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Subaru Gets Pushed Out Of Consumer Reports Top-10 Used Car Reliability

How reliable are a five-year-old Subaru Forester, Outback, and Crosstrek? Check out what Consumer Reports says about Subaru's best used model.


With the new car shortages, you may be looking for a used Subaru model. According to a new study from Consumer Reports (by subscription), Subaru only ranks twelfth out of twenty-three car brands with the most reliable five-year-old models. However, they did say the Subaru Legacy is a top pick again among midsize sedans and says it wins the category for five-year-old models.

Consumer Reports top 12 car brands for 2017 model year reliability

Lexus scores number one, followed by Toyota, Acura, Infinity, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Buick, Mazda, Lincoln, Volkswagen, Honda, and Subaru. To look at it another way, Subaru scores sixth-best among mainstream car brands (non-luxury).

2022 Subaru rankings with Consumer Reports

The 2017 Subaru Legacy is a top pick by Consumer Reports

The Subaru Legacy is the top midsize sedan model that's five years old. Consumer Reports says it's reliable and fuel-efficient, and they missed an important feature. We would add that it's one of the safest sedans you can buy. Check out the IIHS and NHTSA safety scores below.

Consumer Reports says, "The Legacy blends a comfortable ride, responsive handling, simple controls, and great visibility. The quiet cabin provides plenty of room for the driver, a large rear seat, and an easy-to-use infotainment system. Every trim comes standard with AWD, a boon in snowy climates. Yet there's a minimal penalty at the pump at 26 mpg overall."

2022 Subaru rankings with Consumer Reports

CR says other good used Legacy sedan years are 2012-2013 and 2015-2016.

What is the price of the 2017 Subaru Legacy?

The 2017 Subaru Legacy price range is from $18,850 to $23,700, depending on the model, miles, and condition.

What is the Legacy fuel mileage?

CR says the Legacy gets an owner reported 27 mpg. The EPA fuel mileage estimates for the 2017 Legacy are 25/34 city/highway and 29 combined mpg.

Consumer Reports says it's reliable and fuel-efficient, but they miss one of the midsize sedan's most essential features; its safety rating.

What are Legacy's safety scores?

The 2017 Legacy earned the highest Top Safety Pick+ safety score from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and received a five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

New safety technology

New for the 2017 model year, Limited and Touring trim models get safer. The Legacy comes with reverse automatic braking, which detects objects when reversing and automatically triggers an alert and brakes the vehicle to avoid a collision. The headlights are improved, come with high beam assist, and are standard for 2017 Legacy models.

Legacy comes with Subaru's EyeSight driver-assist safety technology. EyeSight features six technologies to maximize passenger safety: Pre-Collision Braking, Pre-Collision Throttle Management, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure and Sway Warning, Pre-Collision Steering Assist, and Lead Vehicle Start Alert.

For 2017 there's a new Legacy 2.5i Sport

The new 2017 Subaru Legacy Sport 2.5i was a new model with a few exterior and interior styling upgrades. Outside, it featured a dark gray grille, fog lights with gloss black housings, and newly designed 18-in. sport-styled wheels. Other Legacy Sport exterior styling upgrades included chrome-accented rocker trim and high luster silver-finished turn-signal mirrors.

Inside, the Sport trim has a two-tone pairing of gray and black cloth upholstery with blue stitching on the seats, door panels, and steering wheel. It also has a carbon fiber pattern dash and door panel trim, piano-black door switch panels, and steering wheel switches.

You likely won't find a 2022 Subaru Legacy sedan, so check out the 2017 model year. Consumer Reports says it's one the most reliable midsize sedans. We would add it's also one of the safest models you can buy.

You Might Also LikeConsumer Reports' 6 Most Reliable New Sedans for 2022 - Subaru Legacy Is A Top Pick If You Can Find One

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

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Photo credit: Subaru


Dreaming of th… (not verified)    May 7, 2022 - 6:06PM

Mercedes Benz in the top 5 for reliability, I doubt that. I also read another report a few days ago saying Subarus are one of the most reliable cars you can get. So not sure who telling the truth. Lol

Marian Pettibone (not verified)    May 8, 2022 - 1:20AM

There is a class action lawsuit regarding 2015-2020 Subarus and a problem with “phantom battery drain” due to a software problem. A feature that is supposed to go to sleep when engine is off, does not, causing battery drain over time.

Steve Roth (not verified)    May 8, 2022 - 11:18AM

I subscribe to Consumer Reports and recognize its tendency to issue flawed reviews. For example, they recently gave top scores to decent but far-from-best cameras.

Regarding Subarus, we recently traded in 1999 and 2006 Foresters for newer ones. They are the most reliable cars we have ever owned.

Keith Kraus (not verified)    May 8, 2022 - 1:29PM

I just got rid of my 2015 Forester. It was approaching 3k in repairs with low mileage. I had enough when the horn stopped working at $500 to repair. I never had a horn die. There were suggestions that the 2015 may become a “worst of” year for the Forster. It became a love/hate situation. Im now in a Toyota RAV4, smaller but so far very reliable and no surprises in repairs. Not as comfy, but I don’t drive more than 7k annually.