1997 Subaru SVX Review from North America

1997 Subaru SVX Lsi 3.3 Liter V6

Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission 3.3 Liter V6 Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.6 / 10
Distance when acquired68000 miles
Most recent distance73600 miles
Previous carHonda Civic

Summary:

Great sports car, but needs a stick shift

Faults:

Fan belts wore out at about 73,000 miles, but they were the original ones to the best of my knowledge.

Lighting for the sun roof/dome lights never did work properly and half would sometimes flicker on and off and the other never did light up. When I bought new lights from Subaru, I could get the other side to light up, but NOT the side that worked before. A minor annoyance only though.

At about 71,000 miles half the radio lighting would do the same thing.

Once or twice the passenger did get stuck open.

Overall I think being a 97 and it being 06 the electronics of the car were just wearing out. But its 9 years old, its kinda expected, and overall was a great car.

General Comments:

This is an all wheel drive sports coupe that is pretty rare. Only about 15,00 were ever made and only 640 97's like I had. I had no idea about this car when I saw it. It was just sitting used on my local Honda lot. I had come looking at the civic coupes when it caught my eye.

It is an excellent car for snowy weather, it allowed me to have a sporty car, yet be able to get to work on a cold snowy Colorado morning. Don't let the low stance fool you the AWD will keep you safe in bad weather.

But be careful over speed bumps as it does sit pretty low.

The car does take premium fuel only so be prepared for a little extra at the pump. Although the owners manual does say the occasional batch of 87 won't harm the engine.

The thing you will notice first is the windows with the black bars. It is a cool feature I think and after a week or two I didn't even see them. But I found you can't put your window down to get fresh air with them. Only the bottom half goes down for "aerodynamics" under high speed driving. But that means not a lot of air really gets in the car.

One odd feature is the heater will NOT blow out the vents only on the floor, but the AC comes out the vents. It still warms the car up, but for like 2 weeks on my way to work I thought I was doing something wrong, The climate control gauge has like 12 buttons.

Like many sporty cars this one will seat 2 comfortable and 4 in a pinch. I didn't use the back seat often, but even my 12 year old sister who can't be more than 65Lbs said it was cramped back there. However I did fit adults back there on occasion.

The only problem with this car is it did not come with a manual transmission option, and I often found myself bored driving a sports car with an auto. I feel this really hindered the power of the car.

If you are interested in modifying your car for performance this is not the car for you. First because of transmission and second the car is so uncommon there is no speed parts for it. There is a small community of SVX guys who make their own parts, but that's it.

Overall this car is pretty quick and had the well known Japanese reliability, I would recommend it for sure.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th January, 2006

Average review marks: 7.6 / 10, based on 1 review