1993 Subaru Justy GLi 1.2 SOHC 12v 'triple'


Brilliant all-terrain supermini, but beware of rust!


Slight fuel leak from tank.

All the wheel arches are badly rusted and the rear of the sills need welding.

N/S/F wheel bearing is noisy.

2nd gear synchromesh sometimes crunches.

General Comments:

I've been after a Justy for ages since I tried one a few years ago, and this one came up in the local free ad's 'paper for a bargain price, I had to have it!

The heart of the Justy is its unique-sounding three-cylinder engine and four-wheel drive system (2wd-only versions were available, but that's missing the point).

The 1.2 engine hustles the light Justy along pretty well and later fuel-injection versions like mine came with a decent 73-bhp. The main thing is it sounds like it's going fast - Subaru's marvellous little triple sounds like a bellowing in-line or flat-six when accelerating.

Fuel consumption is reasonable, I think I'm getting high-30s in MPG right now which is good considering how much it gets thrashed.

AWD is selected via a red plunger button on top of the gearstick, which is a nice touch.

Off-road it's excellent considering its size - often light weight and manoeuvrability are the most important things in extreme environments.

Ground clearance has been improved a little by adding slightly bigger tyres and wheels from a Nissan Sunny.

The only things that could be improved would be to add some knobbly off-road tyres and a super-low first gear, as on a Fiat Panda 4x4, for steep ascents and descents.

The interior is very early-'80s, but it's quite charming, the instrument panel for example has some neat little touches like the little high-beam, 4WD and rear screen heater icons that come alight in a little motif of the car. It's really roomy in the front too, I suspect it's because it has zero safety equipment...

On-road handling is OK, but not brilliant, you can chuck it around a bit, but the steering in mine seems reluctant - maybe it's just tired. It doesn't seem as nimble as a small car should be.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th April, 2007