This is my entry for a competition that ran on Driver's Republic just before it folded. A winner was never drawn but basically, the idea was to write 200 words on what you thought was 'The Essence of Subaru'. It was obviously a sponsored feature but the prize was a chance to long-term test a Subaru Impreza. My entry went as follows...
'Subaru', in my head, are manufacturer who tried rallying once, enjoyed some early success and spent the rest of the intervening years trying to replicate it and despite failing, choosing to tout their ‘motorsport pedigree' every time it came to flogging one of their road cars. I think their board realising this had something to do with their decision to pull out of the WRC in 2008. Motorsport was essentially a distraction from their raison d'être, i.e. building road cars.
All their road cars have had the obvious, boxer engine and AWD in common throughout the years but beneath those superficial hallmarks, lies what I think is the essence of Subaru. They have never been about pretention or class as I’m sure you’ll agree their pricing and styling policies attest to.
From what I've heard and read from those who have had the good fortune to drive them, I can't help but conclude, Subaru are about building all-weather, all-road, driving machines to afford as much driving pleasure to novice as to driving god.
In a word, the essence of Subaru is 'accessibility'.