2002 Subaru Legacy 250S 2.5L Flat 4 from Australia and New Zealand


Not as reliable as I hoped


The head gasket blew at 98,000km, & the oxygen sensor has recently failed.

General Comments:

This is my third Subaru Legacy so far, but possibly could be my last.

The previous 2 were turbo's & were generally pretty reliable - not to mention a lot of fun.

This one however has been a bit of a disappointment so far, in particular blowing a head gasket at less than 100,000km and costing me a pretty penny to repair. Being a non-turbo tried & true 2.5L flat 4, I find this very disappointing, this car has not been driven hard at all.

I've since learned from my local mechanic that this isn't uncommon & they are doing a roaring trade replacing head gaskets on these engine (2.5L flat 4). Wish I had spoken to him before I had purchased... Also it's now not idling properly & I've been told the oxygen sensor will probably need replacing. Hopefully no more problems after this...

Apart from this though, I still like the car. It is very comfortable, far more refined that the last 2 Legacys and isn't as greedy on petrol. And of course it handles great.

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

Review Date: 16th October, 2009

13th Dec 2009, 15:24

Oxygen sensors do not last forever. They need occasional replacement, like spark plugs. So, at 98,000, an oxygen sensor is probably nearing the end of its life expectancy.

Often they do last longer, but IMO there is no problem here.

23rd Dec 2009, 01:05

Yes, true oxygen sensors do fail. This car has 2 of them in the exhaust pipe, one being much more expensive than the other for some reason - $600.00 as opposed to $200-300.

15th Feb 2015, 07:34

Just checking in to say I've still got the car & it's been actually very good since the original repairs 6 odd years ago.

Now done 155,000km and still running very well. So actually pretty happy with it now. Long may it last!

2002 Subaru Legacy L Wagon 2.5L from North America


Poor head gasket material could cause major expense


At 63K miles a little coolant leak starts..1K miles later I had to replace the head gaskets for a $2000 bill.

General Comments:

This is not rare for 1998 to 2002 2.5L engines. this is my 3rd Subaru, but might be my last. The dealer laughed at me when I asked them to consider covering some of the expense under warranty.

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

Review Date: 6th March, 2006

2002 Subaru Legacy GT 2.5L four cylinder from North America


I wouldn't buy another Subaru unless they could prove that serious improvements had been made


The clutch started to chatter and shifting became difficult at 15k miles. It was "fixed" at about 20k, but began to act up again shortly after it was fixed. I do not drive it too hard, and I have never had any other trouble with a manual transmission.

There is a lot of wind noise, and the cabin isn't too comfortable for me, I'm only 5'11" and athletic, but I don't feel like I fit well in the drivers seat.

The headlights are poorly aimed and seem too dim to do any good.

General Comments:

It handles reasonably well and all wheel drive is a great thing to have, but the clutch acts up so much I don't want to deal with it anymore.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 13th December, 2004

10th Jun 2005, 16:45

The same thing happened to me with my 2001 Legacy L wagon. In approximately 30 years of driving cars with a clutch this is the worst I have had, otherwise I generally like the car. I am looking now to replace the clutch with an Exedy Sport clutch kit to end my troubles in this area, but Subaru should admit problem and pay partial replacement costs.

2002 Subaru Legacy L Wagon 2.5 from North America


Reliable value


Dash fan had a dry, squeaky bearing and was replaced no charge. A clutch engagement judder developed after about six months, occurring at cold startup and exaggerated during rainy and/or humid conditions. Because this disappears after warm-up it still hasn't been diagnosed and corrected by the dealer.

General Comments:

Automatic equipped cars handle like front wheel drives due to the 90/10 torque split front and rear. I much preferred the 50/50 split of the manual. Once up to speed, ride is very good with neutral handling. But, due to the on/off throttle characteristics of this engine, I believe drivability should be much better with the auto.

I found the standard equipment list to be quite generous compared to any of its direct competition, making it a bargain.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st August, 2004

19th Dec 2010, 23:12

The torque split is actually more 65/35 on the 4EAT (Active AWD) models. Manuals are Continuous AWD with a 50/50 split. Models with the 5 Speed auto are 45/55 rear biased.

2002 Subaru Legacy SE from North America


Good getting the grocery car


No problems to date.

General Comments:

This car is seriously under powered. I can barely get up to speed on the highway on ramp. Interior light dimmer is on the signal light stalk on constantly gets adjusted by mistake. The cruise control cannot be seen at night, even with the interior lights on. Static electricity from seats everytime I get out of the car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th May, 2002