This is a 1994 model built in 1993 (one of the first off the production line for '94)
This was an extremely tidy fresh Japanese import, I was the first owner. Initial impressions were of delirious delight whenever the second turbo came in - it's a real rush. Problem is, with an automatic model, it isn't too often you reach 4000 revs before the gear change occurs. However, when you need the power, you can always drop into D3 (yes, the transmission can be moved form D3 to D and back smoothly with no worries), or just gun it.
My car is completely stock, including stock muffler tip - so it is a real sleeper, though the engine makes a satisfying roar at high revs, and the overtaking power is second to none. There seems to be a fair bit of torque available too, as hill overtakes are phenomenal, for instance versus a mid 90's Skyline Turbo there is no contest. The power for a stock, cheap, car is very impressive. Lots of potential for modders too, with a big selection of performance parts available. I, however prefer to zip past quietly rather than draw further attention to my speeding.
I would advise on taking out mechanical insurance, as some repair work could become very costly, especially outside of the Taranaki region. There is an excellent Subaru service centre in New Plymouth who provide *outstanding* service & support. I got a 100,000km Subaru 5 star service, at a cost of NZ $800 - which included cam belt replacement, hydraulic tensioner replacement, Oil sump seal replacement, Oil & Filter replacement, Coolant flush & replacement, Auto Trans. Flush & lube replacement, Brake system flush, check, and preventative maintenance. This is part of Subaru's service schedule for Legacys - at 25,000km intervals. I have heard of people spending $800 on cam belt replacement alone. All work was carried out by factory trained technicians & Subaru only parts.
The car handles like a god. The AWD feature really glues the car to the road. She managed to cruise straight through a flood pool, after a Falcon had aquaplaned through it. This impressed me greatly, with no great loss of control. The handling is consistent and predictable, and even with an automatic there is some fun to be had accelerating excessively out of corners - she sticks to the road like she is on rails. Of course, you can force her to slide, should you want to ;)
Inside, the car is chocka with gadgets and buttons to play with - a completely electronic A/C with LCD display - excellent JVC CD/CDRW/MD player - Momo racing wheel - Speedo assy is a bit boring - but dash in general is appealing - neat tweeters mounted in door frame - Auto shift is ugly as ever - Ashtray is inaccessable behind Auto shift - Cig lighter still works! - Central locking becomes confused with half closed doors occasionally - Sunroof is great for long drives, or late nights - Power steering smooth & responsive - plenty of warning lights to keep you afraid.
The performance in this car per dollar is excellent, heaps of get up and go all the way through - rev limiter helps you avoid blowing the engine - redline @ 9,000 rpms - you are prevented from going dramatically over that, easily sits at 100km/h @ 2,500 - 3000 rpm. 0-100kms in about 5.5 seconds when warm.
Sharp looker, different from the very common wagon variants, sheds 50 Kilos in the Sedan model.
Nice stance of car - much like other manufacturers, the car seems to lean forward slightly when stationary. This is an optical illusion also used, to better effect, by the likes of Rolls Royce. Gives it a little bit of tiger attitude.
When cold, she's rough. You want to have remote ignition to warm her up. Once warm though, she's a pocket rocket.
Annoying gurgling sound; not the common coolant gurgle, but it appears to be from the fuel cap - will replace cap to test.
A little greedy on fuel, but this is because the turbos entice you to rev high - even over short distances. The car really shows a desire to go fast. With the cold air box, on a hot day, performance is reduced. Come winter, she's aggressive at accelerating.
Lack of cabin light when door opened.
Horrible stylised *T*urbo *L*egacy badge.
Small 15" stock Alloys - really want 16" or higher to avail of wider wheel platform.
Slightly hungery for go-go juice - loves U98, but U96 is adequate. Better open road (nearly 2x) consumption.
Short range fuel tank - only 50 Liters.