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Who Wins: Subaru Impreza vs Crosstrek 

Who Wins: Subaru Impreza vs Crosstrek 

Both the Impreza and Crosstrek came from the same renowned Japanese automaker, Subaruthe twenty-second largest automobile manufacturer by production worldwide in 2012. They may be siblings, but they have their own individual strengths and weaknesses. And we have prepared a simple guide in order for you to easily identify which one suits your everyday driving needs. We take a closer look to determine who’ll emerge as the winner in the battle of Subaru Impreza vs Crosstrek.

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE

Is Subaru Impreza a reliable car?

According to J.D. Power, the 2020 Subaru Impreza earned a poor predicted reliability rating of two out of five.

Subaru Impreza Warranty

Subaru covers the Impreza with a three year or 36,000 mile limited warranty and a five year or 60,000 mile powertrain warranty.

Is the Subaru Crosstrek a reliable car?

J.D. Power has given the 2020 Subaru Crosstrek a below-average predicted reliability rating of 2.5 out of five.

Subaru Crosstrek Warranty

Subaru backs the Crosstrek with a three year or 36,000 mile warranty and a five year or 60,000 mile powertrain warranty.



The Impreza and Crosstrek are both covered by Subaru with a warranty of their own. However, in this comparison, Crosstrek came out superior, thanks to its higher predicted reliability rating over the Impreza. It also has better warranty coverage since the Impreza’s warranty is limited.

How safe is the Subaru Impreza?

Impreza Crash Test Results

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has given the 2020 Subaru Impreza the top rating of Good in all six tests performed. They also named the Impreza a Top Safety Pick+, the organization's highest award. While its standard headlights earned the second-lowest rating of Marginal for how well they illuminated the road ahead, models with the optional LED projector headlights received a Good rating.


There is a different scale being used by IIHS for grading active safety features. In front crash prevention testing, the Impreza received the highest rating of Superior for the EyeSight driver assist system’s effectiveness.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has given the 2020 Impreza an overall safety rating of five out of five stars. The Impreza gained five stars in the frontal and side crash tests, as well as in the rollover test.


Impreza Safety Features

The Impreza comes standard with a rearview camera. For 2020, the EyeSight safety system was made standard for all models with a continuously variable automatic transmission. This collection of safety features includes lane keep assist, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking, and lead vehicle start alert, which signals you when the vehicle ahead of you has moved after being stopped.


Available features include blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, reverse automatic emergency braking, and automatic high-beam headlights.

How safe is the Subaru Crosstrek?

Crosstrek Crash Test Results

The National Highway Safety Administration has given the 2020 Crosstrek an overall safety rating of five out of five. This Subaru received five stars in the side crash test and four stars in the frontal crash and rollover tests.


The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has not yet crash tested the 2020 Crosstrek.

Crosstrek Safety Features

The Crosstrek comes standard with a rearview camera. Available driver assistance features include lane change assist, rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, lane departure and sway warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure and sway warning, lane keep assist, reverse automatic braking, and automatic high-beam headlights. 

Some of the features mentioned above are part of Subaru’s EyeSight collection of active safety technology.


In terms of safety, the Impreza proved itself to be safer than the Crosstrek. It has even earned higher safety ratings than the latter. The Crosstrek doesn't even have any crash test ratings yet from the IIHS. So if you are into safety ratings and features, then the Impreza is right for you.

Why should I buy a Subaru Impreza?

The 2020 Subaru Impreza is a great compact car. It has a comfortable and spacious cabin, which is well-equipped with intuitive controls and features. This Subaru comes with standard all-wheel drive that allows it to maintain road grip on many different surfaces. There is a  downside though, the performance of the Impreza is somewhat hampered by its engine, which seems to be underpowered for a vehicle in the class.


Considering its low base price, good fuel efficiency, and some handy technology features, the Impreza is a very good bargain. One of the highlights of this vehicle is that it is the only compact car that comes with all-wheel drive, which can sell anyone who is frequently driving on wet roads.


Why should I buy a Subaru crosstrek?

Regardless of the weather, it will get you where you need to go. The Subaru Crosstrek is a decent SUV. It offers a smooth ride and boasts plenty of cargo space. The cabin looks attractive, with two rows of spacious seats and a couple of user-friendly infotainment features. You should not expect it to be very sporty, though. There is a lot of body lean when taking the corners and the engine feels weak at times.


For shoppers who are not particular with performance, the Crosstrek should be a good choice, especially if you are into spacious subcompact SUVs. This Subaru comes standard with all-wheel drive which, a feature that is optional or unavailable in most rivals. Its price tag is reasonable for the class.

Should You Buy a New or Used Subaru Impreza?

If you are interested in getting plenty of safety features, you should buy a new Subaru Impreza. However, if you are okay with less features or do not mind shopping for a used Impreza that has some handy safety features, you could save money by going with an older model. Experts strongly recommend sticking with models from the current generation, which started the redesigned 2017 Impreza. These models boast a retuned suspension and standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which make it a better choice over the older Imprezas.

Should I Buy a New or Used Subaru Crosstrek?

There have not been many changes since the Crosstrek was redesigned in 2018, so most shoppers would be better off with a used Crosstrek from the current generation. You can get a very identical vehicle and you will most likely spend less compared to choosing a new Crosstrek. It will be a lot cheaper to buy a Crosstrek from the previous generation, however, you will not get the chance to take advantage of the redesign.


The 2018 model has more legroom and cargo space compared to the 2017 model. It also offers four more horsepower, as well as standard features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which were not available in the 2017 Crosstrek. 


The 2019 model got equipped with HD Radio, and the Crosstrek Hybrid joined the lineup later in the model year.


For the 2020 model, automatic climate control becomes a standard feature, and Crosstrek models with the continuously variable automatic transmission or CVT received an engine stop-start system to help conserve fuel. Models that are CVT-equipped now feature a reminder to signal you to check the back seat before leaving the vehicle.

Is Subaru better than Toyota?

Subaru and Toyota are both America’s household names when it comes to vehicles, each has its own loyal customers. They both sell a wide selection of cars, SUVs and wagons that Americans fancy, and both have created large-scale manufacturing facilities in the United States.They both offer vehicles that provide decent reliability, performance, and value. Subaru vehicles are well-known for being top-notch in  terms of safety, an aspect Toyota is now addressing. In terms of head-to-head comparison, you will be dumbstruck to see that Subaru vehicles are more durable and have better value.


Car reliability has to do with both occurrence and cost of regularly wearing out repairs, and performance of your car, not just about the car not stalling. It is more on how you use your car. Like if all you need is to go back and forth from work without any surprises, then Toyota is a very much reliable option for you. However, if you are planning to go on outings and would need an all-weather and all-terrain type vehicle, then Subaru should fit your needs, since they highlight safety and durability. 


According to experts, if you tune up and change the oil of your Toyota on a regular basis as per the vehicle owner’s manual and use it to just drive around town, you can expect it to last for more than 100,000 miles or 10 to 15 years. Handling a Subaru the same way will most likely cost more, but it will definitely last more than 300,000 miles. Meaning to say, you can drive your Subaru in your entire adult life without having to replace it.


Since we have already established which of the two brands is more reliable in this reliability comparison of Subaru vs Toyota, let us now check how to tell a vehicle’s reliability, factors that affect a vehicle’s reliability, and how to improve your vehicle’s reliability.


What does a car need to be considered reliable?

A reliable car, in simple terms, is a car you can rely on to safely get you to your destinationwhen needed, all the time. All of us want a vehicle which, aside from regular maintenance, all we have to regularly do is tank up and go. How then is reliability proven?


The Reliability Index

This UK based reliability index is a universally accepted measure that is computed by taking into account all factors of a repair, failure frequencies and cost of parts. The standard or average reliability index mark is 118. Any vehicle with more than 118 index, is considered less reliable. From the same perspective, a vehicle with reliability index less than 118 is extremely reliable. Along with the reliability index, the average cost of repairs is normally considered. The reason behind that, is that two vital factors affect a vehicle’s reliability: The cost of repairs and how frequent it needs those repairs.


Consumer Surveys

Another great way to measure a vehicle’s reliability is its performance in consumer surveys. There are a lot of reliability based surveys, some of which will be tackled later on as we focus our attention to the Subaru vs Toyota reliability comparison.


How does Subaru and Toyota compare in reliability in Customer Surveys?



Reliability index – Brand: 103

Cost of repairs per year: $820

Brand Position – Reliability Index: 18

Customer Satisfaction: 91.09%



Reliability index – Brand: 58

Cost of repairs per year: $550

Brand Position – Reliability Index: 4

Customer Satisfaction: 90.54%


Toyota is an exceedingly reliable brand than Subaru, based on its very low reliability index. Around 2010, Subaru became really popular. However, its reliability regrettably dropped in 2016. This could be due to Subaru having fewer models than rivals like Toyota. A reliability issue in one or some of its models has a great overall impact on the brand reliability index.


One more reason that makes Toyota really popular is its low average cost of repairs. Subaru repair costs are rather high. One main factor is that in spite of the fact that Toyotas are very common in the U.S., Subarus are quite few. Their spare parts are consequently hard to find, compared to Toyota, and their repair shops are even fewer.


The time spent on the road is higher for the Subaru than for the Toyota. The fact that Subarus are fewer than Toyotas, as explained earlier, could be one way to expound it. Another reason is that Subarus have the standard all-wheel-drive system and a unique box engine. Repairs then require a qualified person.


We have to be very careful though, because Reliability surveys rely on customers’ feedback. Considering they provide us mixed rankings for each brand, makes it difficult to tell who is the real winner. 



Subaru came out better when it comes to durability, value and customer satisfaction than Toyota. But on the other hand, in terms of  the average cost of repairs and accessibility of repair facilities, Toyota won the battle. So unless you are a solid Subaru-fan, Toyota vehicles should be the right one for you.