Subaru Vs Mazda Reliability: A Detailed Comparison

Subaru vs Mazda Reliability

When deciding between Subaru and Mazda, reliability is a key factor.

We'll take a close look at how Subaru and Mazda stack up in terms of durability, common repair needs, and what drivers really think about their vehicles.

This comparison will give you a straightforward perspective on which brand - Subaru or Mazda - tends to be more reliable, helping you make an informed choice for your next car.

Let's get started.

Subaru Vs. Mazda Reliability

AWD systems and Boxer engines
Elegance and Simplicity
Repair and Maintenance Cost
The average lifespan of a Subaru is 13-17 years and 150,000 - 200,000 in mileage.
Mazda cars last long. They can last between 200,000 to 250,000 miles, with an average lifespan of 13-17 years.
Gas Mileage
High Safety Ratings
High Safety Ratings

Which is Better: Subaru or Mazda?

The reliability of Subaru vs. Mazda has been a dogfight for a couple of years. In 2021, Mazda was named the most reliable car brand by Consumer reports, with a reliability score of 83/100. This year, Subaru was recently recognized as the 2022 most reliable car, with an overall score of 81.

However, on a reliability study of used cars, Subaru ranks 12th, while Mazda ranks 8th. Other reliability survey sites, like Repairpal and JD power, believe that Mazda is better. Mazda is positioned as the 12th dependable car, while Subaru is 24th.

Considering different metrics, we believe that Mazda is better than Subaru and also more reliable. There are many great things about Mazda cars that make us believe that they are underrated, a car brand that is not getting its deserved attention. Subaru boasts of boxer engines that achieve smooth acceleration, great traction, and an optimized center of gravity.

But with Mazda, you have the Skyactiv technology that delivers an impressive level of fuel economy. You also enjoy the benefits of a low repair and maintenance cost, extreme durability, and premium safety features. For next-level driving dynamics, Mazda combines its SkyActiv technology and G-vectoring control system to give drivers an experience that they will never forget.

Mazda and Subaru are great cars, but when it comes to overall reliability, Mazda is better.

Subaru Vs. Mazda Reliability: Design

Mazda offers better designs than Subaru. Many Subaru owners believe that the car is made of trash and not worthy of recommendations. Well, the speculations are not as true as they are told.

Subaru has some great designs, especially on the exteriors. Although there have been improvements in the design reliability of Subaru cars, this does not in any way compare to what is obtainable from Mazda.

Mazda’s design borders on elegance. The Mazda design philosophy builds on different designs. The Mazda Kodo design features a progressive design strategy that aims for perfection and user integration.

The Mazda design team builds its car to breathe life into it. What stands out with Subaru’s design is the integration of AWD and their popular boxer engines. However, there isn’t much emphasis on the design of Subaru cars. Mazda employs professionals and skillful experts to deliver the best from exteriors to interiors.

Winner: Mazda

Subaru Vs. Mazda Reliability: Repair and Maintenance Cost

It is cheaper to maintain/repair a Mazda car than a Subaru car. According to Repairpal, the average annual cost of repairing a Mazda is $462, while Subaru costs $617. The average cost of repairing and maintaining a Subaru car is cheaper than what is obtainable from other car models, but it is costlier than the cost of ownership of Mazda.

You must also understand that with a Subaru car, you have an average 0.3 chance of visiting the serviceman for minor repairs and a 13% probability of severe damages. Mazda has a 10% probability of severe damages and a 0.4 chance of minor repairs.

Winner: Mazda

Subaru Vs. Mazda Reliability: Durability

There is no doubt that Mazda cars are more durable than Subaru cars. You can expect your Subaru car to last up to 200,000 miles, with the engines lasting up to 150,000 miles. This is a setback considering that Mazda cars can last up to 200,000 miles, with their engines lasting up to 300,000 miles and even 350,000 miles if you are big on maintenance.

You can easily expect your Mazda car to last beyond 150,000 miles without any major repairs, unlike a Subaru.

Winner: Mazda

Subaru Vs. Mazda Reliability: Engine and Performance

Engine and Performance is a category that offers Subaru and Mazda cars a fair ground. These car brands design their cars to achieve high-level performance, great speed, and smooth and quiet rides.

Subaru utilizes the use of All-wheel-drive and its boxer engines. These cars are able to maintain great handling, traction, and control even in winter or snow conditions. You can also get your Subaru car to drive through dirt roads without worrying about its performance. This makes Subaru good for even off-road driving.

Although Subaru makes use of CVT, Mazda was smart enough to avoid the use of CVT “transmissions,” considering how problematic those systems have been. For maximum performance, Subaru backs up its Lineartronic CVT with an intelligent drive system to deliver the best experience in every condition.

Subaru uses boxer engines to achieve a lowered center of gravity and reduce the chance of damage in the event of a crash or collision. These engines achieve smooth acceleration with a reduced chance of rolling. These Subaru boxer engines are designed to a horizontal plane design that sustains the oil retention in the cylinder to reduce wear and tear in cold conditions.

Mazda harnesses the use of a strong yet light body chassis for improved aerodynamics, nimbleness at low speed, and stability at high speed. You achieve a wholesome level of traction, power, control, and engine strength when driving a Mazda or Subaru car.

Winner: Both

Subaru Vs. Mazda Reliability: Gas Mileage

Subaru achieves great gas mileage, but Mazda does it better. The Mazda SkyActiv is one of the best fuel systems, better than what almost all car brands provide. Mazda’s fuel efficiency was so good that it earned the EPA fuel-efficiency award in 2016.

There is no Mazda car that doesn’t return an impressive level of fuel economy. It all looks like the Mazda team understands how costly gas is, so it was necessary to put users into consideration by offering a fuel system they can rely on.

Mazda poses as the only car that allows “hard driving” without burning so much gas. The Skyactiv technology optimizes your engine performance to allow only 30% gas consumption from your car. The extensive press on internal combustion increases the compression ratio, and the air-fuel mixture makes Mazda cars press out as much energy as possible from each drop of gas.

Winner: Mazda

Subaru Vs. Mazda Reliability: Safety and Technology

Mazda and Subaru cars are great choices when it comes to safety. We can’t simply place one above the other. There is the use of the eyesight driver assist technology on Subaru cars, just as Mazda makes use of preventive, basic, and collision safety technologies.

Although the levels of safety technologies on both car brands are not the same, the ratings are impressive. Subaru has high IIHS ratings, just like Mazda, although Mazda earns only the highest IIHS safety rating, the Top Safety pick+ rating.

Winner: Both


There are a lot of good reasons to own a Subaru car. But you must consider areas that Mazda performs better than them. Your choice in getting a Subaru or Mazda car should lie on if you want an AWD car or a fuel-efficient system.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Mazda and Subaru the same company?

No. Mazda and Subaru may look similar, but they are products of two different manufacturers. You must understand that Mazda and Subaru have similar Japanese Origins, but different companies own them. Subaru is owned by Fuji Heavy Industries, while Mazda is owned by Mazda Motor Corporation.

Do Mazdas hold their value?

Yes. Due to its fuel economy, gas and diesel engine systems, and development, Mazda is one of the few cars that holds its value. However, the rate of depreciation and value retention of Mazda cars is not the same for all models. You should expect up to 76 -77% resale value from Mazda cars.

Are Subarus hard to get?

Yes. Subaru cars are not popular and readily available in all parts of the world. This also affects the possibility of getting their spare parts in all regions.