NSP Subaru Outback
10 Dec

Subarus New and Old

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The first 4wd Subaru wagons hit U.S. shores in 1975, two years after debuting in their native Japan, and long before most other manufacturers would get on board with the idea of a 4×4 passenger car. Today these capable, practical, understated cars are synonymous with outdoorsy college types seeking an alternative to the S.U.V. And simultaneously, the sporty Subies have become incredibly popular with the JDM and tuning sets. Let’s take a stroll across the Subaru timeline and check out some of the offerings currently for sale on eBay Motors.

1978 Subaru DL Wagon
1978 subaru dl wagon Subarus New and Old

In the 1970s, Subaru was just another Asian automaker playing the econobox card. Mechanically reliable, but prone to rust and neglect, most cars were just driven into the ground and then sent to the car crusher. This 1970 DL hails from the salt-free roads of the Pacific Northwest and looks exceptionally well preserved. The seller says it’s driven just 70k miles and has always been garaged. The 2wd and automatic transmission won’t offer a thrilling ride, but for an oddball grocery getter, this is difficult to top. Dig the “Coke-bottle” styling and those solo-round headlights.

1986 Subaru BRAT
1986 subaru brat Subarus New and Old

This BRAT looks as time-warp clean as the ’78 wagon and has even lower miles. Subaru fitted these these tiny little 4×4 pickups with jump seats in the bed, as a measure to sidestep import fees on trucks. For me, the jump seats are really the whole point. The seller has a pair available for an additional $350.

1998 Subaru Outback
1998 suburu legacy outback 600x396 Subarus New and Old

The first-gen Outbacks are aging well and just look better and better. This one has obviously been well cared for. Nice options include heated seats, keyless entry and 5-speed manual transmission. However, the small area of bubbling on the driver’s door makes me want to see underneath the car. Also, it’s a good idea to have the head gasket checked on any Subaru built between 1996 and 2000, as many were prone to failure. With early detection, problems should be easily avoidable.

2002 Subaru Impreza WRX
2002 subaru impreza wrx 600x414 Subarus New and Old

This WRX in World Rally Blue boasts a long list of performance upgrades, starting with an engine swap from a 2004 STI. The seller is the shop that built the car, and they report that it’s been dyno’d at 315 horsepower. They also say it has “never been abused in any way,” which is something you can’t say about most WRXs, as they’re just too much fun for their own good.

2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek 2.0i Premium
2013 subaru xv crosstrek 600x386 Subarus New and Old

New for 2013, the XV Crosstrek is based on the familiar Impreza, but with added ground clearance and off-road styling touches. Its taller height will appeal to shoppers considering a crossover, but it’s still four inches shorter than a Forester. Fuel economy is a respectable 27/36.
The arc of Subaru’s legacy is a fascinating story. Thirty years ago, no one would have predicted that a brand known for quirky and cheap transportation would be the respectable, fun-to-use car of choice for rugged individualists.

2013 Subaru BRZ Limited
2013 subaru brz blue 600x425 Subarus New and Old

Subaru partnered with Toyota in 2009 to develop a rear-wheel-drive sports coupe, powered by Subaru’s famed boxer engine — the powerplant for nearly every Subaru built since the 1970s. The naturally aspirated horizontally-opposed 4-cylinder offers a low center of gravity and is situated far back in the engine bay, for optimal handling. The Toyota version is known as the Scion FR-S, and the Subaru is called the BRZ. With an MSRP of $27,495, this one is offered at a $4,400 discount, due to a scratched rim. It’s equipped with the Limited trim package, which includes leather interior, rear spoiler and keyless entry, as well as the all-important manual transmission.

The arc of Subaru’s legacy is a fascinating story. Thirty years ago, no one would have predicted that a brand known for quirky and cheap transportation would be the respectable, fun-to-use car of choice for rugged individualists.

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