Subaru vs Toyota – Reliability, Maintenance cost, Safety compared

There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a car, and reliability is one of them. Toyota and Subaru are incredibly popular car brands in the USA and worldwide. But how do Subaru and Toyota stack up against each other when it comes to reliability? Both brands score almost identical in virtually all the metrics and have a good reputation for reliability. But Toyota may have the edge over Subaru considering reliability and maintenance cost. It is not due to overall brand performance, but different Toyota models performing better than Subarus.

What are the major differences between Subaru and Toyota?

Subaru vehicles are a bit more expensive than Toyota vehicles. Although Toyota does have some pretty expensive models, Toyota cars are a bit cheaper overall. Subaru vehicles are known for their durability and off-road capability, while Toyota vehicles are known for reliability and fuel efficiency.

Subaru vehicles are built with all-wheel drive, while Toyota offers all-wheel and front-wheel drive options. So Toyota tends to be more versatile than Subaru when offering different types of cars.

  •  You can find Toyota spare parts more easily than Subaru
  • Toyota got more dealerships available in the USA than Subaru
  • Subaru scored better than Toyota and came out in third place in Consumer Reports Score.
  • Subaru is notorious for its expensive engine repair cost and head gasket issue.
  • There are a lot more technicians and mechanics who got experience fixing Toyota cars than Subarus

Subaru vs. Toyota reliability

Although it all comes down to individual models, Toyota ranks ahead of Subaru in the Uk based reliability index and also in the JD power award’s dependability test. Then again, Subaru scored better in the consumer report score than Toyota. So as those rankings can’t decide which one is better, we can weigh in other factors like longevity, handling, and quality of components to decide which one got more reliable.

Quality of Components

Subaru’s all-wheel-drive system is also generally considered to be superior to Toyota. Its AWD system provides better traction and stability in driving conditions, including snow and rain. But that doesn’t mean Toyota components are any less good. Toyota car parts are known to last longer and require less maintenance.

Handling and oil change

Subaru’s vehicles also tend to be more fun to drive, thanks to their sportier handling and sharper steering. Also, both Subaru and Toyota recommend changing your oil every 5,000 miles or so. But Subaru engines tend to be more forgiving if you go a little longer between changes. Toyota engines are more sensitive and will show signs of wear and tear sooner if you don’t stay on top of your oil changes.

Ease of Maintenance

Subaru and Toyota are again pretty similar when it comes to other routine maintenance tasks, like changing your air filter or rotating your tires. If you like to do your maintenance and don’t mind getting your hands dirty, then either Subaru or Toyota will be good. But if you’d prefer to leave the maintenance to the professionals, then Toyota might be the better option.

Resale value

In this area, Toyota has a clear advantage over Subaru. Toyota cars tend to hold their value better than Subaru cars. It is likely because Toyota has a stronger reputation for reliability and quality.

Subaru vs Toyota – Safety

Although Toyota is a bit ahead in most of the rankings and metrics, Subaru is certainly ahead of Toyota when it comes to safety. Subaru cars come with more safety features than Toyota, which has good safety features but still catching up with Subaru.

Subaru vs Toyota – Maintenance costs

It’s important to consider the type of vehicle you’re looking at. Both Subaru and Toyota offer a wide range of vehicles, from sedans to SUVs, and each type of vehicle has different maintenance needs. For example, an SUV will need more regular maintenance than a sedan.

Annual maintenance cost

According to RepairPal, the average annual maintenance cost is $652. It includes both routine maintenance and unexpected repairs. On the other hand, Toyota has an average annual maintenance cost of $531.

Fuel cost

First, consider the frequency of required maintenance for each type of vehicle. Subaru vehicles typically require more frequent oil changes than Toyota vehicles, so that may be something to factor in as it will cost you more fuel if you pick Subaru over Toyota. Also, if you use models that have been manufactured after 2011, these models require the use of synthetic oil. Synthetic oil is more expensive than regular oil, and it makes Subaru cars costlier than Toyota cars.

Parts cost and labor cost

Another key factor to consider is the cost of parts and labor for each type of vehicle. Subaru parts and labor tend to be more expensive than Toyota. This is especially true for luxury models like the Subaru Outback.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Are Subarus more expensive to maintain?

Subarus tend to have more expensive parts than other cars, which can add up over time. Subaru cars often require more frequent servicing than other brands, which contributes to the maintenance cost.

Is Subaru more reliable than Toyota?

While both Toyota and Subaru vehicles are built to last, Subaru models are specifically designed for all-wheel drive. This makes them better equipped to handle weather and road conditions. Subaru vehicles are equipped with Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. This system evenly distributes power to all four wheels, which helps to prevent wheel slippage and improve traction.

So, while Toyota may be more reliable overall, Subaru is the better choice if you’re looking for an all-wheel-drive vehicle. So it all comes down to your intended use.

Do Subarus last as long as Toyotas?

When it comes to longevity, Toyota may have the edge. However, Subaru vehicles are designed to withstand harsh weather and tough driving conditions. The problem with Subaru cars is the engine. Toyota engines are far more reliable than Subaru. Toyota engines don’t break down after a few years of use. Even if it goes bad, it is far less costly to repair than Subaru engines. So Toyota cars are ideal for drivers who want a car that will last for years and require less maintenance cost.

Do Subarus have a lot of problems?

Subarus are generally very reliable cars. However, like any other car, they can have their fair share of issues. So it’s important to do your research before buying one.

If you have any problems with your Subaru, the company is usually pretty good about fixing them. Subaru has a good reputation for standing behind their products and taking care of their customers.

So, if you’re still worried about potential problems with a Subaru, remember that every car has its risks. So, no matter what brand you choose, do your homework and make a well-informed decision.

Is buying a used Subaru a good idea?

Used Subarus can be a great value, but a few things to watch out for.

First, check for any recalls on the model you’re considering. Subaru has had a few recalls in recent years, so it’s important to make sure any used Subaru you’re considering is up to date on its recall repairs.

Second, take a look at the car’s service history. If possible, get a copy of the car’s maintenance records from the previous owner. This will give you a good idea of how well the car has been cared for.

Finally, take the car for a test drive. Pay attention to how it feels and make sure all the controls are easy to use.

Final Words

So, which brand is more reliable? It depends on your specific needs and preferences. If you want a less likely car to need repairs, then Toyota may be the better choice.

However, if you don’t mind taking your car in for occasional repairs, Subaru may be a good option.


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