Subaru has a reputation — it builds active, agile, and outdoor-friendly automobiles. It's home to a rally legend, the Subaru WRX STI that continues to win accolades in the track. If you are looking for a vehicle to take out for fishing or kayaking, with hauling capabilities, then you better check out the current Subaru SUV lineup. The Japanese automaker flourishes because it designs and builds what its clientele wants, earning the brand an almost cultic, rock-solid following.
It doesn’t matter what you are looking for, from the nimble Impreza to the rugged rumbling WRX, Subaru has it all. With its Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system standard, heightened clearance, and need for speed, there’s no terrain too icy, muddy, or hellish these cars can’t get through. If anything, there are hundreds of videos on YouTube of Subaru automobiles pulling out full-fledged trucks, police cars, and buses out of sticky situations. Here are ten best Subaru models of the decade.
10 Subaru Exiga
The Exiga isn’t your popular Subaru vehicle; in fact, it defies everything that the brand has developed for the past couple of decades. The Subaru Exiga is the brand’s attempt into the crossover SUV market and initially launched during the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show. According to the manufacturer, the name Exiga is a combination of words meaning “exciting” and “active.”
Part of its perks includes a supersize panoramic sunroof with a theater-style seating where the rear occupants sit higher than those at the front. The high trim variant comes with leather seats with pearl white-and-blue trims. Its rear seats incorporate fold-down tray tables like those you’d expect on a plane. The Exiga is a worthy entry, but still has a lot to do to beat its competition.
9 Subaru Tribeca
The Subaru Tribeca, while completely out of the brand's line of designs, offers a surprising amount of practicality, even though it's not as exciting to drive. The Tribeca comes with a 3.6L V6 paired to a five-speed automatic transmission, making 256hp.
The Subaru Tribeca comes with Subaru’s SAWD system and makes a worthy choice for prospective individuals looking to get an all-wheel-drive vehicle. The Tribeca falls short with a poor interior that's not comfortable compared to its competition; it's also not as engaging behind the wheels compared to its rivals.
8 2019 Subaru Legacy
There are a few things that make the Subaru Legacy a worthy purchase — it comes standard with all-wheel drive, and a suite of safety tech features at a price that undercuts its competitors.
The Legacy makes a fun, good quality ride sedan for the family. Its interior is quite comfortable, with spacious cargo space and smartphone support through Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The 2019 Legacy comes with a 2.5L, making 175hp and an optional 3.6L flat-six paired with a CVT.
7 2020 Subaru WRX STI
The Subaru WRX STI is a legend — it won more accolades than any car in its class when it comes to rally. It has a devout following with flaring high tempers when devotees are slightly provoked about the model. The WRX STI is perhaps one of the few Japanese sports cars that have its origins as a classic and not rotting somewhere in a heap.
The WRX STI is WRX’s high-profile version with more tech and a much higher price tag. The 2020 WRX STI comes with a 2.5L turbocharged 4-cylinder, making 310 hp and 290 lb-ft of torque. But its rally performance traits come with a few lemons — it’s extremely noisy, and perhaps not the vehicle to buy if you are looking to have a great relationship with your neighbors.
6 2019 Subaru WRX
If you are looking for a quick car that’s powerful and falls below the $30,000 mark, then the WRX makes your perfect choice. But its affordability doesn’t come without a few downsides — the WRX has an extremely loud cabin thanks to its rally aspects. You won’t get an impressive infotainment system either, and its interior is rather drab.
However, you still get a ton of power if you are looking to sacrifice comfort, with an all-wheel-drive system to top it up. The 2019 WRX comes with a 2L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine mated with a standard 6-speed automatic CVT transmission, making 268hp and 258 lb-ft of torque.
5 2019 Subaru Outback
While it's actually a station wagon, Subaru calls the 2019 Outback an SUV. The Outback has a very impressive profile — its capability to haul and tow. as well as tackle all-weather conditions make it a tough competitor to beat in its class. It's an adventurer’s car. It comes with a ton of driver-assist tech on all its models, with the all-wheel coming standard on all variants.
The 2019 Outback comes with a 2.5L 4-cylinder or a 3.6L six-cylinder option. It offers great fuel economy but lacks the "fun to drive" factor common with Subaru brand vehicles. The 2020 Version comes with an optional turbocharged version.
4 2020 Subaru Crosstrek
The 2020 Subaru Crosstrek at first glance looks rough and rugged with all its plastic cladding and above-the-ground lifted stance. However, it offers a car-like driving experience and feels much more like driving an Impreza than an off-roader. It comes standard with an all-wheel-drive all trims, just like many Subaru products.
The Crosstrek comes with either a 2L 4-cylinder engine or an optional plug-in electrical hybrid setup. The hybrid version can run on full electric for 17 miles. While it's hard to picture the Crosstrek harrowing through a dirt road, it offers the trappings of a modern SUV in a value-added package.
3 Subaru BRZ
Most new-age sports cars come with overly complex systems aimed at improving drivability, leaving very little room for the driver input. The BRZ does the complete opposite — just like the Mazda Miata, the BRZ offers an authentic driving experience and shares much of its structure with the new Toyota 86, which is fairly practical and equally fun to drive.
While the BRZ could do with a lot more power and torque, its impressive handling and instantaneous feedback place it among the purest vehicles to drive on the market. All BRZs come with a naturally aspirated 2L 4-cylinder engine paired with a standard 6-speed manual transmission, making 205hp and 156 lb-ft.
2 2020 Subaru Ascent
The 2020 Subaru Ascent, like most Subaru models, comes standard with all-wheel drive. It’s a large family car that will take your kids safely to school and handle all your shopping at the convenience store regardless of the weather. The Ascent boasts a flexible cabin with three rows of seats that feel more like a minivan than an SUV.
It's Subaru’s largest model and the Japanese automaker ensured it comes standard with driver-assist tech, including automated emergency braking, as well as lane assist. All Ascent models come with the same engine and Subaru’s continuously variable automatic transmission.
1 2019 Subaru Forester
The 2020 Forester is perhaps the best-matched Subaru model when it comes to showcasing its adventurous brand image. The Forester comes in a similar size as the Outback station wagon but offers a little bit more ground clearance. It’s the perfect fishing or kayak trip vehicle, with towing and hauling capabilities.
The Forester sells extremely well in the US, and part of the reason is that they are easy to love and hard to hate. It comes standard with all-wheel drive powered by the same 2.5L engine you would get on the Outback paired to a CVT transmission, making 182hp.