If you’ve ever driven a Subaru, you know that they’re all about all-wheel drive. But when did that become a standard feature on all their cars? In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into the history of Subaru and explore when they started making only all-wheel drive vehicles.
- Subaru started offering all-wheel drive as an option in the 1970s, but it wasn’t until the 1990s that it became a standard feature on all their cars.
- The company’s focus on all-wheel drive was driven by a desire to create a vehicle that could handle well in adverse weather conditions, which is important in their home market of Japan.
- All-wheel drive has become a key differentiator for Subaru and has helped them establish a loyal customer base in markets around the world.
The Early Years
Subaru was founded in Japan in 1953 as a division of the Fuji Heavy Industries conglomerate. The company’s early focus was on building small cars for the Japanese market, but they quickly expanded to other markets in Asia, Europe, and North America.
In the 1970s, Subaru began offering all-wheel drive as an option on some of their vehicles. At the time, all-wheel drive was still a relatively new technology, and most cars were still being produced with rear-wheel drive or front-wheel drive.
Subaru’s decision to embrace all-wheel drive was driven by a desire to create a vehicle that could handle well in adverse weather conditions. Japan is known for its harsh winters, and the company recognized that there was a market for a car that could handle snow and ice with ease.
Throughout the 1980s, Subaru continued to offer all-wheel drive as an option on many of their cars. They also began to build a reputation for themselves as a company that was committed to safety and performance, thanks in part to their focus on all-wheel drive.
During this time, Subaru also began to expand their lineup, adding new models like the Legacy and the Impreza. These cars were designed to appeal to a broader range of customers, and they helped Subaru establish a foothold in new markets around the world.
It wasn’t until the 1990s that Subaru made all-wheel drive a standard feature on all their cars. This was a significant shift for the company and helped cement their reputation as a leader in all-wheel drive technology.
In 1995, Subaru introduced the Outback, a ruggedized version of the Legacy wagon that was designed for off-road use. The Outback was an instant success and helped Subaru reach new customers who were looking for a car that could handle rough terrain.
Over the next few years, Subaru continued to refine their all-wheel drive technology, introducing new features like electronic stability control and traction control. These advancements helped make Subaru’s cars even more capable in adverse weather conditions and helped set them apart from the competition.
The 2000s and Beyond
Today, Subaru is known primarily for their all-wheel drive vehicles. They continue to innovate in this area, introducing new technologies like Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and X-Mode, which provides enhanced traction and control in challenging driving conditions.
Subaru’s all-wheel drive technology has helped them establish a loyal customer base around the world. Customers appreciate the safety and performance benefits of all-wheel drive, and Subaru’s commitment to the technology has helped them stand out in a crowded marketplace.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does every Subaru have all-wheel drive?
Yes, every Subaru sold in the United States comes with all-wheel drive as standard. This has been the case since the 1990s.
How does Subaru’s all-wheel drive system work?
Subaru uses a system called Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, which distributes power evenly to all four wheels. This helps provide better traction and stability in adverse weather conditions.
Are Subaru’s all-wheel drive cars more expensive than other cars?
Subaru’s all-wheel drive cars are typically priced competitively with other cars in their class. The company has worked hard to make all-wheel drive technology accessible to a wide range of customers.
Is all-wheel drive necessary?
All-wheel drive is not strictly necessary for most driving conditions. However, it can provide significant benefits in adverse weather conditions or when driving on rough terrain.
Are there any downsides to all-wheel drive?
All-wheel drive can be slightly less fuel-efficient than front-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive, and it can add weight to the vehicle. However, most drivers find that the benefits of all-wheel drive outweigh any potential downsides.
Subaru’s commitment to all-wheel drive technology has helped them establish a reputation for safety and performance. By making all-wheel drive a standard feature on all their cars, they’ve been able to appeal to a wide range of customers who appreciate the benefits of this technology. Today, Subaru continues to innovate in this area, introducing new features and technologies that help make their cars even more capable in adverse weather conditions.