care and maintenance, Subaru engines have proven to be long-lasting and dependable, garnering praise from loyal Subaru drivers.

3. Addressing Rust and Body Concerns

Subaru vehicles have been associated with rust and corrosion issues in the past. However, it’s important to consider the driving conditions and climate in which these vehicles are predominantly used.

Many Subaru owners reside in cold-weather regions and rely on their all-wheel drive for optimal performance in challenging conditions.

Exposure to road salt and off-road adventures can contribute to underbody corrosion if not adequately addressed through proper washing and maintenance routines.

4. Technological Advancements and Features

Subaru has consistently been at the forefront of technological advancements in the automotive industry. Their vehicles often boast advanced features that are ahead of the competition.

However, it’s worth noting that this advanced technology often comes with a higher price tag.

While Subarus may cost more due to its advanced features, loyal Subaru owners have shown a willingness to invest in the brand for the added value it brings.

5. Performance and Everyday Functionality

Subaru vehicles prioritize reliability and functionality over sheer power. While there are exceptions to this rule within their lineup, Subaru vehicles are designed to be reliable everyday drivers with capabilities for an occasional adventure.

If you’re seeking a vehicle that balances performance with dependability, Subaru offers a compelling choice.

6. Affordability and Cost of Ownership

Subaru vehicles are not typically priced lower than comparable brands. In fact, they often come with a slightly higher price tag.

However, it’s important to consider that all new Subarus come standard with all-wheel drive, an optional feature in most other brands.

Additionally, loyal Subaru owners are often willing to pay more to stay within the Subaru family, appreciating the brand’s reputation for reliability.

7. Cost of Ownership and Maintenance

The cost of owning a Subaru is not significantly different from other brands on average. RepairPal data suggests that Subaru falls in line with the average cost of repairs and maintenance across the industry.

While Subaru vehicles may require slightly fewer repairs or maintenance visits than some alternatives, the severity of the issues that do occur may be slightly higher.

What Are the Common Subaru Problems?

Subaru has garnered a reputation for producing reliable vehicles that cater to outdoor enthusiasts and everyday drivers alike. However, no car brand is immune to problems, and it’s essential to understand the potential issues associated with Subaru vehicles.

What Are the Common Subaru Problems

Let’s examine some of the most common Subaru problems, including excessive oil consumption, faulty infotainment systems, and problematic head gaskets.

By shedding light on these issues, we aim to provide you with a balanced perspective on Subaru’s reliability and help you make an informed decision when considering a Subaru as your next car.

1. Excessive Oil Consumption: A Concern for Some Subaru Models

One of the recurrent issues reported by Subaru owners is excessive oil consumption. While Subaru has not issued a recall for this specific problem, there have been complaints and even a class-action lawsuit filed.

Some models, such as the Forester (2011-2014), Outback (2013), and Impreza (2012, 2013), have been highlighted as being more prone to high oil consumption despite normal usage.

It’s important to note that not all Subaru vehicles experience this issue, and it may vary from model to model or even within the same model year.

2. Faulty Infotainment System: Software Glitches in Subaru’s Starlink

Subaru, like many car manufacturers, has integrated sophisticated infotainment systems into its vehicles.

However, Subaru’s infotainment system, Starlink, has been known to have software problems.

Some of the common issues reported by Subaru owners include backup camera freezing or shutting down, system lockups with error messages, unresponsive touchscreens, spotty connectivity features like Bluetooth, and displays going blank.

Affected vehicles include the Outback (2018), Legacy (2018), Crosstrek (2018), and Impreza (2017, 2018).

It’s important to note that software glitches can often be addressed through updates and fixes provided by the manufacturer.

3. Faulty Head Gaskets: A Historically Common Subaru Problem

One of the most significant issues that plagued Subaru in the past was faulty head gaskets. These gaskets suffered from leaks between the cylinder head and engine block, resulting in oil or coolant leakage.

This problem was widespread and lasted for approximately five years, spanning two rounds. The wear and tear of the head gasket coating at around 100,000 miles contributed to this issue.

Subaru acknowledged the problem and even extended its powertrain warranty to address the concerns associated with faulty head gaskets.

While the issues mentioned above are important to consider, it’s crucial to evaluate Subaru’s overall reliability beyond these problem areas.

Many Subaru owners attest to the reliability and durability of their vehicles, highlighting the brand’s commitment to quality engineering and design.

What Are the Most Reliable Subarus?

When it comes to choosing a reliable car, Subaru is a brand that often comes to mind. If you’re wondering, “Are Subarus good cars?” it’s essential to consider the most reliable models that Subaru has to offer.

Let’s explore three Subaru models known for their reliability: the 2019 Subaru Outback, the 2020 Subaru Forester, and the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek.

What Are the Most Reliable Subarus?

By examining these models, we aim to provide you with insights into Subaru’s commitment to reliability and help you make an informed decision when considering a Subaru as your next vehicle.

2019 Subaru Outback: A Reliable Outdoor Companion

The 2019 Subaru Outback is a versatile and reliable vehicle, perfect for outdoor adventures. With its standard all-wheel drive, high safety ratings, and stellar reliability, the 2019 Outback is a top choice for many drivers.

Subaru addressed potential trouble spots, such as the engine, transmission, and suspension, resulting in a highly reliable vehicle.

In fact, Consumer Reports awarded the 2019 Outback a 5 out of 5 predicted reliability rating.

While there have been a few reported issues concerning the in-car electronics system and body integrity, they do not overshadow the excellent experience the 2019 Outback offers.

Read Also: Subaru Outback Years to Avoid

2020 Subaru Forester: The Epitome of Versatility and Reliability

Renowned for its versatility and reliability, the 2020 Subaru Forester stands as one of the best models in its lineup.

From its spacious interior to top-notch safety features and rugged body construction, the 2020 Forester is a reliable choice for compact SUV enthusiasts.

Consumer Reports awarded the 2020 Forester a perfect 5 out of 5 rating for both reliability and customer satisfaction.

While it may not be the most powerful or visually striking option, the Forester excels in providing exceptional value for those seeking reliability.

Read Also: Subaru Forester Years to Avoid

2021 Subaru Crosstrek: Compact SUV with Rugged Dependability

As Subaru’s smallest crossover SUV, the 2021 Crosstrek has gained popularity for its compact size and rugged dependability.

If you’re looking for a less bulky SUV without compromising Subaru’s signature ruggedness, the 2021 Crosstrek is an excellent choice.

This model features a standard all-wheel drive, impressive safety technology, excellent off-road capabilities, and an affordable price tag.

Although the power may not match up to competitors like the Mazda CX-30, the 2021 Crosstrek still offers a satisfying driving experience. J.D. Power rated the 2021 Crosstrek with an overall rating of 81/100, including a solid reliability rating of 77/100.

Read Also: Subaru Crosstrek Years to Avoid

Furthermore, there have been no recalls reported for the Crosstrek in the past two years, highlighting its reliability.

What Are the Least Reliable Subarus?

Like any car brand, there are certain models that have encountered reliability issues.

Let’s explore three Subaru models that have faced reliability concerns: the 2012 Subaru Impreza, the 2021 Subaru Ascent, and the 2021 Subaru WRX.

What Are the Least Reliable Subarus

By analyzing these models, we aim to provide a comprehensive perspective on Subaru’s reliability.

2012 Subaru Impreza: Unintended Acceleration Issues

The 2012 Subaru Impreza stands out as one of the least reliable years for this sedan model. The most significant issue faced by the 2012 Impreza is the occurrence of sudden unintended acceleration.

Numerous reports have indicated instances where the vehicle accelerated unexpectedly while idling or when the brake pedal was depressed.

These incidents pose a significant risk to occupants and can potentially lead to accidents.

If you’re considering a used Impreza, it is advisable to avoid the 2012 version to mitigate these reliability concerns.

Read Also: Subaru Impreza Years to Avoid

2021 Subaru Ascent: Reliability Challenges for the Midsize SUV

The 2021 Subaru Ascent, a midsize SUV, presents reliability issues despite its solid appearance on paper. Consumer Reports rates the 2021 Ascent with a low predicted reliability score of 1 out of 5.

Several factors contribute to this rating, including problems with the transmission, power equipment, in-car electronics, and climate system.

While the 2021 Ascent demonstrates excellent road manners and a robust engine, its reliability concerns hold it back.

It’s essential to consider these reliability challenges when evaluating the overall appeal of the 2021 Ascent.

Read Also: Subaru Ascent Years to Avoid

2021 Subaru WRX: Mixed Reliability for the Rally-Inspired Sedan

The 2021 Subaru WRX, a rally car-inspired sedan renowned for its excellent traction and steering, faces reliability issues.

Consumer Reports assigns the new 2021 WRX a predicted reliability rating of 2 out of 5, which is relatively low for a brand-new model.

While the 2021 WRX performs well in driving tests, scoring 75 out of 100, it fails to address many of the problems present in previous iterations, such as clutch plate issues.

Despite its compelling powertrain, the 2021 WRX falls short in terms of comfort and features.

Prospective buyers should carefully consider these reliability concerns before making a decision.

Read Also: Subaru WRX Years to Avoid

Are Subarus long-lasting vehicles?

Yes, Subarus are known for their longevity and durability. According to statistics reported by Torque News, nearly 96% of Subaru sedans are still on the road after 12 years, which is slightly above the average lifespan of about 11 years for all car models.

This indicates that Subarus have a higher chance of lasting longer with proper care and maintenance.

Subarus are built with a reputation for reliability and longevity in mind.

The brand places an emphasis on engineering robust vehicles that can withstand various driving conditions and endure over time.

Additionally, Subaru’s renowned all-wheel drive system contributes to its longevity, as it provides enhanced traction and stability, reducing wear and tear on the vehicle’s components.

However, it’s important to note that the longevity of any vehicle depends on several factors, including proper maintenance, regular servicing, and responsible driving habits.


In conclusion, when evaluating whether Subarus are good car, it’s important to consider several factors. Subarus have a solid reputation for reliability, safety, and longevity. The brand consistently produces vehicles that perform well in terms of dependability and have a higher likelihood of lasting longer on the road.

With a track record of nearly 96% of Subaru sedans still being on the road after 12 years, Subarus have proven themselves to be durable and capable of withstanding the test of time.

While it’s crucial to acknowledge that there can be certain reliability issues associated with specific models or model years, overall, Subarus are considered to be good cars.

Proper care and maintenance, along with responsible driving habits, are key to maximizing the lifespan of any vehicle, including a Subaru.

So, if you’re in the market for a reliable car that can go the distance, Subarus are worth considering.

Their reputation for longevity, combined with their safety features and all-wheel drive capability, make them a popular choice for outdoor enthusiasts and everyday drivers alike.

Subarus are good cars that have a proven track record of reliability and longevity. With proper care and maintenance, your Subaru can provide you with many years of dependable performance on the road. Are Subarus good cars? The answer is a resounding yes.

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