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Subaru has entered the all-electric SUV fray with its first dedicated EV, the Solterra, which shares its platform with the Toyota bZ4X. The Solterra hasn’t had an easy go of catching on with consumers early in its production run. Still, it isn’t Subaru’s worst-selling model. Here’s a look at the highs and lows of Subaru’s fluctuating car sales numbers.

Subaru car sales are generally on the rise

Sales stats from GoodCarBadCar show Subaru is reeling in 2023 versus 2022, in which the impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic were still causing issues across the automotive industry.

August monthly sales were up 12.5% over this time last year, and the brand’s annual sales through eight months of the year have risen by nearly 16%. The automotive industry at large is experiencing far better sales this year over 2022, but Subaru’s growth is still notable among its competitors.

Subaru’s bread-and-butter models continue to drive its positive sales growth. Sales of the Outback, the brand’s most popular choice among buyers, are up 12% over this same time in 2022. Forester sales were up 46% year-over-year in August and 32% annually. Despite a lackluster August, CrossTrek annual sales are up 2%, and Ascent sales have risen 3% compared to last year.

The Subaru model with the best resurgence for 2023 is the WRX. Subaru has moved nearly 19,000 units so far this year, an increase of 71.5%.

Though Subaru’s sporty sedan is selling well, its performance coupe is struggling to attract buyers.

The BRZ is the worst-selling Subaru of 2023 so far

The Subaru BRZ has a lot going for it. The 2+2 coupe is fitted with a sprightly 228-hp flat-four engine. It delivers engaging driving dynamics. It has the added appeal to enthusiasts with its six-speed manual transmission. It’s still usable for the daily trek, and with prices starting at about $30,000, it can be considered a blue-collar hero of the sports car segment.

However, despite its credentials, the BRZ’s niche status has resulted in it trailing the Subaru pack in sales.

Just 268 BRZ models were sold in August, and though sales are up a notable 41% over last year, Subaru has sold just 3,091 models so far in 2023.

The BRZ’s sales figures trail the Solterra by more than 1,000 units so far this year despite the electric SUV recently hitting the market. The Solterra sold 915 models in August alone, accounting for about one-fifth of the units sold this year.

Why is the BRZ struggling to sell?

It stands to reason the Subaru BRZ could be losing out on sales to its mechanical cousin, the Toyota GR86. Toyota sold 7,777 models through August, more than double that of the BRZ.

Still, the GR86’s sales figures aren’t earth-shattering either. That can likely be attributed to both models simply residing in the niche sports car market, even with their strong attributes.

It’s also worth considering many buyers who want a dose of Subaru sportiness could be turning to the WRX. The Base WRX and Premium trim cost the equivalent of the two BRZ trims, and the sedan offers far more practicality, more power to compensate for its portlier dimensions, and can still be had with a manual transmission. Perhaps those factors have led the WRX to sell in far better numbers this year.

The BRZ’s days seem far from numbered, but Subaru undoubtedly would like to see its niche product moving faster down the road.