1982 Subaru GL Wagon 1.8 ea81 OHV from North America


You can't beat the mileage, and usefullness


Rust, rust, rust; had to replace rocker panels and repair quarter panels, as well as a shock tower on the rear. I also had to put a push pull cable on the choke and an used alternator.

Have had the exhaust gasket blow out at the head twice.

The brakes are a little weak, but they do stop you eventually.

General Comments:

Very economical; I get around 42 mpg around town and driving in the mountains. It gets in the low 30's on the highway due to ts low gear ratios and the absence of overdrive.

It will go almost anywhere within reason. The 4wd system is excellent, and I have never gotten it stuck. The ground cleanrance is fairly low, so you need to watch where you go.

It is an excellent vehicle to use around the farm, because of how much the little car can haul inside.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th January, 2008

1982 Subaru GL Station Wagon 1.8L from North America


Tough car mechanically, but its resistance to rust is questionable


General maintenance items: tires, exhaust, plugs, wires, etc.

More expensive items: radiator, alternator.

Rust, rust and more rust.

General Comments:

This car actually belonged to my parents. I had a chance to drive it when I was a teen/young adult and still living at home.

Overall, mechanically I would give this car outstanding marks. It was still running on the original motor when we traded it in. The Subaru flat-4 motor seems very reliable.

The car's weakest part was its ability to rust. Granted, it was in Ottawa, Canada where they generously salt the roads in the winter. By the end of its life (11 years) there was severe rust holes at the bottom of the doors, rocker panels, rear hatch, front hood, floors and rear quarters. In fact, it was hard to say what wasn't rusty! Even when my parents bought the car (6 years old), it was already starting to rust in the rocker panel area. There was also surface rust on the rear hatch. The used car dealer fixed that, but they did a poor job, because the rust reappeared shortly thereafter.

The manual transmission often popped out of gear in reverse. It probably was a manufacturing defect, and as long as you held the shifter when in reverse, you had no problem reversing. We actually never got that fixed. Because you only reverse for short periods, it was a problem you could live with.

This car was by no means peppy; quite clunky in fact. It did, however, have a cool sounding "growly" exhaust. The car did seem pretty simple and I bet it would've been pretty easy to soup-up and get a lot more power out of it. In fact, the modern rice-rocket Subarus (ie WRX, STi) have the same flat-four engine layout, albeit a bigger engine displacement and pimped out computer chips!

Fuel economy was decent: around 10 L /100 km city, 8 L / 100 km highway. A little worse in the winter.

If you're thinking of getting an older Subaru, I recommend looking for one that spent its life in a dry climate. Even then, I'd recommend rust proofing it regularly. Try Krown (www.krown.com). It's one of the best products out there (no, I don't work for Krown; it's just that good). My parents and I have used Krown on subsequent cars, and the results are quite astonishing!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 26th July, 2006

1982 Subaru GL Hatchback 1.8 Liter from North America


I love this little car that goes anywhere!


Both of the half shafts have been replaced.

All of the front bearings have been replaced.

The seats are in horrible condition, but with a nice, thick, blanket covering them, they aren't so bad.

I had to replace all 4 tires when I bought it and 2 since then because of road hazards.

I put in a fuel pump, because it didn't have one when I bought it.

I had to put in new horns. The old ones completely quit. No, wait, I think they were missing.

I had to replace the exhaust.

I had to put a piece of metal on the floor, in the front, under my heel because it has rusted out.

The radiator rotted out, so I had to replace it.

General Comments:

For the $61 I paid for it (Ebay), it has been an awesome car. I usually average about $100 a year for repairs. I'm still in the car for less than $500.

It has a few minor problems. A tie rod is going out, and it needs a new ignition coil, but those will soon be remedied.

The car was owned by a high school student before me, and he had cut a hole in the roof and put in a sunroof (which actually doesn't leak, probably from all the silicone). He also put in a hood scoop, on back wards. Its almost always the ugliest car in the parking lot, and is great fun!

I take this car everywhere, including off roading! It does great with the Four wheel low range. It crawls up almost anything. Biggest problem is the clearance.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th October, 2004