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Vehicles are rated on lots of different factors from overall scores to reliability to value to owner satisfaction. Looking at the owner satisfaction scores across all of a brand’s vehicles gives a view of how people feel about the brand’s total offerings. The good news for Subaru, which will be no surprise to its loyal customers, is that Subaru remains one of the most-liked car brands, according to Consumer Reports’ owner satisfaction survey.

Is Subaru a good car brand?

Consumer Reports came up with its list of brands owners love by asking owners if they’d definitely want to buy their same car over again. Owners were to consider factors like price, performance, reliability, comfort, and enjoyment.

The responses for each model were averaged to come up with the owner satisfaction for the brand. High scores for owner satisfaction don’t necessarily mean the models got high scores in other measures like reliability or safety.

The owner satisfaction results came from the 2020 Annual Auto Surveys, which collected results on 369,000 vehicles. It covers model years from 2018 to 2020 and some 2021 models.

Subaru is tied with Hyundai in fifth place. The company comes in behind Tesla, Lincoln, Ram, and Chrysler. Subaru also beats both Honda and Toyota.

While it didn’t come in first, Subaru had six models tested, which was more than any of the brands that placed ahead of it. This means that all of Subaru’s models are consistently liked by consumers.

Subaru has lots of well-liked models

Subaru has an overall owner satisfaction score of 75 based on its six models. That means that 75% of owners responded “definitely, yes” to the question of whether they would buy the same vehicle again given a do-over.

Subaru also earned four out of five in the driving and comfort categories. Driving indicates how owners feel about acceleration and handling, while comfort looks at seats, ride, and noise.

Subaru received three out of five for both cabin storage and value. Those categories reflect the storage spaces located between seats, in the dashboard, and in cup holders (but not in the trunk or cargo area) for cabin storage and whether the vehicle lived up to owners’ wishes given the purchase price for value. Subaru only fell below average in the in-car electronic category.

Consumer Reports looked at the Crosstrek, Forester, Outback, Legacy, Impreza, and Ascent from Subaru. For model years 2018 through 2021, the first four received four out of five scores for owner satisfaction and predicted owner satisfaction. The Impreza did receive mainly threes and one two out of five. The Ascent had a three out of five in 2019, its first year, but fours since then.

The Subaru Forester scored highest in owner satisfaction in the compact SUV category, beating competitors like the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V, even though those sell better, according to Torque News.

Torque News also reports that the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) places Subaru in second, tied with Honda, for customer satisfaction.

The company could have scored even better


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Subaru could have made owners even happier and placed better on Consumer Reports’ list. Subaru received just a one out of five for its in-car electronics from Consumer Reports.

That category looked at how easy it was for owners to use the infotainment system and Bluetooth. Brands ranked ahead of Subaru tended to have lower scores for Value and do a bit better in the in-car electronics category.

Subaru has dealt with problems with its Starlink infotainment system as well as its radio. Reported problems include screens that stop working, rearview cameras that freeze, and radio volumes that increase. Problems were widespread enough that owners filed a class-action lawsuit.

Subaru ranks in eighth on Consumer Reports’ list of reliable brands due to its strong lineup. Only the reliability of the Ascent holds it back. The Ascent doesn’t suffer for owner satisfaction though. It, along with its fellow models, helped Subaru tie for fifth on the list of most-liked car brands.