1982 Subaru Brumby DL 1.8L OHV from North America


It just doesn't seem to want to die


Clutch cable broke, CV axles worn.

General Comments:

I bought this car for $600 cash as a cheap 4wd and second car. It had been sitting for over a year. CV axles had no boots, no thermostat, bare metal floors, seats had springs sticking out. What wasn't wrong with it?

The odometer was broken at 211,000, so I don't know how many miles are actually on it. However, despite all of this, the engine didn't smoke or knock, didn't seem to burn much (if any oil), and the transmission still works fine.

I spent several months putting it back together and it is now my main driver. They don't get much simpler than this to work on. The 4wd works excellent and it's light weight makes it sure footed on rough roads or boggy conditions. The engine still runs like a clock even after all the years of use and neglect.

The only criticism I really have of it is it's not a good car for busy traffic downtown and struggles to get above 70mph. It makes a great second car for utilities or just to have a good time out in the woods.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th January, 2009

16th Apr 2010, 17:36

If you service the boxer engine, they will do 500,000 without a spanner. They are the best motor ever made..

1982 Subaru Brumby DL 1.8L gas from North America


Great toy and versatile car


Clutch cable broke, clutch.

General Comments:

I bought the car for $800 cash as a beater. It had been sitting for a year and it showed. I got it as a weekend beater to take on the trails, as my Honda is not up for the job.

I replaced the passenger side fender, clutch, changed all of the fluids, plugs, wires, cap, rotor, sway bar bushings, wheel bearings, and put an interior in it.

For how neglected it was, all of the instruments worked and it drove the 30 miles home with no issue.

It is now my daily driver and has been very reliable after being fixed. Parts are cheap although not as readily available as some other cars. It gets high 20s to the gallon of fuel and despite the miles, it doesn't smoke or use oil. The 4 wheel drive works great is a blast on the trails.

The only downside is it's not a good driver on the highway. The small size, lack of power, and 4 speed transmission make it best suited for putting around town and on back roads. But for what I got it for, it has more than served its purpose.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th May, 2008

1982 Subaru Brumby Brat 1.8 gas from North America


One great off-road ripping machine


Replaced the engine at 1.2 million miles.

Replaced front axles 4 times.

Replaced the transmission at 1.3 million miles.

Recently done an entire front end overhaul, everything replaceable from the bumper to the tranny has been replaced.

Replaced the seats with more comfortable ones from a newer car.

General Comments:

Accelerates quite quickly.

A lot of low end torque, great for off roading.

4wd lets this vehicle go pretty much everywhere any other 4wd truck can go.

Handles great on ice as if on dry pavement.

Console is well laid out.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st March, 2001

7th May 2001, 04:05

The mileage figures are absurd. Are we expected to believe a vehicle that had already covered 1.185 million miles did another 135,242 miles (not km) in three years? Nearly 1000 miles a week, every week, for three years?

20th Aug 2001, 14:07

Absolutely, Fuji Heavy Industries made an engine that would far outlast the body itself. I had a Brat with 276,000 miles which I had a front end collision with. After having it towed to the junk yard because the whole front end was smashed in, I figured what the hell and tried to start it. And yes it started and hummed away like always despite the fact that it was totalled.