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Subaru, You Should Rebadge The Layback And Sell It In America

Do you remember the Subaru Layback Sportwagon? Why doesn't Subaru sell it in North America? I'll answer that and discuss bringing it as a rebadged model for U.S. customers.

Subaru, Bring It To The U.S.

Have you ever wondered about the exclusive Subaru Layback, a model that's only available for sale in Japan, and why we won't be seen in North America? The question arises, why not? Let's delve into why Subaru of America should consider rebadging it and bringing it to U.S. customers.

I covered the new Subaru Layback's Japanese launch last year. You can read my report here. This new model was created to give Japan a more rugged Levorg Sportwagon. Unfortunately, it's forbidden fruit in the U.S. and Canada. 

As I previously mentioned, the Japanese-specification 2024 Subaru Levorg Layback is not just another model. It's a unique creation with new upgrades that make it more off-road friendly than the standard Levorg Sportwagon. The new Sportwagon hatch boasts rugged looks and an off-road-tuned chassis, and it's a compact version of the Outback Wilderness and what it could be, only in a smaller, sportier package. 

Fuel Efficient And Turbocharged

The new Layback is a Levorg Sportwagon but with more rugged upgrades. It comes with Subaru's Symmetrical all-wheel drive and is powered by a 1.8-liter direct-injection turbocharged Boxer engine. The turbocharged direct-injection (DIT) engine produces 175 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque. It's the ideal powerplant, offering improved fuel efficiency.

Let's Dream

Why doesn't Subaru of America bring it to the U.S.?

I'm advocating for Subaru of America to consider rebadging the Layback and offering it as a new sporty compact hatchback trim level for North American customers. This could potentially replace the U.S.-Spec Impreza and be marketed as the 'new' Impreza. Alternatively, a new nameplate could be introduced, offering a fresh and exciting option for customers.

I recently reported that Subaru should give the Impreza a new identity because it's essentially a lowered Crosstrek. Buyers now choose the Crosstrek over the Impreza, and sales of the Impreza hatch are dropping. Check out my report here.

Imagine a rebadged Layback as the all-new Impreza in North America. It's compact, has more ground clearance than the Impreza, and is a hot hatchback with a turbo engine. It's not just a fit for active customers who want a more fuel-efficient model for off-road use, but it also opens up new possibilities for Subaru in the U.S. market. 

Give it the automaker's X-Mode and wall-a; you have a hot, more rugged compact hatchback for outdoor enthusiasts. 

Here are some new names.

Subaru has already filed patents for 12 new names. Read my report here

Here is the newly updated list of Subaru's twelve new outdoor-themed model names in alphabetical order: 

  • Accomplice 
  • Everguide 
  • Everpass (this name is new) 
  • Getaway 
  • Highroad 
  • Hightrail 
  • Outsider 
  • Trailhead 
  • Trailseeker 
  • Tailwind 
  • Uncharted
  • Viewfinder

Subaru of America could adopt one of the new names for the rebadged Layback.

I invite you to share your thoughts on the potential names for the rebadged Layback. My top five choices are Highroad, Outsider, Trailhead, Trailseeker, and Getaway. Which one(s) resonate with you the most?

Dreaming more…

SOA should bring the newly rebadged Layback to U.S. customers as a new Hybrid or Plug-In Hybrid trim level. Subaru is now developing its new Boxer/Hybrid technology, which would be the ideal model to get it. Check out the latest technology in my report here.

Let's Think further outside the box. Now we're talking.

Better yet, SOA could offer the new rebadged Layback as a rugged Wilderness trim level. Raise the suspension to 9.3 inches, give it Wilderness family upgrades, and add a new fuel-efficient Hybrid or Plug-In Hybrid powertrain.

The best thing is.

Subaru wouldn't have to develop an all-new model from the ground up. The hard work of vehicle research and development has already been done. All Subaru Corporation has to do is give it U.S.-specs, make it more rugged for active customers, and begin taking orders. 

Would you buy an outdoor-themed rebadged Layback Wilderness trim level with hybrid tech? If so, click the red Add New Comment link below and let us know.

I am Denis Flierl, a top Torque News reporter since 2012. I’ve invested over 13 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role, working with every major car brand. I am an experienced Rocky Mountain Automotive Press member. You'll find my expert Subaru analysis here. Follow me on my X SubaruReportAll Subaru, WRXSTI, @DenisFlierlFacebook, and Instagram.

Photo credit: Subaru


Mike (not verified)    June 24, 2024 - 7:28AM

I'd consider an Impreza Trailblazer hybrid but not a plug in.
I considered a Forester or Impreza previously but ended up with an Outback Limited. I really like the ground clearance being in snow country here in Minnesota.

Ira (not verified)    June 24, 2024 - 2:11PM

Calling the impreza a lowered crosstrek is crazy when the impreza had an almost 30 years history. The crosstrek is clearly a lifted impreza not the other way around.