2023 Subaru Rex is a Somewhat Fitting Rebadge of Daihatsu’s Rocky and Its Other Versions


An old nameplate is revived; but it’s not an entirely new model. Subaru introduces their rebadge of the Daihatsu Rocky, pulling out a model from retirement after 36 whole years. Unlike most rebadges (and the car itself), it suits the car.



This makes it the fourth version of the same car, after the Perodua Ativa and the Toyota Raize. Funnily enough, the Rocky nameplate actually belonged to another (iconic) model that was practically a rougher, bigger Jimny. So the original and the latest copycat share a similar story.



It’s nearly identical to the original with this one; the exterior is untouched, save for a slightly reworked grille and the badge. Everything else is what you can find in the Rocky/Raize. Even the G trim practically serves the same purpose with the Raize; that being the base model. Regardless of the trim, it will be powered by the 1.2-liter inline 3 making a mere 80 horsepower and 77 lb-ft of torque, equipped with a CVT. You shouldn’t be expecting big numbers, the same way Subaru only targets 150 units sold per month for the new Rex. Despite having AWD as an option for other versions, Subaru’s rebadge doesn’t have it. Quite the missed opportunity, we say.



There’s only two trims for the Rex, the base G and the higher Z. The base gets 16-inch wheels, while the other gets 17-inch wheels. The Z gets an electronic parking brake, while the G has a manual handbrake. LED headlights and foglights are reserved for the Z. Inside is where you’ll find more differences between the variants. Starting with the G, it gets a 7-inch headunit and a polyurethane-wrapped steering wheel. The Z gets a 9-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and red stitching on the seats. It also comes with all the safety features included by Toyota/Daihatsu.



Converted from JPY, pricing ranges from $12,977 and $15,474. It’s not the kei car it used to be; but it’s a compact car, and given how most modern rebadges and nameplate revivals don’t seem to care about whether or not it fits, we say the Rex is good in our books. You could even say it’s an upgrade. Well, in some aspects, at least.



p dir=”ltr”>(Images sourced from Subaru)

Leave a Reply