Cars have such deep relationships with man, that in some homes they are almost considered as family members. That is why when a particular car model is discontinued, it affects a lot of people. Yet, for various reasons, it happens.
Subaru has had to discontinue some models over the years for one reason or another. Like with all other car manufacturers, markets change, technology moves forward, and buyer perceptions shift. To keep up with all these, some cars have to go. In most instances, sales volume plays a pivotal role in the discontinuation of manufacturing. Here are 10 Subaru models that Subaru no longer makes.
10 Subaru B9 Tribeca
The Subaru B9 got so many things wrong, it is surprising that it even got as far as production. Subaru was trying to create a ‘hip’ spacious car for 5 and 7 seaters, and thus increased the size of the platform by 2”L and 1”W.
The result was terrible. It bore a long, snout-nosed hood, that must have been a parking nightmare. The dashboard originally meant to resemble the instrument panel of a self-respecting plane, only served to confuse you more.
For these and other reasons, it didn't pick up sales. Indeed, it was the worst-selling vehicle in America in 2011 and 2012. It was eventually discontinued in 2014 due to the slow sales, although Subaru introduced a different Tribeca model in 2017.
9 Subaru Baja
The Subaru Baja saw production between the years 2002 and 2006. It was a four-wheel, four-passenger utility coupe based on the Subaru Outback platform and design.
While the car itself had a few shortcomings with power and performance it did surprisingly well and still commands good prices today. However, when the platform for the Outback was changed, Subaru decided that it just wasn’t worth the hassle to redesign the Baja for the new platform as well.
8 Subaru SVX
Also known as the Subaru Alcyone SVX, this was a two-seater coupe that was produced by Subaru from 1991 to 1996. It was first produced as a concept car for the 1989 Tokyo Auto Show, and has several clear features that are modeled after aircraft such as the “window within a window.”
However, sales were low despite the car performing well. This was mainly attributed to the economic conditions that were prevailing. Eventually, Subaru was forced to discontinue it in 1996. The last car was sold in 1998.
7 Subaru XV CrossTrek Hybrid
The Subaru Hybrid was introduced in 2014 as Subaru’s solution to the competition given by other hybrid cars (such as the Toyota Prius). However, the car performed dismally and barely made any headway into the market.
The reason for this is that the battery contributed only minimally to the fuel economy. The non-hybrid did about 26 mpg, while the hybrid was able to accomplish 31mpg. In real-world driving, this difference faded almost to zero. After discontinuation in 2017, Subaru plans to instead come up with an all-electric model.
6 Subaru Loyale
The Subaru Loyale was a widely popular compact car whose production ran from 1971 to 1994. It also went by other names, including the Leone (Lion), Omega, L-Series, GL-10, 1800, among others.
By 1989, Subaru introduced the Legacy wagon which stole the limelight from the Loyale. Customers preferred it due to its spacious design. By the time the Impreza came along, the Subaru Loyale was on its deathbed. It was finally discontinued in 1994.
5 Subaru WRX Sports Wagon
The Impreza-based Subaru WRX Sports Wagon was introduced in 1994. It was inspired by the success the Outback was having, and Subaru went further to give it a full trim. However, there were no mechanical or performance-based improvements that were made compared to the Impreza.
Sales were so low that it was given the moniker “the Impreza Gravel Express.” It was discontinued in 1995 when the second generation of the Impreza came out.
4 Subaru Sumo
The Subaru Sumo was a microvan that was introduced in 1983. It was also known as the Libero or Combi in some markets. Subaru had it in 1 and 1.2L engine models. There were also part-time 4WD, and later, full-time 4WD.
The car did well in various markets, except in Japan where it conflicted with the Kei regulations for taxation purposes. It ran for 15 years until 1998, when Subaru discontinued it. In Japan, the Exiga took its place. For the rest of the world, Subaru worked to draw attention to the Forester instead.
3 The Subaru BRAT
This car was the worthy predecessor of the Subaru Baja. Introduced in 1978, it was aimed at the small-truck market where it gained some popularity. It was a four-wheel-drive coupe utility that was originally based on the Leone Station Wagon.
In 1994, the BRAT gave way to the BAJA as people wanted bigger and more powerful trucks. Ironically, the BRAT was never marketed in Japan, so it became a popular import.
2 Subaru Exiga
The Subaru Exiga was a compact crossover utility vehicle produced in 2008. It replaced the Subaru Traviq, which was itself based on the Opel Zafira. The Exiga is a seven-passenger vehicle, styled uniquely to give theatre-style seats and a panoramic glass roof.
The Exiga's demise began in 2014 when Subaru began to phase out all 7-seater models based on the Liberty wagon. It was not alone in this, and other manufacturers like Toyota had already done so. It was eventually discontinued in 2018 and replaced by the Outback.
1 Subaru Vivio
This was a car that was created primarily for the Japanese market to help owners avoid large tax premiums. This was because of the kei system, where those with cars in higher brackets were taxed more. As you can expect, this was a small car with a 658cc four-cylinder engine. It was discontinued when its popularity was eclipsed by various Vivio spinoffs, beginning with the Vivio Bistro.
Cars are discontinued all the time, just like other products come and go. If a car is popular enough, the manufacturer could take steps to prevent its demise by other factors. Some cars have the honor of having a full life and retire to let newer models reign. Others barely make it a few years. These here are some cars that Subaru has stopped producing altogether over the years due to under-performance and the fact that they cannot sustain sales success.