The best Subaru models are defined by their owners. An Impreza owner will say their car is the best, while a Forester owner would say that theirs is the best. There’s a level of pride when it comes to Subaru ownerships that are unmatched by any other manufacturer or model, except maybe the blind (albeit commendable) bias of Mustang owners. One thing everyone can agree on when it comes to Subarus is, there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for an AWD camper, a sports car like the BRZ or just an all-around well-balanced car in the Legacy GT, Subaru has you covered. Unless you want a truck, but even then the Outback or Forester will take care of most truck needs. Each car on our list offers something different, but all offer the same pedigree and “legacy” that can only be found in a Subaru.
We need to get this car out of the way first. It’s possibly the most sought-after Subaru in history. It’s a street-legal rally race car, with 285 horsepower out of a stroker 2.2-liter turbocharged boxer four-cylinder. All 400 produced were sold within 48 hours. If you can find one, the 22B STi would be worth about one GTR.
Finally, Subaru has made a strict sports car. The BRZ is an RWD coupe and is hailed as a “driver’s car” with 205 horsepower out of a 2.0-liter boxer four-cylinder, LSD and a curb weight of fewer than 3000 pounds. It’s a lightweight car but unfortunately has been reported that you only get all of that power at the bitter end, at redline which is 7000 RPM. In other words, the driver needs to work to get that power. Once you reach that peak though, the fun never stops, and “fun” includes donuts. The BRZ has an MSRP at about $25,000 which is pretty good value for a sports car.
It’s big and heavy, but the Outback 3.6r can tow as much as 3000 pounds, gets decent mileage at around 27 mpg and is quick for what it is. With 256 horsepower out of a 3.6-liter flat six engine, the Outback gets to 60 mph from a dig in just over 7 seconds, which for a car that weighs almost 4000 pounds is quite a feat. It’s also got ample cargo room, with the seats down providing more than 70 cubic feet of space. The Outback 3.6R has a slightly steep MSRP of around $38,000 but seems to be worth every penny.
An all-around relatively cheap car, the 2013 Forester 2.5XT is another excellent Subaru model. The engine is a four-cylinder that produces about 224 horsepower, and with the steering helps the car feel light and nimble. Although with the automatic transmission, which is the only option, the car feels lacking on acceleration the car provides decent cargo room. You can find a 2013 Forester 2.5XT for around $20,000.
For a practical car that still packs a punch, the Legacy GT is hard to pass up. While it’s no STi, the Legacy GT comes with more than 250 horsepower and a manual transmission, yet also comes with four doors and lots of room. For the BRZ driver who wants an extra couple of doors, the Legacy GT is a viable option. It also has characteristics of adaptive suspension, wherein a straight line around town it feels soft, but feels much tighter around a corner. You can find a 2012 Legacy GT for around $15,500.
If what you want as a baseline is a Subaru, it’s not hard to find a model that will give you what you want. As you can see, aside from the 22B STi each option can be very affordable as well.
Avid Formula 1 fan and motorcyclist, I enjoy chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream and long rides to the beach.