The Least Reliable Subaru Models Don’t Have to be Deal Breakers

While Subaru may be known for reliability, not all of this year’s models earned high-reliability ratings from Consumer Reports. But should those less than impressive reliability ratings be a deal-breaker? Not necessarily. We’ll tell you why.

2021 Subaru Outback parked in a foggy lot
The 2021 Subaru Outback earned surprisingly average reliability ratings. | Subaru

These Subaru models earned frustratingly average reliability ratings

While Subaru may be known for its lineup of reliable sedans and SUVs, not all models among this year’s lineup earned high-reliability ratings. In fact, most models earned frustratingly average reliability ratings from Consumer Reports. Take, for instance, the 2021 Subaru Outback. While this year’s model ranks near the top of its segment, it only earned a three out of five predicted reliability rating from Consumer Reports

The Subaru Impreza and the Subaru Legacy earned some pretty average reliability ratings too. Both models earned a three out of five reliability rating from Consumer Reports. For the Subaru Legacy, that shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. Last year’s model also earned a three out of five reliability rating.

As for the Subaru Impreza? Its predicted reliability rating is actually higher than last year’s scores. While this year earned a three out of five reliability rating, the 2020 Subaru Impreza earned a disappointing two out of five reliability verdict from Consumer Reports.

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The 2021 Subaru WRX struggles when it comes to reliability ratings

While a handful of Subaru models earned fairly average reliability ratings from Consumer Reports, the 2021 Subaru WRX was unable to manage such a feat. In fact, according to Consumer Reports, this year’s new model was only able to manage a two out of five reliability rating. Unfortunately, Consumer Reports neglected to dive into the WRX’s most common trouble spots too, so its low-reliability rating is a bit of a mystery. 

The 2021 Subaru Ascent is the least reliable Subaru according to Consumer Reports

As for the least reliable Subaru among this year’s lineup? That honor goes to the 2021 Subaru Ascent, which earned a lowly one out of five predicted reliability rating from Consumer Reports. But, as it turns out, the Subaru Ascent has struggled with reliability for kind of a while. Last year’s model earned a two out of five reliability verdict. Much like this year’s model, the 2019 Subaru Ascent also earned a one out of five reliability rating.

As for its most common trouble spots? There are a few of them. While the Subaru Ascent has shown improvements over previous model years, Consumer Reports predicts that this year’s model will face problems with its transmission and its power equipment. 

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Does this mean you should avoid buying a Subaru?

Average reliability ratings don’t have to be a deal-breaker. Take, for example, the 2021 Subaru Outback. While it did earn a three out of five reliability rating, Consumer Reports did give it a four out of five predicted owner satisfaction rating. The Subaru Legacy earned a similar owner satisfaction rating. Not to mention, according to Subaru, 97% of Subaru vehicles sold in the last 10 years are still on the road today. So while some Subaru models earned less than impressive reliability ratings from Consumer Reports, it’s not all bad news.