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Who Makes The Best Cars? Consumer Reports Says Subaru Is Number 3 In New Rankings

Consumer Reports just came out with its car brands that make the best vehicles rankings. Subaru scores the number three automaker and the 2021 Forester and 2021 Outback rank highest in their categories.


Who makes the best cars? In the Consumer Reports annual report card ranking thirty-two car brands, Subaru scores number three overall, ahead of Toyota, Honda, and Lexus. Subaru scores a 76 behind BMW (78) and number one Mazda with 80. Porsche also scores a 76, Honda and Lexus 75, and Toyota 74.

Each car brand’s overall score for individual models is based on four key factors: the road test, reliability, owner satisfaction, and safety. Out of Subaru’s lineup, Subaru has five recommended models and two green choices. The 2021 Subaru Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, Impreza, and Legacy are top picks. The Ascent is still ranked low because of issues with the 2019 model year.

2021 Subaru Forester, 2021 Subaru Outback, pricing, specs, features
Photo credit: Competition Subaru

What does it mean for consumers looking for a 2021 Subaru Forester, Outback, or Crosstrek? The scores reveal which car brands and models are highest in predicted reliability. Scores are determined by asking CR members in surveys to report on problems they’ve experienced with their new vehicles.

In Consumer Reports Top-10 Picks of 2021 released this week, the 2021 Subaru Forester compact SUV and 2021 Outback wagon/crossover make the list. They are picked exceptional performance models in safety, reliability, and owner satisfaction. Both Forester and Outback have overall scores among the highest in the Small SUV and SUV/Wagon categories.

2021 Subaru Forester, 2021 Subaru Outback, pricing, specs, features

In the new 2021 J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study announced yesterday, the Subaru Forester just scored highest and one of the top three small SUVs in dependability in the competitive Compact SUV segment with the Buick Envision and Toyota RAV4.

According to Consumer Reports and the J.D. Power dependability study, Subaru seems to be making steady improvements in reliability, scoring a top-3 brand among all automakers. Starting in 2020, Subaru began making changes to improve its quality. You can read our report here.

Watch How To Reach a 200,000 Miles on a Subaru and Click to Subscribe To Torque News Youtube For Daily Car News.

Among thirty-two car brands for 2021, Consumer Reports scores the Subaru brand number three overall, ahead of Toyota, Honda, and Lexus. J.D. Power says the Subaru Forester compact SUV is now a top-three model in dependability. The 2021 Subaru Forester and Outback are the brand’s most reliable models, according to Consumer Reports.

The 2021 Subaru Forester and 2021 Outback are Subaru of America’s number one and number two top-selling models.

You Might Also Like: Only One Subaru Is The Most-Satisfying In New Report - It’s Not Forester Or Outback

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: Competition Subaru


Daniel (not verified)    February 20, 2021 - 9:12PM

Subaru Scores Low In J.D. Power Dependability Again But Earns A New Model Award
Seems contradictory to this story

John Kohl (not verified)    February 21, 2021 - 7:53AM

Once again consumer reports snubs all American cars. Only imports are the best. I for one am happy with every GM product I’ve owned. Always trouble free and dependable.

MIKE Ogren (not verified)    February 21, 2021 - 2:24PM

Subaru like german cars good for 2 years then people can't afford to repair them Do Subaru head gaskets last more than 2 years

B.P. (not verified)    August 14, 2021 - 10:29PM

In reply to by MIKE Ogren (not verified)

Don't know where you're at but out west here we get 250,000 out our Outbacks, then give them to the kids for school &they get an additional 150K+ out of them....outback are made in Nebraska by American workers, get yer facts straight...dooofus

Pamela Greene (not verified)    December 22, 2021 - 6:47PM

In reply to by MIKE Ogren (not verified)

Don’t know what you’re talking about - I had a Subaru Legacy for 5 yrs and my daughter drove it for 5 more - never had any problems doing regular scheduled maintenance. I bought an Outback and have driven it for 4 years so far, also no issues. I plan to keep it for at least 100,000 more miles. My brother has had a Forrester for 6 years, and a Legacy before that for almost 200,000 miles before that - no problems with either one.

M D (not verified)    February 21, 2021 - 7:23PM

The fact that BMW and Porsche are ranked higher than Toyota and Honda immediately kills any credibility. Good luck getting 300,000 miles from your 911 and 525.

Zalires5o (not verified)    February 21, 2021 - 8:13PM

If Subaru is ranked 3rd by Consumers Reports, the bar must be set pretty low.

Given all the expensive problems in the last few years, that every Subaru model has experienced, I wouldn't ever consider one of their vehicles.

The quality control is absolutely horrible.

Why put yourself through the potentially likely aggregating experience of owning these lemons.
Windshield issues that have been known for years? Give me a break - they can p*** off and hopefully go bankrupt, or bought out entirely by Toyota.

Detlef VanderMeer (not verified)    February 22, 2021 - 10:05PM

In reply to by Zalires5o (not verified)

I disagree with the negative comments about Subaru, i bought a new 2002 Forester in 2002, i am still driving it today, 22 Feb 2021 thats right, it will be 19 years in May, turned over 200k a few months ago, the secret to longevity is preventative maintenance and all synthetic fluids just my experience if i ever buy a new vehicle again it will be a Subaru

ImprezaOwner (not verified)    February 22, 2021 - 1:26AM

I wish that I would have bought a Subaru with their high reliability ratings. The car company that makes my Impreza is totally unreliable.

Galen Leung (not verified)    February 22, 2021 - 9:00AM

The Limited trim of Crosstrek should have the front camera, because even the lower priced Outdoor trim in Canada has it.

Cindy (not verified)    September 25, 2022 - 8:57AM

I bought my Outback new in 2016. I have been disappointed for the cost it hasn’t held up like my past Honda’s. Not long after I got it the little plastic things at the bottom of the front seats would fall off when I vacuumed. At the end of year 3 the driver seat leather pealed from the backing at he seam and now this year the passenger seat did it. I took it to an upholstery guy that said he never saw leather do that. However, safety has been a bigger problem. In year 3 or 4 the horn stopped working and they said they wouldn’t warranty it that a horn wasn’t required in Illinois for safety so they weren’t going to fix it here in Missouri where I live unless I paid for it,, so I eventually forked the money out to fix it because I didn’t realize how much I needed it when I couldn’t use it. Another problem is all my safety features do not work and all my lights are lit on my dashboard from the catalytic converter faulting. Right now when I drive it I can smell something probably the catalytic converters or it’s burning oil. I have sunk lots of money in it since last year with replacing suspension parts and that when the car was turning 160,000 miles. I’m very disappointed because when I owned Honda’s I could keep them 200,000 miles and still drive them with putting little money in them. Right now I’m driving a car where the eye sight doesn’t work or alarm me and the driver seatbelt started locking up on me this week restricting my movement and sometimes wouldn’t pull out, so I had to to drive without it. These past few weeks I have been doing my research in finding my next car .