The 5 Best Sporty Subaru Cars

From the Subaru BRZ to the Subaru Impreza, click here to read about the best sporty cars Subaru has to offer.
Written by Cameron Thiessen
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Subaru has made a name for itself over the years with its legendary rally cars, from the Subaru BRZ to the many iterations and offshoots of the Subaru Impreza.
Born out of Fuji Heavy Industries, which focused on aircraft technology, Subaru released its first car in 1954—the Subaru 1500, originally named the P-1. In 1965, the Subaru 1000 began the legacy of Subaru’s “Boxer'' engine. 1988 would see the establishment of Subaru Tecnica International (STI), the beginning of Subaru’s sports car history.
If you want to build your knowledge of the sportiest Subaru vehicles, then you’ve come to the right place!
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The 5 Best Sporty Subaru Cars

Subaru Legacy

Starting MSRP: $23,990
Why we love it:
The
Subaru Legacy
midsize sedan was an instant hit when it debuted in 1989 with its Boxer engine and symmetrical all-wheel drive. In 1990, Subaru made its debut in the World Rally Championship with a souped up Subaru Legacy, marking the beginning of Subaru’s 30-plus years of success in rally racing.
34 model years later, the 2023 Subaru Legacy is built on the same platform as the more well-known Subaru Outback. It’s equipped with a continuously variable automatic transmission that manages the power of its 260-horsepower turbocharged 2.4-liter flat-four engine. All-wheel drive is still standard, but the Legacy hasn’t really been known for its sportiness since it last won the Alcan Winter Rally in 2006.
Pros: Turbocharged engine standard for 2023 model, standard AWD, plenty of power for the price
Cons: Not as nimble as its ancestors from the nineties and early noughts, soulless CVT transmission is the only option

Subaru Impreza

Starting MSRP: $19,795
Why we love it:
The
Subaru Impreza
was the name that really established Subaru’s legacy as a winning rally car manufacturer when it won three consecutive WRC titles starting in 1995. It would go on to spawn the high performance WRX and STI sports cars that we now know and love.
Nowadays, the Subaru Impreza is nothing more than an affordable compact sedan. While it can’t compete with the power and excitement of the earlier performance models, owners of the new Impreza will appreciate its solid fuel economy. It gets 28 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway in base form with automatic transmission.
Pros: available manual transmission, choice of hatchback or sedan body style, the only car in its class that offers standard AWD, great price
Cons: Unexciting engine, doesn’t live up to the legacy of its name

Subaru WRX

Starting MSRP: $29,105
Why we love it:
The
Subaru WRX
, which started as the 1992 Subaru Impreza WRX, has been a key player in Subaru’s sports car history. “WRX” stands for “World Rally eXperimental,” and it’s long since been used to designate Subaru’s rally-inspired production cars.
There’s no doubt that the
Subaru WRX STI
is one of the coolest used cars you can buy. Unfortunately, for the 2022 model year, there is no WRX STI—it’s expected to return as a high-performance EV, but we don’t know when that will be. For now, the WRX comes with a 271-horsepower 2.4-liter turbocharged flat-four engine that can zip from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.5 seconds. It’s still one of the most fun cars to drive, it’s still highly customizable, and it’s track-ready out of the box.
Pros: powerful engine, both manual and automatic transmissions are fantastic, lack of STI means the regular WRX has to step up more—and it does
Cons: poor fuel economy, best safety features only available with CVT automatic, infotainment UI leaves something to be desired

Subaru BRZ

Starting MSRP: $28,595
Why we love it:
The
Subaru BRZ
sports coupe is without a doubt the sportiest-looking Subaru car available, and it has brilliant sports car performance to back up its looks. It was first released for the 2013 model year, developed in cooperation with Toyota. As a result of that partnership, there were three similar models all released together—the Subaru BRZ, Toyota 86, and Scion FR-S.
The new Subaru BRZ comes with a 2.4-liter flat-four that provides 228 horsepower to its rear-wheel drive system. It’s fast enough to match the WRX’s 0-60 time, and it can finish a quarter-mile sprint in just 13.9 seconds after reaching 101 mph.
Pros: ridiculously fun, attractive styling, great price
Cons: loud on the highway, uncomfortable rear seats

Subaru Outback

Starting MSRP: $28,395
Why we love it:
The
Subaru Outback
debuted in 1995, redefining the line between station wagon and SUV, and setting the stage for the next two decades of crossover dominance in the automotive industry. Two years later, the
Subaru Forester
SUV would hit the scene, and these two models would prove serious successes for Subaru, beyond their rally car notoriety.
On the current market, the new Subaru Outback is sporty to boot, especially in looks. Its extra ground clearance makes it a pro on dirt and gravel roads. It’s also one of the safest family vehicles you can buy thanks to its complete suite of driver assistance and accessibility tech, including blind-spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control with lane-keeping assist. Plus, the off-road-primed
Wilderness
has a towing capacity of up to 3,500 pounds.
Pros: sporty, capable “soft-road” wagon, great safety ratings, lasting resale value
Cons: CVT on new models is less exciting, four-cylinder engine leaves some things to be desired, poor fuel efficiency on Wilderness trim

How to find cheap car insurance for your Subaru

Whether you drive a Subaru Crosstrek or a Subaru WRX STI, you’re going to want to make sure that your car is protected with a robust
car insurance
policy. But sometimes, getting the coverage that you need means paying more money than you were bargaining for.
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“After signing up with
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FAQs

Yes. Subaru markets the WRX as its signature all-wheel drive sports car.
It’s hard to deny the supremacy of the 2004 Subaru Impreza WRX STI WR1 when it comes to the history of Subaru’s sports cars. This little guy was a rally pro, and it could jump from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.3 seconds, thanks to its 2.0-liter turbocharged flat-four with 342 horsepower.
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