1997 Subaru Legacy Reviews from North America

1997 Subaru Legacy L Wagon 2.2

Model year1997
Year of manufacture1996
Engine and transmission 2.2 Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10
Distance when acquired222000 miles
Most recent distance245000 miles
Previous carFord Escort

Summary:

Quality EJ22 engine

Faults:

CV joint, alternator/battery, throttle position sensor, brake pads.

The rear wiper seized up and never worked.

General Comments:

A very good car.

Decent ride, pretty good pep for a four cylinder. Quality engine and transmission.

I wish I was still driving it today -- death by collision.

You can tow 1 ton pretty easily with these babies too. The manufacturer recommend electric brakes, but I thought it did fine without.

Living in Ohio, this is the best vehicle I've driven. It's good and heavy, low to the ground. In three winters I never got stuck.

All and all, original engine and auto transmission that may have made it to 300k miles. I averaged about 23 MPG mixed.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th July, 2012

1997 Subaru Legacy

Model year1997
Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2011
Engine and transmission Automatic
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired47000 miles
Most recent distance87000 miles

Summary:

I will continue to buy Subaru's

Faults:

Repairing brakes and replacing battery.

General Comments:

I love my Subaru (Suzie). It is very reliable for New England weather.

And fits me comfortable even with pedal extenders in it, so I don't have to sit so close to the steering wheel (being so short).

Wish it had some more horse power.

Love the AWD.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th February, 2011

1997 Subaru Legacy L Wagon 2.2L

Model year1997
Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2008
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission 2.2L Automatic
Performance marks 2 / 10
Reliability marks 1 / 10
Comfort marks 1 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 1 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
1.3 / 10
Distance when acquired125000 miles
Most recent distance159000 miles
Previous carToyota Corolla

Summary:

Make sure that you have a good mechanic

Faults:

Oil leak in the rear main seal.

Knock sensor and evap issues.

Both front CV joints.

Ball joints.

Tires and alignment.

Front and rear axles.

Rear wiper doesn't work anymore.

Interior window buttons broke off.

Interior radio light burnt out.

Oil leak in the rear main seal.

General Comments:

This car has just had one problem after another.

When I bought it, I took it to a dealership and everything checked out fine. But then right away, it started to have problems.

The check engine light came on because the knock sensor went - then it was suspension problems - the leaking oil from the rear of the engine.

In the 3 years that I've had the car, I've put 35,000 miles on it, and pretty much spent more on repairs than I spent on purchasing the car itself. I don't know if all Subarus have these problems, or if the car I bought just wasn't taken care of - but I don't think I will buy one of these again.

I pretty much gave up on turning the check engine light off - because the part is too expensive.

The latest thing that's happening is that - the car will stall when I come to a stop, and the automatic transmission oil temperature light will flash 4 times. From what I read about Subarus, this is apparently a common problem. However, after having 2 very expensive sensors replaced - the car is still stalling. I'm just about ready to start looking for a Honda or a Toyota.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 17th December, 2010

25th Jun 2012, 16:52

Are you serious? You're complaining about needing tires and alignment?

All the issues you listed are common wear and tear items. Especially on a car that you bought with 125,000 miles!

28th Dec 2012, 16:20

Subaru are one of the only car I hear people bragging about up to 300,000 miles on the road. Not too many people purchase a car with over 100,000 miles on it. Subaru seem to be the exception.

I purchase a 2.0 dual turbo from Japan, did not know a thing about the car, did some pretty lame things with it until I learned, things like limp-mode and what the blinking lights are telling me.

I am on here now looking for spark-plugs, fuel injectors and a set of coil on plug, just replaced the turbo inlet pipe, speed sensor, and knock sensor. Oh! Also replaced the Duty-C solenoid. The more I learn, the more faults I find.

1997 Subaru Legacy Brighton Wagon 2.2

Model year1997
Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2007
Most recent year of ownership2009
Engine and transmission 2.2 Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.8 / 10
Distance when acquired155000 miles
Most recent distance220000 miles
Previous carMazda Bongo Brawny

Summary:

Dependable - Inexpensive - Functional - Winter Warrior

Faults:

Timing belt replaced at 160k.

Passenger side, front wheel bearing at 170k.

Starter at 190k.

Engine light frequently on due to EVAP sensor - ethanol induced benign issue.

Wagon hatch door handle spring was busted when I bought it at 155k. But it wasn't really a problem if you knew to push the handle back into position before closing it.

Wagon hatch door lock was finicky when I bought it, and stopped working at about 190k.

Rear window wiper motor burnt out at 200k.

Passenger side headlight had an electrical issue around 200k. A peculiar issue that I never resolved because the headlight still worked when brights were on (see below).

Other than that, only regular maintenance.

General Comments:

Fantastic car. Manual trans Subarus are fun to drive.

The AWD handles beautifully in the northern states' snow, ice, and rain. Only times I've gotten stuck (including Winter off-roading), have been because of the vehicle's low clearance. And I never used snow tires.

Before the ubiquity of ethanol in gas, this Legacy made 31 mpg on the highway. Post-ethanol it became 29 on the highway, 24 in the city, and 27 in the country.

Amazingly hassle free vehicle. Excluding gas, oil, and tires, I spent less than $1000 in three years and 65k miles. $300 of that was the timing belt. And the work I did myself - brake pads, rotors, starter, headlight housing - was about as simple and intuitive as you could ask even for a complete novice like me. Even with a little rust here and there, nothing was too frozen that it wouldn't turn.

Speaking of rust - very, very little considering this car spent nearly all its life in Wisconsin, and many tens of thousands of miles on the interstate. Body rust was only one golf ball sized spot over rear driver side wheel well.

The rear seats fold down nice and flat for plenty of hauling capacity, and just long enough for my six foot height to sleep in comfortably. I even lived in this car for a few months.

Here's what I can complain about with this Subaru:

The driver's seat is terribly uncomfortable. Horrible for my back on road trips.

The headlight housings cloud-up far too quickly and too much. This made the lights without the brights on more or less worthless. I had to run the brights as my normal lights, but because of the cloudy housings, oncoming cars never seemed bothered by the brights.

This was the *basic* Brighton model, so maybe I shouldn't complain, but the stereo consisted of two front speakers that blew out pretty fast.

Wonderful first car that suited my low budget needs perfectly.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th February, 2010

Average review marks: 7.2 / 10, based on 18 reviews