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Hyundai Santa Fe vs. Subaru Outback Reliability

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Results are for year ending December 31, 2015. Only successfully completed repairs are currently included in the analysis. Routine maintenance, most wear items, recalls, and problems fixed with just a reflash or warning light reset are not included.
Year Make/Model Repair Trips Per 100 Cars Compared to all models for the same year    
2016 Subaru Outback 0
0% 0% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  59 Outbacks, 3.1 months of data per Outback, average 2900 miles

 

2015 Hyundai Santa Fe 0
0% 0% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  28 Santa Fes, 7.1 months of data per Santa Fe, average 7300 miles
2015 Subaru Outback 31
40% 40% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  159 Outbacks, 8.7 months of data per Outback, average 8900 miles

 

2014 Hyundai Santa Fe 18
20% 20% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  43 Santa Fes, 9.3 months of data per Santa Fe, average 15400 miles
2014 Subaru Outback 19
20% 20% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  76 Outbacks, 9.8 months of data per Outback, average 21000 miles

 

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe 35
40% 40% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  40 Santa Fes, 9.5 months of data per Santa Fe, average 29400 miles

Redesigned for this model year. Most of the sample is Santa Fe Sports.
2013 Subaru Outback 21
20% 20% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  119 Outbacks, 9.9 months of data per Outback, average 35300 miles

 

2012 Hyundai Santa Fe   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  21 Santa Fes, 9.5 months of data per Santa Fe, average 41700 miles

* Small sample, members only.
2012 Subaru Outback 28
20% 20% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  106 Outbacks, 10.0 months of data per Outback, average 45700 miles

 

2011 Hyundai Santa Fe 69
80% 80% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  26 Santa Fes, 8.7 months of data per Santa Fe, average 55100 miles
2011 Subaru Outback 32
20% 20% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  129 Outbacks, 10.2 months of data per Outback, average 60500 miles

 

2010 Hyundai Santa Fe 55
50% 50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  31 Santa Fes, 8.4 months of data per Santa Fe, average 55400 miles
2010 Subaru Outback 37
20% 20% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  96 Outbacks, 9.8 months of data per Outback, average 70500 miles

Redesigned for this model year.

 

2009 Hyundai Santa Fe 59
50% 50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  42 Santa Fes, 10.1 months of data per Santa Fe, average 69800 miles
2009 Subaru Outback 75
60% 60% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  48 Outbacks, 9.7 months of data per Outback, average 83100 miles

Common problems with CV joint boots, and possibly also wheel bearings.

 

2008 Hyundai Santa Fe 49
30% 30% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  35 Santa Fes, 9.9 months of data per Santa Fe, average 69500 miles
2008 Subaru Outback 103
90% 90% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  62 Outbacks, 9.7 months of data per Outback, average 96100 miles

Common problems with wheel bearings and CV joint boots.

 

2007 Hyundai Santa Fe 97
80% 80% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  29 Santa Fes, 9.4 months of data per Santa Fe, average 96900 miles

Redesigned for this model year. Wheel bearing replacements seem very common.
2007 Subaru Outback 104
90% 90% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  43 Outbacks, 9.1 months of data per Outback, average 91900 miles

Common problem with wheel bearings. Also, head gaskets are a common expensive problem with older Subarus.

 

2006 Subaru Outback 75
50% 50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  61 Outbacks, 9.2 months of data per Outback, average 99500 miles

Muliple reports of problems with head gaskets, cv joint boots, sway bar links, and wheel bearings.

 

2005 Subaru Outback 82
50% 50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  88 Outbacks, 9.1 months of data per Outback, average 112700 miles

Redesigned for this model year. Most common problems involve struts, wheel bearings, steering pump, CV joints.

 

2004 Hyundai Santa Fe   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  11 Santa Fes, 8.7 months of data per Santa Fe, average 102300 miles

* Very small sample, members only.
2004 Subaru Outback   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  20 Outbacks, 8.3 months of data per Outback, average 142600 miles

* Small sample, members only.

 

2003 Hyundai Santa Fe   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  12 Santa Fes, 6.8 months of data per Santa Fe, average 126500 miles

* Very small sample, members only.
2003 Subaru Outback 100
60% 60% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  28 Outbacks, 9.8 months of data per Outback, average 146800 miles

Head gaskets are a common expensive problem with older Subarus.

 

2002 Subaru Outback   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  17 Outbacks, 9.5 months of data per Outback, average 159600 miles

* Small sample, members only.

 

2001 Subaru Outback 99
50% 50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  25 Outbacks, 7.7 months of data per Outback, average 180400 miles

Head gaskets are a common expensive problem with older Subarus.

 

2000 Subaru Outback   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  16 Outbacks, 5.1 months of data per Outback, average 159400 miles

* Small sample, members only.

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Hyundai Santa Fe vs. Subaru Outback Reliability Comparisons

You won't find Hyundai Santa Fe or Subaru Outback reliability information like this anywhere else. Actual repair frequencies, not just vague dots, to make it clear how much the Hyundai Santa Fe and the Subaru Outback truly differ in reliability.

These stats are promptly updated four times a year, to much more closely track Hyundai Santa Fe and Subaru Outback reliability as the cars age. Others tell you how reliable the Hyundai Santa Fe and the Subaru Outback were a year ago, when the cars were a year younger and had 12,000 fewer miles on them. Only TrueDelta tells you how reliable the Hyundai Santa Fe and the Subaru Outback have been recently.

What People Are Saying about Reliability and the Hyundai Santa Fe

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What Our Members Are Saying about the Reliability and Durability of the Hyundai Santa Fe

Hyundai Santa Fe Reliability and Durability: Pros
YearBody/PowertrainComment
2010 4dr SUV 175-horsepower 2.4L I4
6-speed shiftable automatic AWD
Car feels well put together, and everything works!
2009 4dr SUV 185-horsepower 2.7L V6
4-speed shiftable automatic AWD
time will tell it is is durable
2008 4dr SUV 242-horsepower 3.3L V6
5-speed shiftable automatic AWD
seems to run ok so far! has gotten many great reviews, consumer report best buy for 2008 for a midsize SUV
2008 4dr SUV 185-horsepower 2.7L V6
4-speed shiftable automatic FWD
Hyundai warranty; Motor Trend and Customer Reports recommendation; built in Alabama (USA facility); built at same factory as Sonata; great word of mouth about Hyundai and catching up to Japanese companies; continues to impress with new cars like Genesis
2007 4dr SUV 242-horsepower 3.3L V6
5-speed shiftable automatic FWD
From past experience with the Hyundai products, I felt that if this vehicle came close to the previous one, I would be very happy. All professional auto critics praise the Santa Fe.
2007 4dr SUV 242-horsepower 3.3L V6
5-speed shiftable automatic AWD
Hyundai has been constantly improving and the quality we found in the Santa Fe, after having driven all of the competition vehicles, by far surpassed the others.
2007 4dr SUV 242-horsepower 3.3L V6
5-speed shiftable automatic AWD
Good reviews, great warrantee
2007 4dr SUV 242-horsepower 3.3L V6
5-speed shiftable automatic AWD
So far the car has had only minor issues all covered under the 5 year warranty.
2007 4dr SUV turbocharged 148hp 2.2L I4 Diesel
5-speed shiftable automatic AWD
Never left me on the road, warranty covers almost everything
2007 4dr SUV 242-horsepower 3.3L V6
5-speed shiftable automatic AWD
No shop visits required in two years
Hyundai Santa Fe Reliability and Durability: Cons
YearBody/PowertrainComment
2010 4dr SUV 175-horsepower 2.4L I4
6-speed shiftable automatic FWD
We purchased this vehicle new and paid over 26k for it - until this week, we have been generally OK with the purchase (not excited, just OK). Well, it didn't start early this week, stranding my wife at night, in a vacant parking lot. No fun - we eventually got her, and left the Santa Fe. We called to have it towed to the local Hyundai dealership (North Park in Covington) - after all it only has 62k highway miles it and has been greatly taken care of, and it does have the 100k warranty, right? They led me to believe the warranty would cover repairs, but then they said the Starter was bad (we had owned many vehicles in 50 or so years - never a starter failure). Anyway, 100k coverage should take care of their (they said 580 bucks for a Starter - can you believe it) repair on this vehicle. We had it towed to the dealer specifically because of the warranty coverage. Well, the starter is now NOT part of a powertrain (have you ever seen a powertrain operate without a STARTER)? DISGUSTING to say the least - Our family has purchased multiple new Hyundai's from THIS exact dealer, and they cannot cover the STARTER? This sucks. Then later that day I found a TSB from Hyundai on a "cheap" fix for these Starter issues (less than 10 bucks for the part), but OF COURSE this doesn't apply to our repair - we need a NEW one. THEN, they don't have any starters in stock - WOW - NONE, and wanted me to pay extra to ship it faster, or I'd have to wait all week. THEN, I called Hyundai National Customer Service, and they did NOTHING for me. HYUNDAI, you SUCK.
2008 4dr SUV 242-horsepower 3.3L V6
5-speed shiftable automatic AWD
Lower mileage warranty, at least here in Canada.
2007 4dr SUV 242-horsepower 3.3L V6
5-speed shiftable automatic AWD
So far not impress, no major problems, but several issues that seem to take a long time to be fix, but dealerships.
 

What Our Members Are Saying about the Reliability and Durability of the Subaru Outback

Subaru Outback Reliability and Durability: Pros
YearBody/PowertrainComment
2012 4dr Wagon 256-horsepower 3.6L H6
5-speed shiftable automatic AWD
I have nearly 30,000 miles and other than oil changes and other Subaru recommended service zero issues. I am just not noticing that my brakes aren't as strong as they once were, will probably have the pads replaced next service interval.
2011 4dr Wagon 170-horsepower 2.5L H4
6-speed shiftable CVT AWD
So far everything is great and it goes like crazy in the snow.
2011 4dr Wagon 170-horsepower 2.5L H4
6-speed shiftable CVT AWD
Reputation and family and friends experience tell me I will have this vehicle for a long time.
2011 4dr Wagon 256-horsepower 3.6L H6
5-speed shiftable automatic AWD
Most owners rave about its Duability and Reliability and a big percentage of the autos are on the road after 10 years
2011 4dr Wagon 170-horsepower 2.5L H4
6-speed shiftable CVT AWD
I just took my 2011 Outback 2.5 Limited in for its timing belt. I have 105,230 miles on the car and bought it new. It is hard to think this car was anything but a great purchase decision. $30 in repairs (gas cap, wasn't stranded) was all I've spent. I had a 2009 Jetta TDI before despite the mileage of the TDI, the Outback is much cheaper to drive. I have purchase a new battery, changed the differential fluid for the 3rd time and use Mobil 1 syth+filter every 7500 mi. Changed the spark plugs at 60k. Don't. Waste of time. They looked brand new. Will do again every 100k. Air filters every 20-30k. Headlights are a pain to change (Youtube). Mine lasted 60k. Guessing the shop will tell me when I need brakes. I think it will be a while still.
2010 4dr Wagon 170-horsepower 2.5L H4
6-speed shiftable CVT AWD
Proven reliability.
2010 4dr Wagon 170-horsepower 2.5L H4
6-speed shiftable CVT AWD
My wife and four kids drive Subarus. All are expected to be driven well over 100,000 miles. None have disappointed us. The AWD system is bulletproof. Standard maintenance procedures will assure long life.
2010 4dr Wagon 256-horsepower 3.6L H6
5-speed shiftable automatic AWD
Too early to tell.
2010 4dr Wagon 170-horsepower 2.5L H4
6-speed shiftable CVT AWD
Everything about this car seems to be about for and function. Based on reports and friends own experiences I have been told to expect excellent reliability and durability. Most importantly are the number of satisfied owners I have questioned at random.
2010 4dr Wagon 170-horsepower 2.5L H4
6-speed shiftable CVT AWD
I purchase a 1-2 year old used vehicle which I then drive for 10 years at a time. I chose the Subaru due to it's longevity and reliability and it's not been disappointing so far. I'm hoping to get 200k+ miles out of this vehicle and from rea
Subaru Outback Reliability and Durability: Cons
YearBody/PowertrainComment
2010 4dr Wagon 170-horsepower 2.5L H4
6-speed shiftable CVT AWD
No repairs needed except for headlamp bulbs and my brakes are still almost new after 78,000 miles.
2009 4dr Wagon 170-horsepower 2.5L H4
4-speed shiftable automatic AWD
In the first year, we had to replace the tie rods - it was under warranty but very unexpected & a major repair. At about 150,000 we had to replace major things like the head gaskets. The garage told us they make a lot of money on Subarus as this is a very common breakdown. He told us we were lucky to make it to 150K as most go at or before 140K. Our Toyotas went to almost 200,000 and we never replaced anything major - just routine maintenance. There are numerous other repairs - so costly & so much more expensive than with our Toyota truck or previous Toyota cars. I see why the warranty is for so few miles now. That said - back to Toyota for us.
2007 4dr Wagon 175-horsepower 2.5L H4
4-speed shiftable automatic AWD
I do have some reliability concerns, as this engine is notorious for head gasket problems. I noticed that my coolant tank was empty a couple weeks ago. I'm going to track it closely now, but I will be very disappointed if I have to do major work on this engine (head gaskets).
2005 4dr Wagon 168-horsepower 2.5L H4
5-speed manual AWD
Anecdotal reports of engine head gasket problems made me wary.