Subaru of America history. Subaru's story and timeline, with photographs, of the company in the USA


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2006 Impreza has an all new look, WRX shown
2006 Impreza's new front grill 
(WRX wgn shown)

Outback Sport, green
96-02 Impreza wagon 
(97 Outback Sport shown)

Subaru Loyale wagon
Loyale replaced 85-89 GL/DL

Subaru Justy
Justy (1992 shown)


SUBARU HISTORY scroll down
history, logo, 1968, 1970-present

1969 Subaru 360 4 door van with Joe Spitz. it's pretty small!
1969 subaru 360
the 1st US Subaru was a 360. The white 1969 360 5 door van (left) is only 117.9" long

Please read- this unofficial independent Subaru research site by Joe Spitz is designed to help you learn about Subarus. It is not sponsored, authorized,  supported or approved by Subaru or any dealer and is not connected to or affiliated with, any dealer. Always contact your local dealer. Inspect any vehicle prior to purchasing. Information subject to change, correction, updating.

All text, content photos © j. spitz. Reproduction prohibited. thanks for visiting. you are here: V 9.4.13

2006 Subaru B9 Tribeca SUV
2006 B9 Tribeca SUV arrived spring 2005
2005, 2006 Outback
1984 Subaru turbo coupe
1984 turbo coupe, thanks Carl D.
1984 Subaru GT Turbo convertible
1984 GL turbo convertible (done by an aftermarket company)
Outback (1997 Mica Ruby)
96-99 Legacy Outback (97 shown)

WRX STi (04 shown)
Forester (05 shown)
1995-1999 Legacy sedan (LSi shown)

1995-1999 Legacy (99 GT shown)
Subaru SVX
1992-1997 SVX
1980-1984 Subaru
1980-1984 Subaru (83 ski car shown)
Subaru BratBaja truck
Subaru Brats on left, Baja on right

Subaru History: On February 15, 1967 Malcolm Bricklin and Harvey Lamm form Subaru of America (SoA) in Pennsylvania and contract with Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI) to import the Subaru and in 1968, the first year, import  332 cars. In 2000 SoA sold 172,216 cars which is 14,351 per month or about 20 cars per hour around the clock every day of the year.
From 1968-1999, Nissan is a reportedly stockholder with 20% ownership.

Subaru's logo:  In 1953, five Japanese companies merge to form Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd, with a “Subaru” cluster of stars as its official logo for its cars. Better known by the Greek name Pleiades, part of the Taurus constellation, Subaru is also Japanese for 'unite'.

The Company
Subaru of America (SoA) in Cherry Hill, N.J is the United States marketer of Subaru products manufactured by Fuji. SoA has 5 regional offices - Great Lakes Region (GLR), Mid America Region (MAR), South West Region (SWR), South Central Region (SCR), North West Region (NWR).
Subaru Distributors Corp in Orangeburg, NY is repsonsible for NY and Northern NJ.
Subaru of New England in Norwood, Ma has CT, ME, MA, NH, RI and VT.
Servco Pacific has Hawaii

The first U.S. Subaru is the 360. This very small rear wheel drive minicar had a 2-stroke, 25 horsepower 356 cc engine (thus the 360 name), weighed under 1000 pounds, got 66.3 mpg, went 0-50 in over 37 seconds. and cost $1,297. It came in a few models: 2 door sedan, then the "Young S" 2 dr sedan, minivan (that's me in the white 5 door van below), a truck version, and even a mini race car too. There may have been as many as 6000 of these imported through 1969, though they weren't exactly a best seller.
Check out my classifieds page to buy or sell one.

1968 Subaru's first year in the USA.... for those who remember it and those who don't..

It's a year of love and hate... Riots in Chicago at the Democractic convention.
President Johnson doesn't run for re-election, Richard Nixon beats Hubert Humphrey but is shamed out of office in 1973.

A Hershey bar is 5 cents. Apollo 7 and 8 are launched. In Vietnam it's the Tet Offensive. Redwood National Park established in California. Designer Ralph Lauren is 29 and just starting out.  Dr. Christian Barnard performs the first successful heart transplant. Martin Luther King is assassinated in April and Robert Kennedy in June.

Rock and roll thrives- new groups include Led Zeppelin, Blind Faith, The Band, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Carpenters etc. The Monkees film their final TV episode. The Beatles release The White Album. Jimi Hendrix does Electric Ladyland
Books: Dean Koontz's Star Quest, Airport by Arthur Hailey, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick (filmed as Blade Runner)
Movies: 2001 Space Odyssey, The Graduate, Bonnie and Clyde, Valley of the Dolls, The Odd Couple, Planet of the Apes, Rosemary's Baby
Sports: Detroit Tigers over the St. Louis Cardinals, Green Bay Packers over the Oakland Raiders, Boston Celtics over the LA Lakers
Born: Lisa Marie Presley, Cuba Gooding Jr, Ashley Judd, Pauly Shore, LL Cool J...
Died: Woody Guthrie, Alice Toklas, Langston Hughes, Helen Keller, John Steinbeck.. and of couse RFK and MLK

CARS: Volkswagen has 57 percent of the U.S. import market, selling 569,292 vehicles in the United States.Toyota Corolla introduced in the USA, Honda arrives in 1970.
VW Beetles are under $1,800 and outsell Mustang, Pontiac, Chevelle, Fairlane, Fury, Buick, Oldsmobile, and Chrysler. (courtesy MS Bookshelf 1997).

1968-1969: Subaru 360. It's small (very small, see above)
1970  Subaru Star. It was 1000cc, FF-1 1300 Star with a 1100 cc engine and front inboard brakes.
1971 SoA introduces the very first Japanese mass production front-wheel-drive car to the US, the Subaru 1000 (first made in Japan 1966).  The 1000 costs $1,699 and uses the Boxer engine design still used by Subaru.
1972-1973  GL, DL models introduced. While the models changed over the years, the names were used until 1989.
1974  4x4 introduced as a 1975 model, just pull the lever for 4x4. The 4x4 is a success and the first mass produced Japanese 4x4 car.
1976 Subaru 4x4 is the car of choice for the US Ski team!  They runs TV ads showing how well a Subaru does in in the snow, and advertise 'Inexpensive and built to stay that way'.  Subaru is  the 6th largest import car in the US.
1977 Subaru is now the 5th largest import in the US. The Brat is introduced (discontinued in 1987) and re-born in 2003 as the Baja. Brat is 'Bi-drive Recreational All-terrain Transporter'.
1980-84 Subaru advertises as the Ski Car. These models made 1980-1984 as Subaru starts a 5 year product cycle. The 'hill holder' introduced (previously on Studebaker etc) so cars with a manual transmission won't roll backwards. All Subarus now available with 4x4, turbo introduced, 4x4 Hi/Lo available starting in 1981?
1983 Subaru sells it's 1,000,000th car in the US.
1985-1989 New GL/DL, RS, and XT models introduced, Hi/Lo dual range 4x4 is optional. These models are discontinued in 1989. The XT defines aerodynamic styling and available for a short time in a 6cylinder.
1986 full time All Wheel Drive offered on certain models, the part time system available through 1989.
1987  Subaru offers All-Wheel-Drive (awd) automatically varying the power delivered to wheels (Audi's Quattro system introduced in 1980). Subaru makes both AWD and On-Demand 4WD until 1994 when the last model with on-demand, the Loyale, was discontinued. Justy introduced, 3 cylinder, available in 1988 with the 1st ECVT (electronic continuously variable transmission) in the US.
1990 5 year re-design. Subaru renames the GL/DL as the Loyale (with on-demand 4wd, made until 1994) and introduces the new all-wheel-drive and front wheel drive Legacy and the 2.2L engine. There are a number of Legacy models. Many Legacys are made in Lafayette, Indiana, all are made there by 1994.
1991 The quirky SVX luxury sport coupe 3.3L 6cylinder available as a 1992 model. Discontinued in 1997, the SVX retains cult popularity years later. Right-hand-drive Legacy postal wagon available for rural mail carriers (discontinued in 1999 though aftermarket conversions are available).
1993 25 years selling in the US. Subaru introduces the smaller Impreza. Impreza continues with minor changes until it's re-designed in 2002. Special 25th Anniversary models SVX and Legacy available.
1994 Last year for the 1st generation Legacy and there are a number of Legacy versions available that year.
1995 5 year re-design, major changes for the Legacy including an all new body, interior, new standard dual front airbags (no more passive 'automatic' seatbelts). Outback is introduced as a trim package on the Legacy L. Subaru makes a few front wheel drive Legacy L models: Traction Control using the ABS system, a Convenience pkg with factory sunroof etc. All Legacys are now made in Lafayette, Indiana.
1996 New 2.5L DOHC engine introduced in the Legacy Outback and Legacy LSi models, automatic transmission only. The first real Legacy Outback is introduced, not just a trim package on the 1995 L. The Outback is a rugged road version of the Legacy wagon with more ground clearance, 2 tone with grey lower body molding, the new 2.5L engine etc. It's a huge hit. The Impreza Outback Sport version of the Impreza wagon is also introduced. The SVX is being phased out. Subaru makes 5000th right-hand-drive postal Legacy wagon. introduced.
1997 Outback Limited with leather introduced. All Subarus are now all wheel drive, which most were anyway. Legacy LS, LSi, and SVX models discontinued with only app 700 SVXs sold that year.
1998 Forester small SUV introduced, based on the Impreza platform. It's smaller than the Outback but bigger than the Impreza.  Impreza 2.5L RS coupe with gold wheels introduced. The Outback Limited is available with optional dual sunroofs.
1999 Special '30th Anniversary' Legacy and Outbacks available (1969-1999 = 30 years). Nissan sells its 20% on parent company Fuji to GM
2000 5 year re-design. Subaru completely re-does Legacy and Outback, finally offering power driver's seat, better cupholders, driver focused dashboard, a quieter ride among other improvements. ST-X concept truck, made as 2003 Baja (remember the Brat).
2001 First 6 cylinder 4door sedan and wagon offered in all new models: LL Bean wagon, VDC wagon, VDC sedan. (The 6cyl SVX and XT were 2door coupes).
2002 Impreza re-designed for the 1st time since it's 1993 introduction, and new World Rally winning turbo Impreza WRX sedan and wagon introduced after being available overseas for years. The WRX is a very popular and firmly Subaru in the perfomance car world. Outback now standard with All Weather pkg (heated seats etc), center console re-designed with 2 cupholders.
Isuzu sells its 49% share in Subaru-Isuzu Automotive (SIA) to Subaru effective 1/1/2003.  SIA becomes Subaru Indiana Automotive.
2003 Forester re-designed (front side airbags now standard) and Baja 4door truck introduced in an attempt to find a younger, warm climate, non-wagon buyer. Legacy available in a SE (special edition) package, Outback Audio Edition available mid-year with upgraded stereo system but no All Weather pkg.
2004 first year for 2.5L turbocharged Forester XT, Baja and the super high performance, limited production Impreza WRX-STi sedan with 300hp. Legacy L and Outback H6 available in a 35th Anniversary package.
Jul 23, 2004 Fifteen years after the production of Isuzu vehicles started at the Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. plant, the final Rodeo and Axiom units will roll off the assembly line today "They were an important part of SIA's history, and in that respect you hate to see the end of production," said Tom Easterday, senior vice president at the plant where the first Isuzu vehicle - a pickup truck - was built on Sept. 8, 1989
2005 Major 5 year re-design for the Legacy and Outback, with all new performance turbo and higher-horsepower 6 cylinder models and other improvements as they strive for a high-end and performance market. New 2.5L turbo models include Legacy GT and Outback XT, joining the Forester XT, Impreza WRX, WRX STi, and Baja turbos. The Impreza line gets minor upgrades including improved front cupholders, gray headlight lens, new alloy wheels, STi gets a stereo, wider rear wheels etc, limited production Outback Sport SE and RS sedan Sport packages offered. Baja turbo with leather (late availability) includes new standard 2piece hard tonneau cover.
GM sells 8.5% of its 20% share on Fuji to Toyota and the rest on the open market.
2005 completely new Legacy and Outback.
The Legacy is Subarus biggest selling line and the 2005 model is a major make-over!
Available in late May 04, all models get new full front and rear head and side curtain airbags and gets a 5 Star rating
Larger and smoother riding, all new look, new dashboard, new colors, new seats, new engines and new models.
New performance GT and XT models get the new turbo 2.5L 4 cylinder with 250HP, and the 3.0L 6 cylinder LL Bean, VDC wagon, VDC sedan now also have 250hp.
For the first time Subaru offers an optional power passenger seat, dual zone climate controls and much more.
Update: August 2004price increase on all vehicle shipped to dealers starting September 04 and later.
Impreza, available late April. All models get new center console with 2 cupholders, smoked headlight lens, new colors. New optional Outback Sport 'SE' model available 9/04, TS wagon replaced by RS wagon. RS sedan drops in price and gets a new optional Sport model. STi new front differential, wider real wheels, stereo is standard, immobilizer key and more. WRX gets new stereo, new wheels etc.
05 Forester gets an LL Bean model with load leveling suspension, hard cargo floor, XS, XS LL Bean, and XT models get power seat, climate control. XT gets immobilzer key. New colors.
05 Baja will stay much the same, with limited and late (10/04) availability for the leather model which comes with a new hard tonneau cover.. this is the final year.

2006 New model: B9 Tribeca SUV with optional 7 passenger arrived May 2005. Subaru's first 7 passenger (optional), 250hp 3.0L 6 cylinder. Legacy and Outback model lines refined with slow selling manual transmission models dropped, a new 6 cylinder cloth Outback and new Legacy 2.5i SE models added. Limited production Legacy GT SpecB available late in the year, only 500 to be produced, each with a numbered plate, all are GT Limited sedans, 5spd manual transmission, Titanium silver with brick red leather interior, 18" alloys, Bilstein suspension, Navigation system (only way to get Navigation with a manual) etc.
All Imprezas get a new front grill similar to the Tribeca, Advanced Front Airbag system, new tail-lights, aluminum hood and other upgrades.
WRX gets new 2.5L turbo replacing 2.0L, also gets standard 17" alloys, slightly decontented TR (tuner ready) sedan, and new Limited models with leather, sunroof, all weather pkg etc available for the first time (new for wagon, replaces WRX Premium sedan). STi gets new rear roof spoiler and other minor performance upgrades. Impreza RS renamed 2.5i. Impreza 2.5i sedan and  wagon and Outback Sport now have new side airbags (they've been on the WRX and STi already).
Baja comintues with few changes, only 3 colors available for 2006.
Forester gets new names, loses the cloth XT and base XS models, all models get new front end and tailights, slight horsepower increase with active valves, (Xs now 172, XTs 230hp), Advanced Airbags and other minor refinements.
The big news is the all new Tribeca SUV available in May 2005.
Legacy and Outback: 4cylinder horsepower increased to 175 (from 168). The models get refined. Gone are basic cloth interior turbo Legacy GT and Outback XT models. Manual transmission models have been restricted to Outback XT Limited, Legacy GT Limited sedan (no manual GT wagon), and the new for 2006 Legacy 2.5i SE (special edition) model. New colors and navigation available on certain models.
New Models announcd late: October: basic cloth Outback XT model returns. Available early December. November: Legacy GT specB limited production sedan, Outback 2.5i SE wagon offered, plus 4cylinder Outback Limited sedan returns. The Outback 2.5i SE is a 2.5i plus navigation, CD chnager, climate control SE and Limited sedan available mid December.
Forester: Models renamed X, X Premium, X LL Bean and XT Limited. Models dropped are the XS and the cloth XT.  All models get new front and rear end, new head and tail lights, XT has slightly more power.
Impreza: all models now have dual-stage front and front side airbags (STi: front only). RS models renamed 2.5i. Outback Sport and Outback Sport SE models continue. 2.5i and Outback Sport engine horsepower increased to 173horsepower with i-active valve lift system. WRX engine is now the 2.5i (replacing the 2.0L).
Baja: few changes, Available in only 3 colors. Final year, no 2007 model will be available.

2007 Many models get stereo auxilliary input (iPod) plug except on base versions.  Satellite radio available for the first time. Tribeca gets a new grill, optional SE package with chromed wheels, satellite radio, mesh grill; Navigation includes back-up camera, optional back-up beeper, fewer color combinations and models. Impreza remains much the same with few changes. New STI Limited available, only 800 made, 400 gray and 400 white, all with leather, small rear spoiler, sunroof and sells out quickly. New mid-year Impreza 2.5i SE sedan model has sunroof and auxilliary stereo plug. Forester remains much the same. All models except X gets aux plug. 2 mid year models available December: X Sports with new grill and aux stereo plug and XT Sports with new grill, cloth interior and VDC AWD, a first for the Forester. Legacy remains much the same with VDC AWD standard on the GT sedan with navigation model. Limited production Legacy GT spec.B to 3000, with a new 6 speed transmission and VDC. The Outback VDC model dropped, and VDC AWD is now standard on LL Bean and XT models. This is the first time VDC has been available in a non 'VDC' model. $1000 price drop on Outback 2.5i. New Outback 2.5i 'Basic' is less expensive than the 2.5i model and deletes All Weather package, 17" alloy wheels, power seat, tire pressure monitoring, roofrack cross bars, cargo cover and tray etc. 2 new mid-year LL Bean 4cylinder models with Navigation, a cloth 2.5i LL Bean and leather 2.5i Limited LL Bean. This is the first time the LL Bean name has been used on a 4 cylinder Outback, previously it was only for 6 cylinder Outbacks (and 4 cylinder Foresters of course).
Tribeca: Models available for 07 include 5 or 7 passenger base cloth model, Limited, Limited with Navigation and DVD (DVD on 7 passenger only).
New standard features include blacked-out grill, auxiliary (ipod) plug, prewired for XM radio, Navigation system now includes back-up camera, 2 position Memory driver's seat on Limiteds. 5 passenger cloth model no longer gets a sunroof. New optional SE package has stainless mesh grill (fits 06 models), chromed wheels, XM satellite radio. Other new options include back-up beeper, pre-wired for XM radio, remote starter.
Legacy and Outback: The models get refined and prices actually drop on many models!
New low priced Outback Basic has steel wheels, deletes heated seats, Limited slip rear axle, rear cargo outlet, power drivers seat, cargo cover, cross bars etc.
Deleted models: Legacy 2.5i SE wagon manual transmission, Outback 2.5i Limited manual transmission, Outback SE, Outback VDC, Outback 3.0R basic, and XT turbo base cloth model.
2.5i model now has tire pressure monitoring, VDC all wheel drive system now standard on LL Bean and XT. All 07 XTs are now Limited.
All models pre-wired for satellite radio, have auxiliary stereo plug (except Basic), MP3 stereo. Due to a new testing method horsepower rating may drop slightly, but this is only a test change, not an actual horsepower change.
December 21, 2007:  2 new 4 cylinder Outback models announced with Navigation system: 2.5i LL Bean and 2.5i Limited LL Bean. Available late Jan/Feb 2007
Forester: X, X Premium, X LL Bean, XT Limited. Price actually drops on most models! X model gets electronic brake distribution, XT gets 17" wheels, all models except X model get auxiliary (ipod) plug. New colors. Late availability: new X Sport and XT Sport models. X Sports includes upgraded stereo with Ipod plug and climate control, XT Sports has VDC electronic stability control with cloth interior, manual seat height adjustments, sunroof etc
Impreza:  New STI Limited model, only 800 made, with leather, sunroof, small rear spoiler, heated seats etc. Does not have forged BS alloys. All models pre-wired for Sirius Satellite radio (standard in the Outback Sport SE). Few other changes. Price drop on 2.5i models and remains the same on WRX, STI.
December 21, 2007 New SE sedan model announced. Includes CD changer with upgraded speakers and auxiliary input plug, moonroof
Baja: discontinued for 2007. 2006 is the final year.

Toyota ups the 8.4% stake it has help since 2005 in Fuji Heavy Industries to 16.7%.

Outbacks are wagons, the Outback sedan has been dropped starting with 08 models. All Legacys are now sedans. So if you want a wagon it's the Outback, and if you want a sedan it's a Legacy. Most noticable change is an all new grill so the car has a very different look, also new headlights and tailights, new alloy wheels, new colors, new cloth interior. New telescoping steering wheel with tilt, includes cruise control. Top of the line 3.0R LL Bean 6 cylinder and XT 4 cylinder turbo model steering wheels have audio and SI Drive controls. VDC, electronic stability control, is optional on 2.5i LL Bean and 2.5i Limited LL Bean, both also include Navigation, and VDC continues to be standard on the 3.0R LL Bean and XT turbo. 2007's Outback Basic has been renamed the Outback and has full wheel covers. Tire pressure monitoring is standard on all models. Key and remote is now one piece instead of separate key and remote as in previous years. All models are now pre-wired for either XM or Sirius satellite radio (was only XM for 2007). EPA fuel economy ratings lower due a change in testing standards.
Legacy wagons are discontinued and all Legacys are now sedans, and Outbacks are wagons. 2007 was the last year for the Legacy wagon. No price increase. The top of the line is the new 3.0R sedan 6 cylinder. This model comes with Bilstein Suspension and SI Drive like the GT specB,  5spd automatic SportShift transmission and new steering column Paddle Shifters etc. The GT specB continues, with new cloth, so there are now 2 performance models.  All Legacys are lightly re-designed with new rear end, a new steering wheel that now telescopes as well as tilts and has cruise control, with upper end models also getting steering wheel audio and SI Drive controls  One piece key and remote replaces the separate key and remote, Tire Pressure Monitoring is standard on all models. Satellite radio is now either XM or Sirius (was XM only). Re-designed outside mirrors with turn signals on the GT and 3.0R. EPA fuel economy ratings lower due a change in testing standards
Impreza  The 2008 Impreza is all new and now based on the Legacy platform, so it really is totally different. All models include front, side, and front and side rear curtain airbags, Immobilizer chipped key, anti-lock brakes, power windows-locks-mirrors, a/c etc etc. The ride is significantly smoother than previous models, there is finally more back seat room, the rear seats fold flat in sedans (long overdue).
There is a 4 door sedan and 5 door wagon. List prices start at $17640 for the 2.5i sedan, $18140 for the 5 door 2.5i wagon. The optional automatic transmission is now the SportShift with manual mode. VDC (vehicle dynamics control) is available on all models except the base 2.5i. Navigation-DVD audio system is available on the 2.5i Premium and has very good resolution, tilting screen and more.
The Outback Sport 5 door wagon has standard All Weather Pkg with heated seats, heated front wiper de-icer and heated defrosting outside mirrors.
Roof Rack is now available on all models including sedan, and is quick on-off.
The WRX is available as a 4 door sedan and 5 door wagon. The ride is no longer as 'firm', it is definitely smoother and more refined. Navigation is available on top of the line model. List price for the sedan starts at $24995, wagon starts at $25495. VDC is standard on all models. The STI sedan is gone, replaced by the 5 door wagon, and is available in 3 models. List prices start at list price $35,640 with 5 spoke alloys, upgrades include a forged BBS wheel and fog light package, and Navigation is available.
Tribeca  Redesigned for 2008, 3rd year. New 3.6L engine replaces 3.0L and runs on regular fuel with better power band. Larger rear side cargo windows for better visibilty, smoother riding suspension, raised roof rack rails for cross bars replaces fixed position cross bars, new front grill, new rear end and cargo door, new head and tail lights. Interior remains much the same.

2009 models
>Forester The all new redesigned Forester available mid-March 2008.
Note: the LL Bean name was dropped and replaced by the Limited starting April 2008 production, so both names can be used depending on production date. There are -no- differences other than name, and the Limited doesn't have the LL Bean logos.
The 2009 is a little longer and taller with all new suspension and other upgrades make this a smoother riding car. Minimum 8.7" ground clearance (8.9" turbo). It feels larger than it is, a very comfortable ulitity rig with 6 airbags, standard VDC stabilty control, 4 disc brakes. Available with 4 cylinder and turbo 4 cylinder engine, optional Sportshift 4 speed automatic transmission, optional Navigation.  Models include X, X Premium, X Limited/ LL Bean, XT, XT Limited. . LL Bean name is dropped for 2009 models. Price dropped on 2.5i model. PZEV Ca (California) spec emissions required for CA, WA, CT, MA, ME, NJ, NY, OR, PA, RI, VT on 4 cylinder (non-turbo) models. Price dropped on 2.5i. PZEV (California) spec emissions required for CA, WA, CT, MA, ME, NJ, NY, OR, PA, RI, VT on 4 cylinder (non-turbo) models.
>Outback. New names: the 2.5i replaces the Basic; 2.5i SE replaces the 2.5i. New Harman Kardan audio speaker package plus steering wheel controls on SE and above, dark tinted privacy glass on Limited models and above. The LL Bean name and logos have been dropped. New seacrest (light) green color. Dark carpeting now with taupe interior as well as gray interior (replaces taupe carpeting).
PZEV Ca (California) spec emissions required for CA, WA, CT, MA, ME, NJ, NY, OR, PA, RI, VT on 4 cylinder (non-turbo) models. Price dropped on 2.5i. PZEV (California) spec emissions required for CA, WA, CT, MA, ME, NJ, NY, OR, PA, RI, VT on 4 cylinder (non-turbo) models.
>Legacy. Few changes for the 2009 models. New lower price 3.0R cloth model.  New Harman Kardan audio speaker package on SE and above, dark tinted privacy glass on Limited models and above. New green color. Dark carpeting now with taupe interior as well as gray interior (replaces taupe carpeting).
PZEV Ca (California) spec emissions required for CA, WA, CT, MA, ME, NJ, NY, OR, PA, RI, VT on 4 cylinder (non-turbo) models. Price dropped on 2.5i. PZEV (California) spec emissions required for CA, WA, CT, MA, ME, NJ, NY, OR, PA, RI, VT on 4 cylinder (non-turbo) models.
>Tribeca. New SE model available September 08 with leather, CD changer 160w with rear subwoofer speaker, heated front seats, memory driver's seat, rear a/c (always on 7 pass, now on 5pass). Few other changes for 2009 models. new Ruby Red color
STI no changes
WRX now has 265horsepower, larger turbocharger, upgraded suspension, standard spoiler, power sunroof (Premium).
New WRX 2.5GT Premium with automatic still has 226hp like 08 WRXs.
2.5i gets VDC and rear disc brakes, Premium adds power sunroof
Outback Sport gets chromed door handles.

2010 models
Outback and Legacy- both are all new.
Outback: The 100% designed Outback is no longer a station wagon- it is now a CUV, a crossover.  Models are the 2.5L 4 cylinder and 3.6R 6cylinders. The XT turbo is dropped, and the 6 cylinder is now the 3.6L so the 3.0L is gone. The 3.6 takes regular gas. The car is a bit larger overall and has a much more open and spacious feel inside. But the overall car size is actually .8" shorter.  Interior space and rear seat room has gone up dramatically. There's a lot more back seat room (finally). This was accomplished by increasing the wheelbase slightly and carefully maximizing the available space. The front seats are a bit wider and softer
Framed doors- all models have framed doors. If you're familiar with the Legacy/Outback line from 1990-2009, you know the windows were always  'frameless', now all models will have door frames. This adds rigidity and hopefully will reduce that ever-present wind noise from the outside mirror area that Subarus have been prone to. For some reason the outside mirrors don't fold-away. Huh?  Perhaps that will change for 2011 model. Option Packages. A new way of doing things. It's almost impossible to have the exact right car for every buyer. There are just too many possible combinations, some features sell here, others sell there- popularity can be based on region and driving conditions, like warm vs cold climate, wet vs dry, city vs country, lots of snow vs no snow.
So starting with the 10 models, Subaru is offering models with 'Option Package' upgrades. The 'Option Packages' are all described below. What this means for the buyer are more choices. For example, on the previous mid-range 2.5i SE model (now the 2.5i Premium), the All Weather Package was standard. Like it or not you got heated seats etc. Starting with 2010s, it's an option on the Premium. While I personally would want it, not everyone does - some to save money, others live in warm climates where All Weather Pkg's  heated seats are silly. And tall people don't like sunroofs (less headroom), other people really like them. The Sunroof  is also now an option on the mid-range Premium where it was not previously available at all before, and is an option on the Limited model where is previously was standard. Gas tank size is now 18.5 US gallons (up from 16.9). That's a nice big tank.  Normal size power sunroof with tilt up/slide back, with sunshade.
Hill Holder and Electronic Parking Brake: standard features on all models include a Hill Holder to help hold the car when starting on a hill, and an electronic parking brake system which eliminates a manual emergency brake (no foot or hand brake) with 'Auto Release'- wear seatbelt, car in Drive, press gas for Auto Release.
New transmissions - All 2.5L 4 cylinder models come with either a new 6 speed manual which replaces the 5 speed manual,  or a new automatic Lineartronic CVT
(continuously variable transmission) with paddle shifters and 6 'gears'. The CVT gets much better fuel economy (EPA city/highway 22/29 combined 24mpg) than the old 4speed automatic used for years.
The cars are a bit larger and have a nice more open and spacious feel inside. Interior space has increased but the overall length and size has not gone up dramatically. There's a lot more back seat room (that's a good thing), the front seats are a bit wider and perhaps even softer (thank you) etc. All carefully done to maximize the available space.  Frames doors- all models have framed doors. If you're familiar with the Legacy/Outback line from 1990-2009, you know the windows were always  'frameless', now all models will have frames. This adds rigidity and hopefully will reduce that ever-present wind noise from the outside mirror area that Subarus have been prone to. Huh? For some reason the outside mirrors don't fold-away but perhaps that will change.
Models are 2.5i 4 cylinder, 2.5L GT turbo, 3.6R 6 cylinder.
Tribeca  7 passenger only, there is no  5 passenger model (see Outback instead if you want a 5 passenger). There are 3 models for 20120- 3.6R Premium, 3.6R Limited, and new top of the line 3.6R Touring model. Like all 2010 models, there are new Option Packages. These are factory installed only. 2010 models were slow sellers
Forester Very few changes from the 09. Premium gets a power seat wioth power lumbar support. All models get a overhead Map Light get 'Door Open' switch (light fades off).   New for all 2010 models (not just Forester), Subaru is using major 'Option Packages' to equip cars. These are factory-only upgrade packages available on appropriate models. Base Premium without the All Weather Package a 'Premium Lite'
2.5i 4 cylinder: the line up remains the same for 2010 with a 2.5i, Premium, and Outback Sport models. The Premium SE gets fog lights, al weather pkg, sunroof, cd changer so is very similar to the Outback Sport.  New front grill on all models and new logo on left rear adds 'symmetrical AWD' below Subaru. Outback Sports gets silver painted door handles instead of bright chrome, and silver painted front grill upper bar instead of bright chrome and dark headlight surrounds like other Imprezas. New 'Option Packages' upgrades on all 2010 models.  Navigation now includes hand-free cell phone Bluetooth. New optional USB port replaces optional iPod Interface previously available.  'Media Hub' option includes a USB which allows any device to play through the stereo and
optional 'Media Hub with Streaming Audio' allows wirelessly sending music to the stereo. A
WRX-STI turbo No major model, equipment or power changes for the WRX, 2.5GT or STI announced. Retail list prices are the same though dealer cost crept up very slightly. New for 10-  Navigation now includes Bluetooth. Optional Media Hub with USB port plays your USB connected device. Logo on rear or gate or trunk adds 'symmetrical AWD' below Subaru.  Model codes have changed to accomodate SoA's new 'Option Package' ordering system.
Late models additions include the STI SE for $2000 less than the full STI, with upgraded handling/suspension, special alloys, and no HIDs, cd changer or climate control,  available March 2010. Only 125 white were made and other SE colors were WR Blue, dark gray, and black (also 125 each?) and all sold out very quickly, by mid April. Also available at the end of the model year was a WRX Limited withg leather and HIDs.

2011 models
Subaru has a great year- sales are upo month after month. Used prices are very strong.

March 11 2010 earthquake- factories are closed for almost 4 weeks,  there are parts issues from suppliers. SIA in Lafayette slows the assembly lines due to availability of parts, no overtime shifts, closes a few days in April. No factory orders accepted on any 2011 models effective April 11th which is a little early.

Forester gets an all new engine.. the FB25 DOHC 2.5 with a chain (no timing belt). This is the first use of this motor. Other Forester upgrades include in all models except X: easy to use handsfree Bluetooth, new stereos, new back up camera, new optional TomTom GPS (optional on Premium only). New top of the line X and XT Touring models have HID headlights, silver roof rails, 4.3" LCD stereo with HD, rear view camera.
Outback: new fold away mirrors, no other changes of note
Legacy: new fold away mirrors, no other changes of note
Impreza: Impreza Premium and Outback Sport models move closer together and there's not much difference between features. Some Outback Sports are available with one tone paint. New optional Tom-Tom navigation is just ok (bit hard to use, small buttons etc). Outback Sport has new optional Moonroof and TomTom GPS package.  Late introduction (March 2010) 10" Kicker brand subwoofer/amp is available on all Imprezas.
WRX: the best WRX yet with wider front track and suspension, new front fenders like the STI. The optional catback exhust is a great option on WRX and STI.
STI: the best STI yet with new suspension (like the 2010 SE models), plus the 2 all new sedan.

2012 models

2011 was the year of the terrible March earthquake and following tsunami in Japan that caused the Fukashima nuclear plant meltdown. As a result of these disasters, car and part production was seriously impacted- factories world-wide were shut down for weeks. 2012 models were pushed back 3 months and inventory was dramatically low through the summer.
The big change for the year was the new 2012 Impreza due late August- it started to arrive early December though a few were around in mid November (the very first 2012 Impreza was delivered to Cascade Subaru in Wenatchee).  
Given all the trouble, including a major brake master cylinder recall in late November, its a testament to Subaru customer loyalty that the company had their best year ever.

The 2012 Impreza is all new, the first complete redesign since the 2003. It got an all new 148hp 2.0L engine with a CVT transmission rated at 27 city/36 highway MPG.  The models are 4 door sedan (base, premium, Limited) and 5 door wagon (base, Premium, Limited), with a new 5 door Sport 5 door model that has roof rack rails. Its the only Impreza with roof rails, so the Sport replaces the Outback Sport.
The 2012 Forester continues on with few changes, including a height adjustable front passenger seat.
Outback, Legacy, Tribeca and WRX, STI have few changes and nothing major.

2013 models
Subaru is #12 brand in the US for calendar year 2012
2012 was the year Subaru came out with two new models- the all new BRZ and the Crosstrek.
The BRZ is a 2+2 sports couple co-designed and marketed with Scion. The Scion is the FR-S and is generally more available. This is a rear wheel drive, 2 door (yes, the first rear wheel drive Subaru since the early 1970s). Availability of the BRZ is expected to be tight, with only 7000 for the 2013 model run
The all new XV Crosstrek with a variant of the popular Impreza line. Subaru added ground clearance and body cladding and the car was an immediate hit. What Subaru did to the Impreza 5 door to create the Crosstrek is almost exactly what they did to the 1996 Legacy to create the 1996 Outback- add clearance, body cladding and a viola- create a new model.
The 2013 Outback and Legacy got a mechanical updating with a new 2.5i engine (first used the 2011 Forester) with a timing belt, an upgraded 2nd generation CVT, brake override system, and improved handling and suspension.
This is the last year for the current Forester- the 2014 model will be all new, due March 2013.
The WRX and STI got Special Edition sedans, all tangerine orange with black graphics, black wheels, black interior with silver stitching. No mechanical or power upgrades. Only 200 WRX Special Edition sedans and 100 STI Special Edition sedans were made. 

Sales total for calendar year 2012 - 336,441.
Thats up 26% over 266,989 for all of 2011.  Even with some models in tight supply, like the Impreza and its new Crosstrek cousin, and the low production BRZ, Subaru exceeded their own sales predictions that just 12 months ago seemed just a more dream than reality
The Outback is the star, selling 117,553 for year.  Forester is #2 with 76,347, and Impreza is #3 with 68,175, and they're almost tied if the Impreza and its sibling Crosstrek are combined, with 75,571 total.

2014 models

Tips, comments, corrections welcomed! contact

There are app 630 dealers across the USA and over 90% of  Subaru all-wheel-drive cars sold the past 10 years are still on the road (in 2000).

I have tried to provide the initial information so you can determine your interest in Subarus from the comfort of your home or work. If you're interested in a new or used Subaru or other used vehicle please contact me.

Thank you
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