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Monday, November 14, 2022

Subaru's First Small SUV Shows Something Terribly Wrong With The Brand

Subaru just dusted off a nameplate they haven’t used in a while: the Rex. This time though, it’s not being attached to a sub-compact mini or a kei car, but they’re slapping it on the first sub-compact SUV. And if it looks very familiar, well, it should be.

Undoubtedly a product of Subaru now being part of the Toyota family (Toyota owns a 20 percent stake in the Japanese SUV specialist), the Rex sub-compact SUV is basically a Toyota Raize dressed up with the Subaru Pleiades star cluster logo. Subaru doesn’t even beat around the bush and outright calls the Rex a “OEM Supply from Daihatsu.” In case you forgot, Daihatsu is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Toyota.

Sadly, Subaru didn’t even make much of an effort to give the Rex even a hint of Subaru-ness. While the Raize and its Daihatsu equivalent, the Rocky, are both available with a turbocharged engine and all-wheel drive, Subaru opted to get the version powered by the normally aspirated 1.2-liter 3-cylinder mated to a CVT driving the front wheels. So, despite images of bringing the Rex to the beach and stuff, the most off-roading it’ll probably do would be climbing curbs at the local shopping mall.

If that’s still not enough Raize for you, the Subaru Rex comes with a 7-inch TFT multi-info display and digital speedo combo for the driver and a 9-inch display audio system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The higher-grade model also benefits from an electric parking brake with an auto hold function.

Subaru says the Raize, sorry, the Rex, isn’t equipped with their trademark EyeSight safety system. Instead, it gets “Smart Assist” which is Daihatsu speak its autonomous emergency braking system. It also has blind spot monitors with rear cross traffic alert.

Thankfully, the Rex won’t be diluting Subaru’s brand image that much since they’re only targeting monthly sales of about 150 units. By comparison, Subaru’s selling about 500 units of the all-new WRX over there.


  1. Rebadged Toyota Raize / Daihatsu Rocky. Why add an inline-3 engine to Subaru's portfolio?

  2. that is lazy on so many levels.. At that very least alter the fascia a bit like what Toyota did with the Raize

  3. I think rex will be for jdm only (japs dont like big gas guzzler cars) and later they will build a BIG BIG export version to be called.... t rex🤣🤣🤣

  4. Should have built a Boxer-3 instead.

  5. The chinese copy cars all the time. Then they call it ORIGINAL tech fm china.

    1. Since when did Subaru and Daihatsu became Chinese car brands?LOL!

  6. "...the most off-roading it’ll probably do would be climbing curbs at the local shopping mall." This applies to 99% of PPVs, CUVs & pickups, err, I mean "lifestyle trucks". 🌈💐🤡


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