7 Of Subaru’s Best-Ever Coupes

As far as automotive brands go, Subaru isn’t necessarily a brand you’d associate with the coupe body style:

Sedan (top) vs coupe (bottom)

However, over the years the Subaru has released some great coupe vehicles, some more memorable than others. 

In this list, I present seven of Subaru’s best-ever coupes.

I’m keen to hear your take as well; feel free to leave a comment with your suggestions, feedback, or other input. What is your favourite coupe from Subaru? 


I was actually spurred on to write this list on the back of my recent article about the WRX STI Type R coupe – the “baby 22B”.

The WRX STI Type R was a JDM-only coupe version of the GC8 WRX STI, produced from about 1997-2000 across V3/4/5/6.

Source: WhichCar.com.au (via auction listing)

Essentially, performance was the same as a top-spec sedan STI but buyers could enjoy sharp coupe looks (I believe the coupe body style is far more attractive for this generation of WRX) and also limited edition rareness.

Type R coupes could come fitted with all sorts of performance goodies such as a Driver Controlled Center Differential/DCCD.

If you’d like more information, then can read more in my full article on the WRX STI Type R

Prices of the Type R coupes have soared in recent years (as one of the rarer and more desirable limited-edition WRX models) so be prepared to pay a pretty penny.

If the Lotto numbers came in for me tomorrow, I’d be very tempted to pick up a nice, clean late-model example.


The XT badge is typically associated with high-performance versions of Subaru models such as the Outback and Forester. However, the original ‘XT’ and later XT6 was actually a standalone sports coupe that debuted in 1985 and ran until 1991 with a facelift in 1987. In some markets, the XT was also sold as the Alcyone and Vortex.

Prior to the facelift, the XT was available with either a 1.8 NA or 1.8 turbo engine, with the turbo variant producing up to 140 horsepower depending on the market. Despite being front-wheel drive and predating Subaru’s range-wide AWD push, the turbo models had a switch button on the gear selector that could activate part-time four-wheel drive.

After 1987, the turbocharged engine was dropped, and buyers seeking a sportier drive could choose a 2.6 boxer six-cylinder engine that produced 145 horsepower. However, most reviewers believe that the earlier turbocharged model is the preferable option (particularly if you fancy the idea of modifying for more power). 

Although the XT’s styling may remind some of the AW11 MR2, the boxy lines and unique dash make it stand out in the way that only a 1980s car can look.

While it may not be considered potent by today’s standards, the XT was a sophisticated piece of machinery with a host of clever technology and offered an enjoyable driving experience for its owners. 

Alcyone SVX

The Subaru Alcyone SVX was a grand tourer produced by Subaru from 1991 to 1996. It was a departure from Subaru’s more utilitarian models, and was designed to compete with other high-end sports cars of the time.

One of the most distinctive features of the SVX was its futuristic design, by the legendary Giorgetto Giugiaro. The car featured a unique window-within-a-window design, which was intended to reduce wind noise and improve visibility. The exterior also featured sleek, aerodynamic lines, with a long hood and short rear deck. 

Under the hood, the SVX was powered by a 3.3-liter flat-six engine that produced 230 horsepower and 224 lb-ft of torque. This engine was paired with a four-speed automatic transmission and Subaru’s all-wheel-drive system, which helped to ensure exceptional handling and traction.

Inside, the SVX was equipped with a range of features and amenities that were designed to make it a comfortable and luxurious grand tourer. This included leather upholstery, power-adjustable seats, automatic climate control, and a premium sound system.

While the SVX was generally well-received by critics and enthusiasts, it struggled to find a strong market foothold due to its high price and relatively low sales figures. Nevertheless, its unique design and impressive performance have helped to cement its status as a cult classic and a beloved model among Subaru fans.

Today, the SVX is a highly sought-after collectible, with well-maintained examples commanding high prices on the used car market. Its distinctive design and advanced features continue to make it a favorite among fans of 1990s sports cars and grand tourers, although it has never quite achieved the cachet of some of its grand touring competition such as the Mitsubishi 3000GT/GTo. 

I don’t think there can be any argument as to whether or not the Alcyone/SVX is Subaru’s most interesting and futuristic design ever, and I think it’s a shame the car didn’t sell better. I suspect that it would have done had Subaru fitted the car from the factory with a manual gearbox (supposedly Subaru never had a sufficiently robust manual gearbox at the time – a problem not solved until the launch of the WRX). 


A genuine road-going 22B WRX STI is one of my ‘Garage Dream’ purchases. Realistically, I’d need to win the Euromillions or have my 100x leverage Wells Fargo stock shorts to come in to have any chance, but dreams are free, right?

The WRX STI 22B is widely regarded as one of the most iconic and sought-after Subaru models ever produced. Built to commemorate Subaru’s third consecutive win in the World Rally Championship, the 22B was a limited-edition model that was only produced in 1998.

The 22B was based on the Impreza WRX STI and featured a number of significant upgrades over the standard model. Perhaps the most notable of these was the addition of flared fenders, which not only gave the car a more aggressive appearance but also allowed for a wider track and larger wheels. Other exterior changes included a revised front bumper, hood scoop, and rear wing.

Under the hood, the 22B featured a turbocharged 2.2-liter flat-four engine that produced 276 horsepower and 268 lb-ft of torque (on paper … we all know the Japanese 276hp limit was total BS, these cars are probably pumping out far more power).

This represented a significant increase over the standard WRX STI and provided the 22B with blistering performance. The engine was paired with an improved five-speed manual transmission, better suspension and brakes and Subaru’s legendary all-wheel-drive system, which helped to ensure exceptional handling and traction.

Inside, the 22B featured a number of special touches that further set it apart from the standard WRX STI. This included exclusive blue Alcantara upholstery, a MOMO steering wheel, and special 22B badging.

Due to its limited production run of fewer than 500 units, the 22B has become a highly sought-after collectible in the years since its release.

Its rarity, combined with its impressive performance and unique styling, has helped to cement its status as one of the most desirable Subaru models of all time.

Honestly, this is one of those cars that is just plain out-of-reach for mere financial mortals these days. Something nice to dream about, but probably not that realistic to attain. 

BRZ (Boxer, Rear Wheel Drive, Zenith) 

Is it a Toyota or is it a Subaru … who really cares?

The truth is that this example of automotive joint-venture done right is one of Subaru’s best ever and most beloved coupes – and also the only one on this list you can still buy new.

The BRZ, which is also sold as a Toyota badge-engineered version, is a sports car that offers drivers unparalleled handling and an unmatched level of driver engagement, even when compared to many vehicles with much higher price tags.

With its precision handling and engaging driving experience, the BRZ is a standout sports car that proves that driving pleasure doesn’t have to come with a high price tag. While it may not be the fastest car on the road, the BRZ delivers a driving experience that is sure to put a smile on the face of anyone behind the wheel.

While the BRZ may not be a straight-line speed demon (although there are various modifications available to enhance its performance), it’s easy to overlook that fact when driving one. The car’s fun factor is off the charts, making it one of the most well-rounded and capable “old school” sports cars in recent memory, even in its stock configuration.

The new version of the BRZ, which was unveiled in 2021, builds upon the success of the original model and introduces a number of updates and enhancements.

One of the most significant changes is the adoption of a new 2.4-liter naturally aspirated engine, which produces 228 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. This represents a significant increase over the previous model’s output and provides the BR-Z with a notable boost in performance. The new engine is also paired with either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission, both of which have been updated for improved shift feel and response.

In addition to the updated powertrain, the new BRZ features revised styling that gives the car a more aggressive and athletic appearance. The exterior design is characterized by a sleeker profile, sharper lines, and a lower stance, while the interior has been refreshed with improved materials and a more modern infotainment system.

Despite these updates, however, the new BRZ remains true to the core principles that made the original model so popular: precision handling, engaging driving dynamics, and an affordable price point. As such, it is poised to continue the legacy of its predecessor and provide driving enthusiasts with a compelling and rewarding sports car experience.

Make sure you read our comprehensive Subaru BRZ buyer’s guide if you are interested in purchasing one of these great cars. 

Leone/GL Coupe

The Subaru Leone Coupe is a sports car produced by the Japanese automaker Subaru from 1971 to 1994. The car was first introduced as a two-door hardtop version of the Subaru Leone, which was also known as the Subaru GL in some markets. The Leone Coupe was an evolution of Subaru’s first car, the 360, which was introduced in 1958. The name “Leone” means “lion” in Italian and was chosen to represent the car’s strength and durability.

The Leone Coupe was offered with a variety of engine options over its production lifespan, ranging from a 1.2-liter flat-four engine to a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. Initially, the car was only available in a rear-wheel-drive configuration, but in 1975, Subaru introduced the 4WD system on the Leone Coupe, which marked a significant milestone for the brand. The 4WD system proved to be highly successful and helped establish Subaru’s reputation for building reliable and capable all-wheel-drive cars.

The styling of the Leone Coupe was characterized by its boxy, angular design, which was typical of cars from the 1970s and 1980s. The car had a distinctive front grille with square headlights and a low-slung roofline, which gave it a sporty and aggressive appearance. The interior of the car was simple but functional, with a straightforward dashboard and supportive bucket seats.

Despite its relatively modest performance, the Subaru Leone Coupe was well-regarded by enthusiasts for its nimble handling and rugged construction. The car was popular in motorsport circles, particularly in rally racing, where its all-wheel-drive system and durability proved to be an asset. Today, the Subaru Leone Coupe is a rare and sought-after classic car, with a loyal following of enthusiasts who appreciate its unique combination of style, performance, and reliability.

In my list of best Subarus for off-roading, I mention the third generation GL/Leone as being one of the best off-road capable vehicles Subaru has ever built.

Although it’s old, this pre Symmetrical AWD Subaru offers a number of compelling components and capabilities for off road driving such as selectable 4WD (not permanent AWD), excellent ground clearance with height adjustable suspension, and a dual range transmission with ‘granny gear’ to allow for easy crawling at low speed. Why would you NOT want to be the guy tearing up the ski field access road in an old Subaru coupe and showing up the Range Rover and Audi Q7 drivers for laughs? 


As you can see, Subaru has released some great coupes over the years.

From the early days of the GL/Leone, through to the current BR-Z, Subaru might not be the pre-eminent name in the coupe body style, but there are some worth contenders nonetheless.

What is your favourite Subaru coupe? Feel free to leave a comment below – it would be great to hear from you.


  • Sam

    Sam focuses mainly on researching and writing the growing database of Car Facts articles on Garage Dreams, as well as creating interesting list content. He is particularly enthusiastic about JDM cars, although has also owned numerous European vehicles in the past. Currently drives a 3rd generation Suzuki Swift Sport, and a Volkswagen Touareg (mainly kept for taking his border collie out to the hills to go walking)

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