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!

1985 Subaru GL Wagon 1.8 liter from North America


An unreliable, new part hungry, aggravating piece of junk


What didn't? I am 69 years old and I have spent more money fixing this pig than all the other cars I've owned in my lifetime.

At 160k the oil pump shaft was binding and stripped the teeth off the 35,000 mile timing belts.

At 165k the impeller came off the water pump shaft and totaled the radiator and the engine overheated and was destroyed.

Moral of this story: Always replace both the oil pump and the water pump at the 120k timing belt replacement even if they are fine. I've had a total of 6 tows and they are horribly expensive.

Starter motor went at 170k.

The clutch cable went at 173k.

The new clutch failed at 135k. And was again worn out at the 165k engine replacement.

The exhaust manifold rear pipe was broken in two when I got the car.

The carburettor would not allow the engine to idle at all, replaced. Also at time of purchase.

And I will replace the RF CV shaft in the morning.

General Comments:

In spite of what I've written above, the car looks really great and was very well cared for when I bought it.

The gas mileage, city & hwy is 23+ mpg.

Upholstery has held up perfectly., and also the paint. Very comfortable.

It is fun to drive and has all the extras that I want which is why I've put up with it for so long.

On the other hand, hill climbing ability is very poor, much worse than the Volvo 122s.

And tight quarters make it very difficult to work on and I have normal size hands.

I ran my Volvo 122s wagon for 290k miles (174k mine) and it was a prince compared to my Subaru.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 5th April, 2004

8th Apr 2004, 01:21

OK, So why did`nt you sell this POS at 110k?...

7th Dec 2004, 12:21

All the problems with this vehicle sound like fair wear and tear on a very old car with a very high mileage.

23rd Apr 2005, 11:31

Adding to my original posting.

At 176.5k the tranny failed and that was the last straw. I offered it for FREE on Craigs List and gave it to the first person who asked for it.

This person repaired the tranny and has been using the car without re-registering it so the local towns keep sending me notices for unpaid parking tickets even though I immediately notified DMV of the new ownership.

Moral of this story: Never give a car away EXCEPT to a recognized charity!