1988 Subaru Justy GL 1.2L 3 cylinder. from North America


Best car I've owned (20 vehicles and counting) Can't kill it!!!


Fuel system always needs cleaned. Very finicky carburetor. Rear shoes seem to be a common problem with these cars. They seem to wear fast which causes front rotors to become warped from working harder. Leaks oil. That's about all I can say for the 1987 GL FWD. The 1988 Gl 4WD has more problems. Wheels bearings, more oil leaks, needs rod bearings, brake pads and shoes, clutch, altenator belt, A/C work (both cars). Even though the 1988 4WD needs all of that work I am looking forward to spending about 800 dollars and 2-3 days work repairing the car for at least another 100k miles.

General Comments:

I have driven the 1987 Fwd car for less than a year and loved it so much I traded a road worthy 1980 R-X7 Twin Rotory car for the 1988 4WD car. The cars seem to be built for industrial heavy duty work. I installed a hitch on the 1987 and pulled a car trailer with the R-X7 on it for 70 miles to go get the 1988 car and pulled the trailer back with the other justy on it. I pulled a 1200lb trailer 365 miles over mountainous interstate roads from Atlanta Ga to central Kentucky. I ahve also pulled othe heavy loads many times. The car will work harder than a Mack truck for its size. At any other time I am driving the 1987 FWD car I am usually running just about wide open. Paid 250 dollars for the car and have put 10k hard miles on it and it hasn't changed one bit. I have only put about 800 miles on the 1988 4WD car, but it seems to be just as good other than the problems that I know that need to be taken care of.

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

Review Date: 27th September, 2005

6th Dec 2008, 22:29

I had a 88 Subaru GL 4wd wagon I got for free! I drove it for 1 winter, and did nothing but replace a front lower ball joint. The car had 124k when I got it and about 150 when I was done, sold it to a friend for $50, body was rough, they rust out like all the older japanese cars.

I have a 1985 Honda Accord now, Honda has a better fit and finish than Subaru but you can't beat the 4wd!! Make sure you change out the timing belts every 100k on the Subarus.

Final thought, I liked the Subey but I like the Accord much more!!

1988 Subaru Justy GL from North America


An economy car with character


Exhaust system had to be replaced from the converter back three times (under warranty).

I never got it rust-proofed and this is now a problem. I've had the parking brake replaced twice.

Doors (especially rear hatch) tend to stick after a few years. The passenger door doesn't open at all now. The wiper/washer switch is gone. Gas tank sprung a leak (due to corrosion).

The radio that came with the car is kind of crummy. I replaced it with a Sony cassette deck.

General Comments:

I love this car! I bought it new and the only expensive problems were due to neglect (brakes, for example).

I'm 170cm tall, and the seats have been extremely comfortable, even on long drives. Visibility is excellent.

You have to get used to the somewhat noisy engine, especially at high speed (while the speedometer goes up to 180 kph I've only had it up to 135 kph).

I love the shift-on-the-fly 4-wheel drive: excellent on very wet roads. It's easy to park, and I've never been stuck in snow for more than 3 seconds.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th August, 2002

1988 Subaru Justy GL 1.2 from North America


Excellent rally car/grocery getter


New c/v joints every 30,000 miles.

Needed exhaust, put on custom header and straight pipe, big HP gains.

Tires dissappear (my fault, I like 4-wheel drifts)

Rock solid reliable.

General Comments:

Not too many thing have gone wrong with it. The head gasket leaks oil, but they all do, It eats C/V joints, but that's because I use it for rally cross. The little 3 cylinder is bullet proof, and will probably run for another 900000 miles. The interior is pretty cheap, and the controls are always breaking, but it's a great car to slide around dirt roads in. Almost as quick as a Impreza on a curvy dirt road in the hands of a skilled driver.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th August, 2002

4th Nov 2010, 01:00

I had a Justy that I loved very much. I put a little turbo on it and got 120hp and it would spin tires up through 3rd gear. The only reason I don't drive it anymore is I broke the A frame and put the shocks through the wheel wells (7 ft of air!). I drove it like a rally car, Dukes of Hazzard style for 2 years before it broke. I'm looking for parts to fix it because I feel bad about murdering it.