1985 Subaru GL Wagon 1.8 liter 4-cylinder from North America


The Most Reliable Wagon I Have Owned


We had this wagon for ten years and it was just routine maintenence of changing the oil and rotating the tires. Rock solid wagon.

General Comments:

This was probably the most reliable car, next to my Ford Ranger, that we have ever owned. It never broke down and left us stranded.

Body was very solid. No rust developed.

Very anemic acceleration. It was even slower when the air conditioner was on high. But, that's what you get when you combine a 4-cylinder boxer with a 4000-lb wagon.

Engine really spun fast. It did an outrageous 4300 RPM on the interstate at 80 mph. In comparison, my Ranger only does 2900 at that speed.

Highway performance was acceptable. It could go up hills at 65 mph without downshifting.

The seats were extremely comfortable and the trunk was great for drive-in movies.

I really miss this vehicle and I am currently looking for a Loyale wagon.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th May, 2007

1985 Subaru GL 1.8 from North America


Car is great and reliable


When I got the car it had 110,000 miles on it. I paid $200.00 for it and it had bad spark plugs and wires. I replaced them and it ran great ever since. When it had 129,000 miles on it I rolled it over three times on a dirt road, we flipped it back on its wheels and started it back up. At 130,000 miles the water pump went up on it, so I replaced it for cheap. At the same time the water pump went up the muffler fell off. Recently it has been eating gas and running bad. Also the altenator is about to go up in it. It has lots of dents in it from rolling it, and the wheel bearings make a little bit of noise, but not too bad.

General Comments:

The car is very slow on take off because the muffler fell off, before it fell off it took off fast. It goes good once it is up to speed. I like it a lot because it is so light I can pick it up myself. It also handles good in the snow, I will walk right past all these new cars they got out. Also I think it is funny when I see a four wheel drive vehicle going so slow and I'm flying in my little subaru. It is very comfortable and the heater works good.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th November, 2005

1985 Subaru GL Touring Wagon 1.8 from Australia and New Zealand


Reliable, but a sink-hole for money on repairs to keep it running


Radiataor died of old age and frailty.

Water pump bearings collapsed.

Electrical short circuit due to poor repair by previous owner.

Clutch and operating fork wore out and required replacement.

Driver's seat has worn badly on the seat belt side.

General Comments:

I bought the car cheaply for $2500 at a time when I had little time to find a replacement. It needed another $1000 to make it roadworthy, and I've spent about another $3000 on the repairs listed above.

Around town the car used about 12lt/100km, on the highway, around 9lt/100km. It never blew smoke or used much oil.

On purchase, one of the valve lifters was noisy, but with regular servicing (I had this done religiously) this has rectified itself.

On one occasion, I nearly had a fire when the wiring short-circuited, and an auto electrician traced the problem to a poorly conducted previous modification. Otherwise the car has been very reliable, and always started well with choke from cold, but required warming up to perform reasonably.

I used the car as family transport, and found it roomy and versatile. It's a bit of a snail on highway hills, but plods along OK. I am also a hang glider pilot, and used it to transport my glider up and down 4WD tracks to launch. The hi/lo 4WD works well, and it did this job admirably!

When it came time to sell it, however, I discovered that it has terminal structural rust in the front members, and a potential buyer commented that he had seen other Subarus with similar problems. This problem has sadly made its resale value virtually worthless.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th July, 2005