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

You won't find Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / 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 Golf / Rabbit / 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 Golf / Rabbit / GTI and Subaru Impreza / Outback Sport reliability as the cars age. Others tell you how reliable the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / 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 Golf / Rabbit / GTI and the Subaru Impreza / Outback Sport have been recently.

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See reliability results for all Sedans, Hatchbacks, Wagons, and Convertibles.
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Year Make/Model Repair Frequencysuccessful repair trips per 100 cars per year Compared to all models for the same year  
2000 Volkswagen Golf / GTI   11 Golf / GTIs, 9.2 months of data per Golf / GTI, average 126200 miles

* Very small sample size.
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2001 Volkswagen Golf diesel   11 Golf diesels, 9.5 months of data per Golf diesel, average 206600 miles

* Very small sample size.
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2001 Volkswagen Golf / GTI 26 Golf / GTIs, 8.8 months of data per Golf / GTI, average 139100 miles100
60% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2002 Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport   23 Impreza / WRX / Outback Sports, 7.8 months of data per Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport, average 119900 miles

* Small sample size.
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2002 Volkswagen Golf / GTI 25 Golf / GTIs, 8.2 months of data per Golf / GTI, average 112300 miles

Note high average odometer for the TDI.
65
20% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2002 Volkswagen Golf diesel   14 Golf diesels, 10.3 months of data per Golf diesel, average 196900 miles

* Very small sample size.
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2003 Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport   12 Impreza / WRX / Outback Sports, 9.7 months of data per Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport, average 136700 miles

* Very small sample size.
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2003 Volkswagen Golf / GTI 29 Golf / GTIs, 8.6 months of data per Golf / GTI, average 132400 miles

Note high average odometer for the TDI.
58
10% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2003 Volkswagen Golf diesel 25 Golf diesels, 9.3 months of data per Golf diesel, average 211400 miles

Note high average odometer for the TDI.
124
90% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2004 Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport   16 Impreza / WRX / Outback Sports, 7.9 months of data per Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport, average 116300 miles

* Small sample size.
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2004 Volkswagen Golf / GTI   16 Golf / GTIs, 10.5 months of data per Golf / GTI, average 100500 miles

* Small sample size.
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2005 Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport 47 Impreza / WRX / Outback Sports, 8.6 months of data per Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport, average 108100 miles

Head gaskets are a common expensive problem with older Subarus.
53
30% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2005 Volkswagen Golf diesel   12 Golf diesels, 8.5 months of data per Golf diesel, average 148600 miles

* Very small sample size.
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2005 Volkswagen Golf / GTI   10 Golf / GTIs, 8.5 months of data per Golf / GTI, average 122700 miles

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2006 Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport 30 Impreza / WRX / Outback Sports, 10.1 months of data per Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport, average 79000 miles

Head gaskets are a common expensive problem with older Subarus.
63
40% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2007 Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport   20 Impreza / WRX / Outback Sports, 8.2 months of data per Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport, average 92700 miles

* Small sample size.
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2007 Volkswagen GTI 32 GTIs, 10.5 months of data per GTI, average 90200 miles

Redesigned. Includes the 2006.5 Rabbit and GTI.
85
70% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2007 Volkswagen Rabbit 2.5 37 Rabbit 2.5s, 8.4 months of data per Rabbit 2.5, average 97600 miles

Redesigned. Includes the 2006.5 Rabbit and GTI.
89
80% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2008 Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport 32 Impreza / WRX / Outback Sports, 7.9 months of data per Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport, average 77100 miles

Redesigned for this model year.
43
30% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2008 Volkswagen Rabbit 2.5 35 Rabbit 2.5s, 9.2 months of data per Rabbit 2.5, average 74900 miles49
30% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2008 Volkswagen R32   13 R32s, 9.7 months of data per R32, average 56700 miles

* Very small sample size.
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2008 Volkswagen GTI 32 GTIs, 9.5 months of data per GTI, average 69600 miles79
70% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2009 Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport 28 Impreza / WRX / Outback Sports, 8.1 months of data per Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport, average 57400 miles47
40% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2009 Volkswagen Rabbit 32 Rabbits, 8.9 months of data per Rabbit, average 62200 miles

Common problem with the intake manifold in the GTI.279
21
0% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2009 Volkswagen GTI 29 GTIs, 8.5 months of data per GTI, average 65400 miles

Common problem with the intake manifold in the GTI.279
102
100% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2010 Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport 26 Impreza / WRX / Outback Sports, 8.7 months of data per Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport, average 59400 miles16
0% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2010 Volkswagen Golf 2.5   23 Golf 2.5s, 9.1 months of data per Golf 2.5, average 42500 miles

* Small sample size.
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2010 Volkswagen GTI 54 GTIs, 10.9 months of data per GTI, average 47000 miles

Redesigned.
49
50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2010 Volkswagen Golf diesel 69 Golf diesels, 9.8 months of data per Golf diesel, average 68600 miles

Redesigned.
53
50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2011 Subaru Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport 40 Impreza / WRX / Outback Sports, 9.4 months of data per Impreza / WRX / Outback Sport, average 31500 miles35
30% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2011 Volkswagen Golf 2.5   19 Golf 2.5s, 9.3 months of data per Golf 2.5, average 42400 miles

* Small sample size.
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2011 Volkswagen Golf diesel 63 Golf diesels, 10.1 months of data per Golf diesel, average 51200 miles49
50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2011 Volkswagen GTI 48 GTIs, 9.4 months of data per GTI, average 41200 miles56
60% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2012 Subaru Impreza 53 Imprezas, 9.5 months of data per Impreza, average 32400 miles

Impreza redesigned for this model year. Some reports of excessive oil consumption in the Impreza.
12
0% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2012 Subaru WRX / STI   15 WRX / STIs, 9.4 months of data per WRX / STI, average 27000 miles

* Small sample size.
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2012 Volkswagen Golf 2.5   23 Golf 2.5s, 11.6 months of data per Golf 2.5, average 25500 miles

* Small sample size.
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2012 Volkswagen Golf diesel 53 Golf diesels, 9.9 months of data per Golf diesel, average 34200 miles39
40% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2012 Volkswagen GTI 85 GTIs, 9.4 months of data per GTI, average 27700 miles57
70% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2013 Subaru Impreza 55 Imprezas, 10.7 months of data per Impreza, average 19900 miles12
10% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2013 Volkswagen Golf 2.5   15 Golf 2.5s, 9.1 months of data per Golf 2.5, average 15100 miles

* Small sample size.
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2013 Volkswagen GTI 52 GTIs, 10.0 months of data per GTI, average 15800 miles25
30% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2013 Volkswagen Golf diesel 41 Golf diesels, 10.6 months of data per Golf diesel, average 20200 miles36
50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2014 Subaru Impreza 40 Imprezas, 7.5 months of data per Impreza, average 8200 miles8
0% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2014 Volkswagen Golf diesel 26 Golf diesels, 7.0 months of data per Golf diesel, average 9800 miles40
50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2015 Volkswagen GTI   23 GTIs, 3.7 months of data per GTI, average 3900 miles

* Small sample size.
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What People Are Saying about Reliability and the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI

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What Our Members Are Saying about the Reliability and Durability of the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI

Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI Reliability and Durability: Pros
YearBody/PowertrainComment
2012 2dr Hatch 170-horsepower 2.5L I5
5-speed manual FWD
The car is not old, but so far, so good. Oil changes are required only every 10K miles at first, and the first three are taken care of - not a high-price incentive, certainly, but a nice touch. I haven't had a single cause for alarm so far, and the car operates as it did on the day I bought it. VW has an iffy reputation in the US right now, but it's also said that quality control is best in Wolfsburg, where this car is assembled, and for what its worth, Consumer Reports ranked the MK6 Golf well above average for projected reliability.
2011 2dr Hatch turbocharged 200hp 2.0L I4
6-speed manual FWD
I've never had any problems whatsoever. Regular oil changes with good-quality products, premium gas, the occasional bottle of techron and she's been good to go for almost 60k now.
2010 4dr Hatch turbocharged 140hp 2.0L I4 Diesel
6-speed manual FWD
I may be risking jinxing myself, given the brand's reputation, but it's been very reliable for three years now! No major problems, no big out-of-pocket expenses.
2009 2dr Hatch 170-horsepower 2.5L I5
5-speed manual FWD
No problems so far, the car feels durable and does not creak or make funny noises
2009 4dr Hatch turbocharged 200hp 2.0L I4
6-speed manual FWD
No complaints once we sorted out a few initial problems. Car is reliable and I would drive it anywhere.
2008 2dr Hatch 170-horsepower 2.5L I5
6-speed shiftable automatic FWD
very safe car, rated well in crash ratings, better warrenty than most,
2008 2dr Hatch 250-horsepower 3.2L V6
6-speed automated manual AWD
Rated by Edmunds as a "least cost" vehicle, coming in at a rate below the comparable vehicle costs of operation and ownership
2008 2dr Hatch turbocharged 200hp 2.0L I4
6-speed automated manual FWD
The 2008 VW GTI is a car that you can't depend on. It has tons of issues that affect a high percentage of owners, which include: Diverter valve failure PCV faliure Cam wear Fuel pump failure Air conditioning failure Misfires Carbon build up Avoid this car at all costs. Don't make the same mistake I did.
2006 4dr Hatch turbocharged 100hp 1.9L I4 Diesel
5-speed manual FWD
The diesel engine is built to last.
2006 4dr Hatch 115-horsepower 2.0L I4
4-speed automatic FWD
We had a very high recommendation from a close friend regarding Golf and we are finding it to be exactly as stated. Solid and reliable, plus easy to drive. We are aware of expensive parts and service but we have not had any repairs to date other than tire
Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI Reliability and Durability: Cons
YearBody/PowertrainComment
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?
2012 4dr Hatch turbocharged 200hp 2.0L I4
6-speed automated manual FWD
My GTI had a water pump failure inside of 20k miles. Other than that, all was good.
2010 4dr Hatch turbocharged 140hp 2.0L I4 Diesel
6-speed automated manual FWD
Do not trust VW to be well built or have dealers that will honor the warranty.
2008 2dr Hatch turbocharged 200hp 2.0L I4
6-speed automated manual FWD
The 2008 VW GTI is a car that you can't depend on. It has tons of issues that affect a high percentage of owners, which include: Diverter valve failure PCV faliure Cam wear Fuel pump failure Air conditioning failure Misfires Carbon build up Avoid this car at all costs. Don't make the same mistake I did.
2007 2dr Hatch turbocharged 200hp 2.0L I4
6-speed automated manual FWD
I have had to return to the dealership three times for "Airbag Fault" warnings.
2007 2dr Hatch turbocharged 200hp 2.0L I4
6-speed automated manual FWD
OK, everything comes with a price, right? Rattles, bad tranny, warpped timing belt cover, cracked tail light lens. Did I mention the rattles? Know what? I STILL like it. Thank God for warranties.
2007 2dr Hatch turbocharged 200hp 2.0L I4
6-speed manual FWD
VW needs to address reliability concerns with bulletprood reliability and a good service network.
2007 4dr Hatch turbocharged 200hp 2.0L I4
6-speed automated manual FWD
In a year of ownership I have had far more dealership experiences than I care to remember. Lots of check engine lights, parts acting funny, and several parts that have questionable long-term durability.
2007 4dr Hatch turbocharged 200hp 2.0L I4
6-speed manual FWD
Averaging 2 to 3 shop visits per year. Concerns about how much it will cost to own this vehicle over the long haul.
2006 4dr Hatch turbocharged 100hp 1.9L I4 Diesel
5-speed shiftable automatic FWD
Lots of repairs so far, minor and major ones.
 

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
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.
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.
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.
2008 4dr Hatch 170-horsepower 2.5L H4
5-speed manual AWD
Good mechanical reputation for the brand.
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.