Kia vs. Subaru Reliability

Kia vs Subaru Reliability

Reliability remains one of the major factors that you must consider when buying a new vehicle. You will love a car that will last for years and be dependable on the road. No driver will want to spend bucks on a problematic car that offers little or no value.

Kia and Subaru are popular brands that are considered because of their reliability. Both brands produce vehicles that last a long time. But does Kia have good reliability? Are they better than Subaru?

Irrespective of Subaru's impressive build quality, traction, and fuel efficiency, Kia is more reliable than them. 

Although engine performance is relative on both brands, and Subaru beats Kia with slightly higher safety ratings, you are cheaper repair costs from Kia, better warranty coverage, and higher reliability ratings and dependability scores.

Here's all you need to know about the Kia vs. Subaru reliability and how to make a better choice.

Kia vs. Subaru Reliability: A Detailed Comparison

Opposite United, Characterful Designs
Adaptation, Rugged, dynamic performance, efficiency
Gas Mileage
Repair and Maintenance Cost
Kia cars last up to 200,000-250,000 miles with an average lifespan of 13-17 years.
Subaru cars can last up to 200,000 years with an estimated 13-17 years lifespan.
High Safety Ratings
Slightly Higher Rating
Engine and Performance

Kia vs. Subaru Reliability: Which Is Better?

It is a tight comparison between Kia and Subaru. Kia, which is a South Korean car brand, focuses on building stylish cars with impressive performance yet affordable. These vehicles are backed up with the best warranty coverage in the industry with a 10-year/100,000-mile warranty.

Subaru, a Japanese automaker, focuses on producing all-wheel-drive vehicles built to last and be dependable on the road.

With boxer engines, eyesight safety technology, and symmetrical All-wheel-drive (SAWD) systems, Subaru's engineering process guarantees durability, outstanding performance, and high-level traction.

Irrespective of how good both car brands are, you must understand that the varying features of both brands vary their reliability.

However, Kia is better than Subaru when it comes to reliability.

According to RepairPal, Kia ranks 3rd out of 32 car brands with a reliability rating of 4.0/5.0. Subaru takes a lower reliability rating of 3.5/5.0, ranking 14th out of 32 car brands.

Although you'll get a slightly higher safety rating on Subaru compared to Kia, Kia's cheaper repair cost and warranty coverage assure you a lower cost of ownership.

You are getting a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty on Kia vehicles and a 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty. This is better than Subaru, which gets 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain coverage and a 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty.

Kia's basic warranty is longer than Subaru's by two years, and the powertrain warranty is longer by five years. This can give you more peace of mind and shield you from expenses.

Gas mileage and engine performance are high on both brands, depending on the models you choose, but Subaru's limited lineup can limit getting cars that match your profile.

The durability standards are slightly higher on Kia, but you can rely on Subaru's horizontally-opposed boxer engines for extreme longevity.

Kia vs. Subaru Reliability: Design

Both Kia and Subaru adopt different design philosophies to personalize the design of their cars. Kia's design philosophy uses blending opposite elements to create disruptive concepts and contrasts that lead to characterful designs.

This inspires the use of innovation, lighting advancements, and in-car connectivity to create vehicles that users can connect and engage with.

Kia's designs tilt towards achieving stylish, practical, and functional designs, but Subaru aims to produce cars that adopt a rugged and adventurous look.

Subaru's design philosophy prioritizes safety, dynamic performance, and efficiency. You are getting intelligent, functional designs from Subaru cars.

Subaru's high-level reliability is powered by its all-wheel-drive system. The all-wheel-drive system achieves great traction and stability, an ideal choice for driving in snowy and slippery conditions.

With a Subaru, you are getting a system that distributes power evenly between the front and rear wheels, which helps to prolong the life of the transmission and other drivetrain components. Kia vehicles are mostly front-wheel drive.

You must understand that the variety of cars available for each brand differs greatly, and this affects your choice.

With Subaru, you are getting Sedans, SUVs, and sports cars. Kia offers sedans, coupes, and SUVs. Electric and hybrid models are available for each brand.

Both brands invest heavily in their manufacturing process, adopting superior levels of quality control and building better cars with durable materials.

Winner: Both

Kia vs. Subaru Reliability: Gas Mileage

Kia and Subaru have advanced fuel-saving technologies that achieve high fuel efficiency in their cars. Comparing the gas mileage of Kia and Subaru cars, it's a tie for both brands.

Kia has models that outperform Subaru's vehicles in gas mileage, just as Subaru does the same. Subaru has a more defined fuel-saving technology, and while this enhances the fuel economy of vehicles from Subaru, the difference could be clearer compared to Kia.

Subaru's vehicles are equipped with Lineartronic Continuously Variable Transmission, AWD systems, and boxer engines. These systems work together to ensure power and fuel conservation.

On the other hand, Kia equips its cars with turbocharged engines and advanced fuel-saving technology, which helps them achieve higher fuel efficiency. To fully understand the gas mileage of both brands, you need to compare their different models.

Kia Seltos returns better gas mileage than Subaru Crosstrek, but you are getting better gas mileage on Subaru Forester than on Kia Sportage.

To make the right decision, you must study the models you wish to buy, from any of the brands.

Winner: Both

Kia vs. Subaru Reliability: Safety and Technology

Both Kia and Subaru employ a wide range of advanced safety features to ensure passenger protection.

With Kia vehicles, you get forward collision warnings, lane departure warnings, and blind-spot monitoring. Subaru's vehicles come with a suite of safety features, known as EyeSight driver assist technology.

This integrates features like adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, pre-collision braking, and lots more.

Irrespective that both Kia and Subaru do not neglect passenger safety and technology, Subaru gets a slightly higher safety rating than Kia.

Eleven Subaru vehicles are earning the 2022 IIHS Top Safety Pick (+) award. This is compared to Kia, which has only ten cars.

Winner: Subaru

Kia vs. Subaru Reliability: Engine and Performance

The engine and performance of Kia and Subaru depend on the model that you choose. The 2023 Kia Sportage performs better than the 2023 Subaru Forester, but the 2023 Subaru Crosstrek has a better engine and performance than Kia Seltos.

You must understand that most Kia and Subaru models have two or three engine options with varying power, speed, and performance. Your choice and needs depend on your budget and needs.

Subaru adopts a unique engineering design, the use of boxer engines. is known for its durable and reliable boxer engines. These engines are known for their longevity and provide good power and performance.

On the other hand, Kia's engines vary in reliability depending on the model and the engine fitted. You might get a 1.5L four-cylinder engine or a 2.5L turbocharged engine. The power delivery is also different on the three engines.

Although Subaru engines are backed up with an AWD system that improves traction and balance, the level of performance you get from either Subaru or Kia depends on the model and the car's engine.

Winner: Both

Kia vs. Subaru Reliability: Repair and Maintenance Costs

Regarding repair and maintenance costs, Kia and Subaru are considered relatively affordable, but Kia is more affordable.

According to RepairPal, Kia has an average annual repair cost of $474 compared to Subaru, which has $617. The repair costs for both car brands are cheaper than the industry average.

With Subaru, you get a 13% probability of severe damage and a 0.3 chance of visiting the repair shop. Kia only gets 0.2 and 10%, respectively.

Subaru's all-wheel-drive system requires more maintenance to keep them running compared to Kia's front-wheel-drive vehicles. Warranty coverage is higher on Kia, so you have fewer worries about the cost of replacement, repairs, and replacement.

Winner: Kia


Kia and Subaru are great choices for new or used vehicles, depending on your preferences. With Kia, you are assured of better warranty coverage, cheaper repair and maintenance cost, and great standards for durability.

Subaru's AWD system and better safety system make it a great option. Although Kia is better than Subaru regarding reliability, the choice is yours.

You must research, study and analyze the different models from both car brands and decide which matches your needs and budget. Test driving the available cars will help you choose one that matches your profile and preferred driving conditions.