The 10 Best Old Subaru Cars of All Time

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Subaru has produced some pretty amazing cars over the years, including the BRAT, Legacy, and best-selling Forester.
When you think of Subaru, you think of nature. And cars. And cars that pair well with nature. But there’s more to the brand than just vehicles. The company, which formed nearly 70 years ago, also maintains an aerospace division that is responsible for defense for the Japanese government, including manufacturing Boeing and Lockheed Martin helicopters. 
This company has some superior know-how—and it shows with the variety of vehicles they produce. 
Whether you’re in the market for a Subaru because you like their looks, or are just curious about the history of these vehicles, we’re breaking it all down for you.
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What makes an old car great? 

Subaru can trace its origins back to World War II as part of the Nakajima Aircraft Company. After the war, that company was broken up by the Allies and became known as Fuji Heavy Industries. It was out of this company that Subaru emerged since 80 percent of its sales were automobiles by the late 1980s.
What follows is a list of the best Subaru cars of all time. Some were sporty, some were merely capable, but they were all special in their own way.

10. Subaru BRAT (1978-1994): a curious surprise

The Subaru BRAT—which stood for Bi-drive Recreational All-terrain Transporter—didn’t look like a car that would be popular, but it remained that way thanks to a four-wheel-drive system that allowed drivers to drive it wherever they wanted to. It was especially popular on farms as farmers used it to traverse tricky terrain.
But for all of its popularity, one factor it couldn’t overcome was the weather. Specifically, wet weather. This car was never known for its ability to avoid rust from spreading over the body of the car, so it was the rain that eventually spelled its demise. Nonetheless, it had a good run.

9. Subaru SVX (1991-1996): a shift in direction

The Subaru SVX was the company’s first attempt at leaving behind its reputation for vehicles built for agricultural support. Instead, it wanted cars that looked good on the road and in the garage. The SVX attempted to get there.
By all accounts, the SVX struggled to get out of the gate—thanks, in part, to some suspect styling choices and the fact it was a super coupe powered by a six-cylinder piston engine. But for those loyal to the brand, this car remains desirable thanks to the outside-of-the-box thinking that went into its design and performance.

8. Subaru BRZ (2013-present): a joint effort

Subaru BRZ
is a sports car built in conjunction with
, which marketed their own version of the car as the Toyota 86.
The reason for this partnership had to do with Toyota buying a 15 percent stake in Fuji Heavy Industries, which was where Subaru originated after World War II. Out of this purchase, Toyota invited Subaru to partner on the design of the vehicle—even though it didn’t jive with Subaru’s reputation as a car company that built high-performance all-wheel-drive vehicles. 
After Subaru tested a developmental prototype, they changed their tune and signed up to partner. And while it never was a sports car that was going to leave other cars in the dust, part of the allure was the impressive handling Subaru was known for—and it continues to this day.

7. Subaru Baja (2002-2006): one only a mother could love

Subaru Baja
gets a lot of flak for not being one of Subaru’s best entries into the pickup truck space. In fact, it was Subaru’s only entry. 
They’re hard to find thanks to a limited production run out of their plant in Lafayette, Indiana. But there was a small niche community that liked this truck, which falls in line with Subaru’s fandom.
The design itself was hard on the eyes, resembling a sedan with a truck bed sticking out of the back. But the turbo version of the Baja garnered some love. This version could generate 210 horsepower and came standard with 7.3 inches of ground clearance, making it ideal for off-roading. 

6. Subaru 360 (1958-1971): first in line

The Subaru 360 was the company’s first automobile, bearing a striking resemblance to the Volkswagen Beetle. Legend states if you were playing a game of Slug Bug on a long road trip, the 360 was a legal substitute for the Beetle—but we digress.
The car was built to help move the Japanese population post-WWII and met the Japanese government’s “light car” restrictions by offering a light and affordable ride.
Nicknamed “The Lady Bug,” this car eventually made its way to U.S. shores—but only 10,000 were sold as the man who imported the vehicle called it “cheap and ugly.” Why this was the tagline is beyond us, but it certainly didn’t help sales.

5. Subaru Legacy (1989-present): company flagship

Subaru Legacy
is one of those vehicles that keeps getting better, generation after generation.
First produced in 1989, the Legacy is the company’s flagship car and consistently wins awards for reliability and driveability. What sets it apart from other vehicles in its class is that all-wheel drive comes standard, along with Subaru’s traditional boxer engine.
Sales of this vehicle reached their peak in 2016 when one of the best offerings of the Legacy rolled off the assembly line. Used versions to this day are a solid choice for those who are looking for a family sedan.
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4. Subaru Legacy GT Wagon (2005-2009): packs a punch

It’s no surprise that Subaru’s wagon version of the Legacy was so popular. The station wagon could plow through snow-covered streets and show quite a bit of oomph when dry, thanks to the 2.5-liter turbo boxer engine with 265 horsepower.
Sadly, it was only produced for five years, leaving many potential buyers disappointed that they couldn’t re-up their version when the time came. 
The GT Wagon was available in a six-speed manual or automatic Sportshift transmission, making it a solid choice no matter your preferred driving style.

3. Subaru Outback (1994-present): the next logical step

When you think of a Subaru, an
likely comes to mind. That’s because this vehicle has been in constant rotation since 1994 when it transformed from a station wagon to a full-on crossover.
To differentiate it from the Legacy wagon it was derived from, the Outback added plastic side cladding for off-road driving and would (later) raise the suspension to provide additional ground clearance—a popular option among those who preferred to be one with nature in their Outback.

2. Subaru Crosstrek (2012-present): a basic choice

Subaru Crosstrek
was built to replace the Outback Sport in the United States and Canada.
Like the vehicle it replaced, the Crosstrek came with a lifted hatchback. It also delivers exceptional fuel economy and is impressive in its ride and handling. The engine is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that gets some of the best range as far as small SUVs go. 
It might not turn heads on the street, but you’re paying for reliability and something you can have a little fun in if you decide to head off the beaten path. It’s what you ask for with the Crosstrek—and it delivers.

1. Subaru Forester (1997-present): the one and only

Subaru Forester
is not an optical illusion, but the increased roominess on the inside belies the smaller footprint you see from the outside.
A comfortable ride and responsiveness from the steering wheel also comes standard in a package that Subaru would have to work hard at to mess up.
To this day, it remains one of the best-selling small SUVs on the market, with 2019 being a banner year for sales in the United States. The company released a new design for the 2022 Forester, which could see more used vehicles on the market as devoted fans of the brand swap out their old Foresters for the new version.

What to make of Subaru insurance rates?

Subaru continues to churn out new products at a steady pace but there are also many to be found on the used car market. Whether you’re looking for a classic 360 or a more current Forester, the
app has what you need to insure your new (or new-to-you) Subaru.
Download the app, enter your information, and you’ll get near-instant access to competitive quotes from some of the nation’s top providers. You can evaluate your
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Once you’ve chosen your quote, Jerry’s team of experts will walk you through a quick sign-up process for final savings that average more than $800 a year! 
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