1985 Subaru GL 1.6 from North America


Reliable, easy-to-maintain putt-putt-I highly recommend it!


The hydraulics that hold the hatch open have slowly died since I got it. They are now pretty much useless.

Alternator died and was replaced at 75,000.

Theft and hot-wiring of the vehicle at around 100,000 resulted in some minor electrical problems (brake light always on, no hazard lights).

At 105,000 the water pump needed to be replaced.

In that same week, a "mystery" fuel filter was clogged and had to be replaced... after we'd already replaced the other obvious fuel filter and the fuel pump.

General Comments:

Most of these issues are due to the fact she's an old, well-loved car. All of these problems were easily fixed between my step-dad and father-in-law. I've never taken it to the shop. This car is EASY to work on, and parts aren't too expensive.

My little GL won't win any races, but she's got enough get-up-and-go to get me where I need to be. She's got more oomph than one would imagine looking at her.

I think Subaru's had building quality products figured out for a while (20 years at least!). As a matter of fact, hubby is looking to replace his car and the Subaru lot is the first place we'll look!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th January, 2005

26th Dec 2005, 08:20

I recently purchased a 85 gl.

Body fair-no rust, slightly oxidized paint.

165k miles.

My brake light is on constant and ecs light come on after 20 minutes of driving.

16th Feb 2006, 13:23

Picture this: a 1985 Subaru GL with less than 30 000 miles. Yes, I purchased an '85 in June of 2005. It runs great, although it had been parked for a year before I found it. The original tires were still on the car when I initially went to view it. I paid $1800 CAD for it on the road with 4-new tires. Minor body work was required.

Both head lights burned out on a 4-hour road trip one night. It was a month after I bought the; made quite a dark trip @ 10:30pm.

I've already had to replace the alternator, the rear struts, the coil and wires... but it runs great. Most parts are in need of replacement from being parked instead of normal wear & tear. For the most part, it's a great car.

1985 Subaru GL Touring Wagon 1.8 from Australia and New Zealand


Bomb proof


Since I bought the car at 204000.

Power steering seal - it was leaking quite badly.

Fuel sending unit - before that I can only guess how much fuel is left!

Rear left wheel bearing.

Inlet manifold gasket.

General Comments:

I bought the Touring Wagon for the trip around Australia, having read some really good reviews about it. The Sub has gone through 18000 ks of driving in all sorts of condition without any dramas. The cabin is well appointed with power window on all fours, seats are comfortable. It is excellent cruising on the highway and handles rough terrain reasonably well, as well as driving on beaches. The press button 4WD system is a gem. Since mine is a 3 speed auto, the fuel consumption is really not that impressive. I should have gone for the the manual ones instead.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th September, 2004

1985 Subaru GL 1.8L from North America


Good hearted vehicle... but her time has come


Car was recieved in decent condition. It sat outside of my house (unregistered) for around 2 months. After sitting, the car has had fuel line issues (naturally), which affected the entire system. also:

Tie rods are shot.

Alternator replaced twice.

Connection from alternator to battery terminal replaced.

Carburetor rebuilt.

All interior vinyl is cracked.

Rear hatch is broken.

Car stalls frequently and/or hesitates before acceleration.

Runs hot.

General Comments:

This car has been a real trip. I have taken the car's age into consideration, but as a former Toyota owner ('87 Celica), this car simply doesn't hold up.

I have only put 4000 miles on the car since I bought it, and I've put more into the thing than it's worth.

Every day I drove it, I heard a new funny noise, and I was nearly killed in an accident when my dear Subie stalled in a busy intersection.

Maybe the car held it's own in it's heyday, but now she's beyond repair.

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

Review Date: 13th April, 2004

19th Apr 2004, 15:35

I have a 1985 Subaru station wagon. mines just a plain jain, but the s.o.b is pretty much a pop can with interior, electrical and a so called 4cyl engine. how in the hell did Subaru survive with the cars they had back then.

4th Jul 2004, 13:31

I have an 85 "sube" and I love it. I have had it for 10 years and only have had to redo the clutch (7 years ago) my timing belt went 3 years ago and aside from that oil changes. Granted the muffler is loud, but hey - it's an 85!