Subaru vs Mazda – reliability, maintenance, cost, safety comparison

It’s tough to choose between these two amazing brands when it comes to Subaru vs. Mazda.

Mazda is known for its sporty style and excellent performance. The brand offers a wide range of vehicles, from sedans to SUVs. Mazda’s vehicles are also known for their high safety ratings. On the other hand, Subaru is known for its all-wheel-drive vehicles and spacious interior.

So, which one is better when it comes to Mazda vs. Subaru?

Although it depends on your needs and preferences, Mazda is a better choice if you’re looking for a sporty vehicle with excellent performance. Subaru is better if you’re looking for an all-wheel-drive vehicle for getting lost in the wilderness.

Subaru vs. Mazda– major differences

Mazda and Subaru are both top contenders when it comes to reliability and safety. Both brands offer a variety of safety features, such as lane departure warnings and adaptive cruise control. Subaru models also come standard with all-wheel drive, which can be a lifesaver in extreme weather like snowfall or rain.

Mazda tends to be more fuel-efficient than its Subaru counterparts. If you’re looking to save money at the pump, a Mazda might be the way to go. Mazda SUVs and crossover SUVs also tend to have a sportier feel than Subaru SUVs. So if you’re looking for a more exciting ride and less fuel cost, a Mazda might be the better choice.

 As it might come down to individual models of each brand, here are a key difference between Subaru Impreza vs. Mazda3, both cars are manufactured with sedan and hatchback body styles.

  • Subaru Impreza is slightly larger than a vehicle and thus has more interior space than Mazda3.
  • Subaru Impreza also has a standard all-wheel drive, while the Mazda3 only offers front-wheel drive.
  • But one big difference is that The Mazda3 does have a slightly higher fuel economy than Subaru Impreza.
  • Mazda3 is also less expensive than Subaru Impreza.

Subaru vs. Mazda: Reliability

If you’re looking for a reliable car, you might be wondering whether to choose a Subaru or a Mazda. Both brands have a reputation for making quality vehicles, but which one is more reliable? To get an idea of which brand is more reliable, we looked at a few factors.

Dependability ratings

First, we looked at the J.D. Power and Associates Vehicle Dependability Study, which rates car brands on how many problems their vehicles have after three years of ownership. This is a very important benchmark ranking and needs to be taken seriously as it can indicate how many problems you are likely to face during your ownership of a car. Mazda is ranked 12th overall, while Subaru is ranked 24th, so Subaru owners are likely to face many more problems than Mazda owners.

Reliability ratings

Next, we looked at Consumer Reports’ reliability ratings for 2021. Mazda came out at the top of the list with 83 out of 100. Mazda hasn’t done too bad, but they ranked far behind Mazda, at the 8th place with a score that was quite lower, getting 57 out of 100. So Mazda is ahead of Subaru in this ranking as well.

Warranty coverage

Finally, we looked at warranty coverage. Subaru offers a standard five-year/60,000-mile warranty on all of its vehicles. Mazda’s warranty is shorter, at three years/36,000 miles. However, Mazda does offer an extended warranty option that brings the coverage up to five years/60,000 miles.

The Verdict

So, which brand has got more reliability? Based on the data, it looks like Mazda outplaces Subaru and has the edge for overall reliability.

Subaru vs. Mazda maintenance cost

To understand the difference in maintenance costs, let’s compare the two brands’ flagship models: the Subaru Outback and the Mazda CX-5.

Fuel cost

The Outback is a larger vehicle than the CX-5, so it’s not surprising that it has a higher maintenance cost. According to Subaru, the Outback requires an oil change every 7,500 miles or 12 months, whichever comes first. This costs an average of $60-$80.

Tire change and cost

The Outback needs a tire rotation every 7,500 miles, which costs about $50. The CX-5 has a slightly different maintenance schedule. Mazda recommends an oil change every 7,500 miles or 12 months, whichever comes first. The CX-5 also needs a tire rotation every 7,500 miles, but Mazda recommends that this be done simultaneously with the oil change, saving time and money. The cost of an oil change and tire rotation for the CX-5 is about $70.

The Verdict

If you do a lot of driving, the CX-5 may be better because it has a lower overall maintenance cost. However, if you don’t do a lot of driving, the Outback may be the better choice since it has a lower per-mile maintenance cost.

Subaru vs. Mazda: Safety

Subaru has been consistently ranked as one of the safest car brands by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. But Mazda has also received good safety ratings from the IIHS and other organizations. In terms of specific safety features, both brands offer a lot of the same things, such as airbags, stability control, and traction control.

However, Subaru does have some features that Mazda doesn’t offer, such as a blind spot monitoring system and a rear-view camera.

So, which brand is better when it comes to safety? Subaru might be the better choice if you want the latest and greatest safety features.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is Mazda or Subaru better?

Although it will depend on each car model and factors like your personal needs, Mazda outperforms the Subaru, cost-wise and maintenance-wise. Although subaru might seem like a better option for harsh climates, fuel and maintenance costs make it the least viable option between Subaru and Mazda.

Are Subarus less reliable?

Although Subaru ranks quite behind Mazda, it doesn’t mean Subarus are any less reliable. Subaru has fixed its notorious head gasket problem and is consistently trying to improve its performance. Subaru has quite a few perks to offer if you can afford to spend more on fuel, like a spacious interior and more safety features. As for reliability, Subaru is still one of the best car brands out there, despite being outranked by Mazda.

Does Mazda have good reliability?

Absolutely! Mazda has made quite a big jump on the consumer reports reliability ratings as it has been ranked as the top brand. This proves that Mazda has been working quite consistently to improve the reliability of their cars. 

Do Subarus have a lot of problems?

No, Subaru cars do not have a lot of problems. In fact, they are known for being extremely reliable. However, like any car, they will eventually have some issues.

Consumer Reports has reported that some Subaru models have had issues with the brakes, transmission, and engine. However, these problems are relatively rare. If you’re considering buying a Subaru, do your research and read reviews to see if there have been any common issues with the model you’re interested in.

Final Words

Overall, both Mazda and Subaru cars are very dependable and will last you for many years to come. But if you ask me to pick either one of them, considering reliability, maintenance and safety, I will certainly pick Mazda any day. Based on all the data and personal experience of many veteran car owners, Mazda certainly got better reliability than Subaru. 


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