What began in the U.S. as a Northeast/Northwest alternative to the way-funky Saab has grown into a national brand with year-over-year sales increases that Japan's Big Three execs would absolutely/positively die for. To be sure, it took awhile, but once word got out about the Subie's inherent reliability and all-season, all-wheel drive capability, the fix was in. And despite a consumer demographic among the highest in consumerism, the lineup remains accessible to virtually anyone with a middle income.
If you're looking for the least expensive Sub-stitute, shop Impreza sedan or hatchback; either is the least expensive all-wheel drive vehicle in the U.S. On the crossover side the Crosstrek and Forester start in the low $20s, and while sharing much of the Impreza's platform both offer more interior room and utility. Most fun on the Subaru showroom is essentially a tie: Opt for either version of the WRX and the rear-wheel drive BRZ 2-seater, as all of 'em come with a big grin at no additiional charge. And while Subaru is very much a value brand, the WRX STI can easily brush $40K. And for the performance diehard, it's worth every penny.
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