Subaru is the automobile manufacturing arm of the Japanese conglomerate Fuji Heavy Industries. In terms of global production, it is ranked as the 22nd biggest automaker in the world. The name means ‘unite’ in Japanese.
The first Subaru car, the 1500, was created in 1954. But even before that, its parent company Fuji Heavy Industries had already been producing airplanes in Japan. Fuji Heavy Industries began in 1917 as an aircraft research group.
After the second World War, Fuji Heavy Industries created a scooter called Fuji Rabbit with its parts coming from spare parts of airplanes. That gave the CEO the idea of diverting to other industries like car making.
The Subaru 1500 was eventually followed by the 360 launched in 1958. Soon, other Subaru models followed in the 60s. By the 90s, the company concentrated on the production of rally cars like the Subaru Impreza and Subaru Vivio.
There are currently 14 Subaru models in production.
This includes the flagship model, the Subaru Legacy. Now on its seventh generation, this mid-sized sedan is powered by a four-cylinder engine with displacement of 2498 cm3. Fuel economy is rated at 30 mpg.
Another sedan that is known for its performance is the Subaru WRX STI. Apart from the Subaru Legacy, the Subaru WRX STI is perhaps the best-known Subaru model in the world.
The Subaru Outback is the versatile SUV model of the Japanese company. Now on its fifth generation, it is said to be the first sport utility wagon in the world.
Aside from these models, other Subaru vehicles include the Subaru Forrester, Subaru Impreza, Subaru BRZ, Subaru XV, Subaru Trezia, Subaru Legacy Wagon, and Subaru Impreza WRX STi. There’s also the subcompact Subaru Justy, Subaru Exiga, Subaru Liberty, and Subaru Tribeca.
Subaru has a checkered history when it comes to innovations. In the ‘80s the first generation Legacy was the fastest sedan at 138 miles per hour. During the ‘90s its Legacy Wagon was considered the fastest station wagon at speeds of 155 miles per hour.
The Subaru 360, the second car developed by the company, was also a hit during its time because of its fuel efficiency rated 66 miles per gallon. As such, it the Subaru 30 was called the people’s car in Japan. It was very successful because it was produced during a time when the typical Japanese could not afford a vehicle.