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Sunday, December 4, 2022

Subaru Just Hit Rock Bottom With FWD 2023 Crosstrek


Just when you thought Subaru hit rock bottom with the revived Subaru Rex—essentially, a re-badged Toyota Raize, they’ve just ditched a core technology they’ve been using for 50 years: all-wheel drive.

For the Japanese market, Subaru has just released more details on the all-new 2023 Crosstrek and in a plot twist worthy of an M. Night Shyamalan movie, it doesn’t come standard with all-wheel drive. Instead, it comes with a more plebian front-wheel drive configuration.


Though Subaru has offered its Impreza with front-wheel drive for the Japanese market for quite some time (it goes back, at the very least, to the 2007 GH version), it was typically reserved for the base variants which are powered by small displacement (1.5 or 1.6-liter flat-4s) engines. With the 2023 Crosstrek, however, Subaru is offering front-wheel drive to both the base Touring and top-of-the-line Limited. And in both cases, they come with an electrified 2.0-liter flat-4.

According to Subaru, the decision to add a front-wheel drive variant to the Crosstrek is so that it could be “selected by a wider range of customers.”


Sadly, if these new kinds of customers are looking for something more fuel efficient, it’s worth noting that the front-wheel drive Crosstrek isn’t that much more frugal. Per Subaru, cutting the driven wheels from four to two (and also removing the associated hardware) results in an increase of just—drum roll, please—0.6 km/L (16.4 km/L versus 15.8 km/L).

Theoretically, the Crosstrek FWD should have a more affordable cost of ownership…so there’s a small win there.


Subaru has made a name for themselves with its all-wheel drive. They actually consider this a part of their core technology along with the horizontally-opposed engine. In fact, they’ve moved more than 20 million vehicles equipped with all-wheel drive.

Even when facing increased pressure to electrify its vehicles, Subaru did commit to “improve its all-wheel drive system.” Seems that improvement was to ditch the system altogether.

15 comments:

  1. I think its a good move, some people want subaru but they really dont need awd specially those living in urban area. It could make subaru mainstream and besides it also save resources/materials wasted on car buyers who want a subi but dont really need awd. On business strategy perspective- even lambo and ferrari now makes SUV's to cater to bigger market and of course to make more profit

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  2. Subaru without AWD is just a glorified Toyota.

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    1. But Subaru with AWD is always just more than AND more of a glorified Mitsubishi.

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  3. Why oh why Subaru. What about the signature trademark Symmetrical AWD?

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  4. “selected by a wider range of customers.”

    basically it means so it would be generally cheaper than before....ngl the current XV is ridonkulously pricey for its segment.

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    1. Holy shit! Anonynous is back!!!!

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  5. Its ok that Subaru is a sellout. They want to be more mainstream. Besides, non AWD cars are cheaper to maintain. More fuel efficient, no need to replace 4 tires every damn time, less moving parts, less bushings, no diff fluids, less weight

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  6. Business decision, ordinary people including the writer of this article cannot understand. It Toyota doesn't sell boring cars it cannot make enthusiast cars like the GR Yaris or the GR Corolla. It is easy to use the term sell out, but it everybody doesn't sell out I wouldn't see pop up ads on this website. Let's be more discerning.

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    1. It's always a balance of business versus branding. For Subaru, they were very clear (at least a few years back) that AWD is center to their identity.

      At the time, I actually asked whether they thought of ditching AWD in favor of FWD given the tightening fuel emissions/economy requirements. They said no simply because AWD is a safety system. If they can find a way to make a car that's just as safe with FWD, then they would.

      I guess things change in just a matter of 3 to 4 years.

      And sure, Toyota can make a GR Yaris and GR Corolla...what does Subaru have? They even discontinued the WRX STI. There's no more Forester Turbo (or any high-performance, even electrified) version to replace it. Instead, what we have are increasingly boring crossovers.

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  7. this is like selling your soul for money

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    1. Its foolishness for a business not to diversify dear products and not adopt to always changing demanding market. Even lambo and ferrari venture into making suv's

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    2. Diversification within reason. That's why Lamborghini and Ferrari took their time to develop SUVs and when they did, they made sure it it fit well with the brand.

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    3. Subaru also take dear time, market will recieve warmly subi 4x2 as it will be more affordable, more fuel efficient and easy/less costly to maintain.

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