1986 Subaru GL Reviews - Page 2 of 3

1986 Subaru GL 1.8 liter from North America

Model year1986
Year of manufacture1986
First year of ownership2008
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission 1.8 liter Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.0 / 10
Distance when acquired246000 miles
Most recent distance246000 miles


Best car ever made!!!


Well, having just bought the car last week, I can't say what's wrong with it. I can surmise the car needs a general tune up, a new windshield, new power window motors, and probably needs the CV joints checked and/or replaced (these cars are known to go through many of these, though the ones on this car look in remarkably good shape). Also, the A/C needs to be recharged, and the cooling system requires complete flushing.

Oh, and I gotta install my new CD player and speakers. =) Gotta have those tunes when cruising down the road, ya know?

General Comments:

I'll start off by saying I have owned 7 of these prior to this one. I've never wrecked a single one, but they usually would finally fall apart enough that the cost of fixing it far outweighed it's worth. However, I did have one that ran beautifully in high school, but sold it because I moved to Seattle and thought (wrongly) that I wouldn't need it. Anyway, needless to say I've been kicking myself for selling it ever since.

Now I've got another one. It's red with a tan interior, with power steering, power door locks, power windows, power mirrors, the separate 'shift on the fly' 4WD differential with both HI and LOW (this system lets you switch in and out of 4WD while driving; no need to stop or do the wheel hub thing), and air conditioning, which I don't use much living here in the Northwest.

For a car I don't know the history of, nor the mechanical condition (yet), the car runs amazingly well. It's not pretty because the paint is faded, and the place where I bought it from had it parked under a tree so it's got green mildew all over it (nothing a good wash & scrub won't take care of). It handles like a dream and turns on a dime. I love it! Subaru are seriously one of the best made cars ever!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th June, 2008

1986 Subaru GL hatchback 4x4 1.8L boxer from North America

Model year1986
Year of manufacture1986
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership1999
Engine and transmission 1.8L boxer Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.5 / 10
Distance when acquired120000 miles
Most recent distance130000 miles
Previous carToyota Tercel


Its dad was an M1A1 Abrams Battle Tank, mom was a Toyota Tercel


Exhaust leak where header joins exhaust pipe, replaced oil pump, body suffered irreparable cosmetic damage when it rolled multiple times on the highway and landed in a ditch, but it didn't even mess up my hair!

General Comments:

Oh, how I miss this car. I miss the seats that felt like a family room love seat, the tape deck that shot cassettes into the back seat when I hit the eject button, the headlights that turned off with the ignition, the city bus-sized steering wheel, the bulletproof reliability, the astounding crash-worthiness, the dirt cheap tires, the flawless 4WD system, the spare tire in the engine bay, and the amazing zero turning radius.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd October, 2005

12th Aug 2006, 21:34

It was so exciting to find this site and the review on the Subaru station wagon. I have been driving a 1986 Toyota Tercel 5-speed manual transmission, 4-door, hatch back, front-wheel drive for the last 6 years and absolutely love it. It has 382,000 miles on it and I've just patched and repainted it for perhaps the final time. We just received a Subaru 4-wheel drive, 5 speed, 4-door, hatch back, from some friends... sight unseen, for free, but it needs some engine work. I was absolutely floored at the resemblance to my Tercel. One of the specifications that I had for my husband was this, "If it's not a manual transmission it's your car, not mine." LOL... Sorry, it's just my preference. I can't wait for hubby to get it put back together so that I can get the paint touched up, the very few rust spots fixed, the interior shampooed and start driving it. What an incredible similarity though. I'm looking forward to getting acquainted with it. Unfortunately, my mechanic-ing 16 yr. old is trying to make plans for my poor Tercel. Not yet buddy!

Anyway... God bless... and thanks for boosting my confidence in the new car.


Average review marks: 7.8 / 10, based on 10 reviews