How Long Do Subarus Last? [Outback, Impreza, Forester and More]

The Subaru brand is reliable. It has long been one of the preferred choices for many people across the states and elsewhere. So, how long can you expect a Subaru to last?

An adequately maintained Subaru can easily last 200,000 miles. It can even last up to 300,000 miles in perfect conditions, say mild weather or level terrain. You must stick with the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule to the letter to make it even last longer. 98% of Subaru vehicles sold in the last ten years are still on the road today. 

Read on to learn more about the lifespan of Subarus, how reliable they are, and what you can do to maintain a Subaru car properly. 

Subaru Life Expectancy

how long do subarus last
Subaru Outback

Can Travel Around 200,000–300,000 Miles

Subarus have long had a reputation for being long-lasting and reliable cars. Expect a well-maintained Subaru to travel 200,000–300,000 miles and last for more than 15 years. The company boasts that 98% of its vehicles sold in the last ten years are still in use today.

Part of the Subaru Corporation

Subaru is part of the Subaru Corporation, a Japanese company that was once known as Fuji Heavy Industries, and is noted for its durability and commitment. 

One of the Most Recognizable Car Brands in the United States

Subaru is one of the most recognizable car brands in the United States because most cars are designed for rugged terrain and mountainous locations.

Among the Most Cost-effective and Reliable Vehicles in the Sports Car Industry

Moreover, Subarus are cheap, dependable, and high-quality. No wonder why they are among the most cost-effective and reliable vehicles in the sports car industry. Their off-road capabilities and drivetrain engines are what draw many drivers to them.

Has Had a Lot of Ups and Downs in Recent Years

With that being said, Subaru has had a lot of ups and downs in recent years, and its reliability ratings plummeted back in 2016. But, since then, things have begun to improve for them dramatically.

It is difficult to beat the Subaru boxer engine’s top-notch performance and layout, commitment to safety, and well-crafted engineering and technology. Subaru consistently delivers on its goal of providing the best driving experience possible. 

Subaru Mileage Range

Majority Undergone Maintenance Work After 150,000 Miles

Even though many Subaru cars have passed the 200,000 miles threshold, practically all have undergone significant maintenance work after 150,000 miles.

It’s fair to say that the mileage limit is mostly determined by what you consider to be an acceptable repair cost. Higher mileage will certainly increase the danger of major failure, which leads to some extra costs that might well outweigh the vehicle’s value. 

Initial Mileage Limit

As a general rule of thumb, you’ll reach your initial mileage limit with Subaru when you travel 150,000 to 200,000 miles. You can surely go beyond this limit when you do all the necessary maintenance work on time. 

Proof of Subaru’s Reliability

All of the decades-old Subaru vehicles that are still on the road today are a true testament to the company’s long-standing reputation of being a reliable car manufacturer.

It’s not uncommon to see a well-kept “Subaru Legacy” from the 1990s or “an Impreza” from the early 2000s driving down the highway or on snowy roads.


Although the design is always a matter of opinion, many people agree that Subaru cars never go out of style and can quickly become classics in their own right.

How to Prolong the Lifespan of Subaru

How you use and drive your car will greatly impact its lifespan. Follow the tips below, and your Subaru will last as long as possible:

1. Regularly Check the Engine

Check the engine regularly and see how it performs. Any engine failure could significantly harm the normal operation of your Subaru. Even minor issues will ultimately shorten the lifespan of your car. 

2. Keep the Filters Clean

The quality of the filters will determine how many miles a Subaru can travel, so it is imperative to keep them clean and monitor their efficiency. Also, if the filters are not in the proper state, make sure to alter them.

3. Regularly Conduct Oil Change

Regularly changing the oil is one of the easiest yet most effective ways to maintain your Subaru in good condition. Failure to change the oil can result in serious issues and thousands of dollars in damage.

Always change the oil if you drive more than 3,000 miles. Otherwise, the engine may slowly deteriorate. While spending money on frequent oil changes may seem counterintuitive, you’ll save a lot more money in the long run than if you blow the engine.

4. Tires

Well-maintained tires will help improve the performance of your Subaru and thus extend its lifespan. So, replace your tires at regular intervals and season-wise. 

Also, never compromise on tire quality because it could affect the overall performance.

5. Fluid Levels

Some car owners are unaware of how essential it is to maintain proper fluid levels. For instance, your engine generates heat as you drive down the road, so the coolant will keep the engine from overheating. It also prevents the engine from freezing in a power outage.

You could potentially save a lot of money in the long run by maintaining proper fluid levels. We recommend that you check the following now and then: 

  • Coolant
  • Power steering fluid 
  • Transmission fluid
  • Brake fluid

6. Power Steering Pump

Distributes Fluid to Various Parts of Your Vehicle

Turning the wheel is undoubtedly one of the most basic driving activities, and we take it for granted at times. A power steering pump distributes fluid to various parts of your vehicle.

Lack of Smoothness

When the power steering pump fails or breaks down, you will notice the lack of smoothness when driving, especially at lower speeds. 

Power Steering Pump’s Life Expectancy

Of course, it’s difficult to predict how long the power steering pump will survive because you will have to consider many other things, such as pump quality and driving habits. On average, the power steering pump has a life expectancy of approximately 65,000 miles.

Check the Pump After Driving More Than 10,000 Miles

We recommend checking the power steering pump whenever you drive more than 10,000 miles to improve the overall lifespan of your Subaru.

Again, how long do Subarus last? Subarus can last around 200,000+ miles or 13+ years, and that is if you follow your routine maintenance schedule. The brand is famous for its reliability, long service life, and low ownership cost. So, it ranks #1 due to the value the brand provides.

Subaru Main Problems

how long will subarus last
Subaru Forester

1. Excessive Use of Oil

High oil consumption is one of Subaru’s main issues, as it is for most car manufacturers.

While the company stated publicly that 1 quart per 1,000 miles should not raise any red flags, some drivers did not quite get it. 

Expect Your Car to Burn More Oil as It Gets Older

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­But, you should expect your car to burn more oil as it gets older. Any car with more than 100,000 miles on it, for example, should experience oil burning.

Subarus That Are Most Likely to Consume a Lot of Oil

It is hard to estimate the number of Subaru cars affected by this issue. But, here is a list of Subarus that are most likely to consume a lot of oil:

  • Fifth Generation Subaru Legacy
  • Second Generation Subaru Forester
  • Fourth Generation Subaru Forester

2. Ring Lands Forming on the 2.5-liter Engine

The 2.5 turbo engine has long been known as a troublesome engine. While it is not as horrible as most people think, this engine does tend to break down now and then.

What happens is that the ring lands on the piston prevent the air from entering the crankcase. If those ring lands were damaged, the engine’s efficiency would suffer dramatically.

Moreover, as soon as the oil gets to the combustion engine, your car will immediately start to burn it. 

This is a significant issue, and the repair cost is high because you will have to dismantle the whole engine to solve this problem.

3. Head Gasket Issues

Have you ever come across a car that appears too good to be true until you learn that the previous owner claims the head gasket blew?

A head gasket is a seal that goes on the engine’s bottom. Coolant and engine oil could seep into the cylinders when this seal fails or gets damaged. This will ultimately lead to a less smooth ride.

It’s also difficult to replace the head gasket, let alone it is rather expensive. To replace one, you will need to disassemble the whole engine. This takes an absurd amount of time, and it can cost up to $1,600.

4. Melting Dashboards 

This happens when you leave your car in the sun for an extended period. It can cost you around $1,000 to fix.

5. Involuntary Movement

You can’t be a top car manufacturer without having some controversies. Consumers worldwide have reported a perplexing and inconvenient situation where their car moves forward without the driver pressing the accelerator pedal. What causes this is still unknown. 

The following is a list of some of the models that have had this problem:

  • Forester 
  • Outback 
  • Legacy 

Subaru Maintenance Tips

1. Belts

Check your car’s belts for cracks and missing components with the engine turned off. Press down on the belt with your thumb to check for proper tension. If it is sagging more than half an inch, you need to tighten it.

2. Hoses

When cold, inspect your car’s hoses for bulges, cracks, soft areas, or brittleness. You can also look for bulges or leaks while the engine is running (but don’t touch them). If any are found, replace the hose straight away.

Note: Do not attempt to replace air conditioning hoses on your own. Their pressurized gases have the potential to cause serious harm.

3. Coolant

Examine the overflow tank to determine the level of coolant in your radiator. Maintaining a 50/50 antifreeze mixture will keep your engine cool in hot weather and protect it from damage when temperatures drop below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Note: You must switch off the engine before removing the radiator cap.

4. Oil

Change your oil and filter as recommended in your Subaru’s car manual. Use the suggested oil grade as well.

5. Power Steering Fluid

Pull out the dipstick, clean it, and then re-insert it to check its level. Add the appropriate steering fluid to the upper-level mark if it is below the “hot” range.

Note: Contact your Subaru dealer if the fluid level is dangerously low or if the fluid has been replenished.

6. Brake Fluid 

Check the fluid level on the tank and use the lines on the reservoir as your guide. If the level is below MIN, top it up with brake fluid from a sealed container. When there’s a leak, you’ll notice a considerable decline in fluid levels. 

Brake fluid takes moisture from the air and then converts it to heat. Any excessive moisture absorbed can affect how well the brakes operate.

Also, if you refill your brake fluid tank very frequently, there could be a leak. So, It’s best to contact your local Subaru dealer straight away.

7. Air Filter

Check your air filter for accumulated debris regularly, particularly when experiencing harsh weather conditions and high humidity levels.

8. Battery

Regularly inspect your battery terminals and clean any corrosion with a toothbrush, baking soda, and water solution.

9. Tires

Check your tire pressure every other month or so. Maintain proper tire inflation according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Moreover, make sure your car’s wipers, windshield washers, and lights are working correctly. You can use isopropyl alcohol to clean the wiper blades.


how long do subaru imprezas last

Can a Subaru Car Last 20 Years?

Your Subaru can travel between 250,000 and 300,000 miles when properly maintained and used responsibly. In other words, it has a 15,000-mile yearly mileage and great reliability ratings. Therefore, it can certainly survive 16–20 years before breaking down.

How Long Does a Subaru Outback Last?

The Outback is a solid choice for most drivers and one of the top SUVs on the market. 

It can survive for 14 to 20 years, but you must perform routine maintenance. 

It easily lasts 200,000 miles, but it can travel far beyond 250,000 miles with proper care before showing indications of wear and tear.

How Long Does a Subaru Forester Last?

It is a long-lasting car with a range of 200,000 to 250,000 miles. So, you can drive at least 15,000 miles per year, and it should survive between 14 and 19 years.

When it comes to which model year is the best, the Forester models from 2019, 2018, and 2016 are the finest to buy. These model years are the most reliable, and they come with high-quality features, making them the go-to SUVs in the Subaru collection.

Is It Expensive to Maintain a Subaru car?

Unlike some other high-end cars from various manufacturers, Subarus are reasonably inexpensive to maintain. These cars are designed to last as long as you own them. Perhaps the most expensive thing you can think of is the oil change.

How Long Does a Subaru Impreza Last?

The Subaru Impreza is a long-lasting car that can travel between 200,000 and 250,000 miles for 13 to 17 years. That is an average of 16,000 miles per year. This, of course, depends on how well you maintain your car.

Do Subaru Cars Have Good Engines?

Yes, the engine and transmission are all great. Subaru is one of the most reliable and trustworthy car brands.

How Long Does a Subaru Legacy Last?

It can drive over 200,000 miles and range up to 300,000 miles. It is a midsize sedan that offers a superior driving experience and a long lifespan. 

However, your car’s mileage range will be much lower with poor maintenance, so keeping up with the maintenance schedule on time is important.

How Long Does a Subaru WRX Last?

The Subaru WRX is known for its powerful turbocharged engine and distinct growl. It can easily last up to 250,000 miles with proper care. Pushing your WRX to its limits, on the other hand, might cause the engine to fail after only 60,000 miles.

What Is the Most Common Subaru Problem?

Subaru cars have a history of high oil consumption, one of their most visible flaws. The head gasket has also been a recurring problem for many drivers.

Conclusion – Subaru Life Expectancy

Subaru’s reputation as a long-lasting car has always stood the test of time. With more than 15 years, expect your Subaru to travel anywhere between 200,000 to 300,000 miles. 

In fact, by following a strict maintenance schedule, your Subaru will stay by your side for many years to come. Above all, Subarus are well-known for being inexpensive to fix and maintain over time. 

You are getting three things: long lifespan, reliability, and comfort.

Read next:

Is a Subaru Reliable?