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3 Subaru Models Are On The Latest Used Cars To Avoid Buying List

What is the best used Subaru model to buy? Check out three Subaru models you should not buy if you are looking for an older all-wheel-drive model.


If you can’t buy a new 2021 Subaru Crosstrek or Impreza compact car, many buyers turn to a used Subaru vehicle this winter because they have standard all-wheel-drive. But according to a new report, there are some older models you should avoid.

Consumer Reports (by subscription) announced its latest used cars to avoid buying list. The report reveals more than 100 models with below-average reliability, based on its member responses to their annual auto surveys. Subaru has three models on the new list.

2021 Subaru Crosstrek, 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport, pricing, specs, features

CR says you should avoid buying a 2013 Subaru Crosstrek and the 2013 Impreza compact sedan and hatchback models. Both models are similar and share the same drivetrain. The Crosstrek is an Impreza that rides on a raised suspension for off-pavement pursuits with additional ground clearance and body cladding.

Why is the 2013 Subaru Crosstrek on the cars to avoid buying list?

The Crosstrek was an all-new model for Subaru, and like many new cars, it takes a year to work out the new manufactured car problems. The Crosstrek gets below-average reliability for some engine and drivetrain issues. The NHTSA issued two recalls for the 2013 model year for engine stalling and CVT models with a remote engine start system.

2021 Subaru Impreza pricing, features and specs

Why is the 2013 Subaru Impreza on the cars to avoid buying list?

In the Consumer Reports annual auto survey, owners report engine and transmission problems with the compact car. The Impreza also received a complete redesign and shares many of the same drivetrain components with the Crosstrek. The Impreza was recalled four times for engine, brake lights, and electrical problems.

The third Subaru model on CR’s cars to avoid buying list is the 2019 Subaru Ascent 3-Row family hauler. The Ascent was also an all-new model in 2019 and had five recalls. We have covered the Ascent problems, and the big issue with the Ascent is its automatic transmission. You can read the full report here.

2021 Subaru Ascent, New Subaru SUV, 3-Row SUV, best family 3-Row SUV

If you can’t buy a new 2021 Subaru Crosstrek, Impreza, or Ascent, other used model years of the three vehicles have proven to be reliable. Make sure you check the vehicle’s maintenance records and get a vehicle history report.

Subaru offers no-interest financing on 2021 Ascent, 2021 Impreza, and 0.9 percent on 2021 Subaru Crosstrek. You may find you can buy a new model as Subaru of America offers special incentives in January.

You Might Also Like: The 5 Best SUVs In Resale Value - Subaru Crosstrek, Forester and Outback Score The Top 3 Models

Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Subaru Report - We’ve got you covered! Check back tomorrow for more unique, informative SUBARU news, reviews, and previews you can trust.

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Photo credit: Subaru


Brian Angelow (not verified)    January 14, 2021 - 11:52AM

Out of curiosity, why does this site produce so many articles with negative marks against Subaru?

JULIUS ROSEN (not verified)    January 20, 2021 - 8:50AM

In reply to by Brian Angelow (not verified)

Probably because two or three of the reporters don't like Subarus or possibly because they don't have a wall between advertising and reporting. Have you noticed any Subaru ads on here

Paul brown (not verified)    January 21, 2022 - 7:41PM

In reply to by Brian Angelow (not verified)

we bought new forester in aug.sight unseen we ask if windshield problems had been resolved wewere told yes that was back 2013 we were on a trip and no cars on highway heard small pop and found a real small chip with two small cracks on lower drivers side we were going to have repaired next day this was on a Sunday we drove aprix 30 miles and a crack spread about 12 inches across windshield went in Monday and ask if it could be fixed said no need new windshield called dealer we bought car from and after almost 2 hrs on phone between on hold and loosing connection talked to mgr said no problem subaru would fix it aprox week later and severial phone calls subaru said would not fix it called new jersey and after about 2 days and failed returned calls service mgr called and ask us to bring the car in we did he took pictures and said subaru would definitely fix it was suppose to receive call letting us know when to bring it into the shop for repair after severial days called new jersey And talked to diffrent person subaru changed there .ind and not fixing it we realy like the forester but hav debaited on selling it we have been literally lied to so many times and they will not admit they have a problem with windshields these denials and bad customer relations are realy hurting the brand I wish we had done moore research before we bought a subaru

Annie Fauss (not verified)    January 14, 2021 - 1:06PM

consumer report doesn't know what they are talking about. I owned a 2013 Crosstrek and it preformed very well. I had no issues with it at all. My father owns a 2013 Impreza and he loves his car

James Murdock (not verified)    January 14, 2021 - 8:05PM

In reply to by Annie Fauss (not verified)

Consumer Reports is reporting survey data, not an opinion. Just because you know of two cars that didn't have problems, doesn't mean there isn't a high population that do have problems. It wasn't reported that every single one had problems!

Norm (not verified)    January 14, 2021 - 5:43PM

As an owner of Subaru and someone who wanted to buy a second Subie - Avoid the new Subie's with the eyesight. If you want to shed $$$ every time your thinnest glass crack for the tiniest of a pebble, probably you should go for Subie. I can assure you that your windshield will crack 5 times faster than any other car. They blame the impact and as an aerospace engineer who worked on crack growth, I know what I am seeing. Any impact is a trigger and most car windshields will withstand moderate impacts, forget about your Subie. Replace the windshield, pay for the calibration of the camera, and all that happens in no less than 2 weeks. I am not really saying Subaru should replace my glass every time it breaks - I am saying their engineers cant even do a proper windshield choice brings a lot of questions about what's under the hood. If as a company they cannot take responsibility for their poor design choice - They are sure to go down pretty soon. If there is nothing to with the glass on Subaru... are we people driving them on Mars?? Why is that Subaru tops the list of new car windshield damages and people have to go to courts?

Tanya Thomas (not verified)    January 15, 2021 - 2:45AM

In reply to by Norm (not verified)

The list of poor safety measures is scary on the vehicles for one the eyesight thing glitches. Then we have the battery draining from all the computers they put in them. My very worst thing is the tires they are not made right and to put on 55,000 dollar car is sad and scary. Who knows how many accidents from cheep tires on off road vehicle supposedly
I have appointment set to take car back in again....
so sad and didn’t reset my mileage in shop at a certified dealers ship!!!
So disappointed with Subaru

William Moore (not verified)    January 15, 2021 - 2:53AM

I owned the 2018 Subaru Outback Touring and yes it sits up taller but the ride to me was rough. I took it on its first out of town Austin Tx to Houston Tx or KingWood anyway by the time I arrived at my parents home and got out my ass hurt my back hurt my lower legs hurt and maybe I should had stopped I did not as I drive over the road with a partner from Dallas Tx to Hartford Ct. twice a week, and I’m used to eleven hours sitting in a seat and just drive. At any rate driving from Austin to Dallas every week as my home is in Austin I just hatted that car! So I traded it for a Audi A4 Allroad and it yes was a lot higher in price and resale with under 800 miles for the Subaru was not great I shopped it around even went back to Subaru to sell it back and I was shocked how in a year owning the car, I parked it and went back to then driving my 1999 GMC pickup with 22K miles on it to save my body from the horrible ride of the Subaru. The Audi at Sixty Thousand before adding paint wheel and interior protection door dent protection and five year service plan was of course over the sixty thousand but with the Subaru which I bought just under forty thousand which I paid off after trading another car which I got a better trade in price over what Audi offered me or even the dealership where I bought it brand new. They gave me 35K with low miles and I truly after driving the Audi I was sold. True I wanted a SUV but the price is crazy and I saw several driving to Hartford Ct. one day as I was thinking about what car I might want to trade for.,so I took it as maybe I will look at them. Now I also did drive the 3 series BMW wagon and just for fun the 400 Mercedes 400. The Mercedes look huge to the BMW and Audi, and the price was way too high with the 4 Magic. The ride it was ok I liked the wood trim inside and the size of the car. That’s when the Audi A6 Allroad came in and the one they had was just over Seventy Thousand. Ten Thousand more than the A4 Allroad and the car looks bigger but open the rear of both cars side by side. I’m a disabled veteran and I use a wheelchair and or crutches to get around and I wanted to be able to have both in the back not in the rear laying crossways so if my friends rode back their they would not have to step on the crutches. The rear of the Audi does much better than the Subaru did in the rear as I had to lower the length with that car to put my crutches back their. Now the A6 Allroad it’s nice but remember Ten Thousand more than the Audi A4 Allroad Prestige Plus with Summer and Winter and the side molding painted to match my A4 instead of black trim which you can get on the A6 same package as my A4 but the only two things I saw mine does not have is the power adjust steering wheel mine is manual. And the air ride suspension. Are those two options worth Ten Thousand? I suppose to some people maybe but measure seriously the rear hatch area. I put my wheelChair in the A6 and had my Audi 2019 by the 2920 A6 and the space or distance side to side was not much different. The front area did feel just a little bigger and it had LCD Touch Screens as apprised to the full Size screen in my A4 that is not touch screen. Big deal. I had finger prints so I’m happy mine is not. I don’t see Ten Grand screaming by it by it at me over the A4 Allroad. I did check on Jaguars station wagon all wheel drive can’t say I was impressed it just felt cheap the seats were not comfortable and the power was terrible compared to the BMW 3 Series and the Audi A4 all were all wheel drive.I checked Edmonds review and they recommend the A4 as BMW’s in general have owners spending more time at the dealership for repair work and recalls where if you look up te Audi A4 Allroad the Germans over their must be better engineers, than those at BMW. This said I was sold in the Audi for ride comfort very quite inside the BO 750 Watt steric and the handling it drives like it’s glued to the road. It may not have a large engine but it feels stronger than rated. The seats hug you in the upgraded winter package perferrated seats. Austin has some great up hill down hill and curvy roads that you can just push the car and I’m telling you I forget it’s a station wagon. I have taken the car off road plenty since owning it. Trust me Texas has trucks and they make great trails for you and I had a friend go with me incase I got stuck. I took it threw muddy rutted out back woods trail road I guess you can call it a road. I thought I’m going to for sure get stuck. Let me tell you this Audi went right threw. Zero damage to the lower parts of the car and yes it slung mud up into the body but then same road had rocks to go over. A few I could clear but had to quit as I felt I’m going to mess my car up underneath. Now air ride suspension I know as a OTR Truck driver. So I talked with some guys I know about how hard is it to add to a vehicle without air ride suspension? We talked and he told me seriously this guy he knew in South Carolina was great at adding Air Ride and he tried to use OEM parts if possible and then builds the parts he can get. The A4 Audi a few years back had a system like Air Ride and the car sat higher than they sit now. At any rate he went to a Audi Dealership and found a new A6 Allroad crawled under it to see how the Air Ride was set up on that car.,Called me next day told me he can add it and it will look factory and sees the cheap dash part where the A/C and and buttons for turning on off a few things, it easy to remove and all that stuff is built into the plastic part and can easily cut out one of the blank button to install Audi Air Ride button and it will look factory when he’s finished. I said how much do you think to get the parts and you installing it? He quoted me $1,500 out the door. I asked him can you pick up my car or do I need a transport truck? He said throw in an extra $800 and I’ll come get it on a low boy trailer it want be in closed I said just be carful loading and unloading please. He did the work and drove it back to my home. He said because I’m a veteran he wanted to not charge me a lot and I was greatfull. Now you might want to know how does the car handle with Air Ride? Trust me it’s ride even smoother handling is great still hugs the road and if I hit a pothole can’t feel it. Live the difference and I still did not cost Ten Thousand to have it in my car. I even had Audi look at his work and they said if I had not pointed out what he did they would had thought it was factory. The manager at Audi saw it and wanted to know who installed it? I told him he was impressed and assured me my factory warranty want be voided having that installed but Audi want warranty his work that’s between you and him, but said I doubt you will have any issues. So far so good. Same trail I told you about earlier went down threw the mud used the air ride to increase ride heights and went right threw. Went over rocks but with the car height going over rocks gives you a un easy feel, but the car did not tip over. I would recommend if having Air Ride installed on any vehicle have it adjust the body to if it’s leaning heavy inthe slanted side adjust the weight to the other side to off set the leaning as your going over a rock or a rutted road that goes across a hill side to get around it to its other side to flatten out. My Audi had no such way to adjust the leaning but still it did make it. I’m impressed with my Allroad. I would recommend the A4 over the A6 Allroad to save Ten Thousand same package on each cars and now the A4 looks like the inside of the A6. For such a small difference in space inside your not gaining much. Now the A6 does have a V6 over the A4 2.0 letier 4 cylinder Turbo. If the bigger engine is important and worth Ten Thousand too you buy it. If your a sincerly a person wanting great gas mileage yes premium gas I know sucks but hey it’s a few cents over the middle grade so I’m ok with it. You have more room inside than you think in a A4. It handles great. The take off from a stop is great to me as it will pull away and gets stronger as it’s being pushed harder to keep going. The 160 mph ummm not quite 160 mph. Mine will hit 134 mph and that’s all I can get it to go. Their is a chip you can buy to increase horsepower and bump the governed mph Audi set. It will cost you about $1,200 to do it. So I’m sold on Audi and I’ve had zero issues and now I’m at the two thousand mile mark and it still smells new looks new and I’ve pushed it hard to see if it’s really ready and built well. I drive Three Hundred Miles to Dallas from Austin Ine a week then Three Hundred miles back to Austin after two runs from Dallas to Hartford Ct. and back about Seventy Five Thousand miles a week in a KenWorth all week, then drive my car back except for feeling like I’m on the ground in it from the truck, I hate I guess but then I remember all the Assholes drivers that pull in front of me then stop trying to get a big payday from my company, or the ones who cut me off as they race around me pulling two trailers just to cut me off so they can exit off the freeway!! Or the ones who pull RV trailers wiggling as they blow by me then cut over with the RV trailer wiggling like crazy. Even worse when it’s a boat. I just eat my dad which enjoy the ride on cruse control and watch people getting ticks or tear their vehicles up by jacknifeing their RV laying it over we just slow down and change lanes and waive at the dumbass then hammer down. Winter is Awsome. Snow I’ve been told people inthe East Coast can drive in Snow and people from Texas can’t! Ya I have seen their driving. I’ve driven the highway and see cars off in the middle of the two lanes divided Highway and cars on the right flipped over just laying their and yes even Truck Drivers stuck layed over ass well. This said knocking in wood I have had zero accidents in my 12 years driving trucks. But when I crawl out of the truck I actually look forward to getting in it too drive another Three Hundred Mules home. It’s comfortable smooth and just all around great car. Paint is good. My fit and finish of the Audi now I don’t like. I see gaps in the car and for Sixty Grand I think Audi could do better. But the car feels solid when I close the doors the door handles outside feel cheap and my one complaint is why in Hell did Audi offer a power up down rear hatch and install a switch release to open from inside driver door, but did not install a switch to push from inside the car to power the hatch door back down? For Sixty Grand that should be a given! Nissan, Ford, Chevy, Kia, and Hunday, and other manufactures have power open and close or a power open close trunk from inside the vehicle. But Audi what’s up with that? The rest of the A4 I’m happy with. I’ve checked in what’s my resale on my Audi A4 Allroad 2019 Prestige Plus, with summer winter package and painted trim around wheel Wells and some other add stuff to the car. I fair value between 35 and 40 Thousand. That’s not so bad when you look at resale of the Subaru over the Audi the Audi wins. When it comes to recalls Audi wins when overlap crash studies by the Insurance Institute Audi wins the two do have one thing in common. These cars in the UK can be found with hundreds of thousand miles passed from one generation to the next both have the same issue as the car gets around ten years old parts get harder to get and the service departments at dealership can charge more than a new car for engine repairs which is unfair. This said both dealerships somehow get a call to nrw var DALLAS to see the owner of a Ten or older car to say hey we can get you a new one low payments and close to Zero percent and talk them into getting rid of their old car. Sometimes it works sometimes it won’t because they don’t want car payments. Hell who knows eleven years from now I’ll be that person with an A4 Allroad.,Only service I’ve had is Oil Change I rotated my tires at home and oil changes are 15 thousand between oil change. Now if your smart buy two bottles of oil the dealership uses in your car. You can lift the heights of any vehicle keep that in mind, you can add air ride to most vehicles. And if you want a bigger tank than the manufactures as case in point the spare tire in my Audi is inside the rear of my car not underneath like many SUV’s. Also I bought the exact rim for my car on EBay for Two Hundred and it is in new condition I had to clean it some and then bought the exact same tire that’s in my car.,Only issue is you can’t inflate the tire to fit it inside the space. But Audi provides a nice air pump since their spare is not aired up either. But I sold my spare on EBay for One Hundred and Fifty Dollars which meant I got my spare for Fifty Dollars. I recommend the Audi over Mercedes unless your rich and over the Three Series BMW. Forget Buick Station Wagon looks nice but when you look close it’s not so nice. The Jaguar Station Wagon is the only one sold State Side with a Diesel engine out of all the German vehicles. VW does not sell a station wagon any more. Buick I hear has dropped its wagon. So it’s either Audi Mercedes BMW and Jaguar that sells a station wagon. I remember in the 1990’s wagons fell out of favor and did not sell well and GM dropped its wagons Mercedes down sized its wagon and BMW was smaller than today’s wagon they sell of course a few years back BMW also sold here a Five series Wagon but dropped it kept the Three series Acura sold a nice wagon but dropped it a few years back ago. Honda made a nice wagon but some time in the 99’s dropped the accord wagon. Toyota since the 1970’s sold wagons the first ones were even all wheel drive, the Tercel Toyota then the Cressida wagon and the Toyota Corolla and the Corona station Wagon then the last wagon they sold was a Camry Wagon it was a good size. Now the other wagon that can be bought new is Mini Cooper wagon. Nissan used to sell the Maximum Station wagon in the 80’s the first ones talked to you, came in solid or two tone paint from the factory. Now once again sales of wagons over SUV’s have taken over again. Suburban’s killed the station wagon first and I suppose in truth history does repeat it self. Audi has been around a long time, Audi Quattro has been around for a long time since late 80’s early 90’s is when the Quattro hit the market. Except Subaru which has been selling their all wheel drive cars back to the late seventies early eighties the Brat Subaru pickup with two seats in the bed finished sells of that design with the Subaru Outback truck bed two seats in the bed much bigger than the Brat. So some will claim Mercedes has been manufacturing AllWheel drive for years. Ask them when which model was the first Mercedes all wheel drive vehicle? That can’t name when or what model vehicle. In truth Mercedes for Hilters Army Mercedes built transport all wheel drive with rear tank tracks and Mercedes built All Wheel drive vehicle for Hilter big heavy vehicle but none were built for private sale. Once the war was over the only vehicle built when Hitler was alive was the VW Bug which until a few years ago was sold in the United States. Now Mexico bought the rights to the original VW Bug and still today you can go to Mexico and buy one that’s new but built just like the early VW bugs. But VW vehicles did not start selling its 4 Motion until early 2000’s and now the VW models it sold with 4 Motion today are just a few new vehicles it sells. But VW stoped selling its Station Wagon. Sadly the Passat Wagon was a nice size wagon but dropped it in the late 90’s or early 2000’s and I thought for the money that was a great size and German built car. I had a friend who’s mom had one and we drove from Austin to Colorado up to Avon and we loaded that car up with our stuff and we took turns driving and it drove great and had plenty of power with three guys and a dog that we took with us a Sheppard dog and we had lots of room to sleep in the back seat area. Sadly I doubt VW will sell another wagon of that size again. So wagons are rarely seen these days unless you live in certain areas of the lower 48. SUV’s of all sizes are king most dealerships have dropped cars and invested heavily in SUV’s and pickups and are doing well with sells. Now the two other wagons with AWD are Volvo, and the new Porsche’s Wagon ferries used to make a wagon stopped and brought a wagon back early 2000’s but again stopped selling it. Even Lexus used to sell a wagon when it was first begging sells in the U.S. it dropped it in the 1990’s never again has Lexus built a wagon for sale here. The Volvo wagon AWD are nice but built in China and very expensive looks great inside very comfortable seats but go look a used one three or four years old and you will see the cracks in the leather and even inside how the car just did not hold up. Go drive it that quite inside is not so quite inside as the car has rattles and of course out of warranty and Volvo want extend a warranty in used with miles over the teens! The Chinese have Sweden I heard building the Volvo’s again but still owned by China. The Porsche wagon new is over a Hundred Thousand and yes AWD as with all VW car companies it owns. Look up the car manufactures VW owns it’s healthy in wealth as VW owns the best of the best manufactures of cars. This said who else either makes or made a station wagon? Saab did and pugio Wagon was sold in the late 80’s and it was expensive back then but what a piece of junk, my father bought one and after all the issues he could not find a dealership that wanted it! The Saab wagon did not do well and it went as fast as it showed up sales were not great for Saab until Sinfield had brought the Saab front and center with Elaine boyfriend working for a Saab dealership as a salesman, then sold Jerry on the show a Saab and then sales went up for the 900 model but sells dropped off after Sinfield went off the air. Ferries did well in the 1990’s while Magnum P.I. Was on air when it went off air Ferries sales started to drop. So Station wagons sold in the U.S. anyone reading this remember DKW which is still owned by VW? It sold a station Wagon. So did Opel under at one time owned by GM sold threw Buick. In 2008 GM had to sell off its car manufactures and car collections to repay the money owed to the tax payers and the Government so Opel did actually sell until just recently Buick’s built by Opel. They did make a wagon threw GM Australian division but sadly we never received it hear and built by Holden Division of GM but it has gone away like Opel were part of the sell off of 2008. Wagons will they survive with the next generation being raised in SUV’s will Station Wagons take a back seat once again to the SUV craze and if not a SUV the Pick-Up’s becoming so nice inside and a great ride along with a higher and higher price each year, do you think their will be enough interest in wagons after all a SUV is just a jacked up station wagon with or without AWD. Time can only be it’s deciding factor to day nay or yea. Thanks for reading anyone wants to correct me on something they feel I was wrong about I’m always willing to learn thank you

Paul (not verified)    January 15, 2021 - 10:52AM

We really enjoy our 2013 Crosstrek but it has been recalled twice and at about 100K miles, we have replaced wheel bearing 3 times. And no, Subaru is not paying for the bearing repairs - out of warranty. It should be looked at closely before considering a purchase