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Volkswagen Jetta / Golf / GTI vs. Subaru Impreza / Outback Sport Reliability

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Results are for year ending March 31, 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 Make/Model Repair Trips Per 100 Cars Compared to all models for the same year    
2001 Volkswagen Golf / GTI   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  19 Golf / GTIs, 9.0 months of data per Golf / GTI, average 153900 miles

* Small sample, members only.
2001 Volkswagen Golf diesel   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  10 Golf diesels, 8.3 months of data per Golf diesel, average 206800 miles

* Very small sample, members only.

 

2002 Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  16 Impreza / WRX / Outback Sports, 9.8 months of data per Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport, average 118400 miles

* Small sample, members only.
2002 Volkswagen Golf diesel   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  15 Golf diesels, 9.4 months of data per Golf diesel, average 207200 miles

* Small sample, members only.
2002 Volkswagen Golf / GTI   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  16 Golf / GTIs, 9.4 months of data per Golf / GTI, average 113800 miles

* Small sample, members only.

 

2003 Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  13 Impreza / WRX / Outback Sports, 7.8 months of data per Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport, average 159900 miles

* Very small sample, members only.
2003 Volkswagen Golf / GTI   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  21 Golf / GTIs, 8.0 months of data per Golf / GTI, average 141700 miles

* Small sample, members only.
2003 Volkswagen Golf diesel 139
80.4029304029% 80.4029304029% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  27 Golf diesels, 10.2 months of data per Golf diesel, average 230200 miles

Note high average odometer for the TDI.

 

2004 Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  19 Impreza / WRX / Outback Sports, 9.2 months of data per Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport, average 125600 miles

* Small sample, members only.
2004 Volkswagen Golf / GTI   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  15 Golf / GTIs, 8.1 months of data per Golf / GTI, average 114300 miles

* Small sample, members only.

 

2005 Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport 80
51.1337868481% 51.1337868481% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  41 Impreza / WRX / Outback Sports, 9.5 months of data per Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport, average 118800 miles

Head gaskets are a common expensive problem with older Subarus.

 

2006 Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport 56
34.7117794486% 34.7117794486% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  29 Impreza / WRX / Outback Sports, 8.9 months of data per Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport, average 88200 miles

Head gaskets are a common expensive problem with older Subarus.

 

2007 Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  19 Impreza / WRX / Outback Sports, 8.9 months of data per Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport, average 97000 miles

* Small sample, members only.
2007 Volkswagen GTI 83
64.8051948052% 64.8051948052% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  26 GTIs, 9.5 months of data per GTI, average 98200 miles

Redesigned. Includes the 2006.5 Rabbit and GTI.
2007 Volkswagen Rabbit 2.5 93
75.1948051948% 75.1948051948% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  28 Rabbit 2.5s, 9.3 months of data per Rabbit 2.5, average 110300 miles

Redesigned. Includes the 2006.5 Rabbit and GTI.

 

2008 Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport 53
36.8131868132% 36.8131868132% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  31 Impreza / WRX / Outback Sports, 8.0 months of data per Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport, average 91400 miles

Redesigned for this model year.
2008 Volkswagen R32   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  10 R32s, 10.7 months of data per R32, average 66600 miles

* Very small sample, members only.
2008 Volkswagen Rabbit 2.5 72
57.6923076923% 57.6923076923% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  38 Rabbit 2.5s, 7.9 months of data per Rabbit 2.5, average 88200 miles

Average odometer much lower for the R32.
2008 Volkswagen GTI 77
63.1868131868% 63.1868131868% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  27 GTIs, 9.9 months of data per GTI, average 79100 miles

Average odometer much lower for the R32.

 

2009 Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  24 Impreza / WRX / Outback Sports, 9.5 months of data per Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport, average 68300 miles

* Small sample, members only.
2009 Volkswagen Rabbit 70
55.4945054945% 55.4945054945% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  45 Rabbits, 9.5 months of data per Rabbit, average 74200 miles
2009 Volkswagen GTI 77
63.1868131868% 63.1868131868% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  27 GTIs, 10.4 months of data per GTI, average 70500 miles

 

2010 Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  24 Impreza / WRX / Outback Sports, 10.8 months of data per Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport, average 70100 miles

* Small sample, members only.
2010 Volkswagen GTI 41
38.6446886447% 38.6446886447% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  45 GTIs, 9.8 months of data per GTI, average 58700 miles

Redesigned.
2010 Volkswagen Golf 2.5   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  20 Golf 2.5s, 9.0 months of data per Golf 2.5, average 57100 miles

* Small sample, members only.
2010 Volkswagen Golf diesel 84
100% 100% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  58 Golf diesels, 10.1 months of data per Golf diesel, average 86600 miles

Redesigned.

 

2011 Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport 22
14.4897959184% 14.4897959184% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  30 Impreza / WRX / Outback Sports, 10.7 months of data per Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport, average 42500 miles
2011 Volkswagen GTI 40
43.8775510204% 43.8775510204% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  52 GTIs, 9.2 months of data per GTI, average 51000 miles
2011 Volkswagen Golf 2.5   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  21 Golf 2.5s, 10.0 months of data per Golf 2.5, average 55000 miles

* Small sample, members only.
2011 Volkswagen Golf diesel 42
47.1428571429% 47.1428571429% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  64 Golf diesels, 10.4 months of data per Golf diesel, average 66700 miles

 

2012 Subaru WRX / STI   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  14 WRX / STIs, 9.5 months of data per WRX / STI, average 41000 miles

* Very small sample, members only.
2012 Subaru Impreza 22
17.8571428571% 17.8571428571% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  49 Imprezas, 9.9 months of data per Impreza, average 50100 miles

Impreza redesigned for this model year. Some reports of excessive oil consumption in the Impreza.
2012 Volkswagen Golf diesel 31
33.9285714286% 33.9285714286% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  59 Golf diesels, 9.1 months of data per Golf diesel, average 52200 miles
2012 Volkswagen GTI 33
37.5% 37.5% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  74 GTIs, 9.2 months of data per GTI, average 41700 miles
2012 Volkswagen Golf 2.5 40
50% 50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  28 Golf 2.5s, 9.8 months of data per Golf 2.5, average 39400 miles

 

2013 Subaru Impreza 17
12.0689655172% 12.0689655172% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  53 Imprezas, 9.4 months of data per Impreza, average 33900 miles
2013 Subaru WRX / STI   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  10 WRX / STIs, 10.4 months of data per WRX / STI, average 34800 miles

* Very small sample, members only.
2013 Volkswagen Golf diesel 19
16.0098522167% 16.0098522167% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  49 Golf diesels, 8.9 months of data per Golf diesel, average 37800 miles
2013 Volkswagen GTI 21
19.9507389163% 19.9507389163% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  61 GTIs, 9.5 months of data per GTI, average 29100 miles
2013 Volkswagen Golf 2.5   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  18 Golf 2.5s, 9.9 months of data per Golf 2.5, average 35800 miles

* Small sample, members only.

 

2014 Subaru Impreza 24
33.4285714286% 33.4285714286% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  52 Imprezas, 9.8 months of data per Impreza, average 22200 miles
2014 Volkswagen Golf diesel 12
6% 6% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  41 Golf diesels, 9.8 months of data per Golf diesel, average 24900 miles
2014 Volkswagen GTI   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  12 GTIs, 7.4 months of data per GTI, average 18500 miles

* Very small sample, members only.

 

2015 Subaru Impreza 5
0% 0% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  56 Imprezas, 9.1 months of data per Impreza, average 9000 miles
2015 Volkswagen GTI and Golf R 19
25.7763975155% 25.7763975155% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  89 GTI and Golf Rs, 9.2 months of data per GTI and Golf R, average 10500 miles

Redesigned. Golf 1.8T and TDI have a higher repair frequency than the GTI, unclear why. All might have a somewhat common problem with failing AC compressors.
2015 Volkswagen Golf 1.8T 23
35.7142857143% 35.7142857143% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  26 Golf 1.8Ts, 10.1 months of data per Golf 1.8T, average 6800 miles

Redesigned. Golf 1.8T and TDI have a higher repair frequency than the GTI, unclear why. All might have a somewhat common problem with failing AC compressors.
2015 Volkswagen Golf diesel 35
65.5279503106% 65.5279503106% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  27 Golf diesels, 8.9 months of data per Golf diesel, average 11200 miles

Redesigned. Golf 1.8T and TDI have a higher repair frequency than the GTI, unclear why. All might have a somewhat common problem with failing AC compressors.

 

2016 Subaru Impreza   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  22 Imprezas, 2.5 months of data per Impreza, average 2200 miles

* Small sample, members only.
2016 Volkswagen GTI and Golf R 27
42.8571428571% 42.8571428571% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  69 GTI and Golf Rs, 3.9 months of data per GTI and Golf R, average 2600 miles
2016 Volkswagen Golf 1.8T   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  24 Golf 1.8Ts, 4.1 months of data per Golf 1.8T, average 4700 miles

* Small sample, members only.

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Volkswagen Jetta / Golf / GTI vs. Subaru Impreza / Outback Sport Reliability Comparisons

You won't find Volkswagen Jetta / Golf / GTI 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 Volkswagen Jetta / Golf / GTI and the Subaru Impreza / Outback Sport truly differ in reliability.

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

See TrueDelta's information for all Volkswagen models and Subaru models.

TrueDelta Reviews the Reliability And Durability of the 2016 Volkswagen Golf / GTI

2016 Volkswagen Golf / GTI Reliability And Durability: Cons
YearComment
2015 I'm coming up short on reasons not to buy the new Golf. Sure, Volkswagens don't have the best reputations for reliability, but the horror stories generally involve those from the early 2000s, manufactured over a decade ago. In our stats more recent VWs tend to hold up reasonably well for the first four to six years, and the 2012s and 2013s have been quite reliable, at least so far. Will the all-new 2015s further improve on the 2012-2014 cars, or will there be some first-year glitches? We'll likely have our first fairly precise reliability stats for the new Golf and GTI in February 2015. For now, they're a bit of a gamble. Update: Our earliest data suggests that the new GTI has had a glitch-free launch. But it's early, so stay tuned for quarterly updates from February 2015 onwards. see full 2016 Volkswagen Golf / GTI review
2015 Range is the most obvious reason not to buy a Volkswagen e-Golf, or any EV with the possible exception of the Tesla. If you drive more than 100 miles in a day more than a few times a year, the e-Golf isn't a viable option. Most of the other reasons not to buy an e-Golf (including all of the non-obvious ones) are far less compelling than the reasons to buy one. Some people will figure that, since VW has had trouble with relatively simple electrical components in the past, a VW EV might not be a good idea. The latest Golf has been pretty good in our car reliability survey so far, but the cars are still very young. At this point the e-Golf's long-term reliability is unknown--as is the Soul EV's. see full 2016 Volkswagen Golf / GTI review
 

What Our Members Are Saying about the Reliability And Durability of the 2016 Volkswagen Golf / GTI

2016 Volkswagen Golf / GTI Reliability And Durability: Cons
YearBody/PowertrainComment
2016 2dr Hatch turbocharged 210hp 2.0L I4
6-speed manual FWD
Suspect durability of new tech TSI see full 2016 Volkswagen Golf / GTI review
2013 4dr Hatch turbocharged 140hp 2.0L I4 Diesel
6-speed manual FWD
There is a major potential problem with the Golf TDI in the form of the high pressure fuel pump. The concern is that the Bosch unit does not like American low sulfur diesel fuel because of its relatively lower lubricity compared to Euro diesel fuels available where the car was designed. When the pump fails, it can send metal shavings throughout the fuel system, and require major replacements to the tune of $8-10,000. This is a sword of Damocles hanging over the head of any TDI owner. Three or more design revisions have been implemented, but the problem still shows up. Are you willing to take a chance they finally got it right in your car? see full 2016 Volkswagen Golf / GTI review
 

What Our Members Are Saying about the Reliability And Durability of the 2016 Subaru Impreza

2016 Subaru Impreza 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. see full 2016 Subaru Impreza review