These two Subarus are the most likely to go 200,000 miles
Denis Flierl's picture

Why these two Subarus are the most likely to go 200,000 miles

2015 Subaru Legacy sedan and 2014 Subaru Outback wagon are in the top ten cars most likely to go 200,000 miles. What sets them apart from the competition?

Consumer Reports has compiled a list of the top ten cars most likely to go 200,000 miles. It's not a surprise that two Subarus made the top ten list. The 2015 Subaru Legacy sedan and 2014 Subaru Outback wagon. Subarus are known to go this many miles and more, and one thing you’ll notice about their owners, is how long they hang on to them. Like a badge of honor, they watch the odometer to see it roll over the 100,000 mile and then 200,000 mile marks and beyond.

Many Subaru owners consider their car a member of the family and wouldn’t dare get rid of them. With such devoted owners, according to Subaru, 96 percent of all Subaru cars built in the last 12 years are still on the road today. That’s an amazing number when you consider how many older Subarus are still going strong.

Consumer Reports says that iSeeCars.com, the data aggregator, compiled a study based on listings for 30 million vehicles advertised for sale during the last year. Looking at the model years 1981 to 2010, the company ranked those vehicles based on the percentage that achieved the impressive 200,000-mile mark.

Interestingly, the iSeeCars list is made up almost entirely of mainstream sedans, with the only exceptions being the Honda Odyssey minivan and Subaru Outback wagon. They were all family vehicles purchased for everyday use. Notably, all the cars are Japanese models except the Ford Taurus, and no European brands made the list.

Who made the top ten list? Honda Accord, Subaru Legacy, Toyota Avalon, Honda Odyssey, Nissan Maxima, Toyota Camry, Ford Taurus, Honda Civic, Acura TL and Subaru Outback. Toyota and Honda have long been known for their excellent dependability and longevity, but since this is a story about Subaru, we’ll focus on why they have two vehicles on the list, and what sets the brand apart from the competition.

Subaru uses a unique engine design called "the boxer", and it sits at the heart of every Subaru vehicle. The flat laying engine design provides the perfect combination of balance, power and efficiency. The boxer engine name comes from the way the pistons move. In most cars, pistons move up and down. In the boxer engine, the pistons move horizontally, like a boxer punching.

What are the advantages of the boxer design vs inline and V-type engines? The Boxer provides a smooth ride and long lasting dependability. The Subaru Boxer engines' unique design provides less vibration than the competitors design. Each horizontally opposed piston cancels the vibration of the opposite piston. This makes a difference over hundreds of thousands of miles. The pistons in the Boxer engine always stay lubricated which reduces wear and friction compared to “dry starting” Inline and V-type engines. Think of it like a roll-on deodorant where you have to get the ball wet by rolling it before it works. The Subaru Boxer stays lubricated and there is less friction when initially starting the vehicle.

Subaru owners are some of the most loyal automobile owners in the world because they know their car is dependable and they can count on their multi-use vehicle to take them anywhere they want to go. It’s not a surprise that the 2015 Subaru Legacy sedan and 2014 Subaru Outback wagon are in the top ten cars most likely to go 200,000 miles.

Other Subaru Legacy and Outback stories of interest.

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Comments

You left out the part about head gasket replacement around the time of the timing belt replacement for around $ 2,000. Only then will the car go for another 100,000.More often than not this is the case.
IMO/IME, head gasket issues were a problem in the past (~< MY 2001) but haven't been a common issue since then (I frequent some of the more popular Subaru forums). Personally, I have had two Subarus pass 100k without a lot of drama. ....a 2003 WRX and my wife's 2008 Forester which is going on 140k miles. I replaced the timing belt myself on the '08 @ 100k. My only real complaint about these engines are the o-rings for the spark plugs on the valve covers. They tend to weep/leak even before 100k (had it happen on both cars). Not a show stopper but annoying nonetheless.
Hey Tom Greaney, you must be living in the past buddy because head gaskets haven't been an issue with Subaru since models 2009 and older. Not to mention the fact that there is no timing belt anymore but instead a chain that no longer needs replacing. You might want to do some homework first next time.
Just commenting based upon experience with a 2001 and a 2006 Outback ( I still drive the 06) . Subaru mechanics are doing more head gasket replacements in the 05 thru 09 models.Consumer Reports validates my claim. The newer models haven't had much of a chance to reach the 100,000 mark yet. I guess we'll see.Nonetheless the Outbacks are wonderful cars and I figure I have many more miles to go unless I opt for the 2015 remake.
As an anecdote, the Phase I and II 2.5 are the specific motors with head gasket issues. I had a 2004 Legacy and the head gasket failed at 87K miles and again at 190K at which time I let that car go. I would not purchase a car with that engine again. Never had a single problem with the auto transmission. Other than the head gasket, all other maintenance items in the car were typical for its run (suspension/steering components, brake components). I hope that the new engine does not have head gasket issues.
New ones have timing chain and better head gasket design
As owner of '13 Outback, Winter performance is ace. However, they need to improve seat comfort. Refine HVAC modes to push more floor heat & less defrost. Car tracking is also heavily effected by winds.
This article makes no sense. It pretends to answer why Subaru Legacy vehicles are more likely to last without ever actually doing so. The author mentions a few facts about the boxer engine - that it reduces vibration, that it sits lower, that it provides better balance - and, as if he'd answered why these vehicles are likely to last, simply states that Subarus are dependable. Essentially, the article tells you that Subaru Legacy vehicles are likely to last because the author is telling you so. The article says nothing about why they are likely to last at all. Vibration, balance, lower center of gravity - these factors affect performance, not durability. And why no mention of the recurring head gasket issues these engines experienced in the past, partly due to the poor cooling in the engine? My Subaru Legacy wound up in the junkyard at 165,000 miles precisely because of this issue. But, hey, why dig skeletons when the purpose is to sell Subaru?
As an automotive engineer let me answer your post. Vibration, in generel, is bad. Look up resonance and bridges. So less vibration does in fact lead to a longer lasting engine. Also the rods, pistons etc. sit in oil at all times significantly reducing wear during start up, which is when other engine designs see the most wear. Less wear equals a longer lasting engine. Center of gravity does not factor into the life of the engine.
Just a followup to my previous message. Tom Greaney mentioned that Subaru mechanics are dealing with more head gasket issues in newer models (05-09), indicating that this issue has not been completely addressed for 05 and later models, as claimed by Subaru. My Subaru Legacy, had head gasket issues at 130,000 miles, was an 07 model—supporting this observation.
I have a 2005 Baja Turbo. Tuned to 300 hp. 200,000 miles. Two timing belts replaced. No head gaskets or any other engine issues. Turbo engines seem to have no head gasket issues. Timing belts are maintenance items.
Love my 2008 turbo Subaru Outback. So much so that I paid 3000 for a new transmission, fly wheel and crossbar in 2013. Then, with 108,000 miles on it, I had to have the entire engine rebuilt, for 5100. One month later, my turbo needs to be replaced. I am paying to have it fixed, once again, because I love my Subaru and they don't make the turbo anymore. But not sure my love is well placed. Let's hope it makes it to 200,000 with no more major repairs! Not the experience I was hoping for AT ALL!
...don't know why people can't read and understand??? The article mentions 2014-15 Subarus which have the updated timing chain and redesigned heads. Yes, older 2.5 engines have issues but that's not what this article is referencing. My '94 Subaru has 265,000 miles and no head gasket issues ever. It is also a non interference motor. Subaru is finally getting back to building extremely long lasting motors in their current cars. Again, not the older 2.5.
My 2011 Outback had a head gasket failure at 55k miles. (I now drive a '14 Impreza that has been bulletproof.) But I understand they are talking about newer models here. I'm in the market for larger vehicle and have looked at a '17 Outback. I like the brand, but based on my experience with my 2011 model, I have decided I just can't take a chance on another Outback.