Subaru Models


Here is a list of Subaru models brought into Australia and accompanied by general info on each model:
( generally in order of release )


  • 360
  • 1000 / 1100 Star / FF-1
  • MY 1400 / 1600 Leone Series I
  • MY 1800 Leone Series II
  • Brumby / BRAT Series I & II
  • Justy / Rex / Fiori / Sherpa
  • L Series III
  • XT / Vortex / Alcyone
  • SVX & RX
  • Impreza
  • WRX & STI
  • Liberty / Legacy
  • Forester
  • Outback
  • BRZ / Scion / Toyota 86
  • XV / Crosstrek
  • Newer Subaru's


The First of its kind to see Australia from about 1960. The Subaru 360 was the first automobile mass-produced by Fuji Heavy Industries' Subaru division. A number of innovative features were used to design a very small and inexpensive car to address government plans to produce a small "people's car" with an engine no larger than 360 cc when most in Japan could not afford a car. The body size and the engine capacity were designed to match within Japan's kei car regulation.

Nicknamed the "ladybug" in Japan, it was one of Japan's most popular cars, and among the smallest cars in the world to attract a significant following. It was a significant step up from micro cars such as the Iso Rivolta Isetta as the first kei car that had four wheels and room for 4 passengers. 392,000 units were produced in Japan from March 3, 1958 to 1971. Production ended for the 360 and was replaced by the Subaru R-2.

The car's name was derived from the size of the 356 cc engine.

More details to be found here :

1000 / 1100 Star / FF-1

The Subaru FF-1 Star was a development of the original front wheel drive Subaru, the 1000. The FF-1 was marketed as the Star here & in the United States in 1970 and 1971 model years, and was replaced by the FF-1 G in 1972 but remained in production in some markets until 1973. There were coupe, sedan, and station wagon models available. This model only came with the EA-61 engine and four-speed manual transmission. Limited numbers of these can be found in Australia.

More details to be found here :

MY 1400 / 1600 Leone Series I

The first generation Leone was released on October 7, 1971 as a front-wheel drive coupé, with trim levels DL, GL and GSR. April 1972 saw the introduction of the two and four-door sedans with trim levels DL, GL and in Japan, the Super Touring. In September 1972 the four-wheel drive (4WD) station wagon was released, however it did not appear in the United States until 1974 as a 1975 model. Up until this time four-wheel drive had been limited mainly to off-road vehicles, although the very expensive Jensen FF had been built in limited numbers. Subaru broke this pattern by introducing a mass-produced four-wheel drive passenger car, after having tested the waters by building a limited series of four-wheel drive FF-1 1300G wagons in 1971. Four-wheel drive was easily Subaru's most notable feature during the 1970s and 1980s, leading to particularly strong sales in places like Switzerland and Colorado. The Leone competed with the Toyota Corolla, Nissan Sunny, Honda Civic, and the Mitsubishi Lancer. The Leone introduced a long established Subaru tradition of frameless side windows for all models.

More details to be found here :

MY 1800 Leone Series II

The MY series of Subaru (otherwise known by its engine designation EA81) started production late 1979. Easily be distinguished by its round headlights, the first handful still had the 1600cc engine (EA71), soon to be replaced in May 1980 with the larger 1800cc (EA81). A first for Subaru, a dual-range (Hi/Lo) gearbox was also offered on manual transmission variants of the EA81. In 1981 these changes were supplemented by slightly larger rectangular headlights, in late 82 further changes were made to the body styling by replacing the chrome bumpers with the plastic type - the side mirrors and front grill were also restyled. The Touring Wagon was released around this time, its most noticeable feature being a raised roof line; in addition the two rectangular headlights of the DL and GL models were replaced with 4 slightly smaller square ones from the GLf model. The Touring Wagons were the luxury wagon, fully optioned with everything including a digital dash display (way ahead of its time). Excluding the Brumby (utility), production of the MY and its variants ran through to late 1984 when its was superseded by the L-series.

More details to be found here :

Brumby ( Brat US ) Series I & II

The Brumby (known as Brat outside Australia) is an EA81 powered utility, popular on farms for running around the paddocks with stock feed. The first Brumby came out in the late 70s, the last sold new in Australia in 1992. This was without a doubt the longest run of an EA81-powered Subaru, with multiple variants including DL (base model) and GL, as well as the "Ag-Quip" editions, which was a promotional model marketed around the annual Ag-Quip field days held in Gunnedah, North Western NSW. Outside of Australia there was also a turbo version using the electronic fuel injected EA81 turbo engine (nicknamed the EA81t). A few of these engines have slowly started cropping up in Australia in converted vehicles, however due the their rarity owners are now opting for the more powerful OHC EA82 turbo or quad-cam EJ20G or EJ20R.

More details to be found here :

Justy / Rex / Fiori / Sherpa

The Subaru Subcompact hatchbacks introduced into Australia since 1984.

More details to be found here : &

L Series III

The L-Series was offered in Subaru dealers starting in late 1984. With a totally changed squarer shape and the all-new SOHC EA82, the L-series was a model that would carry Subaru into the 1990s. The engine update from the EA81 was advantageous in that it could more easily cope with the new unleaded fuel and also (more importantly) the upcoming turbo.
1984-1985 models still used the leaded fuel, but 1986 saw the first of the unleaded fuel cars - with a resultant drop in power. At the same time, the RX was released with multipoint fuel-injection and turbo charger, adding substantial power - even in the de-tuned Australian delivered spec. The RX Turbo sedans hit the rally scene and won convincingly, setting the pace for years to come.
Upgrades in the L-series extended far beyond the cosmetic and engine; suspension also changed, using a coil over shock design to replace the rear torsion bars of the earlier models. Gearbox went to five speeds with a slightly higher Lo-range ratio in the 4WD models. Later models included full-time four-wheel-drive as an option, a true revolution for a passenger car in the late 1980s.
L-series models were gradually phased out from 1989 with the arrival of the Liberty/Legacy models, but were still released alongside their newer 'siblings' until 1992.

More details to be found here :

XT / Vortex / Alcyone

Using the L-series base, the XT developed from 1985 as a wedge shaped sports coupe intended to revolutionise Subaru and provide a step towards a foray into supercars. Well ahead of their time, both the MPFI EA82 and the EA82 turbo engines provided the balance in power, reliability and practicality that has come to characterise the much later Subarus.
The XT came in several levels of trim: naturally aspirated FWD, turbocharged FWD and turbocharged 4WD with air-suspension. 1989 saw the arrival of the six-cylinder XT6. Using the overhead cam fuel-injected horizontally opposed ER27 engine, the XT6 was launched into a club who's only other member was the exclusive German manufacturer Porsche.
Subaru boasts a record for Cd or Coefficient of Drag with the xt, allegedly measured at 0.29. By comparison a modern 911 Porsche rates at 0.31, and with most modern Ferraris pushing about 0.30 this is a significant claim. Take a closer inspection of the "Super Sube" however and unusual features such as flush door handles, the wedge shape design, single wiper retracting below the bonnet line, as well as various channels, bumps and grooves it quickly becomes apparent that Subaru's claims sport startling validity.
In Japan, the XT model name was Alcyone - the brightest star in the Pleiades constellation. The Japanese word for Pleiades is - you guessed it - Subaru. The story so goes that the Vortex (as it was known in Australia) was supposed to be the flagship of the Subaru fleet, to be improved upon from the underpowered basic form to evolve into an EG33TT powered 250kw Supercar. Of course this dream was never realised, but it did pave the way for the SVX:

More details to be found here :


Another weird design which also failed to deliver, eventually causing Subaru to give up and compromise on the RS Liberty and WRX Impreza, which developed out of the successful RX rally franchise.

More details to be found here :


The Subaru Impreza is a compact automobile, manufactured since 1992 by Subaru—the automobile division of Japanese transportation conglomerate, Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI). Subaru introduced the Impreza as a replacement for the Leone, with the Leone's EA series engines replaced by the newer EJ series versions.

Now in its fourth generation, Subaru has offered four-door sedan and five-door hatchback body variants since 1992; the firm also offered a coupe from 1995 for the first generation only. Mainstream versions have received naturally aspirated "boxer" flat-four engines ranging from 1.5- to 2.5-liters, with the first three generations of Impreza in North America were also available with an off-road appearance package titled Subaru Outback Sport. For the fourth generation, this appearance package became known as the Subaru XV, and is sold internationally.

Subaru has offered both front- and all-wheel drive versions of the Impreza. Since the late-1990s, some markets have restricted sales to the all-wheel drive model—therefore granting the Impreza a unique selling proposition in the global compact class characterized by front-wheel drive. However, Japanese models remain available in either configuration.

More details to be found here :


The performance-oriented ( World Rally ) Impreza WRX and WRX STI models uprated with the addition of turbochargers. Since the third generation series, some markets have adopted the abbreviated Subaru WRX name for these high-performance variants.

More details to be found here : &

Liberty / Legacy

The Subaru Legacy is a mid-size car built introduced to Australia since 1989 …. ( more to add here )

More details to be found here :


The Subaru Forester is a crossover vehicle manufactured since 1997 & initially shared its platform with the Impreza. Now in its 4th iteration it has grown is size … ( more to add here )

More details to be found here :


The Outback station wagon debuted in 1994 as a derivative of the second generation Subaru Legacy. ( more to add here )

More details to be found here :

BRZ / Scion / Toyota 86

First concept vehicle shown at the Tokyo motor show in about 2011 ? production started later 2012 & various iterations are now also available.

More details to be found here :

XV / Crosstrek

Based on the Impreza, is slightly larger beast with a more aggressive stance & has higher ground clearance.

More details to be found here :

Newer Subaru's

Smell really nice & are very expensive.


I might want to edit this page & add / update for new models - Your thoughts on keeping to Australian only ? Bantum
I've also started / revised on outline of new list, more to come …


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