4 Reasons the Subaru Forester and Subaru Outback Didn’t Make the List for Best Cars After 200k miles

For a long time, both the Subaru Forester and the Subaru Outback were on the list for cars most likely to make it past 200 thousand miles. The Subaru brand has always been well-known for making long-lasting, practical, and safe vehicles.

According to Subaru, 97% of vehicles sold in the last decade are still on the road today. The Subaru has maintained its reputation as a long-lasting vehicle. The Subaru high mileage clubs have clubs for over 50,000 miles, over 100,000 miles, all the way up to over 300,000 miles. Kelley Blue Book named Subaru of America as the most trusted automotive brand for 5years and running.

So, what’s the deal?

According to this list of the 10 cars most likely to go past 200,000 miles, Subaru isn’t making the cut anymore. Many are less inclined to keep their vehicles for long periods of time. Other makes and models are exceeding the Subaru Forester and Subaru Outback in the ability to make it past that 200k mark. So what happened? This change in expected longevity probably has to do with the string of recalls we have seen over the last few years, as well.

More people are leasing

According to this market report, as of 2016 more people are leasing their cars than ever before. As people continue to weigh their options, both millennials and senior buyers are choosing to lease in increasing numbers. Leasing is quickly becoming a norm in the car buying industry. As most lease deals limit mileage, this certainly has an impact on the amount of vehicles reaching 200k miles and beyond.

Due to this influx in the popularity of leasing your vehicle, we are seeing a much higher number of people –whether they lease or buy– trade their cars in for an upgraded version every few years. Fewer people plan to keep their vehicles until the mileage is maxed out, so they aren’t maintaining them with longevity in mind.

Full-size road trippers

The Subaru Forester and the Subaru Outback are being outdistanced by full-size family road trippers. Minivans like the Honda Odyssey are trekking families across the country in roomy, user-friendly comfort. Full-size SUVs like the GMC Yukon and the Chevy Tahoe are still dominating the big family vehicle scene.

Larger SUVs like this GMC Yukon are dominating the family road trip scene. This gives these vehicles a considerable edge when it comes to reaching that high milage up to 200k and beyond.

The big road tripping vehicles offer more cargo room and more seats for extra passengers. The family road trip is still alive and well, but more are opting for these larger family vehicles. The Subaru Forester and Subaru Outback do not compete with these bigger family-sized vehicles.


In the last few years, Subaru has run massive recalls on these popular models, with issues involving corroded brake lines, short-circuiting puddle lights and the industry-wide replacement of Takata airbags.

In 2018, Subaru issued two recalls related to defective Takata airbag inflators that, upon the airbag’s deployment, may result in sharp metal fragments striking passengers. Vehicles affected include the 2009-2013 Tribeca, Legacy, Outback and WRX, as well as the 2009-2011 Impreza. The combined vehicle count for both recalls totals 157,388 and as of January 2018, some 29.5 percent had been repaired.

Kelley Blue Book

These recall programs affect several high demand models including the Subaru Outback. Another recall was issued affecting almost 50,000 Legacy and Outback 2016-2017 models. The problem was an improperly machined steering column that may result in loss of steering control. Then, due to new issues with melting plastic, nearly 600,000 additional Outback and Legacy models were recalled that year as well. The Forester has also suffered due to recall programs.

Select turbocharged Subaru models were recalled in 2016 to replace a secondary air injection pump relay that could fail causing the air pump to overheat.  Models included in this recall are the turbocharged versions of the 2009-2013 Outback, 2007-2009 Legacy, 2007-2009 Forester and 2008-2014 WRX and WRX STI. The completion rate for this repair as of April 2018 was 60.1 percent.

Kelley Blue Book

Further recalls ensued since this KBB report. Working out kinks may be affecting the Subaru Forester and Subaru Outback in their ability to make the most recent lists of cars most likely to make it to 200 thousand miles.

It’s a lot easier to fly, these days


With airline deals flooding search engines everywhere, now is the time to fly. Even somewhere that is just a few hours away by road is an even shorter flight. You can take a weekend trip by plane cheaper than ever with the lowering cost of domestic flights. Many of those vehicle leasers are trading in their road trip miles for frequent flier miles. This airport is only one example of the huge increase in air travel in recent years. And, as long as the Coronavirus is still making headlines, flights will continue to be even cheaper.

They’ll be back

Because Subaru is a brand that prides itself on loyalty and longevity, we can expect that favorites Forester and Outback will be back on that list in the future. The Outback and Forester are both constants in many high mileage groups and will probably remain so. This is just a hiccup in a history where the Subaru Outback and Subaru Forester are some of the primary cars in mind when people think of cars most likely to drive up to 200k miles and beyond.