1993 Subaru Legacy from North America


Incredible tank


None. I did about $2000 in tune ups (tires, struts, hoses, fluids, flush n fill, battery), and she sang to me everyday. Until I flipped it on the highway.

I bought it unseen, undriven from a guy on eBay. Flew to see him and drove it home. Drove like a boat, rocking everywhere due to the poor tires and struts until I changed them. But he was right, "this car is more reliable in the cold weather and snow of Connecticut & CO than any other car I own - Audi, BMW, etc."

General Comments:

Most functional car I ever had. I even spent a weekend painting it DCU Camouflage color for $17 of spray paint. It loved to drive and drive, never did I have to think about it.

Get your hands on one of these. It's like a 75 to 90 Volvo - they never die or have trouble, no matter how ugly they are.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd May, 2010

1993 Subaru Legacy LL 2.2 from North America


It has 248,000+ miles on it - what more can I say?


Nothing so far.

I know that there are a few things that Subies are notorious for, but from what I can tell, they are basically what I would consider scheduled maintenance, and the pros definitely outweigh the cons for this car.

General Comments:

I bought this car for my son for his first car, and since he doesn't have his license yet, I drive it. It gets much better mileage than my '01 Ranger, so I'm saving lots of gas money.

I haven't had this car for too long, but so far nothing has gone wrong with it other than a tire with a slow leak :)

The interior of the car has held up well for its age, and the person I bought it from did a great job of maintaining it mechanically - she knew the things Subies need extra care on and had a good mechanic.

The car has high miles, but starts and runs like a champ. It's not leaking anywhere, and I still trust it for road trips. Plus it's AWD and where I live that's almost a necessity. I'm sure that with continued maintenance it will last my son for quite awhile - until he's ready to buy on his own.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd October, 2009

29th Jan 2012, 16:08

Update: We're at 272,000 miles and still going strong. I did sign this car over to my son, and he enjoys driving it now.

A couple of things have happened since my first posting.

Power mirrors don't work - may be a fuse - I haven't checked yet, and the radiator developed a leak and had to be replaced. The mechanic told me it was the original radiator to the car, so that was pretty amazing to me.

I noticed some rusty metal hanging off of the muffler, and took it in to have it checked. The exhaust guy told me the muffler was just fine, that Subaru builds a great exhaust system, which even if it looks bad on the outside, is still fine on the inside.

The one thing this car does that I don't like is it's hard to start in cold temps. It will fire right up, then stumble and die anywhere from 2 to 6 times before it stays running. The check engine light is on, but the mechanic says it's just a sensor that's buried in the dash, and will be labor intensive to replace, so my son will have it repaired later.

Other than that, this car continues to surpass any expectations I had when I bought it. I cannot imagine a better winter driver, and am going to buy another, newer one for me.

1993 Subaru Legacy L 2.2 from North America


Great car, surprisingly sporty, just watch the history


I bought the car from an elderly gentleman, the original owner of the car. He was retiring and moving out of state, so he sold me his daily driver for $500.00, free and clear. I bought it with the knowledge that I would have to do transmission work immediately for the car to be reliable again. The bill went like this:

Used (not rebuilt) transmission: $450.00, 145,000 miles.

New clutch: $130.00.

New Flywheel: don't remember how much it was, but not too bad.

With labor, it was close to $1800.00 worth of work, but it ran well for another 5,000 miles. During this time, I chose to replace the driver's side seatbelt, a $250.00 repair, using a used seatbelt out of the same car I got the transmission. The automatic seatbelts were never a good idea.

I replaced the valve cover gaskets myself, and had the oil pressure sensor (valve?) replaced, both of which were sub-$100.00 jobs.

A couple of thousand miles later, the radiator blew a hole in itself. Non-repairable, cost $350.00.

Oil leaks from the head gasket, and I believe this explains another problem common of older vehicles: oil in the spark plugs. It burns a little oil.

Finally, I was driving home on the freeway when the timing belt slipped. Newer timing belt, also, not neglected. Seeing as the Subaru engines are set up to cause as little damage to the engine as possible, (I.E. if you know Hondas, they slip a timing belt and the whole engine needs rebuilt. Drives a rod into a piston. Not so with the Subaru.) I should consider myself lucky, as it shot a bearing through the timing case (hole the size of a tennis ball). Instead of a $5,000.00 engine rebuild, I have a $1,000.00 rebuild, for new bearings, seals, water pump, and timing belt.

It proved to be too much for a college student's wallet to repair this time. Minor repairs were fine, and these engines go forever, but I didn't have the money to fix it this time.

General Comments:

This car put a smile on my face to drive every time. I suppose it's why I continued to fix it.

To be honest, I bought a lemon. These cars, even with 200,000 miles or more, are still very good cars, but the gentleman I purchased the car from drove it hard (as I found out after I bought the car). Including the clutch I had to put in, he wore through 3 clutches in ~25,000 miles.

If you're going to buy one, which I recommend you do, go for the manual 5-speed. The automatic is sluggish and less economical.

For me, the handling was the greatest. I can tell why Subaru achieves high ratings in Rallycross and Rally races around the world. The wagon was not the stiffest car, but it was a comfortable smooth driver that could bend your face in the corners. I live near the mountains, and I used this car at every excuse to burn up and down the foothills. It really did put a smile on my face to drive it.

It seems to be geared for rallycross, as well. Plenty of power, but quicker than a wagon like this would let you think.

Economical, as well. I easily passed the EPA estimated 17 MPG city, even driving it like I did. I will say that I wish they had fitted a larger gas tank, as 12 gallons means a weekly stop at the filling station.

I helped move a few friends in it, and the cargo space was fantastic. One minor complaint is that the rear seats do not fold flat. For the life of me, I couldn't figure out why. My dad drives a Honda Odyssey, and it has a row of seats that fold into the floor. My old 1991 SAAB 900 hatch had seats that folded flat. Still, I could fit as much as a friend's Ford Explorer in terms of boxes, and once or twice I carried my 21" mountain bike in the back, as I had no bike rack.

In spite of my initial reservations on buying a car that EVERYONE drives slow (at least where I live in Colorado), this car turned out to be a gem. I just wish I had looked at the history a little better first.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th July, 2009