Raise your hand if you thought Subaru might actually make it. Wait a minute. You New Englanders, Coloradans, and Pacific Northwesterners who would buy a Subie no matter what it looked like on the outside because you know that what’s inside a Subaru will get you through any snowstorm Mother Nature can throw at you, drop your hands. Uh-huh. Crickets.
Consumers aren’t necessarily known for practicality when shopping for much of anything, preferring instead to chase the biggest, shiniest baubles their credit limits will allow. As you can see from Autobytel’s collection of Subaru pictures, the cars ain’t purty. They are functional. They are utilitarian. They are safe. They are durable. And they laugh at Jim Cantore for the right reasons. But a Subaru isn’t going to win a beauty contest, not even the breezy BRZ sports car.
Indeed, Subaru photos cannot show what must be experienced to appreciate. The boxer-style engines, a design shared only with Porsche and used to lower the center of gravity while preserving ground clearance, emit an endearing grumble when accelerating. All Subarus except the BRZ have standard all-wheel drive, and the rally-bred machines are terrific fun in the snow, in the dirt, and in puddles. Then there’s the Subaru WRX and its hotter STI variant, each so ugly but so absolutely brilliant, talented, and thrilling that they’re perversely gorgeous.
Will future Subarus be more visually appealing? It sure would be nice, but we wouldn’t count on it. As our archive of Subaru images plainly indicates, style has rarely been a part of the automaker’s lexicon. But as long as the company gets everything else right, it might not matter.