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Subaru Scores Zero Vehicles in Newest J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study

The 2017 J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study is out and Subaru scores zero vehicles. Where are they compared to last year?

The Subaru brand inches up in the latest J.D. Power Dependability Study, but they still score zero vehicles in individual segments. Last year, Subaru scored a total VDS ranking of 166 (Problems per 100 Vehicles) in the 2016 study, and in 2017, the Japanese automaker ranks 164 PP100 which is still below the industry average of 156. And no Subaru vehicles were in the top three models in their individual segments.

J.D. Power Ratings

The J.D. Power ratings examines problems experienced during the past 12 months by original owners of 2014 model-year vehicles. Overall dependability is determined by the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles, with a lower score reflecting higher quality. The study covers 177 specific problems grouped into eight major vehicle categories.

Subaru has excellent brand loyalty and they’ve been rated with the highest residual values in the industry which actually is contrary to the J.D. Power findings about the brand. Subaru’s niche all-wheel-drive vehicles continue to sell at a hot pace around the globe, and this study hasn’t affected consumer’s decisions to buy the new Outback, Forester and Crosstrek models.

Technology is the culprit

Technology is likely the reason for Subaru’s lower than average industry rankings. The study says “Continuing increases in technology-related problems industry-wide have contributed to dependability worsening for a second consecutive year.” The audio/communication/entertainment/navigation category is the most problematic area, accounting for 22 percent of all problems reported according to J.D. Power. The problems most reported by owners are Bluetooth pairing/connectivity and built-in voice recognition misinterpreting commands.

While Subaru is lower than average in this study, they scored better than their large Japanese competitors Mazda (166 PP100), Acura (167 PP100) and Nissan (170 PP100). While Lexus and Porsche rank the highest in the J.D.Power study among all nameplates, these luxury brands can cost tens of thousands more than the typical Subaru vehicle. More on Page 2.

The Subaru brand inches up in the latest J.D. Power Dependability Study and is making progress. This annual study hasn’t hurt sales of the popular 2017 Outback wagon, Forester SUV and Crosstrek crossover all-wheel-drive vehicles. The Subaru brand is doing well in brand loyalty, and they’ve been rated with the highest residual values in the industry.

Photo credit: Subaru


Chris (not verified)    February 23, 2017 - 10:33PM

Do you think the excessive oil consumption, and Subaru's reluctance to fix the problem, contributed to the reliability scores? Hmmmm!

Jake (not verified)    February 24, 2017 - 8:13PM

I doubt it, that was a few years ago and the problem has been resolved. I do not own a Subaru but a BMW which costs more and has its fair share of issues, For being safe and great resale value Subaru offers a great package and a nice print point.

Chris (not verified)    March 8, 2017 - 11:35AM

In reply to by Jake (not verified)

Supposedly the problem was fixed with the 2014 model year but it's back. I have two 2017s which are under the factory oil consumption test. One has gone through 2 quarts of oil in its FIRST 3,000 miles. TWO QUARTS!

Yes, the Subarus are easier to own otherwise. I traded in an Audi on one because I got tired of the ridiculous cost of maintenance.

Diana (not verified)    March 10, 2017 - 7:26PM

In reply to by Chris (not verified)

Take pictures of the oil stick before you take your car in... or a video and email to yourself so you have the date and mileage. They are messing around with me....

Chris (not verified)    March 14, 2017 - 12:54PM

In reply to by Diana (not verified)

I took video of me checking the dipstick. The oil after 1,214 miles between last check was BELOW the lower dot. Despite the video, the dealer claims I only went through 7 ounces of oil and I'm not burning excessively. I've now gone through 3 full quarts of oil in just 4,000 miles. The dealer said I was either checking the oil wrong or it wasn't on a level surface. Sigh, I guess I'll have to put a level in the engine compartment next time I check.

Diana Conrad (not verified)    March 15, 2017 - 7:01PM

In reply to by Chris (not verified)

Hi Chris,

They did that to me too. I have decided the next time I go on a road trip, I will have a camera with tripod documenting my every move, two levels, white background to check oil, hot pad for pulling hot oil stick out, and funnel for pouring oil in. I will be posting on YouTube. I would suggest others do the same. The replies back from the snobby, self-righteous look down your nose at us, just dismisses us people with the bad engines. I also emailed the mucky mucks to tell them they should put a bad engine in one of their beautiful cars and drive across country and not to contact me unless they have someone in their self righteous group that has a Subaru with an oil burning engine. I've had 2 oil tests and they both came back "full". Yet when I'm driving, my red oil pressure light comes on because I'm out of oil. It's just bullshit and they know it. And yet Consumers Report and US News & World Report are all over them... so....they don't care. email your legislatures and anyone else you can think of, but document everything with camera and email to yourself so it's legal. Also post on YouTube. And then, on an oil consumption test, check the dipstick before you leave, and tell them you want to stay with the car when it comes back because they fill it up (yes they do).

Diana (not verified)    March 10, 2017 - 7:24PM

In reply to by Jake (not verified)

The problems have not been fixed. I have a 2013 Subaru forester and have been jerked around by every single dealership, so no, they haven't. It's the same engine, and the Subaru people are absolute flippin liars. I just got back from having an oil consumption test done, which when I took it in, showed low, but when the add oil and check it, voila, its full! How does that happen? Last year on the open road, my oil light was on all the time and I had to open a bug covered hood and add oil to a boiling hot engine. My opinion of Subaru is not good. They lie, they cheat on the tests, and I've had to deal with what amounts to cheap and shoddy car salesmen telling lies. Oh yea, I'm having fun!! In the first place, there had to be a class action lawsuit before Subaru would even admit to a problem. Now, Subaru isn't following the stipulations laid out in that lawsuit. Don't buy a Subaru!