Is Subaru a Luxury Car?

Subaru isn’t considered a luxury car brand, but some of their vehicles can feel quite high-end if you opt for the highest trim level.
Written by Jacqulyn Graber
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Although Subaru is not considered a luxury brand, some of their vehicles can feel quite high-end if you opt for the highest trim level available. 
Subaru is a Japanese automaker known for its outdoorsy aesthetic and standard all-wheel drivetrains—making it a favorite among hikers, campers, and adventure-seekers. But if you’re looking for a vehicle that feels a bit more posh, don’t write off Subaru just yet.
Here to profile some of Subaru’s most luxurious vehicles is
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Is Subaru a luxury car?

Subaru is an affordable brand marketed towards the outdoorsy consumer—it is definitely not a manufacturer of luxury vehicles. However—whether you’re in the market for a comfy SUV like the
, or
, or have your eye on one of Subaru’s sports cars—you’ll find that many of Subaru’s highest trim levels feel impressively high-end. 

What makes a luxury car?

So what, exactly, excludes Subaru from the exclusive luxury moniker? Well, while there’s no hard-and-fast definition of of “luxury vehicle brands,” there are certain features that luxury vehicle buyers have come to expect:
  • Advanced performance thanks to powerful engines, upgraded drivetrains, and upgraded suspensions
  • Modern technological features focused on both infotainment and safety 
  • Style features like ambient lighting, aluminum or carbon fiber trims, chrome accents, larger grilles, hood ornaments, and more
  • Comfort features like soft, high-end leather, heated/cooled seats and steering wheels, more spacious cabins, and more
More affordable vehicle brands may offer some of these features at high trim levels—or as optional packages—but you’ll likely struggle to match the overall ride quality and posh feel of a luxury car. 

Is Subaru a good brand?

Subarus may not be considered “luxury,” but we think they’re still pretty great vehicles. According to RepairPal, the Subaru brand has an overall reliability rating of 3.5 out of 5, making it the 14th most reliable brand (out of 32 car brands). The average annual repair cost is $617, which is slightly better than $652 across all models.
Subaru's safety ratings
are impressive,  too! The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) selected several of the brand’s vehicles for their TOP SAFETY PICK+ award in 2022, including the Subaru BRZ 2-door hatchback, the Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid 4-door wagon, the Subaru Legacy 4-door sedan, the Subaru Forester 4-door SUV, and more. 
Of course, you’ll also find that Subarus are much more affordable than the average luxury car. In 2022, the average new Subaru cost buyers just $35,194—an amount that would only afford you a very short list of luxury cars. 

The most luxurious Subaru cars 

If you’re looking for a Subaru that has an added bit of luxury, don’t worry—you have a few options. Specifically, we suggest opting for one of the higher trim levels of the Subaru Ascent, Subaru BRZ, or the Subaru Legacy.

Subaru Ascent 

One of the features that makes a luxury vehicle feel so incredibly plush is a spacious interior, and the 2023 Subaru Ascent offers just that. In fact, this three-row SUV is the largest Subaru SUV on the market today, able to comfortably accommodate up to 8 passengers and five carry-on bags behind the third row.
While the base model has a starting price of $35,120, we suggest upgrading to the top trim—the Ascent Touring—for the most luxury-vehicle-like inclusions. It has a starting MSRP of $49,420, but boasts premium upgrades like:
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Leather upholstery
  • Heated front and rear seats
  • Memory driver’s seat 
  • Power-adjustable front seats
  • Subscription-based WiFi hotspot
  • Optional second-row captain’s chairs
The Ascent Touring doesn’t receive an upgraded drivetrain, but we think you’ll be impressed nonetheless. Every 2023 Ascent is equipped with a 260-horsepower turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers power to all four wheels via a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). You’ll reach speeds of 0 to 60 mph in an estimated 6.7 seconds.
The Ascent’s 20-inch wheels do a great job at soaking up road bumps, offering you a smooth ride. Just don’t expect it to be silent—you’ll notice a little bit of engine noise, especially when pulling heavy loads like campers and speedboats. 

Subaru BRZ 

In the market for a luxury vehicle but hoping to find something small, sporty, and fun to drive? Cue the 2023 Subaru BRZ—the brand’s exciting but affordable sports car.
The 2023 BRZ only comes in two trims—the
, which costs $29,615, and the
, which costs $32,115. The Limited’s added features include 18-inch aluminum wheels, summer tires, blind-spot monitoring, forward-collision warning with automated emergency braking, lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist, and more. 
Under the hood, you’ll find a naturally aspirated 2.4-liter flat-four-cylinder engine with 228 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. In prime conditions, you’ll be able to zip to 60 mph in just 5.4 seconds
Unfortunately, the BRZ is Subaru’s only rear-wheel drive vehicle—but that does help keep it peppy and a bit more fuel efficient. Manual transmission is standard, but you can upgrade to automatic for an additional $1,500
Aesthetically, the BRZ looks cute and sporty both inside and out. Heavily bolstered front seats with red accents invoke a racecar feel, while modern technology keeps both the driver and passengers in touch and entertained. 

Subaru Legacy 

If you’re looking for something a bit more classy and refined, we suggest checking out Subaru’s family sedan—the 2023 Legacy. You’ll find this affordable vehicle comes with a roomy cabin, lots of standard safety tech, and, of course, Subaru’s famed standard all-wheel drive system.
The Legacy is available in the following trims:
By now you know that the most luxurious features remain exclusive to the highest trim level. However, even mid-range Legacy trims have some desirable add-ons that deserve a call-out. 
For example, the Sport comes with the more powerful 260-hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine, plus 18-inch wheels, a power sunroof, LED fog lamps, a rear spoiler, blind-spot monitoring, keyless entry with push-button start, an auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass, rear automated emergency braking, and cloth upholstery with red contrast stitching.
You’ll only need to upgrade to high-end Limited XT and Touring XT models if you want the most premium features like leather seats, in-dash navigation, and a 12-speaker Harman/Kardon audio system. 

How to save on Subaru insurance with Jerry

If you’re looking for a vehicle that feels luxurious but doesn’t break the bank like a traditional luxury vehicle, then a Subaru might just be the way to go.
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Toyota is one of Subaru’s primary competitors, and—when it comes to determining which is more luxurious—the choice is truly yours. Neither are considered luxury brands, but both offer some exciting vehicles and well-equipped trims. Which feels more luxurious will likely depend on which model and trim you choose, as well as your personal preferences.
Since Subaru is not a luxury brand, you’ll find that their vehicles are much more affordable when comparing them to brands like Lexus, Acura, and BMW. In 2022, the average cost of a new Subaru was just $35,194. Of course, opting for higher trims and optional packages will put you over that number—but we still would consider the brand relatively affordable.
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