Subaru Buying Guide

Get the best online car shopping experience with expert reviews of Subaru Read more to learn about the most important features and important factors to consider when researching Subaru.

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Subaru Overview

Subaru has been building cars since the 1950s. But the Japanese automaker didn’t really hit its stride with the American market until the debut of the Subaru Outback, an all-wheel-drive wagon offering the comfort of a passenger car with the utility of an SUV. Subaru has largely followed that same outdoorsy formula ever since, while expanding its lineup to include hatchbacks, sedans, and SUVs. The marque also has a strong motorsports heritage, which shows up in high-performance models, such as the WRX and the BRZ. Subaru’s bestsellers include the Forester, a compact SUV, and the Ascent, a three-row crossover.

Noteworthy Features

Advanced Technology
Subaru keeps up with the latest technology, and many of their models offer the exclusive SUBARU STARLINK suite. This technology offers safety, security, and convenience. The system connects you to entertainment, news, navigation, and your favorite smartphone apps. STARLINK will also send required service notifications and vehicle diagnostic alerts and connect you to roadside assistance. All of this can be operated using Wi-Fi pairing and hands-free technology.

Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive
One of the reasons why many choose a Subaru is the Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive available on some models. Subaru models with this feature are designed to make driving on slippery road surfaces easy. This system helps limit chassis rolling and pitching to keep you stable. It also offers an X-Mode, which directs more power to wheels that are slipping. You can engage this option with the push of a button.

BOXER Engine
The Subaru BOXER engine is another reason why drivers choose Subaru. This engine design has a low center of gravity and adds to the stability of the vehicle. It is powerful and fuel-efficient. Subaru offers the engine in 4-cylinder, 6-cylinder, naturally aspirated, and turbocharged models. Regardless of the engine used, Subarus are known for powerful and responsive performance.

Additional Considerations

Noisy Disposition
Although Subarus are capable of handling the snow and ice, they are not made for hauling. Some models have the option of adding a trailer hitch, but the engine is not made for significant weight. If you need to haul anything other than a small trailer-type car carrier, you might want to think twice about a Subaru.

Made for Utility
Subarus do offer some high-end luxury amenities, but they built a reputation on utility. They are built tough, but they skipped some of the stylish accents that other brands boast. The main selling point of a Subaru is its dependability and reliability. They are like a pair of durable work jeans, rather than a tuxedo, when it comes to cars.

DriverFocus Too Sensitive
The DriverFocus system uses facial recognition to sense when you might be falling asleep at the wheel or losing attention. While this is a great idea in theory, in reality, some drivers have complained that it is too sensitive. It will sometimes go off if you look at the side-view mirror or put your hand up to your chin. It is up to you whether you do not mind this minor inconvenience over the safety that it offers.