Subaru vs Honda – Reliability, maintenance, cost, safety

There are a lot of different car brands out there, and each one has its pros and cons.  But among all the brands, Subaru and Honda stand out.  These two brands have a lot to offer as they are consistently ranked among the most reliable car brands, but if you are to pick one, which one should you pick?  Although Subaru and honda are quite similar in many aspects, there certainly are some key differences between these two brands.  Knowing these major differences between Subaru vs honda reliability or maintenance will help you decide which one to choose.

Subaru vs honda– major differences


One of the biggest factors people consider when choosing a car is price.  And when it comes to price, Subaru and Honda are both very competitive.  The problem is that both brands offer almost the same type of vehicles, from budget-friendly options to luxury models.  It becomes even harder to pick either one of them as even their pricing is quite similar.  But overall, Subaru cars cost a little bit less than honda. 

Fuel Economy

One of the most important factors to consider is fuel economy.  If you’re looking for a car that will save you money at the pump, you’ll want to pay close attention to fuel economy.  In general, Subaru has more vehicles with better fuel economy than Honda vehicles.  So, if fuel efficiency is a top priority for you, then Subaru might be the better option.


Subaru vehicles are built with all-wheel drive, while Honda offers front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive on some models.  This gives Subaru an advantage in traction and stability in all types of weather and driving conditions.

Subaru vehicles are known for their high resale value, while Honda vehicles depreciate more over time.

Subaru has better infotainment technology as it is intuitive and includes Starlink integration.

Subaru vs honda reliability 

You want to choose a car that will be dependable and last for many years to come.  So checking on the reliability of the specific car model or even the brand you have in mind can be good.  But the problem is that Subaru and honda are both extremely identical in most rankings.

We can observe this trend on various rankings like JD powers dependability rating.  Subaru ranks just two spots ahead of honda.  This rating measures how many problems car owners face in their first three years of ownership.  Subaru owners reported facing 226 problems while honda owners face 230 problems on average.  So the difference is not that much.

Subaru vs honda warranty

Subaru offers a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty, while Honda offers a similar powertrain warranty for four years or 50,000 miles.  Both companies also offer roadside assistance for the length of the powertrain warranty.

But when it comes to coverage for other components, Subaru and Honda differ slightly.  Subaru provides a three-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, while Honda only covers bumper-to-bumper repairs for three years or 36,000 miles on vehicles with the HondaCare extended warranty.

Subaru vs honda maintenance cost

Parts cost

Subaru parts tend to be more expensive than Honda parts because Subaru vehicles are generally more complex.  This means that more labor is required to perform repairs, and thus the overall cost is higher.


In addition, Subaru vehicles require more frequent servicing than Honda vehicles.  This is because Subaru vehicles are designed to be driven in more extreme conditions, such as off-road or inclement weather.  This puts additional strain on the vehicle, and thus more frequent service is required to keep it running properly.

cost of labor

The cost of labor is another important metric for car owners.  Subaru dealerships tend to charge more for labor than Honda dealerships.  This is partly because Subaru vehicles are more complex and thus require more time and expertise to service.

Subaru vs honda: Which one has more maintenance cost?

When all factors are considered, it is clear that Subaru vehicles tend to cost more to maintain than Honda vehicles.  However, this cost is offset because Subaru vehicles are generally more reliable and longer-lasting than Honda vehicles.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is Subaru more reliable than Honda?

When it comes to reliability, Subaru and Honda are both solid choices.  However, honda vehicles are generally more reliable than Subaru vehicles.  This is not because Subaru cars are any less reliable or lack quality compared to honda.  It is simply because Honda has to offer many different and reliable vehicles for you to choose from in various market segments like midsize SUVs, midsize cars and hybrids, and EVs.

Why is Subarus so unreliable?

In recent years, the company has been facing some serious challenges.  The company has been hit by several high-profile recalls, which have damaged its reputation for reliability.

Subaru’s products have become less competitive as well.  Subaru no longer offers the best value for the money in many segments.  Although it still has a few performance cars, its other models often lag behind cars from other manufacturers. 

 Is Subarus the most reliable car brand?

Although Subaru doesn’t enjoy unparalleled fame for being one of the most reliable car manufacturers, it still has some good cars.  Based on data from Consumer Reports, here’s a look at some of the most dependable cars from this brand.

Subaru Outback

The Subaru Outback is a reliable vehicle that’s built for adventure.  It’s perfect for those who love to explore off the beaten path, as it can handle all sorts of terrain.  It has a strong track record of being one of the most dependable cars.

Subaru Forester

The Subaru Forester is another SUV that’s known for its dependability.  It’s often ranked as one of the most reliable SUVs.

Subaru Legacy

The Subaru Legacy is a midsize car that’s known for being dependable.  It’s often praised as one of the most reliable midsize cars on the market, and it comes equipped with Subaru’s famous all-wheel drive.

Are Subarus safer than Honda?

When it comes to safety, both Subaru and Honda are excellent choices.  Both brands offer a wide range of safety features, from advanced technologies like airbags to cutting-edge collision avoidance systems, emergency braking, and lane departure warning.  Subaru includes the  EyeSight suite for standard driver-assistance features, whereas Honda equips cars with Honda Sensing.  So which one is better when it comes to Subaru vs honda safety?  While there is no winner with a decisive edge over one another, Subaru ranks ahead of Honda in this aspect.  So, if you’re looking for a car solely based on safety, Subaru might be the better option.

Final verdict

Subaru has struggled to reach beyond its traditional base of older, white, rural customers in recent years.  It has failed to connect with younger, more diverse audiences.  But their ineffective marketing is not what makes them fall behind brands like honda.  They have failed to adapt to changing consumer tastes.  Although SUV sales have been booming in recent years, Subaru has been slow to add new SUVs to its lineup.

So between Subaru vs honda, honda is a better pick as Subaru is simply unable to compete with honda as they don’t cover so many different markets despite their being equally strong competitors.  Although Subaru got some individual car models like the Forester or Outback, Subaru doesn’t have an answer to Honda in most of the segments.


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