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Subaru small cars are now Toyotas and why the new Impreza is slightly dull

By Rigval on 18 May 2011

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I bring you readers more sad news about the automotive industry. After 54 years of doing so Subaru will stop producing their own small vehicles early next year. Those that remember Subaru's history will note that the company started making minicars at first. The tiny Subaru 360 was the first car ever built by Fuji Heavy Industries, a.k.a Subaru and now they will stop designing their own small cars but sell rebadged Toyota/Daihatsu since Toyota is now a major shareholder in Subaru.

The reason is that in 2010, Subaru only managed to sell 93,000 small cars. Most of the cars are sold in Japan and according to the management, it isn't feasible to continue manuafacturing their own cars. It seems that rebadging a Daihatsu Boon/Sirion makes more sense economically.

Of course it does. But they're so utterly predictable and dull vehicles. Take the Toyota Passo a.k.a Daihatsu Sirion/Boon a.k.a Perodua Myvi a.k.a Subaru Justy. They may look slightly different with different eylashes, skirts or jewellery, but they are basically the same shape. Everyone knows they're actually buying the same car and why they bought the certain model depended on whether the sales person managed to convince them or that they just didn't care what car they bought. Compare that with the Subaru R2 (which is already replaced by the Daihatsu Tanto) and the R1 above. Now these are really cute little cars that I'd like to drive. But I can't anymore since Subaru started rebadging the Sirion as a Justy. In fact there are quite a few R1s running around Singapore and I seriously hope that some survive the vehicle scrapping within the next few years so that people can still see how good looking these cars really are in years to come.

And this little fact also made me realize that this is the real reason why the latest Subaru Impreza (pictured below) looks kind of unimpressive or slightly dull to some people. It has 'TOYOTA' written all over it. Can anyone in here name me an interesting Toyota that has been launched and in production in 2010 and 2011 aside from it being a Lexus? No. I don't think so. Subaru has hit a new level of blandness (and a new low in terms of car production) and I blame it on the general dullness of Toyota. It is as simple as that.

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Written by Rigval
Born in 1972. Married with a kid. Loves B-road drives and have driven cars from the 1950s to date.

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