1993 Subaru Justy GT 1.2 from North America


Cheap, reliable, fun car to drive and drive


It was a pile when it was given to me, by my brother in-law, for work done on a Honda Accord. Instead of money!?!

General Comments:

Bad tires, rear window broken, new plugs and wires, it runs like a top.

So I spent $125 and put new tires on it with a big screwdriver in my garage, figured it would eat them.

I set out to kill this car, drove it everywhere; pastures, corn fields during harvest, muddy minimum maintenance roads (wish it was 4WD).

My wife totaled it while I was out of town (not her fault; the insurance company told me it was total anyway. We agreed over the phone $1000 and I kept the car).

Three sheet metal screws, 1 new tire and a little solder on the radiator. IT'S ALIVE! Best car I've ever owned!

Just bought an '89 with the ECVT automatic trans, for $200, on the way home. We got noticed. This man had a 92 with a bad engine (don't believe it); $100 and I still have to go get it.

Do the math, I have less in all 3 cars than the insurance claim.

Anyone know how to become a Subaru dealer (I'm serious)?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th July, 2007

1993 Subaru Justy GLi 1.2 SOHC 12v 'triple' from UK and Ireland


Brilliant all-terrain supermini, but beware of rust!


Slight fuel leak from tank.

All the wheel arches are badly rusted and the rear of the sills need welding.

N/S/F wheel bearing is noisy.

2nd gear synchromesh sometimes crunches.

General Comments:

I've been after a Justy for ages since I tried one a few years ago, and this one came up in the local free ad's 'paper for a bargain price, I had to have it!

The heart of the Justy is its unique-sounding three-cylinder engine and four-wheel drive system (2wd-only versions were available, but that's missing the point).

The 1.2 engine hustles the light Justy along pretty well and later fuel-injection versions like mine came with a decent 73-bhp. The main thing is it sounds like it's going fast - Subaru's marvellous little triple sounds like a bellowing in-line or flat-six when accelerating.

Fuel consumption is reasonable, I think I'm getting high-30s in MPG right now which is good considering how much it gets thrashed.

AWD is selected via a red plunger button on top of the gearstick, which is a nice touch.

Off-road it's excellent considering its size - often light weight and manoeuvrability are the most important things in extreme environments.

Ground clearance has been improved a little by adding slightly bigger tyres and wheels from a Nissan Sunny.

The only things that could be improved would be to add some knobbly off-road tyres and a super-low first gear, as on a Fiat Panda 4x4, for steep ascents and descents.

The interior is very early-'80s, but it's quite charming, the instrument panel for example has some neat little touches like the little high-beam, 4WD and rear screen heater icons that come alight in a little motif of the car. It's really roomy in the front too, I suspect it's because it has zero safety equipment...

On-road handling is OK, but not brilliant, you can chuck it around a bit, but the steering in mine seems reluctant - maybe it's just tired. It doesn't seem as nimble as a small car should be.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th April, 2007

1993 Subaru Justy DL 1.2 MPFI from North America


It is a great, tough, economical little car that has served me well, and continues to do so.


I replaced the clutch after we used it to pull a stump in the yard. Rather than tension it and set the brake, my wife slipped it. Not the cars fault. Also, the manual explicitly recommends against towing trailers with a Justy. I have. A lot. Heavy ones, too.

The interior hasn't held up well, but I ran seat covers from day one because I hate sitting on vinyl seats so it's not an issue.

The valve cover gasket starts leaking about every 20K miles.

I've replaced the muffler twice. I just used a universal replacement muffler and adapters after the flange. No problems.

General Comments:

I bought this car new when I rolled my 89 Justy end over end. It had about 130K miles on it. The door mounted seatbelt did their job and I walked away with little more than sore muscles.

The mileage is pretty good. It still gets about 33-35 around town. My best tank was 40mpg on a controlled 55mph run. It also does better on Premium than regular as far as the mileage goes.

This car has done anything and everything I've ever asked it to. I've pulled a trailer with the lumber to build a 12 x 16' shed and a 12 x 20' deck, a 14' boat, a Triumph Spitfire, a stump (with subsequent clutch replacement). I've hauled ladders strapped on top, a 5' desk inside. Pretty much abused it in every way imaginable and it keeps coming back for more.

It has more pep than one would expect. It actually seems to prefer 75mph to 45 mph. It does get a little twitchy when you approach 100mph though.

A little more cabin space, esp legroom would be nice, but if they still brought them into the US I would probably buy another.

My Justy is a 2 wheel drive, but that hasn't been much of a handicap in the snow. I went up the mountain to my brothers in the snow one day and had more trouble with stuck trucks blocking I-26 than traction. I ran out of steam on Saluda grade in one particularly steep section and just spun around and took another run at it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th November, 2004