2002 Subaru Legacy GT-B E-tune 2.0L twin-turbo petrol from Australia and New Zealand


Not as reliable as the 90's models


Failed knock sensor at 69000km.

Brakes replaced for WOF at 70000km.

Failed O2 sensor at 88000km.

R/hand wheel bearing replaced for WOF at 90000km.

Clutch shuddering at 105000km.

ABS fault code 29 at 105500km.

Clutch/water pump/cambelt/sparkplugs replaced at 106000km.

Wind noise at 107000km.

Drive shaft vibration under heavy load and ABS fault code 29 at 108000km.

All ABS sensors replaced for WOF.

Rocker covers leaking at 111000km.

Oil seals went on one of the turbos at 133000km (was using half a litre every 1000kms).

Diff vibration at 145000km.

Coolant leak at 158000km (needed topping up weekly).

Blown head gasket at 160000km.

My Impreza had 175000km, and I put about 100000 more on it and had nothing go wrong.

General Comments:

Serviced every 8000km. Always used Mobil 1 oil.

Bridgestone Potenza (Subaru Original Equipment Fitment) are rubbish and and wear down 3mm after 10,000km travel (at 3mm they have no wet grip).

Tried Supercat tires; terrible wet grip, but lasted for 25000km travel.

Recommend Uniroyal tires as they are quiet and and last a good 35000km, and have better wet grip than the Potenzas.

I was told the O2 sensor failed because of the aftermarket blow off valve venting to atmosphere causes the engine to run rich (which also explained why the car was backfiring now and then when changing gears).

Purchased for $6000 NZD from Turners Auctions. Over 2 years cost $6000 NZD in repairs (excluding oil changes and tires).

Fuel economy was good on the open road at about 10.5L/100km (as long as you stay off boost, which makes for very boring and tiring driving), but in Auckland city traffic it's more like 14L/100km.

Found out that if you don't use the Subaru antifreeze, you will end up with a blown head gasket (according to several sites on the internet).

Low marks for performance due to understeer and lack of feel in steering. Sure it's quick off the line, but in rolling starts it's a whale. Brake performance is inconsistent.

My old Impreza, although not as quick off the line, was faster in most cases, handled better, braked better, and was more comfortable.

Low marks for comfort because of suspension and driver fatigue setting in after only 40 minutes at the wheel if driving like a nana.

I've now got a Forester XT, which is more comfortable, more economical in city driving, and quite fun to drive.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th April, 2013

2002 Subaru Legacy Blitzen 2.0 Twin turbo from Australia and New Zealand


Fantastic drive, but expensive to own


Torque converter for transmission had a rebuild just prior to my ownership at 85000km's.

Primary turbo failure at 97000km's.

Factory speakers front and rear need replacing.

Left electric folding mirror motor has stopped working.

General Comments:

I really love this car, although I am very disappointed in the failure of the transmission and the turbo given the age and mileage of the vehicle, so this is a bit of a paradoxical review.

The performance is excellent from the boxer engine; in gear acceleration is exceptional, and it will dispatch long rows of traffic in passing lanes effortlessly. There is a hint of turbo lag, but you soon learn to drive to accommodate that. The throttle is a little sensitive in crawling traffic though, which can make smooth progress at under 10k's an hour tricky as the turbo keeps spooling up, expecting you to launch off at any minute. The transmission is responsive and shifts smoothly; wish it was a 5 speed auto though.

The handling is failsafe, huge grip, very limited roll means you just steer around corners and it follows the line, it isn't upset by mid corner bumps, and it's fantastic in the wet and on loose surfaces. The ride is only so so though, and the suspension can bottom out on sharp bumps like bridge expansion joints. The steering is surprisingly light, it doesn't have too much feedback, but there is enough there for you to get an idea of what the front wheels are doing.

The car looks great, in a grown up sort of way. The Blitzen extras are subtle and give the car a sporting turbo look without being obnoxious about it. The interior has some nice design elements, wrap around cockpit and angled controls are nice, seats have good lateral support, nice fabrics and overall its very comfortable. The luminescent dials look special and are easy to read, but the HVAC controls are quite budget as is the plasticky gear selector.

The servicing on these cars is not as expensive as some people would have you believe, but must be done religiously. Subarus seem to be very technically advanced, and mechanical failure leads to big bills, The turbo cost the thick end of 3k to replace. I'm hoping that the car will now continue to be reliable and fault free for the rest of my ownership. I am a little worried about reliability, but loving driving it and owning it otherwise.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th January, 2010

26th Jan 2010, 19:08

Sounds like particularly bad luck for a car of this mileage.

It was probably thrashed by previous owners, or not serviced regularly perhaps. This is often the case with cars that were imported 2nd hand from Japan - a very common practice in New Zealand, & they hardly ever come with the service history or documentation - I wonder why..

30th Apr 2010, 02:25

Had the car for 6 months now. Reliability issues sorted. Very quick.

Fuel economy dreadful and does not seem to reward a light foot either.

Handling and grip still stunning, I have to be careful driving other cars now as they don't have the same levels of grip, particularly in the wet.

The engine frustrates. It has flat spots and can be very laggy if caught in the wrong gear or off boost, but I can live with that. Really it's the fuel consumption and it's high octane only diet that really grate; it's bordering on V8 running costs.

20th May 2010, 19:29

Aren't these cars sequential turbos?, I have had a Legacy GT twin turbo, which I'm guessing had a similar engine than yours. It had no lag at all, HOWEVER the switch point between the 1st turbo and the 2nd one kicking in was horrible. Between 4000rpm-5000rpm. It's an OK car.