When you think of vehicle manufacturers certain big names (i.e., Honda, Toyota) seem to be the only brands that trickle to the mainstream mind-set. However, there are many other viable options when car shopping. Let’s take a look at one of those manufacturers and why they shouldn’t be overlooked, especially with their current project due out this year.

1974 Subaru DL
The Subaru 1400 DL (like this 1974 version) helped put the company “on the map”, at least in the US. Image via BringATrailer.com.

1. First of all, Subaru falls under the Japanese transportation conglomerate Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI) as its automobile manufacturing division. Toyota Motor Corporation owns 16.5% of FHI and is currently in works with them to produce a 2-door coupe known as the FT-86. According to Japan’s Best Car magazine, the production version of the Toyota FT-86 will arrive by the end of the year, at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show in December. Look for it at your dealer, Chicago Subaru, or other Subaru dealership near you sometime after that.

2. Subaru has been selling cars in America since the 1970s when it first introduced the all wheel drive drivetrain layout, which has since become standard equipment for mid-size and smaller cars in most international markets.

3. The Subaru Legacy, first introduced in 1989, was the first vehicle that became a sales success for the company and established a new direction for them. Another hit followed in 1995 when Subaru campaigned heavily and successfully sold many Outbacks. About this time Subaru products began to attract a following among the young and educated, who saw the car as a practical alternative to the SUV craze.

Subaru SVX
The Subaru SVX, a relatively rare sports coupe in the US, was a unique departure from Subaru’s typical lineup of wagons and sedans

4. Between 1992-1997 Subaru sold a truly one-of-a-kind sports car. The SVX, rarely seen on the road today (they sold 14,000 in the United States) could easily be known as the car with the most unique design.The most striking feature of the car is the windows. The window design of the SVX was created with the goal of good aerodynamics, unobstructed visibility, and a distinctive appearanc

5. Their persistent ability to reach a niche in the market has continued today due to their creative knack to produce something different yet still appealing. Currently they are campaigning for the new 2011 Subaru Legacy which claims to fight mediocrity. As they claim, it’s a far cry from the boring, mid-size sedan and the new Legacy should be a thrilling experience.

With all things considered, Subaru continues to be a competitor among the best sold cars in America. Their reputation will only gain momentum as they take on new and innovative approaches to delivering the details that people are looking for in a car.

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