Skip to main content

How All 33 Generations Rank

Sorting models by their generation gives us a clearer picture of common problems across a group of similar vehicles. From there, we can assign scores to each generation to give you a basic picture of which to consider and those to avoid. The higher the score, the faster you should run away.

Rank Model Gen Years PainRank
33rd Forester Gen 4 2014—2017 17.2
32nd Outback Gen 6 2015—2017 16.68
31st Outback Gen 5 2010—2014 13.96
30th WRX Gen 4 2015—2016 11.06
29th Outback Gen 4 2004—2009 8.94
28th Impreza Gen 3 2008—2011 8.6
27th Forester Gen 3 2009—2013 7.54
26th Outback Gen 3 2000—2003 6.99
25th Impreza Gen 4 2012—2016 6.73
24th Forester Gen 1 1998—2002 6.39
23rd Forester Gen 2 2003—2008 6.26
22nd XV Crosstrek Gen 4 2013—2015 5.76
21st Impreza Gen 2 2001—2007 5.71
20th B9 Tribeca Gen 1 2006—2007 4.79
19th Legacy Gen 4 2005—2009 4.75
18th Legacy Gen 6 2015—2017 4.32
17th Legacy Gen 5 2010—2014 4.05
16th Outback Gen 2 1995—1999 3.02
15th XV Crosstrek Hybrid Gen 4 2014—2015 2.67
14th Crosstrek Gen 4 2016—2017 1.85
13th Legacy Gen 3 2000—2004 1.74
12th Tribeca Gen 2 2008—2014 1.73
11th WRX Gen 5 2017—2017 1.42
10th Impreza WRX Gen 4 2012—2014 1.2
9th Legacy Gen 2 1995—1999 0.88
8th Impreza WRX Gen 3 2009—2011 0.87
7th WRX STI Gen 4 2015—2016 0.84
6th Baja Gen 1 2003—2006 0.75
5th Legacy Gen 1 1990—1994 0.72
4th Impreza Gen 5 2017—2017 0.46
3rd Impreza WRX STI Gen 3 2011—2012 0.45
2nd Impreza Gen 1 1993—2000 0.34
1st Crosstrek Hybrid Gen 4 2016—2016 0.0

Answers to the most frequently asked questions

What Are Vehicle Generations?

Generations are groups of model years where the vehicles are continuously produced, use similar engineering, and share features. Generational data is not always cut-and-dry – manufacturers might not always release generation information, some generations might last longer in different countries, and various trim levels and model variants can make the whole thing confusing. We do our best but make no guarantees about our generation data. When in doubt, we stick with data about US models.

Why Are Some Vehicles Missing a 1st / 2nd / 3rd Generation?

You might notice that some of our data starts at generation 5, 6, etc. So what happened to the older generations? One of two things. 1. some models have been around a long time and we don’t have any complaint or NHTSA data about them. 2. some new models share the same platform as existing models, so we typically tie them together. For instance, a new hybrid vehicle might be introduced during the 5th generation of its non-hybrid counterpart. We’ll typically start the hybrid’s generation at 5, unless it’s otherwise noted.

What is PainRank™? Where Does it Come From?

PainRank™ is a CarComplaints.com algorithm that uses complaint data from owners (the average mileage of failures, the cost to make repairs, etc), relative complaints analysis, sales numbers, NHTSA data, & owners’ own vehicle rankings to come up with a number representing how much pain a car inflicts on its owners. The higher the PainRank™ score, the more painful a car is to own (typically).