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Mazda Mazda3 vs. Subaru Impreza Reliability by Model Generation

Results are for year ending September 30, 2016. 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 and Model Percent of Average  
2012 - 2016 Subaru Impreza / WRX
16.8571428571% Best 67% Worst
See problems for this generation
2014 - 2016 Mazda Mazda3
23.7142857143% Best 79% Worst
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2010 - 2013 Mazda Mazda3
7.71428571429% Best 51% Worst
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2008 - 2011 Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport
44.8571428571% Best 116% Worst
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2004 - 2009 Mazda Mazda3
35.1428571429% Best 99% Worst
See problems for this generation
2002 - 2007 Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport
44.2857142857% Best 115% Worst
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What Our Members Are Saying about the Reliability And Durability of the Mazda Mazda3

Mazda Mazda3 Reliability And Durability: Pros
YearBody/PowertrainComment
2012 4dr Sedan 155-horsepower 2.0L I4
6-speed shiftable automatic FWD
It was neck and neck between the Mazda3 and the MINI COOPER. I had my heart set on the MINI, but reliability was the deciding factor. I spent countless hours researching vehicles over the last several months and was very dismayed at all the mechanical issues that plague the MINI. On the other hand the Mazda3 seems to be very much trouble free. I really wanted a MINI, but I knew its 'cool' fun to drive personality wouldn't be enough to overcome the reliability headaches I could expect. full 2012 Mazda Mazda3 review
2012 4dr Hatch 155-horsepower 2.0L I4
6-speed shiftable automatic FWD
I do have to hand it to this car; it's been DEAD RELIABLE. Nothing has been broken enough to warrant a trip to the shop. THe only issue I had was with the heater fan making noise, and then the heater stopped working at the end of last winter, but it is woring normally now, without a repair. full 2012 Mazda Mazda3 review
2011 4dr Sedan 167-horsepower 2.5L I4
5-speed shiftable automatic FWD
Reputation for reliability. full 2011 Mazda Mazda3 review
2011 4dr Sedan 167-horsepower 2.5L I4
5-speed shiftable automatic FWD
Consumer Reports top rated is always a good choice. full 2011 Mazda Mazda3 review
2010 4dr Hatch 167-horsepower 2.5L I4
5-speed shiftable automatic FWD
Always rated well full 2010 Mazda Mazda3 review
2010 4dr Sedan 167-horsepower 2.5L I4
6-speed manual FWD
Mazda has been a reliable purveyor of fun cars, and its Mazda 3 is no disappointment. The new-for-2010 version features overhauled sheetmetal and extra cabin refinement, and a 3 s Sport model. full 2010 Mazda Mazda3 review
2010 4dr Sedan 167-horsepower 2.5L I4
5-speed shiftable automatic FWD
I;ve had them in past and have had no warranty issues and other than regular maintenance had not had to take them in to get serviced. full 2010 Mazda Mazda3 review
2010 4dr Sedan 148-horsepower 2.0L I4
5-speed manual FWD
I have been impressed with previous Mazdas I have owned. The 3 was well rated with CR and other automotive sites. full 2010 Mazda Mazda3 review
2009 4dr Sedan 148-horsepower 2.0L I4
4-speed shiftable automatic FWD
Have owned other Mazdas and liked them. full 2009 Mazda Mazda3 review
2009 4dr Hatch turbocharged 263hp 2.3L I4
6-speed manual FWD
reliabiilty is excellent so far. both rear shocks leaked after about 65,000 miles. one oxygen sensor replacemnent. that is it so far. made in hiroshima says it all i guess full 2009 Mazda Mazda3 review
Mazda Mazda3 Reliability And Durability: Cons
YearBody/PowertrainComment
2010 4dr Sedan 167-horsepower 2.5L I4
5-speed shiftable automatic FWD
According to various sources it is not as good as Honda/Toyota. I had 0 problems with the 3. In equal time and distance the Corrola had given me some light headache though. full 2010 Mazda Mazda3 review
2010 4dr Hatch 167-horsepower 2.5L I4
6-speed manual FWD
The drivetrain reliability on this car is awful. Clutch started failing at 40K, axles have gone bad, wheel bearings have gone bad, suspension has been replaced.. full 2010 Mazda Mazda3 review
2009 4dr Hatch 156-horsepower 2.3L I4
5-speed shiftable automatic FWD
I got this from previous owner. full 2009 Mazda Mazda3 review
2008 4dr Hatch turbocharged 263hp 2.3L I4
6-speed manual FWD
turbo might be unreliable full 2008 Mazda Mazda3 review
2008 4dr Sedan 148-horsepower 2.0L I4
4-speed shiftable automatic FWD
My alternator went out after 10,000 miles of gentle driving. It happened to fail as I was driving through the coastal Oregon mountains, causing me to lose power steering intermittently on the twisties. Inexcusable for modern, brand-new automobile!! full 2008 Mazda Mazda3 review
2006 4dr Hatch 160-horsepower 2.3L I4
5-speed manual FWD
I am getting an intermittent CEL coming on, and it seems to be missing every now and then. Not sure if it is bad tank of gas, or a plug is dirty, but it is a little disconcerting. Sometimes when you pull away you feel it jerk a little, and then it kicksin full 2006 Mazda Mazda3 review
2006 4dr Sedan 160-horsepower 2.3L I4
5-speed manual FWD
Perhaps I have a lemon or drive it too hard, but have replaced: Clutch at 22k (free fix from dealer) Right Axle (CV joints clicking) at 65k ($480 part!) Left Axle (CV joints) starting to click Broken engine mount (rear, #3 I think) at 50k inspection full 2006 Mazda Mazda3 review
2005 4dr Sedan 160-horsepower 2.3L I4
4-speed shiftable automatic FWD
Had several repairs during warranty. None engine related except one. Nearly every repair was covered by a TSB so known problems. Plus developed rust on inside door panels due to improper factory clean;Mazda has a lot of problems with rust in this model full 2005 Mazda Mazda3 review
2005 4dr Hatch 160-horsepower 2.3L I4
5-speed manual FWD
I've owned many great Mazdas in the past and they have always been exceptional cars, but this 3 has been awful. Everything was OK until around 70k miles and from there on out it has been nonstop issues.
  • Brakes - Plan on replacing rotors every time you do pads
  • Tie Rod - Broke clean in half at 80k miles. The car was never in a collision or anything that could have explained it. If I was on the highway I could have seriously crashed the car
  • Belt Tensioner - Only available OEM (and pricey)
  • Control arms, bushings (front and rear), constant clunks and thuds from the suspension.
  • Broken shock mounts
  • Heater Core at 90k miles
  • Wheel bearings - In 127k miles I have done all 4 twice. My mechanic says that this is common on all of the 3's he services.
  • Front End shimmy - It has had a shimmy of varying degrees constantly since about 50k miles on. I will get a bunch of front end work done, replace rotors, or balance tires, and it will be better, but never gone
  • All sorts of electrical weirdness (Sometimes the "you forgot your key in the ignition" chime wont go off until you turn the car back on/off)
  • Headlights - You will replace them so often that you can do it in your sleep. We also have a Mazda 5 and it is the same way. I have even had to replace the weird socket adapters they use. Currently I am getting no power at all to the passengers side. Also, those clear lenses haze like crazy.
  • Horn - even the slightest puddle drowns it. Mine seemed to have been shorted out as the relay trips but now I dont even get power to the horn itself
  • The condensate drain for the AC clogs constantly. If you dont notice it, it will slowly start to seep into the carpet and cause a wonderful mildew funk. Its easy to fix with a chopstick or pencil, but I have never had a car where this is an issue before.
  • Cruise Control now toggles off/on/off/on creating a wonderful seasick sensation
I would like to mention that I'm not some boy racer constantly hooning around. My car is completely stock, I'm a 38 year old dad, and 90% of the miles on it are highway back and forth to work. This is my daily commuter. full 2005 Mazda Mazda3 review
2004 4dr Sedan 160-horsepower 2.3L I4
4-speed shiftable automatic FWD
No major problems but there are still some problems with brake dust in the rear. Had to have the front passenger window fixed (got loose). Purge valve was found defective. Transmission 2nd gear shifted hard until the software was updated. full 2004 Mazda Mazda3 review
 

What Our Members Are Saying about the Reliability And Durability of the Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport

Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport Reliability And Durability: Pros
YearBody/PowertrainComment
2013 4dr Hatch 148-horsepower 2.0L H4
6-speed shiftable CVT AWD
Subaru is legendary for the durability & craftsmanship of the engine, powertrain, and vehicle frame. The interior may not be luxury, but that's fine by me. full 2013 Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport review
2012 4dr Hatch 148-horsepower 2.0L H4
6-speed shiftable CVT AWD
Ultimately it was Subaru's predicted reliability past 50,000 miles that had us make our final decision between this car and a Volkswagen (Jetta or Passat). full 2012 Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport review
2011 4dr Hatch 170-horsepower 2.5L H4
4-speed shiftable automatic AWD
I have had zero issues with this car, it performs well for me day in and day out without fail. I love it and I am proud to say I own a Subaru. full 2011 Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport review
2010 4dr Hatch turbocharged 265hp 2.5L H4
5-speed manual AWD
I have a lot of friends with Subarus who say nothing but good things. Word-of-mouth is a huge deciding factor here. full 2010 Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport review
2009 4dr Hatch 170-horsepower 2.5L H4
5-speed manual AWD
No annoying squeaks, rattles, plastic wearing, etc. full 2009 Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport review
2009 4dr Hatch 170-horsepower 2.5L H4
5-speed manual AWD
No annoying rattles, squeaks, plastic wearing, etc. Well made and tight tolerances. full 2009 Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport review
2009 4dr Hatch 170-horsepower 2.5L H4
4-speed automatic AWD
No problems so far (I bought the Impreza). This is more based on word of mouth than experience - I know friends who have 200,000+ miles, so durability is certainly achievable in this car. full 2009 Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport review
2008 4dr Hatch turbocharged 224hp 2.5L H4
5-speed manual AWD
Basic maintence is all that needs to be done for the most part. Subaru is an extremely reliable vehicle. full 2008 Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport review
2008 4dr Hatch 170-horsepower 2.5L H4
5-speed manual AWD
Good mechanical reputation for the brand. full 2008 Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport review
2008 4dr Hatch 170-horsepower 2.5L H4
4-speed shiftable automatic AWD
overall fantastic. rarely but sometimes if parked at the wrong angle(?) takes two trys to start. I think it has to do with the location of the fuel pump. full 2008 Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport review
Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport Reliability And Durability: Cons
YearBody/PowertrainComment
2008 4dr Hatch turbocharged 305hp 2.5L H4
6-speed manual AWD
Sub had some issues with the 08 tune for the sti. They where prone to cracking the piston rings in sustained high rpm use. This is not a good thing !! They have since done a service recall to fix this issue. full 2008 Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport review