Skip to main content

Not An April Fools' Joke - Subaru’s 7 Biggest Mistakes

Subaru Corporation does many things right, but they've made a few mistakes. Check out Subaru's seven worst mistakes.

Join us...    

If you are a Subaru enthusiast, you'll be familiar with all seven of Subaru's mistakes listed below, and you could probably add a few of your own. It's not an April Fools' joke and here is our list of Subaru's biggest mistakes.

1. Not bringing back the WRX hatch in the 2022 next-generation model

Subaru would be wise to return the WRX hatch because the Japanese automaker killed the performance-tuned STI model. The next-generation WRX needs a hatchback body style.

2022 Subaru Forester, WRX STI, Crosstrek mistakes

Subaru needs to keep interest in the WRX high after they dashed performance enthusiasts' hopes by dropping the WRX STI. A new 2023 Subaru WRX with a hatchback body style would generate new hunger for the sport-tuned sports car.

2. Dropping the STI before its time

We understand why Subaru discontinued the performance-tuned WRX STI, but they did it too soon. The 2.4-liter direct-injection 2.4-liter would have been more fuel-efficient than the EJ25 2.5-liter Boxer engine, and they could have cleaned up emissions enough to satisfy most states. They could have dropped the STI in California to comply with the new emissions and fuel regulations.

2022 Subaru Forester, WRX STI, Crosstrek mistakes
Photo credit: Planet Subaru

3. Discontinuing the Subaru Baja

Imagine where the Baja pickup would be today if Subaru had not dropped the compact pickup. The sport-utility truck market is heating up, and Subaru would be in the perfect position to take advantage of the hot pickup market in the U.S., and it would have been one of their most popular all-wheel-drive models.

4. Dropping the Forester 2.0XT turbocharged compact SUV

Subaru says they dropped the Forester 2.0XT turbocharged model because of slow sales. After the next-generation Forester launch, Subaru executives explained why they chose the non-turbo route. Company execs said sportiness does not necessarily mean having more power. Tomohiro Ishitobi, Subaru Corporation's senior general manager for the sales and marketing division, said, "Our interpretation of sportiness does not rely on engine power."

2022 Subaru Forester, WRX STI, Crosstrek mistakes
Photo credit: Planet Subaru

5. Not dropping a 2.4-liter turbo in the 2022 Forester Wilderness

The biggest disappointment in the new 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness was that it comes with the standard 2.5-liter Boxer that powers all trim levels. The 2.4-liter turbocharged Boxer engine powers the 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness, but why not the 2022 Forester Wilderness?

Fans were hoping for more than just a "look of off-roading" and wanted a rugged vehicle that could carry additional gear for Overlanding and getting further away from civilization. The 2.4-liter turbocharged engine has 78 more horsepower than Forester's 182 horsepower 2.5-liter engine and would have made a big difference.

6. No heated steering wheel in the Forester Wilderness and Crosstrek Sport

Customers who want to get further away use compact SUVs in the winter. Forester Wilderness and Crosstrek Sport customers would appreciate the added warmth of having the heat on their hands. U.S. outdoor enthusiasts will have to wear gloves when the temperature drops below freezing in the Northeast, Rocky Mountains, and the Northwest.

7. Not offering a head-up display in Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, and Ascent or any models

What was once exclusively available in luxury vehicles, head-up displays now come standard on some mainstream brand cars. Hyundai, Mazda, and Toyota offer head-up displays (HUD) like the one in the latest Toyota Prius. Unfortunately, Subaru doesn't offer a HUD on any vehicle in its lineup. Will Subaru bring a HUD in the next-generation Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, or Ascent in 2024?

These are our top picks for Subaru's worst mistakes; what would you add to the list? Leave your comments below.

You Might Also Like: Why You Should Buy The Last 4th Generation Subaru STI Now

Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Subaru Report - We’ve got you covered! Check back tomorrow for more unique, informative SUBARU news, reviews, and previews you can trust.

Leave your comments below, share the article with friends and tweet it out to your followers!

Photo credit: Planet Subaru

Join us...    


Eugene (not verified)    April 1, 2022 - 9:04AM

8. Taillight design of the 2022 WRX

You'll end up doing a double take after looking at the car from behind because you'd mistakenly think the car had backed up into a Honda Civic.

Paul Dermody (not verified)    April 1, 2022 - 5:33PM

1. Terrible foresight on inventory, especially Crosstrek. Other brands did much better anticipating supply shortages. 6 month wait for Crosstrek?
2. Continuing to make Legacy. What are its sales numbers?
3. Continuing to have "Love" in their advertising. Nonsense.
4. Crosstrek advertising that hardly mentions anything specific about the Crosstrek.
5. Continuing to make Ascent. Large, wasteful, unnecessary SUV.
6. Not making Crosstrek in US. 70% sold in US?

Pamela Darling (not verified)    April 2, 2022 - 12:56AM

In reply to by Paul Dermody (not verified)

I love our Onyx Ascent. It's a great family car with plenty of room. Well made and thought through. Not a waist of time or money. It suits our purpose. Just the perfect size.

Pamela Darling (not verified)    April 2, 2022 - 12:57AM

In reply to by Paul Dermody (not verified)

I love our Onyx Ascent. It's a great family car with plenty of room. Well made and thought through. Not a waist of time or money. It suits our purpose. Just the perfect size.

Geri Miller (not verified)    April 1, 2022 - 8:03PM

I think two other big mistakes Subaru has made are - 1. Dropping the Loyale and 2. Not making a minivan. Just think, a Subaru minivan with 8.7 inches of ground clearance and AWD would have been the ULTIMATE overlanding vehicle. I probably would have already bought at least 2 of them by now.

James D Parker (not verified)    April 2, 2022 - 7:35AM

Not continuing to offer the 6 speed manual transmission -- the CVT really sucks in the Outback. Next car may be a Toyota.

Pieter de Wolff (not verified)    April 2, 2022 - 9:53AM

Subaru should have come way back with a fuel efficient plug in hybrid on all models!
At least in Europe!

Ann Marie Cocks (not verified)    April 2, 2022 - 2:15PM

On your number 4, I agree completely. I will NOT buy an underpowered vehicle. I currently drive a 2000 Civic and I'm tired of putting my foot to the floor and praying not to be rear-ended as I merge onto freeways. The Forester is not even up for consideration as my next car.
On your number 6, the Outback Onyx and Wilderness versions also don't have the option to add a heated steering wheel. I love a heated steering wheel and the lack of it is something that's really holding me back from an Outback purchase. The upcoming Mazda CX-50 with the turbo and heated steering wheel and other goodies recently grabbed my attention.
Some things you didn't mention as issues, but are important to me is the lack of plug in hybrids in their line (except the Crosstrek)--that Hyundai Tucson PHEV looks awesome with all the features I want if only I could be sure the engine fire problem is behind them-- and the lack of button controls. I really don't want to have to wade through computer menus to turn on the seat warmers or adjust the radio volume, etc. Seat warmers should be buttons so they can turn on IMMEDIATELY.

Jerry Malinowski (not verified)    April 2, 2022 - 8:48PM

Yes, not making a minivan, giant mistake.
And the fact the current Forester interior looks the same as my '09 Forester interior...big mistake.
Please update Subaru!

Kurt (not verified)    April 3, 2022 - 9:10PM

#1 for me is Subaru's ongoing love affair with CVT's. Even my wife, who still points the cordless phone handset at the cable box for channel changes, hated her 2013 Impreza (incl. CVT) to the point where I had to find a 2013 Audi A3 AWD hatchback to get her a similar setup that "doesn't feel like a rental". Bought it in Illinois and drove it home to NH. The bitching stopped instantly, and I could get back to missing my departed 2005 and 2009 LGT MT sleepers (also replaced by lifeless bean counter-driven CVT's). Gak.

Ron Plante (not verified)    April 8, 2022 - 4:37PM

Still have a windshield problem with Outback (2022). Should have been a red flag when they sold me an $1800 windshield warranty. First one lasted 1000 mi.

They need a lock for roof rack crossbars.