Japan-based Subaru (fun fact: the name “Subaru” is based on the Japanese name for the Pleiades constellation – hence the stars in the logo) produces a variety of cars for a variety of lifestyles, but their dedication to excellence remains constant, whether they’re making a coupe or an SUV. With some of the highest safety ratings, best fuel economy, and generally high resale values (provided you keep your car in good condition with the help of a good auto shop) in the industry, the question isn’t about whether you should buy a Subaru, but which one you should get.
One of the best sports wagons on the market, the Subaru Outback is an all-wheel drive, five-door hatchback that can sit five comfortably and has extensive cargo space (about 1 cubic meter of it – over 2 if you fold the rear seats down). Though it doesn’t have the same fuel economy as the Impreza and Crosstrek, the Outback still beats its non-Subaru competitors. Starting at USD $23,495 for new 2014 models, the Outback is great for suburban and rural lifestyles that include occasional off-roading, but handles nicely in urban areas as well.
Smaller and sleeker than the Outback, the Crosstrek is a compact SUV that can seat five and go anywhere and everywhere. The Crosstrek will be Subaru’s first hybrid vehicle and is priced starting at about USD $22,000.
The Impreza is Subaru’s basic four-door, compact sedan. Getting 15.3 Km/L on the highway and up to 11.5 Km/L in the city, the Impreza can seat five comfortably and is ideal for both urban and suburban life. All-wheel drive is standard in the Impreza: setting it apart from the majority of sedans, which are generally front-wheel drive, on the market and giving it an edge in handling. The Impreza is also available as a five-door hatchback for those who want a bit more cargo space. New 2014 models start at USD $17,895.
A sportier, more powerful Impreza, the WRX is perfect for drivers who want a fun, but not ostentatious, car. The WRX starts at almost USD $26,000 and gets up to 10.6 Km/L on the highway.
Quite honestly, the Legacy is just a bigger, and slightly nicer, version of the Impreza. A mid-size sedan, the Legacy can seat five, gets 13.6 Km/L on the highway and 10.2 Km/L in the city. Unlike the Impreza, however, the Legacy is not available as a five-door hatchback and is slightly more expensive (new models start at USD $20,295).
Subaru’s only 2-door coupe, the BRZ is small and zippy. The BRZ is perfect for city driving and can seat four (though it should be noted that the two back seats are less roomy than the driver and passenger seats). Comparable to the Impreza in terms of fuel economy (about 14.5 Km/L highway and 10.6 city), new BRZ models are priced at about USD $26,000 to start.
A mid-sized crossover SUV, the Forester was named Motor Trend’s SUV of the Year. Very similar to the Outback in terms of seating, cargo space, and fuel economy, the Forester is about USD $1,500 less expensive than it’s sister and slightly more rugged.
With all-wheel drive standard and optional seating for seven, the Tribeca is one of Subaru’s larger – but still stylish – cars. Unfortunately, declining sales means that production of this USD $34,000 luxury SUV will end in January 2014. The good news? Subaru is planning to make a completely new full-size SUV.
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