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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.

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Year Make/Model Repair Frequencysuccessful repair trips per 100 cars per year Compared to all models for the same year  
2014 Hyundai Santa Fe   21 Santa Fes, 5.1 months of data per Santa Fe, average 5500 miles

* Small sample size.
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or 21 Santa Fes, 5.1 months of data per Santa Fe, average 5500 miles

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2014 Subaru Outback 64 Outbacks, 8.0 months of data per Outback, average 7200 miles14
10% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs

 

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe 50 Santa Fes, 9.9 months of data per Santa Fe, average 16200 miles

Redesigned for this model year. Most of the sample is Santa Fe Sports. Improved from initially high repair frequency.
39
50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
2013 Subaru Outback 107 Outbacks, 9.9 months of data per Outback, average 19600 miles20
20% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs

 

2012 Hyundai Santa Fe   20 Santa Fes, 9.2 months of data per Santa Fe, average 26600 miles

* Small sample size.
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2012 Subaru Outback 112 Outbacks, 9.7 months of data per Outback, average 31100 miles14
10% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2011 Hyundai Santa Fe 29 Santa Fes, 10.4 months of data per Santa Fe, average 39200 miles28
20% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
2011 Subaru Outback 150 Outbacks, 9.6 months of data per Outback, average 44400 miles25
20% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs

 

2010 Hyundai Santa Fe 27 Santa Fes, 9.5 months of data per Santa Fe, average 41700 miles28
20% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
2010 Subaru Outback 114 Outbacks, 9.6 months of data per Outback, average 56700 miles

Redesigned for this model year.
28
20% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs

 

2009 Hyundai Santa Fe 44 Santa Fes, 9.1 months of data per Santa Fe, average 51000 miles30
20% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
2009 Subaru Outback 53 Outbacks, 9.7 months of data per Outback, average 64800 miles77
80% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs

 

2008 Hyundai Santa Fe 33 Santa Fes, 9.6 months of data per Santa Fe, average 56800 miles57
40% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
2008 Subaru Outback 64 Outbacks, 9.3 months of data per Outback, average 78100 miles

Starting to see head gasket failures with the 2008s. A common problem with previous model years.
77
70% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs

 

2007 Hyundai Santa Fe 39 Santa Fes, 9.5 months of data per Santa Fe, average 79500 miles

Redesigned for this model year.
58
40% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
2007 Subaru Outback 49 Outbacks, 9.5 months of data per Outback, average 79900 miles

Head gaskets are a common expensive problem with older Subarus.
72
60% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs

 

2006 Subaru Outback 65 Outbacks, 9.6 months of data per Outback, average 94000 miles

Muliple reports of problems with head gaskets, cv joint boots, sway bar links, and wheel bearings.
104
90% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs

 

2005 Subaru Outback 95 Outbacks, 9.4 months of data per Outback, average 100700 miles

Redesigned for this model year. Most common problems involve struts, wheel bearings, steering pump, CV joints.
99
80% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2004 Hyundai Santa Fe   16 Santa Fes, 7.3 months of data per Santa Fe, average 107400 miles

* Small sample size.
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2004 Subaru Outback   23 Outbacks, 9.1 months of data per Outback, average 128100 miles

* Small sample size.
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2003 Hyundai Santa Fe   10 Santa Fes, 8.8 months of data per Santa Fe, average 110500 miles

* Very small sample size.
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2003 Subaru Outback 29 Outbacks, 10.7 months of data per Outback, average 149500 miles

Head gaskets are a common expensive problem with older Subarus.
105
70% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs

 

2002 Subaru Outback   17 Outbacks, 9.0 months of data per Outback, average 141000 miles

* Small sample size.
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2001 Subaru Outback 26 Outbacks, 9.8 months of data per Outback, average 163700 miles

Head gaskets are a common expensive problem with older Subarus.
66
20% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs

 

2000 Subaru Outback   18 Outbacks, 7.2 months of data per Outback, average 171600 miles

* Small sample size.
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1999 Subaru Outback   15 Outbacks, 6.7 months of data per Outback, average 163900 miles

* Small sample size.
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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 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
So far the car has had only minor issues all covered under the 5 year warranty.
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
No shop visits required in two years
2007 4dr SUV 242-horsepower 3.3L V6
5-speed shiftable automatic AWD
Good reviews, great warrantee
2007 4dr SUV turbocharged 148hp 2.2L I4 Diesel
5-speed shiftable automatic AWD
Never left me on the road, warranty covers almost everything
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
Reputation and family and friends experience tell me I will have this vehicle for a long time.
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.
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 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
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
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 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
2010 4dr Wagon 170-horsepower 2.5L H4
6-speed shiftable CVT AWD
Proven reliability.
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.