Do all Subaru Cars Have a Boxer Engine?

Added: 10 December 2019

Subaru Boxer Engine

Yes, Subaru is the only manufacturer in the world that uses a Subaru boxer engine for its entire line-up. So, that means every vehicle from the Forester, Outback, and Crosstrek to the flagship Impreza, WRX/STI, Legacy, and BRZ models.

Porsche is the only other automaker that implements the boxer engine into its plans, but not every one of its cars uses this type of engine. 

Subaru Boxer Engine - The History

The Japanese car manufacturer hasn’t recently changed to the Subaru boxer engine - it’s been part of the process for over five decades. The Subaru Corporation, in the top twenty automakers in the world, has stuck with the boxer engine since 1966. The company believes the flat, H-shaped, opposed-piston make is a superior design to any other power unit. And, it’s hard to argue with this theory as Subaru’s 2.0-liter turbo boxer WRX has been awarded a Wards 10 Best engines award for the second year running. 

Why Does Subaru Use the Boxer Engine?

Don’t expect the Subaru boxer engine design to change any time soon. Subaru has committed to using the boxer for the foreseeable future, but why? Here’s why they’ll continue to incorporate the power unit into their vehicles in the long-term.

Smoother Acceleration

Subaru is dedicated to making the drivability of its cars better and better, and the boxer power unit is one of the reasons it has smoother acceleration. Unlike a standard V-shaped engine, the boxer is positioned horizontally and reciprocates the horizontal pistons. In layman’s terms, the design cancels out the power and makes for less noise and vibration during the ride.

Of course, power isn’t compromised as a result of a horizontal position, with Subaru matching its competitors in terms of top speeds and brake horsepower. 

Better Handling

Again, the horizontal pistons are designed to aid the driver experience. How do they do it regarding a car’s handling? The answer is that it modifies the structure of the crankcase. As a result, Subaru boxer engines often make their vehicles lower to the ground with a superior centre of gravity. Because the ride height is taller in a lot of the models, the experience behind the wheel is incredibly exciting as Subaru’s are stable when cornering, even at high speeds. 

Also, the boxer unit makes Subaru’s cars lighter and more compact, two features that enhance handling even more.

Improved Safety & Security

Although speed and performance are two things that Subaru put above almost everything else, they never compromise their customer’s safety. The way it works is straightforward: the power unit is shorter than a v-shaped or general series engines. As a result, it will go under the car in the event of a collision and miss the cabin. 

Subaru doesn’t put all its faith in theoretic - it has a collision safety performance that is amongst the highest of any manufacturer. And, they believe the Subaru boxer engine is a primary reason for this fact.

Ian Grieve


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