Are Subarus Expensive to Maintain?

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Are Subarus Expensive To Maintain

Subaru is one of the best Japanese car brands that has been around in the US market for over 50 years now. That’s why a lot of buyers choose to go for a Subaru, despite them being slightly more expensive than average.

Driving a Subaru guarantees an excellent level of performance and safety. They are a great choice when looking for a reliable new car. But are Subaru cars expensive to maintain? Let’s find out!


Comparing Different Subaru Models

Similar to all car brands, answering such a question depends heavily on many aspects. These aspects include models, current state, and more.

Let’s have a brief overview of the prices of some of the most popular Subaru car models in the market. I’ll also provide you with maintenance costs and how much it may set you back.



2020 Subaru Outback
Pictured is the redesigned 2020 Subaru Outback model.

Purchasing Cost  (New and Used)

The new 2020 model is completely redesigned with various changes throughout the car. That’s why you should expect a huge shake in the prices of the older models.

According to Subaru, the suggested starting price of the brand new 2020 basic Outback is about $26,945. The fully redesigned model is much more affordable compared to the average prices of this car category.

However, there are six different models of the 2020 Outback. The highest-end model is the Outback Touring XT with a suggested starting price of about $39,695. This means that the most common price of 2020 Subaru Outback is $33,170.

If you buy an older Outback model, you’ll definitely save some money. However, you should keep in mind that you’re going to settle for a different design. The previous generation of the Outbacks came out in 2015 with minor changes every year.

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Here’s the average price range of the used Subaru Outback for the last 5 years.

  • 2015 – form $15,000 to $17,000
  • 2016 – form $18,000 to $20,000
  • 2017 – from $20,000 to $23,000
  • 2018 – from $23,000 to $25,000
  • 2019 – from $25,000 to $29,000

Maintenance Costs

The total annual cost for maintenance on a Subaru Outback depends on how you use the vehicle. The overall yearly maintenance cost can be as low as $100 or as high as $2,500.

However, most Subaru owners pay an average of about $600 on maintenance on their Outbacks. The first year has an average of half of that number and peaking at $2,000 after the first five years of ownership.

Common Repair Costs

As a rule of thumb, you should expect brand-new cars to not cost you any repair money for the first couple of years. Yet, as the times goes on, you’re likely to start spending between $250 to $350 on repairs.

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Depending on the model, the most common maintenance numbers for the Subaru Outback are:

(parts only, not including shop labor)

  • Replace the Car Air Filter – $90 to $100
  • CV Axle Assembly Replacement – $200 to $400
  • Brake Light Switch Replacement – $90 to $180
  • Alternator– $300+
  • Replace the Brake Master Cylinder – $223


Featured here is a 2020 Forester.


Purchasing Cost (New and Used)

Unlike the Outback, the latest generation of the Forester came out in 2019. The 2020 cars saw almost no difference, so you shouldn’t expect a huge change between their prices.

The Starting price suggested by Subaru for the 2020 model is $24,495. In addition to the baseline model, there are Premium, Sport, Limited, and Touring models. Forester Touring is the most expensive model, reaching about $34,595.

This means that the average price of a new Subaru Forester is about $29,545, which is less than some of its competitors, such as Toyota RAV4. Yet, it’s more expensive than others like Kia Sportage.

Buying a 1-year old Forster might be a good idea for many owners who are looking to save some cash. However, models before 2019 have different designs.

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The average price range of the used Subaru Forester for the last 5 years is:

  • 2015 – form $14,000 to $16,000
  • 2016 – form $16,000 to $18,000
  • 2017 – from $19,000 to $22,000
  • 2018 – from $22,000 to $24,000
  • 2019 – from $27,000 to $28,000

Maintenance Cost

The total annual cost for maintenance on the Subaru Forester is a bit higher than the Outback. You can expect to pay anything between $80 to $6,500 for repairs and maintenance.

The most common maintenance cost is about $630. That’s higher than the average for compact SUVs.

Common Repair Costs

While a new car won’t require you to spend money on repairs, the older models should cost you around $100 to $300. This number increases every year as the car ages.

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The most common cost of repairs for Subaru Forester are:

  • Brake Caliper Replacement – $200 to $450
  • CV Axle Assembly Replacement – $200 to $400
  • Brake Discs Replacement $180 – $370
  • Brake Master Cylinder Replacement – $200 to $300


Pictured is the 2020 Subaru Impreza.

Purchasing Cost (New and Used)

Subaru Impreza is available in sedan and 5-door models. The starting price for the sedan is about $18,695 and tops out with the limited edition at about $25,795.

The 5-door model starts at $19,195 reaching $26,295 for the limited edition. Similar to the Forester, the Subaru 2020 has minor updates from the 2019 model.

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As for the used models, the average price range of the used Subaru Forester for the last 5 years is:

  • 2015 – form $12,000 to $13,500
  • 2016 – form $12,000 to $14,000
  • 2017 – from $14,000 to $16,000
  • 2018 – from $17,000 to $18,000
  • 2019 – from $19,000 to $21,000

Maintenance and Common Repair Costs

The average annual cost for maintenance on the Subaru Impreza is about $650. You can expect to pay anything between $80 to $6,400 for repairs and maintenance.

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The older the car, the more you’re going to spend on its maintenance. Here are the prices of some of the most common repairs of the Impreza:

  • Car AC Compressor Replacement – $1,000 to $2,000
  • Brake Caliper Replacement  – $200 to $450
  • CV Axle Assembly Replacement – $180 to 300
  • Brake Master Cylinder Replacement- $200 to $570


Here is a 2019 Subaru WRX.

Purchasing Cost (New and Used)

The WRX is available in Standard, Premium, Limited, STI, and STI Limited edition. The price of a brand new WRX goes higher in that order.

The average price of a WRX is about $34,595, with the standard model at $27,495, and the STI Limited peaking at $41,695.

The WRX is a new model that started in 2015 with various updates on every model. As a result, you should expect a large gap in its price.

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Here are the prices of the used WRXs:

  • 2015 – form $18,000 to $19,500
  • 2016 – form $19,000 to $21,000
  • 2017 – from $22,000 to $23,000
  • 2018 – from $23,000 to $25,000
  • 2019 – from $25,000 to $27,000

Maintenance Costs

The WRX has one of the highest maintenance costs among other models. Depending on the mileage and model, you should pay around $680 per year for average maintenance costs, not forgetting things like oil changes and tire rotation.

Common Repair Costs

Repairs on the WRX can reach up to $6,500. But, most of the common costs are way cheaper at less than $300 on average.

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The most common repairs and their costs are:

  • Car AC Compressor Replacement – $1,150 to $1,400
  • CV Axle Assembly Replacement – $200 to $400
  • Brake Pad Replacement – $130 to $230
  • Brake Shoe Replacement – $130 to $210
  • Clutch Slave Cylinder Replacement – $340 to $400

Love the WRX? Check out more Subaru race cars.

Are Subaru Cars Reliable?

In short, yes!

Subarus offers some of the most reliable vehicles in the market. Every year, Subaru improves its models by adding new, unique features. They are also highly rated for their safety.

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Just a few of their good marks are:

  • Their engines are also highly durable, long-lasting, and can serve for long years. Even when they have an issue, they work flawlessly once they’re fixed. They also typically give a lot of signs before they’re completely out of order.
  • Subarus have a low depreciation, which means that they don’t lose much of their market value with time. The Subaru Forester is a great ride for all terrains. Besides the standard all-wheel-drive, It has a spacious interior as well as a high score in safety tests.
  • They improved a lot of the mechanical issues that some drivers complained about in the older models.
    • For example, the older models of the WRX, especially between 2012 and 2017, were prone to several engine issues. Many drivers filed lawsuits against Subaru to get their engines replaced.
  • Subaru took a great deal of care while making the 2020 models, as they worked hard to enhance what made these models among the best in its category.
  • The All-wheel-drive and great acceleration are among the highlights of their sedan models. They have a sporty appearance and performance that you might not find elsewhere in this price range.

Most Common Problems and Repairs

As you already noticed, most Subaru repairs revolve around similar problems. For example, the CV axle assembly is one of the most common fixes in all the previously mentioned models. Subaru’s parts can be slightly costly, but they’re durable and long-lasting.

And of course, the infamous Subaru head gasket problems…

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According to, the most reported problems with Subarus are:

Make sure you perform regular maintenance like changing your differential fluid to avoid most costly repairs.


There you have it. A thorough guide that shows you the prices of the best-selling Subaru models along with their maintenance costs.

As you can see, Subarus are relatively pricey to maintain. However, they’re highly reliable and durable, so you won’t have to spend a lot of money in the long run.

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