1996 Subaru Legacy L Wagon 2.2 from North America
The Energizer Bunny of cars
It has had timing belts replaced at 70,000, and at 120,000.
Catalytic converters (two, fore and aft) were replaced, along with all pipes and muffler at 168,000.
Minor rust at rear wheel wells, right rear passenger door, and driver's door.
Rear hatch handle sticks a bit, some rust on that mechanism.
Minor paint flaking on front bumper.
All issues have been scheduled or expected, given the age of the vehicle.
This has been and incredibly reliable and solid car. I've not had any major problems with it that were not expected due to age and use.
The AWD system is fantastic. No matter how deep the snow has gotten here, I've always been able to navigate with confidence. Wet roads do not affect it, and the overall feeling is one of stability.
Despite the stability, it is also remarkably nimble for a station-wagon. It has a good turning radius for its size. The engine is big enough, so that when unloaded, it has decent acceleration, even when passing at highway speeds.
It's decently comfortable for my 6'2" height, though I've had people complain about the lack of headrests in the back seat. It's a bit minimalist in other areas though; no heated seats, dull stereo, no keyless entry. At least the windows and locks are electric.
The interior cargo space is phenomenal for a car. Easily holds as much as a Jeep Grand Cherokee, though the lower suspension means the rear wheel wells limit the depth of the couch you can haul in it.
The EPA's mileage rating is 22mpg for the highway, but I regularly get over 27, and have even gotten 29 on occasion, and that's without using any hypermiling techniques (though I have removed the crossbars from the roof-rack).
Top Gear once called this an "heirloom car" and asserted that "toffs buy it to pass on to their children." I believe it. And although I've been tempted by newer, flashier cars from time to time, in the end I stay with my trusty-rusty-roo. I suspect I'll be hitting another ten years with this thing. May even get another when this one goes.
My only complaint is that when it does need maintenance, it's expensive. It makes up for the rarity of service with the cost, so that while you will take it in less frequently, you'll end up spending the same as a car that needs it more often.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 11th August, 2010