1989 Subaru Leone Royale GL 1.8


The CV joints got really noisy at about 155000 Kms and had to be replaced.

Also replaced the timing belts at around the same time.

Rusts pretty easy. Some rust appearing on the bonnet for no obvious reason.

All speakers had to be replaced when I got the car as they weren't working or were in bad condition.

At the moment it needs new brakes and the handbrake also needs some attention.

General Comments:

Cars got a fair bit of go considering the engine is small and its not the turbo/fuel injection model.

Handles beautifully round corners. Takes dirt tracks fairly well too, even thou my tires aren't really fit for off road.

Large boot size considering how small the car is.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th January, 2004

1983 Subaru Leone DL FWD 5spd 1.8


Very reliable and economical bargain car


When I bought it, water was leaking into the oil, so I pulled the heads off, and found the welsh plugs to be faulty. The ports were drilled at the same time, so the engine could run on unleaded without a 'ping.'

Drivers side rear door wouldn't open and needed the handle adjusting.

A bit of rust coming up in the drivers side quarter window, bonnet lip, and boot water channel.

385000km Left ball joint was replaced.

390000km Clutch cable broke and was replaced with a new one.

393000km Front right brake started making a noise, so a new set of pads was put on. Note - replace pads as soon as noise is apparent as they will grind a mark into your disk otherwise.

395000km The right rear suspension leaked, so two new struts were put on.

General Comments:

This car has done a lot of k's since I've owned it (25,000 in 6 months), and has been down many bush tracks and bumpy roads that should only be tackled with a proper 4WD.

It has handled nearly everything that has been thrown at it. Its very reliable and sturdy, and good on economy (with clean engine oil in it).

Just the little things (like taco, remote boot release, tell tale - the thing with the doors on it in the dash, and lumbar support) make this car good.

The only bad thing is the overhead valves, which can become noisy at times, and need a quick adjustment (20 - 30 minutes) every now and then.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th November, 2003

1985 Subaru Leone L 1.8 petrol


This car will not die


Alternator needed to be replaced, it tried to give the battery 20 volts.

Car needs a new coat of paint.

Wrote off car in crash at end of 2002, back on road with $ 200 of parts.

Joint in exhaust tailpipe does not seal properly, actually this gives the engine a unique growl.

Bushes in rear suspension needed replacing.

Problem with air conditioning compressor, needs to be re-gassed every year.

General Comments:

This car is very reliable and the parts are inexpensive.

The subaru has reasonable fuel economy for an old, non fuel injected engine. Fuel consumption varies greatly between city and highway driving,8-13 km per liter (18-31 miles per gallon).

I find car comfortable for long trips, it has no trouble traveling from Ballina to Mount Isa (4,000km round trip).

I love this little car, I have just finished uni and now that I have some time I plan to give the car a new coat of paint.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th November, 2003

1981 Subaru Leone Deluxe 1.8 4-speed


Reliable and cheap


Rear view mirror fell apart, was held together with blue tack.

Speedometer needle got bent, probably due to heat or age, who knows, who cares.

Mechanically this car is as reliable as they get.

General Comments:

I paid $1,000 for this car, and to be honest I didn't think it would last me longer than about a year.

Not only is it still running, but it's humming along quite nicely, considering the thrashing it gets.

God I wish they implemented a tachometer in this car, when you plant your foot in this thing, you don't move all that quick, but the engine really gives it everything its got, and you can hear it too, revving its tits off doing 70km/h in 1st gear.

I've had it doing 180km/h, which is above what the speedometer says it can do. Not bad considering the evident lack of torque this 4 banger produces, but damn it takes a while getting there!

Off the mark it's not too bad, and you can hold 1st gear to 45km/h until you start losing power, 2nd gear works well till about 80km/h, and 3rd has enough in it to take you to 140km/h. 4th gear however, is most definitely a cruising gear, anything under 60km/h and you'll need to change back to 3rd if you want to accelerate faster than about 2km/h.

When I finally got around to racing the Datsun 120y from school, I was not expecting very much at all. I really overestimated the Datsun's power though, and I enjoyed a solid performance lead (even if it IS only a Datsun) Right after I hammered the 120y, I was challenged by a 1987 Fuel injected 1.6 liter Pulsar. I held him till about 90km/h, where it became clear to me that having an extra gear really does help. I lost, but not by too much.

Don't ask me why, but if you listen to the exhaust in this car, it sounds remarkably like a V8.

Overall, a wonderful point A to point B car with limited power and features, but tonnes of reliability. This car starts first time, every time. I just wish it had a tachometer, and that it wasn't brown with brown interior.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st June, 2003