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A blue 2018 Subaru WRX STI rally car is drifting up a dirt mountain road kicking up dust.

Subaru: Reliable to the last mile

One of the biggest considerations people make when looking for a car, whether new or used, is its reliability. This measure can mean different things to different people, depending on how much and where they drive – cities and highways vs mountain roads, for example. It is this consideration that has led some people to question the reliability of vehicles from the popular manufacturer, Subaru. However, Subarus are extremely reliable. And with that said, searching for a used Subaru for sale can lead you to finding one of the most reliable used vehicles on the used market.

Ranked third by Consumer Reports in 2020, one of the biggest factors affecting used Subarus and their collective reputation is the company’s limited number of models for buyers to choose from. A low number of models being available for testing means that a bad score for one model can bring down the score for the whole line. Despite this, most Subarus are consistently rated very highly, indicating that Subaru owners stick with the brand even when it is time to trade in their used model. Used Subarus also have a high resale value. In fact, Kelly Blue Book rates used Subarus as having some of the highest resale values.

Standards for Reliability

Subarus are known for maintaining high standards and being built with the consumer in mind first. Many of the features that have become standard on Subaru are put in place specifically for safety. Pre-collision braking ensures that drivers stay safe in a moment of immediate danger. Blindspot detection, rear cross-traffic alert, and EyeSight driver assist technology ensures nearly full 360-degree safety as the car travels, while lane-keep assist will help keep any Subaru in its lane. But Subaru’s most famous safety feature is its standard all-wheel drive on even its base model sedans.

Subaru also uses a unique boxer engine design with a horizontal rather than a vertical layout. The boxer engine is so named for its appearance, with the pistons coming from the sides, like a boxer throwing a punch. The only other manufacturer that uses such an engine is Porsche, which not coincidentally also tops reliability lists. This is because the boxer engine is better balanced than a traditional design, reducing vibration, increasing cooling, and allowing for a better circulation of engine oil. It also allows for a lower center of gravity, which improves handling and reduces the risk of a roll-over.

A silver 2015 Subaru Legacy is driving down a road surrounded by a canopy of trees.

Subaru Legacy

Originally launched in 1990, the midsize Legacy sedan has only improved with the years. It offers a spacious interior, powerful engines, and plenty of comforts. The Legacy is reliable, like all other Subarus, and the latest models average 30 MPG. The Subaru Legacy was recognized as the Canadian Car of the Year back in 2015. This is largely because, like all Subaru models, it has one of the best all-wheel drive systems for a sedan, making it well-suited to areas that see snow.

The Legacy was Subaru’s first midsize model, and it is also well known for its place in racing with the Subaru World Rally Team, setting records as far back as 1990. As a rally car, the Subaru Legacy started seeing records as early as its first introduction to the circuit. These records were reflected in sales as they demonstrated the value of Subaru’s all-wheel drive system in the harshest of conditions.

Subaru Impreza

The compact Impreza is available as either a sedan or a hatchback. It is a reliable vehicle, particularly in areas where winter is more than an abstract concept and icy road conditions are common. With all-weather traction, the Impreza is at home in many environments and has even been used by police forces overseas.

The Impreza also followed in the Legacy’s footsteps by making its mark in the racing world. The smaller, lighter chassis made the Subaru Impreza a better choice for a rally car, and led to the creation of the sporty WRX and STI variants with their more powerful turbocharged engines. To date, the Impreza has earned many wins in worldwide rallies.

Subaru Forester

The Subaru Forester is a must for anyone needing an SUV with powerful all-wheel drive and third-row seating. It does not have the sleek look of other manufacturers but makes up for it with all-wheel drive and plenty of safety features. Child locks and seat anchors for car seats are installed as standard. It has multiple airbags for driver and passengers, including side and rear head-level airbags. The Forester’s stability and traction control will keep everyone safe, whether on or off-roading.

Safety is the name of the game with this SUV. When you are in a Forester, there is no doubt that you can get wherever you need to go no matter the weather. This was further improved when X Mode was introduced in 2014, which monitors all aspects of the vehicle to safely carry you through treacherous conditions such as muddy or icy roads. The Forester allows the driver to stay in control, no matter your skill level at driving in treacherous conditions.

A tan 2017 Subaru Forester Touring, which is popular among used Subarus for sale, is speeding down the road.

Subaru Outback

Though the Subaru Outback is the wagon variant of the Subaru Legacy, providing you with more cargo space without having to upgrade to the Forester SUV. Like all Subaru models, the Outback’s standard all-wheel drive offers the same capabilities as all other models. But the Outback is able to off-road with more capability than the Legacy or Impreza. It has nearly nine inches of ground clearance, depending on the model year of the vehicle in question. With room for the whole family, the Outback can get you to any destination you may desire.

Marketed as the first sport utility wagon, the Outback looks the part. Later models became more streamlined, but this is undeniably a car designed with family in mind. Though the Outback may not have the good looks of Subaru’s sedans, its reputation for safety and reliability has ensured it to be one of the best-known models the company offers.

Used Subarus: Wear and Tear

In addition to the awards noted above, you need to look no further than to see what is out and on the road now to understand how reliable a used Subaru is. Many used Subarus, when given proper maintenance and necessary upkeep, can stay reliable for 300,000 miles or more and keep running for decades after their manufacturing date. The Subaru Outback and Subaru Forester are often the most recognized models. However, the Impreza, WRX, and Legacy all have their place on today’s highways. It’s all a question of keeping up with regular maintenance.

Whether you are seeking the wagon-style Outback, the SUV Forester, or the sportier sedans, Subarus maintain their worth if they have been kept up properly. They can truly get you anywhere you want to go. And while they retain their value well, a used Subaru is still an affordable investment. Depending on the age of the vehicle in question, a used Subaru can easily be acquired from a reliable dealer for under $15k, and buying from a private owner may lead to an even lower price tag. However the vehicle is purchased, though, a used Subaru is sure to give happiness and reliability to any hopeful owners for years to come.