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Mazda Mazda3 vs. Subaru Impreza / Outback Sport 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    
2015 Mazda Mazda3 8
0% 0% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  71 Mazda3s, 8.5 months of data per Mazda3, average 7300 miles
2015 Subaru Impreza 9
0% 0% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  57 Imprezas, 6.9 months of data per Impreza, average 6700 miles

 

2014 Mazda Mazda3 23
30% 30% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  95 Mazda3s, 9.8 months of data per Mazda3, average 16800 miles

Redesigned.
2014 Subaru Impreza 24
30% 30% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  49 Imprezas, 10.0 months of data per Impreza, average 19200 miles

 

2013 Mazda Mazda3 9
0% 0% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  59 Mazda3s, 9.1 months of data per Mazda3, average 29200 miles
2013 Mazda MazdaSpeed3   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  10 MazdaSpeed3s, 10.8 months of data per MazdaSpeed3, average 27500 miles

* Very small sample, members only.
2013 Subaru Impreza 14
10% 10% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  58 Imprezas, 8.7 months of data per Impreza, average 30900 miles
2013 Subaru WRX / STI   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  10 WRX / STIs, 9.5 months of data per WRX / STI, average 33000 miles

* Very small sample, members only.

 

2012 Mazda MazdaSpeed3   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  16 MazdaSpeed3s, 10.4 months of data per MazdaSpeed3, average 36800 miles

* Small sample, members only.
2012 Mazda Mazda3 12
0% 0% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  78 Mazda3s, 9.0 months of data per Mazda3, average 40500 miles
2012 Subaru Impreza 26
20% 20% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  48 Imprezas, 10.6 months of data per Impreza, average 46300 miles

Impreza redesigned for this model year. Some reports of excessive oil consumption in the Impreza.
2012 Subaru WRX / STI   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  15 WRX / STIs, 9.3 months of data per WRX / STI, average 37900 miles

* Small sample, members only.

 

2011 Mazda Mazda3 7
0% 0% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  37 Mazda3s, 9.9 months of data per Mazda3, average 46900 miles
2011 Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport 26
20% 20% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  29 Impreza / WRX / Outback Sports, 9.7 months of data per Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport, average 40700 miles

 

2010 Mazda Mazda3 15
0% 0% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  91 Mazda3s, 9.5 months of data per Mazda3, average 64900 miles

Redesigned for this model year.
2010 Mazda MazdaSpeed3   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  13 MazdaSpeed3s, 9.4 months of data per MazdaSpeed3, average 62600 miles

* Very small sample, members only.
2010 Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  24 Impreza / WRX / Outback Sports, 10.5 months of data per Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport, average 67500 miles

* Small sample, members only.

 

2009 Mazda Mazda3 38
20% 20% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  35 Mazda3s, 10.0 months of data per Mazda3, average 80100 miles

Includes 2008.5s.
2009 Mazda MazdaSpeed3   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  15 MazdaSpeed3s, 10.8 months of data per MazdaSpeed3, average 67100 miles

* Small sample, members only.
2009 Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport 64
50% 50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  25 Impreza / WRX / Outback Sports, 9.8 months of data per Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport, average 66300 miles

 

2008 Mazda Mazda3 63
50% 50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  57 Mazda3s, 9.4 months of data per Mazda3, average 87800 miles
2008 Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport 59
40% 40% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  30 Impreza / WRX / Outback Sports, 8.9 months of data per Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport, average 89000 miles

Redesigned for this model year.

 

2007 Mazda Mazda3 72
50% 50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  46 Mazda3s, 10.5 months of data per Mazda3, average 98100 miles

First model year for the MazdaSpeed3.
2007 Mazda MazdaSpeed3   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  15 MazdaSpeed3s, 10.2 months of data per MazdaSpeed3, average 75900 miles

* Small sample, members only.
2007 Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  20 Impreza / WRX / Outback Sports, 8.8 months of data per Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport, average 97200 miles

* Small sample, members only.

 

2006 Mazda Mazda3 80
60% 60% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  38 Mazda3s, 9.4 months of data per Mazda3, average 108300 miles
2006 Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport 76
50% 50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  29 Impreza / WRX / Outback Sports, 9.8 months of data per Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport, average 87300 miles

Head gaskets are a common expensive problem with older Subarus.

 

2005 Mazda Mazda3 86
50% 50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  30 Mazda3s, 8.8 months of data per Mazda3, average 115400 miles

Prone to rust where the roads are salted.
2005 Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport 75
40% 40% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  43 Impreza / WRX / Outback Sports, 9.3 months of data per Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport, average 119800 miles

Head gaskets are a common expensive problem with older Subarus.

 

2004 Mazda Mazda3   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  20 Mazda3s, 9.9 months of data per Mazda3, average 128100 miles

* Small sample, members only.
2004 Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  20 Impreza / WRX / Outback Sports, 9.2 months of data per Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport, average 124600 miles

* Small sample, members only.

 

2003 Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  14 Impreza / WRX / Outback Sports, 8.9 months of data per Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport, average 153800 miles

* Very small sample, members only.

 

2002 Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  15 Impreza / WRX / Outback Sports, 10.5 months of data per Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport, average 120000 miles

* Small sample, members only.

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Mazda Mazda3 vs. Subaru Impreza / Outback Sport Reliability Comparisons

You won't find Mazda Mazda3 or Subaru Impreza / Outback Sport reliability information like this anywhere else. Actual repair frequencies, not just vague dots, to make it clear how much the Mazda Mazda3 and the Subaru Impreza / Outback Sport truly differ in reliability.

These stats are promptly updated four times a year, to much more closely track Mazda Mazda3 and Subaru Impreza / Outback Sport reliability as the cars age. Others tell you how reliable the Mazda Mazda3 and the Subaru Impreza / Outback Sport 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 Mazda Mazda3 and the Subaru Impreza / Outback Sport have been recently.

What People Are Saying about Reliability and the Mazda Mazda3

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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
2014 4dr Hatch 184-horsepower 2.5L I4
6-speed shiftable automatic FWD
I can't speak to other cars within my bracket but from previous purchases my car simply put is a lemon. I haven't yet taken legal action against Mazda but am highly considering it. I have owned 3 previous Mazdas and my current 3 has been in the shop more times than the other 2 combinded over a 10 year period. First it was minor vibration and harshness from the engine bay, then several electrical issues from door locks to headlamps to the infotainment to finally my vehicle will stall completely dead shortly after ignition. The dealership I am working with certianly isn't helping. My car has been in and out of the dealership since I have owned it at least once a month. The only reason I had not taken it back sooner is because the last time I brought it by they put two deep 1" scrapes by the fuel door and refused to cover it. This in turn caused almost $2000 worth of damage to repaint and surface the car of which I paid $500 to my insurance company.
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.
2011 4dr Sedan 167-horsepower 2.5L I4
5-speed shiftable automatic FWD
Reputation for reliability.
2011 4dr Sedan 167-horsepower 2.5L I4
5-speed shiftable automatic FWD
Consumer Reports top rated is always a good choice.
2010 4dr Hatch 167-horsepower 2.5L I4
5-speed shiftable automatic FWD
Always rated well
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.
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.
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.
2009 4dr Sedan 148-horsepower 2.0L I4
4-speed shiftable automatic FWD
Have owned other Mazdas and liked them.
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
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.
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..
2009 4dr Hatch 156-horsepower 2.3L I4
5-speed shiftable automatic FWD
I got this from previous owner.
2008 4dr Hatch turbocharged 263hp 2.3L I4
6-speed manual FWD
turbo might be unreliable
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!!
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
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
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
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.
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.
 

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

Subaru Impreza / 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.
2012 4dr Hatch 148-horsepower 2.0L H4
5-speed manual AWD
I do not trust this car on any kind of extended trip. The owner's manual calls for oil changes every 7,500 miles. A synthetic oil is used that makes oil changes expensive. Normally about 3,500 miles after an oil change, your oil light comes on and you have to add oil. On 3 trips of more than 100 miles, this has happened to me. Then you have to locate a Subaru dealer to get the oil they are using. My dealer has given me oil to keep in the car but this is not satisfactory to me. I do not feel the car is reliable and am looking to trade it on something else.
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).
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.
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.
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.
2009 4dr Hatch turbocharged 265hp 2.5L H4
5-speed manual AWD
It is immensely reliable, especially for a sports car. It always starts right up, never runs hot or rough, has never shown a single leak of any kind, whether fluids leaking from the engine or wind/water leaks inside. It's my trusty steed that never disappoints for security and performance, no matter what the world throws at it. Yes, I've abused it by accodent a few times--foot slipped and popped the clutch, backed up with the hand break on, the long nose and ground effects are very susceptible to high curbs. But all in all, this vehicle has been a solid 9.5. I'd give it a 10, but the stupid "hill assist" that you can't turn off caused me to lose the clutch at 23,000 miles. It's ironic that the people who lose their clutches early on these WRXs are the ones with the most experience--quicker feet than the cutoff on the "hill assist", which wears out the clutch PDQ but with no sign of trouble until it totally fails way too early. It's a very stupid, incredibly annoying feature on a hot sports car that only comes as a stick shift. I understand that this feature can be turned off on the STI, but not the WRX. Grrr.
2009 4dr Hatch 170-horsepower 2.5L H4
5-speed manual AWD
No annoying squeaks, rattles, plastic wearing, etc.
2009 4dr Hatch 170-horsepower 2.5L H4
5-speed manual AWD
No annoying rattles, squeaks, plastic wearing, etc. Well made and tight tolerances.
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.
Subaru Impreza / 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.