1997 Subaru Legacy L 2.2L from North America


Great car for the value, and handles well in bad weather


The knock sensor was replaced at 160,000 miles.

The oil pump seal was replaced at 90,000 miles.

A while back there was a recall on the alternator, which the dealer replaced for free.

CV joints were replaced around 110,000 miles.

General Comments:

The car handles great in the snow and ice. It was great to have in the Colorado Rockies.

Good reliability.

Lots of cargo room.

O.K. fuel economy around 24 mpg.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th March, 2009

1997 Subaru Legacy GTB 2.0 Twin turbo from Australia and New Zealand


A serious weapon on the open road


Head gasket blew at 160,000. Repaired at expense, giving the engine a new lease of life for another 100,000 km.

Air-con works, but has leak in t9 valve (expensive). Not worth fixing considering the mileage.

Occasional suspension bush requiring replacement.

General Comments:

A drivers car on the open road. Advanced driving skills can get great results. Very sluggish around town (under 100km/hr).

Hard ride from the suspension, but handles better than most on open road, particularly during cornering at speed.

Plenty of room inside, well placed interior controls, but not recommended for taller drivers as leg room a bit restricted, especially using the clutch around town.

Fairly heavy on petrol, but that depends on your right foot!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th March, 2009

1997 Subaru Legacy 4D L Wagon Base from North America


Ahead of its time, but behind now


Some seat adjustments broke off.

The right-hand side view mirror broke off.

The rear windshield cracked for no apparent reason.

I had some seals replaced.

I needed a new radiator.

The driver's seat belt locks up when you pull it to buckle yourself in.

I burn about a quart or two of oil each 3000 miles.

Transmission clunks beginning to develop.

Reverse lights go out about once per year.

General Comments:

Seats are and have always been flat.

The back seat is huge!

The defrost is very slow.

The AWD is a nice touch.

Somewhat economical. I get about 24 MPG.

Can be difficult to parallel park.

I recommend the Legacy. It has been mechanically reliable (engine, drivetrain), and most of the stuff that has broken has been aesthetic. Not too bad for a 12-year-old car with almost 199,000 miles!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd October, 2008

1997 Subaru Legacy GT 2.5 from North America


Worth every penny


Normal Wear and tear: Water pump, timing belt, tires, spark plugs/wiring, air filters, car battery, gaskets. Air conditioning gas needed to be refilled.

CV joints/bushings replaced due to rusting.

Starter motor went at around 210,000km.

ABS sensor damaged by terrible mechanic, needed replacement. Expensive -> $200CDN.

Unexpected: crankshaft pulley came loose, needed to replace a/c and alternator belt because of that at 220,000km.

Noticing high amount of oil burned (need to top up engine oil before scheduled oil change) every 3000km. Oil change is done at 5000km. This problem is noticeable after 175,000km.

Total in maintenance spent since buying car is about $3,000k. That is without cost of oil changes. This is a very low price because we got parts at discounted rate and mechanic was not dealer mechanic. I would expect these repairs would have cost $4,000 over the course of this car's lifespan.

General Comments:

Despite the repairs, this has been a reliable car.

Starter motor is the only thing that could not be anticipated, everything else was expected. In the case of the crankshaft pulley, I heard a noise and checked the engine in the parking lot.

The wood trim in the interior is somewhat lacking.

Lots of room and lots of power from a 4 cylinder engine.

Hope to drive it to 300,000km :)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th April, 2008

1997 Subaru Legacy L 2.2L from North America


I guess I was just expecting a bit more reliablility from Subaru.


Cruise control does not work

Leaking oil pan seal

Oil leak when hot (seals probably, but don't know which one?)

Clutch problems!

Exhaust rattle.

General Comments:

The ride is quite solid and comfortable, but I have a lot of other gripes! The acceleration is horrible, just doesn't want to move in first gear. However, keeps up with traffic at higher speeds. The car definitely feels underpowered. It needs to rev up to 3400 rpm and higher to hit 75 mph, whereas a 2.2 L Honda accord does it at less than 3000 rpm. Also there is lot of engine noise inside the cabin. Oil started leaking soon after I bought it and it started smoking when it dripped on to the exhaust. The mechanic said it was a leaking oil pan seal and replaced it (240$). But it still seeps somewhere, especially in long drives! Clutch is starting to act weird, especially in cold start its hard to get moving and shift to second gear, but just fine when hot. Recently I hear a ticking sound in cold start, which could be a valve or fuel injector. Brakes are spongy and does not give you the most confident stop. The cruise control doesn't work now. The interior is quite cheap, but I am not too bothered about it. The position of the cup holder is just outrageous, its located just above the CD player, how convenient!!

What I feel good about this car is its quite solid feel on the road. It is awesome in snow, but I'm in SW-Virginia where it doesn't snow that much anyway. The gas mileage is kinda OK, 20-23 in city and about 27-29 on highways. The visibility is great and there is just an amazing amount of space inside. Looks of the car is good, but nothing great. (How much I miss my Integra!!)

I bought this car based on Subaru reliability reviews. So far it's a mixed bag, hope this car treats me well at least for a couple more years as I am a student on tight a budget.

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

Review Date: 19th February, 2008