2006 Subaru R1 FWD 660cc petrol from Singapore


Stylish, and a dream to own and run


Nothing has gone wrong with this car.

General Comments:

Knew of this car via the Internet one year before it finally arrived on my shores. And what a worthy wait it had been!

It got 5 stars for occupant safety (which I absolutely believe, because I came off unscathed in a potentially major accident, coming off with only a minor dent, which was fixed over a weekend).

It won multiple awards for design, and that is certainly something which I can vouch for, because it was (and still is) sleek, bulbous, sporty and cute shape that has got the neighbours, the gas station men and babes talking a plenty everywhere I go.

I get crowds gathering at parking lots to gawk at it. Which only means I gotta clean (often!) lots of finger prints all over the body and glass!!!

Some have even swear they'd be getting one when they've saved up enough. (This ain't a cheap car considering its physical and engine size, because it is after all a high spec car).

The fuel efficiency was average before the engine was run-in a few months back. Now, I get a whopping 24 km/ litre of petrol.

Easy the most fuel efficient car on the road here.

The engine makes all the right sporty sounds befitting a Subaru. Only when it is very strained nearer the 9000RPM (yes you read that right!), when it starts sounding more like a dull drone.

The 7 speed i-CVT transmission is a dream! Creamy smooth and immediately responsive. Only during hard acceleration off the lights does it lag a little. But once the revs pile up, the car flies. Around 3000RPM, it actually lurches forward as though the engine is turbo fitted. Must be a trait this car got from its elder siblings like the WRX and Legacy models!

Inside, the red on grey interior is cosy as expected of a coupe.

The RED dash board is simple and swathed in rich, smooth and high quality plastics. Way more stunning and well made than any Subaru before this sans the top of the line Tribeca flagship SUV... And oh, did I mention the mood lights? :-P.

Everything switch/knob falls in place intuitively and little guess work is needed to use them. And all is solid and well.

The seats are covered in durable and luxurious water-proof 'new-age' fabric. Brilliant. Coupled to the ease of folding them down for different variations (such as the front passenger's which fold down to become a lap top table and storage; what a dream.

The semi bucket front sports seats is also supportive and easily adjustable for incline, height etc.

This IS a coupe so it's a 2+2. And possibly the smallest in the market! The roof slopes dramatically towards the boot and hence leg room in the rear bench (with head rests!) will make even an elementary school kid weep.

Believe it or not, it is because of my rear seats that I'd found out that one of my best pals is claustrophobic!!! I never knew... LMAO.

But this is after all a selfish car and the rear seats are almost down all the time making the whole rear a very well shaped and accommodating extension to the boot; almost like a mini van! You could just reach back and grab almost anything!

The only tiny niggle is that that the flush head unit though beautiful to look at, is poor in churning out a decent sound quality; so forget the club tracks because the front speakers sound like they'd burst any time.

Also, because this is a Japan Domestic Market (JDM) car, the radio's frequency settings are at least 12 Hertz away from any local station. So good luck in tuning in to your favourite DJ.

Handling-wise, the grippy steering is light, but gives excellent feed back. The tyres grip really well (like on rails; again another Subaru trait) and the suspension is well sorted for both sporty handling and comfort.

The other owners here and in Japan are so enthusiastic about this little gem, that our respective car clubs are burgeoning!!!

Any swinging single, young couple or someone looking for a sensible, but stylish second or third car, for easy personal transport, ought to get one.

It is one of the more expensive cars in the market for its size, and one will be tempted to go for that all sensible family saloon or something along those boring lines, instead.

But once you've seen this thing in the metal and take a spin round town, you are bound to fall in love with it, and will think hard not to spend the extra couple of grand for this Smart ForTwo, Citroen C1, Mitsubishi iCar, Peugeot 1007, Fiat 500, VW Beetle and Mini One, rival.

You see its competition? They ain't cheap either. Form (and technical marvel) over function.

But somehow, I would think there will be no regrets for sure.

And mine's not even the Turbo-charged, All-Wheel drive, Sport CVT version !!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 12th May, 2007

10th Jul 2007, 22:20

What a ugly car...

10th Nov 2007, 20:35

I do not own a R1 car, but test drove a R2 car from showroom. I agree with the author that it is unique.

The 660cc engine (without turbo) pushed the vehicle forward without hesitation from 0 to 60km/hr along commonwealth road (that's the road speed limit). Tachometer at approx 3000rpm. At this cruising speed, ECO light manage to find its way to stay lit. Well done, Subaru's 660cc engine with adjustable valve timing!

The design concept for the car is also futuristic. The bodyshell looks sleek, perhaps it should return a good drag coefficient for vehicle of this shape. This small looking car comes with gadgets like automatic folding mirrors, well-positioned interior lamps, mirrors, nooks-crannies for little things, etc. Wonderful seats and fabric, beautiful interior, I don't feel like getting off at the end of the drive. (The previous test drive customer forgot to remove her hand phone!).

I see one minor improvement could be center mounted instrument panel rather than the existing drive position, moving forward.

I would like to own one R-car when my means situation becomes excellent.


27th Aug 2008, 10:22

Don't understand why the earlier comment said this car felt fast and it is 'expensive'?

660cc, and.. come on it is a cheap car.

25th Jun 2009, 03:49

Does anyone know who makes the superchargers fitted to these Subaru's? It used to be an Aisin AMR300, but Aisin say that they don't make them anymore...


23rd Sep 2009, 16:37

I finally found out - the superchargers are now manufactured by Toyo.


22nd Jan 2019, 15:23

Subaru R2 is about the best all around mini SUV ever made, with 16+ km/l in town, and 22km/l on highway cruising 60-70 mph all day!

27th Nov 2019, 12:55

SUV? Are you talking about the same car?