1997 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport 2.2L from North America


Subaru - never again


Air Conditioning Compressor failed/replaced 37K - dealer wouldn't cover.

Brakes and Rotors 40K.

Rear wheel bearings 50K.

Major Oil Leaks 65K.

Electrical Problems rear defroster/wiper. electronic locks 65K.

Corroded ABS Front Rotors and dust shields 65K.

Rear axle/differential 71K.

General Comments:

Purchasing the Subaru Impreza Outback Sport based on features and the history of Subaru seemed like a good idea at the time. Since then the car has been plagued with problems with high repair costs that makes us wish we never purchased the car.

We may have one of the few lemons, but the dealership and Subaru never even tried to keep us as satisfied customers.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th September, 2004

1997 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport 2.2L from North America


Reliable, AWD, fun, efficient, practical and cheap: what's not to like?


The electronic throttle system needed to be reset once.

General Comments:

For those looking for reliable and affordable transportation there are few choices that top an Impreza. Fuel efficiency varies on driving style, as with all vehicles, but it consistently averages in the mid to high twenties per gallon.

The compact wagon won't fit a 4x8 sheet of plywood by a long shot, but the cargo area is holds a great deal of stuff with the seats down.

My Impreza Outback is an automatic. Sometimes I wish I purchased a stick just for the fun of rowing through the gears on back roads. Although the 2.2 litre engine only pushes out 140 horsepower or so it has plenty of juice in the low end due to the transmission gearing.

For snow country this car is hard to beat. With a low center of gravity due to the boxer engine the car holds the road better than most in any weather. Slap a set of studded snow tires on in the winter and nothing, but a blizzard will stop you.

Couple AWD with the weight distribution and you have a car that just plain seems like it wants to accelerate into a turn.

The greatest drawback are the Subaru seats. They are fine unless you are used to Volvo or some other big fat ride kind of seats. As well, the factory supplied Bridgestone Potenza tires are just plain terrible. Replace immediately if yours is outfitted with them.

My next car will be a 5 speed WRX wagon.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th August, 2004

1997 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport 2.2 from North America


TOTALLY worth the few extra dollars


I've had to replace the brakes twice since I bought it in 98. Not too problematic other than squeaking. Its started leaking oil recently (somewhere around 120000) but not a substantial amount as to need addition of oil between changes, just enough to drip onto something REALLY REALLY hot down there and stink like the bejeezus when I'm stopped. I'm sure a quick trip to the dealer is in order to fix the problem... although after 140000 its the only complaint I've ever made.

General Comments:

Agreeing with other comments made, the A/C on the Subaru line of cars does indeed decrease performance substantially. My car loses its 'get up and go' on the highways and I usually make a point of turning it off when I know I'm going to need its sporty 2.2L engine.

Counter to that the heater in mine is exceptional and warms up pretty fast... coming from Alaska, that's a tall salute esp when I accidentally leave the car unplugged at -40 and only have to wait 5 minutes to warm it up...

I've always taken regular maintenance/oil changes/etc on my car and have never had any real problems. Others, however, (and I think this is primarily in the 98-2000 line) have had serious ball bearing issues and there are some other forums/subaru pages I've found online that expound on this issue. My dad bought a 2000 Impreza after he had driven mine from AK to NV - he liked it that much. Unfortunately at around 8000 the car started acting up and after several (4,5,6) trips to Subaru, they finally whittled the problem down, but had no idea, at least not initially, where the real problem lie. They were a little quick to accuse him of not really knowing how to drive a stick (which he's done all his life) and that he had probably been riding the clutch. This didn't sit to well with him and he sold the car soon after and bought a Toyota.

Me, I'm about ready to upgrade to a 2002 Impreza WRX and can't wait.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th August, 2003

13th Jun 2004, 13:39

I have a 1997 outback sport and had to replace the disc pads 2 times. The pedal is low. Subaru said that it is normal. In my entire life I never had a car with poor low brake travel.

6th Oct 2009, 09:21

Most people who own Subaru don't realize just how fragile and unreliable other cars are. I owned a 1996 VW Jetta that was NOTHING but trouble, I've owned several Hondas, but they are all so FRAGILE and the least little bump in the road can crack your radiator expansion tank or bend suspension parts. I had a Honda Accord that I broke the suspension on by hitting a medium sized pothole in the street!

Subaru is built VERY STRONG and will run forever with very little problems. I have known people who drive Subaru's well into the 300,000 mile area with little or no problems at all.