The 1990's Subaru
1990's Subaru Timeline:
1990 5 year re-design. Subaru renames the GL/DL as the Loyale (with on-demand 4wd, made until 1994)
1991 The quirky SVX luxury sport coupe 3.3L 6cylinder available as a 1992 model.
1993 25 years selling in the US. Subaru introduces the smaller Impreza.
1994 Last year for the 1st generation Legacy and there are a number of Legacy versions available that year.
1995 5 year re-design, major changes for the Legacy including an all new body, interior, new standard dual front airbags
1996 New 2.5L DOHC engine introduced in the Legacy Outback and Legacy LSi models, automatic transmission only.
1997 Outback Limited with leather introduced. All Subarus are now all wheel drive.
1998 Forester small SUV introduced, based on the Impreza platform.
1999 Special '30th Anniversary' Legacy and Outbacks available. (1969-1999 = 30 years)
Moving from the 1980s into the 1990s brought a barrage of changes that in some ways rivaled even the turbulent ’60s. The Justy proved that while Subaru models could climb hills, they also could put the pedal to the metal. Justy set the Class I Production speed record with a two-way “flying mile” average of 117.4 mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats. Then, in 1991, it was time for the Subaru SVX to take a bow. As a show-stopping entry in the high-performance luxury market, it grabbed hold of a new niche in Subaru marketing, the Impreza soon followed. Subaru had succeeded in evolving its own image in a world marked by abrupt shifts in politics, technology and society and it was ready to make a major splash into a new and growing field: the sport utility wagon.
The Subaru Impreza was launched in November 1992. With a body more compact than the Legacy's, this series featured sporty curves, and came out in two versions: a 4-door Sedan and a Sports Wagon. The Impreza's engine, suspension, AWD system, and packaging followed those of the Legacy, and the high-performance driving and feeling of quality were further enhanced.
The Outback is introduced as a trim package on the Legacy L. in 1995. The Outback is a rugged road version of the Legacy wagon with more ground clearance, 2 tone with grey lower body molding. It was a huge hit. The Impreza Outback Sport version of the Impreza wagon is also introduced. All Subarus are now all wheel drive.
In 1998 the Forester SUV hit the market, based on the Impreza platform. It's smaller than the Outback but bigger than the Impreza. The Subaru Forester made its debut in February 1997. The Forester combined the strong points of a sports utility vehicle (SUV) and a passenger car as a vehicle of a new genre based on the "best of both" worlds. The basic chassis was virtually the same as that of the 1993 Legacy, a fully changed model. However, the Forester's wheelbase was reduced, ground clearance increased 200 mm and overall height to 1,580 mm. Hence, while the Forester possessed superior driving performance for poor road conditions and a high driving position required for SUVs, it still provided pleasant ride comfort for those on board.
As the ’90s drew to a close, it seemed as though everything was speeding up. News traveled faster. When speed of delivery mattered, Subaru kept pace – or set the pace – with the Forester. The Forester was an immediate hit with drivers and critics alike. In 1997, the Automobile Association of America named the Forester “best SUV priced less than $25,000.” It’s a rugged and versatile performer that gets better with age.