Subaru Cars

In July 1953, the Japanese transportation conglomerate, Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI) established Subaru as its automobile manufacturing division. Prior to this, it was involved in aircraft design and manufacturing, particularly during World War II. The corporation went through several changes, including being split into 12 smaller companies, then reformed when four companies plus two other companies merged together. The CEO of the newly created FHI decided that he wanted the company to be a part of the automobile market; as a result, Subaru was created.

More on Subaru

Subaru Through The Years

Subaru is the Japanese word for the Pleiades star cluster and was meaningful to the CEO. The logo is also based on this star cluster as well as the fact that FHI was created to the merge six different companies.

In 1968, the Japanese government ordered the merger of many of its automobile manufacturers to improve competitiveness. This led to Nissan purchasing 20 percent of FHI. However, when Nissan was acquired by Renault in 1999, it sold its stake to General Motors. In October 2005, Toyota bought almost 9 percent of the shares owned by General Motors, which ultimately lead the company to no longer be affiliated with the FHI since it sold the remaining 11 percent on the open market.

Subaru in America

Subaru entered the market in the U.S. in 1968 with Subaru of America, which was established in Philadelphia. The Subaru 360 was the first model to be exported to the U.S. since it was before Subaru of America began to produce its own vehicles. But according to an automobile magazine, it wasn't acceptable due to safety concerns and a lack of engine power. However, since the Subaru 360 was very light in weight at less than a thousand pounds, it was exempt from normal safety standards testing at the time. After this report was released, Subaru sales collapsed in the U.S. The Subaru 360 was replaced by the more advanced, but short-lived R-2 model.

Subaru Models

In 1954, the first American-made Subaru hit the road and was called the Subaru 1500. There were only 20 of this model ever made due to supply issues at the Japanese plant. From its start with the Subaru 1500 in 1954 through today, the company has gone on to manufacture dozens of different Subaru models, which are marketed around the world.

In 1971, Subaru began production of the Subaru Leone, which was a compact car. For many years this was the only Subaru model available internationally since smaller models created by Subaru were not considered road-worthy. In North America, the name Leone wasn't used; instead, each version of this vehicle was named for its trim level: DL, GL and GSR. Subaru discontinued it in 1994, which proved to be the predecessor for the Impreza.

Subaru Products and Technologies

In 1989, Subaru introduced the Legacy, a midsize sedan or wagon. It was developed specifically to compete with the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry in the North American midsize car market. In 1995, the Outback trim model was created on the wagon version of the Legacy, which in 2000 became its own unique model. Currently, the fifth generation of the Legacy and the fourth generation of the Outback are on the market.

The Impreza was introduced in 1993. Initially, it could be purchased as a two-door coupe, four-door sedan or five-door wagon in front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive versions. A turbo-charged version was also available in the markets except for North America, due to the fact that Subaru was never affiliated with performance. In fact, Subaru changed focus entirely to emphasize all-wheel drive in North America. As of 1997, all-wheel drive was standard on Impreza and Legacy models. The current model of the Impreza is the third generation, which is available in all-drive as a four-door coupe or a five-door hatchback, or crossover utility vehicle.

In 1997, Subaru launched the Forester, a crossover SUV that comes in front-wheel or all-wheel drive. The Forester is currently in its third generation, which was launched in 2008. It comes in with a four-speed automatic transmission or a five- or six-speed manual transmis+F70sion, with the 6-speed featured as a diesel-fuelled engine. There are also several different trim levels for this vehicle.

The midsize crossover SUV called the Tribeca was launched in 2005. It comes in 5- and 7-seat configurations, and is the only vehicle in its class in North America that has all-wheel drive as standard equipment. The latest vehicle from Subaru is the Exiga, but it is not going to be sold in the U.S. due to its similarities to the Tribeca.

Select a Subaru Model

Subaru B9 Tribeca

2007-2006 | SUV, Utility/Offroad

While many American automakers started out as buggy or carriage companies, many European and Asian car companies started out as aircraft plants and translated the engineering expertise that they developed during wartime into success in the field of automotive design and manufacturing.

Subaru Baja

2006-2003 | Truck, Utility/Offroad

The Subaru Baja was a compact four-door crossover between a pickup truck and a sport utility vehicle (SUV).

Subaru BRZ

2015-2013 | Coupe, Sports

Subaru Forester

2015-1998 | SUV, Utility/Offroad

The Subaru Forester is the carmaker’s answer to a growing need for compact SUVs.

Subaru Impreza

2014-1995 | Compact, Coupe, Hatchback, Sedan, Wagon

Fuji Heavy Industries introduced the Subaru Impreza in spring 1993.

Subaru Legacy

2015-1995 | Midsize, Sedan, Wagon

The Subaru Legacy, like most of the company’s cars and vehicles, is most well-known for its all-wheel drive capabilities.

Subaru Outback

2015-2000 | Compact, Midsize, Sedan, Wagon

The Subaru Outback was first introduced in 1995 as a station wagon with beefed-up, SUV-like styling and a two-tone paint job.

Subaru SVX

1997-1995 | Coupe, Sports

If there is one thing the Subaru SVX series was known for was its unique body style.

Subaru Tribeca

2014-2008 | SUV, Utility/Offroad

Like so many of the famous car makers, the Subaru division of Fuji Heavy Industries started out as a manufacturer of heavy industrial goods for a large number of industries.

Subaru WRX

2015 | Compact, Sedan

Subaru XV Crosstrek

2014-2013 | SUV, Utility/Offroad, Wagon

Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid

2014 | Hybrid, Utility/Offroad, Wagon

close