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Subaru Outback vs. Lexus ES 350

Hi. We have a 2017 Subaru Outback with about 50,000 miles. We are considering getting a 2013 Lexus with 90,000 miles. We have always had Toyotas, and the Subaru does not seem to be made as well. Thoughts about longevity of the two cars, construction and value? Thank you!

The Lexus is based on the same platform as the Camry so it can go a long time but really depends on how well it was maintained, The same as with your Subaru, I’ve got a friend with a Camry a generation older than this with over 300,000 miles on it and planning to go for 400K. Also a friend with the current gen ES350 who replaced it after 6mo when the car was rear ended at highway speed. He didn’t get injured at all and the only reason we heard about it was when he announced that he’d bought another ES to replace it.

He’d moved to California but the dealer there was able to find the exact same car and give him better financing than the car he’d bought 6mo before. Gap insurance was well worth it and ended up covering $10,000 difference between the insurance payout and the new car.

Thank you. The Lexus was very well maintained (oil changes every 5000 miles, recent new tires and brakes but no other major repairs). Do you think the Lexus is a better made car?

Knowing owners of both they’re equally as well made, the Outback owners i know all love their cars. The friend that’s on his 2nd ES in a year came from a series of Impreza WRX’s but wanted something more grown up for his new job.

How can anyone else make this decision for you. They are very different cars. If you don’t value the all whee drive or the extra carrying capacity of the Outback, I am puzzled why you bought one.

I don’t even understand why you would want an older vehicle with more miles the the one you have .
What is it about the Subaru that makes you think it is not well made. Either one could go for many miles or drop dead tomorrow.

We bought a new 2007 Lexus ES-350 back in Feb of 2007. About 190k miles now. Every year we assess if we need/want a new vehicle. My wife LOVES her Lexus…and it’s been virtually trouble free beyond normal maintenance. We did have to replace the water-pump at 60k miles…but that’s it…zero other issues. I maintain it well…and it’s still a GREAT running vehicle.

How will you sell Subaru?
Why not buy a newer Lexus?
Are you getting it from a friend/relative?

That is a really good question since Debby has other threads saying they drive their vehicle until there is nothing left in them .

My 2011 Outback currently has ~105k on the odometer, and it has required one repair in the 10+ years that I have owned it. That repair consisted of replacing the windshield washer reservoir–under warranty–when the vehicle was about 2 years old. In sum, it has been the most reliable and durable vehicle that I ever owned.

Other than maintenance, I have not spent any money on it.

Admittedly it’s none of my business…

But I can’t understand the logic in getting rid of a newer, lower mileage car that you’re familiar with…for an older, higher mileage car.

All cars have problems, especially used ones. It’s not a matter of “build quality”. Why is the person selling the Lexus wanting to get rid of it? Could you be buying their “problem”?


There is not a single person on planet Earth who can tell you with one iota of certainty that an 8 year old car with 90k miles is going to be solid as far as longevity and construction goes. Simply no way of knowing as it could be a great car or rolling junk. As to value; that’s in the eye of the beholder.

You have not stated what issues you have had with the Subaru, but I fail to see the logic of regressing. The Subaru has carried you for 50k miles in 3 or so years and unless it’s been on the tow truck a dozen times or in the shop every other month I can’t see getting rid of it. Your decision though.


A lot of electrical problems were reported on the 2017 Outback due to premature battery failure.

I have had many Subaru’s and I find them to be well made. Subaru did have a run on some bad batteries. We had a 2016 Outback zero problems and we traded it in for a 2018 that has 30k and zero problems. We have a 2005 Impreza with125k as a backup car.

They also had head gasket problems for several years. I know at least 3 people who bought Sub’s that had head gasket failures.

Dang, swapping a 2016 for a 2018 sounds like a poor financial decision. You went from a working known entity for a new one. Money issues aside, a 2nd car now has new potential problems vs known old car. You paid tax tile doc fees on both cars. Unless you say you sold 2016 for a profit? Which is a good trick.

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All other things being equal, the Lexus should last longer. But that’s from beginning-of-life, which means the Lexus you’re looking at is already 5 years older, which means that even if it lasts 4 years longer than your Subaru, it will still die before the Subaru.

And that’s assuming all things are equal. 90,000 miles is a lot of time for the previous owner to neglect the car. The most reliable car in the world turns into a hunk of junk if the owner doesn’t maintain it.

If I were wanting to replace that Subaru, I’d be looking for a Lexus that was at least as young as the Subaru if not younger.

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I have owned a lot of Subarus and never had a head gasket problem. Certain years had some issues.

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The cars were paid for in cash, no loans. We upgraded for the better tech and the 6 cylinders have good resale.

Thanks so much for the input MikeInNH. That is what I have heard also. I appreciate your response.