1985 Subaru GL Touring Wagon 1.8
Reliable, but a sink-hole for money on repairs to keep it running
Radiataor died of old age and frailty.
Water pump bearings collapsed.
Electrical short circuit due to poor repair by previous owner.
Clutch and operating fork wore out and required replacement.
Driver's seat has worn badly on the seat belt side.
I bought the car cheaply for $2500 at a time when I had little time to find a replacement. It needed another $1000 to make it roadworthy, and I've spent about another $3000 on the repairs listed above.
Around town the car used about 12lt/100km, on the highway, around 9lt/100km. It never blew smoke or used much oil.
On purchase, one of the valve lifters was noisy, but with regular servicing (I had this done religiously) this has rectified itself.
On one occasion, I nearly had a fire when the wiring short-circuited, and an auto electrician traced the problem to a poorly conducted previous modification. Otherwise the car has been very reliable, and always started well with choke from cold, but required warming up to perform reasonably.
I used the car as family transport, and found it roomy and versatile. It's a bit of a snail on highway hills, but plods along OK. I am also a hang glider pilot, and used it to transport my glider up and down 4WD tracks to launch. The hi/lo 4WD works well, and it did this job admirably!
When it came time to sell it, however, I discovered that it has terminal structural rust in the front members, and a potential buyer commented that he had seen other Subarus with similar problems. This problem has sadly made its resale value virtually worthless.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 27th July, 2005