3rd Mar 2004, 07:01

Your experience seems to be quite negative, but you must also remember that to have a car that is turbo-charged, 4wd with accessories such as air-suspension etc. one must maintain the car as per the manufacturer's instructions - you may have just had a lemon. I've had a non-turbo vehicle in East Africa from 1987 - 1994 without ANY problems at all... that is saying something as "roads" in east africa are what we call "green lanes" in the UK (at best). Never had CV boots go. I'm now the proud owner of a 2001 Impreza WRX and aside from minor issues (non - mechanical) it's been the best car I've owned.

Hope you have better luck with your next Subaru.

28th Apr 2004, 06:54

I had a 1986 Subaru XT. It was sporty and fun, but the maintenance costs were killing me. I replaced a clutch at 9500 miles. I went through CV joints like crazy. By the time I unloaded it it was costing me a new car payment per month in repairs.

29th May 2004, 14:20

I think this car is more suited to the American market, here in the damp British weather they do not last, and maybe the American models are built better, I'm not sure, but I imagine they have an easier time eating up those long highways, unlike here in the UK where potholed, cracked and busy twisty roads are the norm.

I owned a UK Turbo version briefly and I firmly belief the best model would be the normally aspirated one with regular shocks and springs commonly found in the USA, but not sold here.

29th May 2004, 14:26

...I used to watch UFO too, but if you look at the Honda Insight... now that really does look like Ed Straker's car!

18th Jun 2004, 12:13


I'm sorry to see that you have had a bad experience with your Subaru XT. I have a 1986 subaru XT 1800 turbo with 180,000 miles. For having only a 1.8L engine, the cars is very fast and fun to drive. I find that the handling (do its design is better than most cars) I live in New York City and with all the rain, snow, potholes the car is very durable, reliable and strong. I guess the major reason for its longevity is because I take care of it. I'm 26 and had the car since I was 18. I'm almost certain that you car was not taken care of. My father had the same car and his fell apart part because it was abused and neglected - still lasted for 220,000 and it was still running when he sold it.

I now own a subaru Impreza WRX and I think the XT turbo is more fun to drive. It's not as fast, but with the XT you feel the road.

Sorry that you have had a bad experience,


28th Aug 2004, 04:58

To the above contributor, they are all talking about a totally different car, the XT is a small 2 door coupe, not the Forester.

21st Aug 2005, 14:54

I used to own a 86 XT GL 1.8 N/A when I was in Toronto. It was not famous for it's power, and handling was not the best in it's class. Not many performance part were made for them. But I love the XT so much! Futuristic design even in today's standard. It had very solid built, no major problem that I can recall. Hat off to the engineers and a Subaru company that supported them.

I then had Volvo 740, Nissan Bluebird ARX, Eunos 800M, Nissan Fairlady Z32, Subaru Lancaster 2.5 (Outback). Now I drive an Imperza 20K wagon that I like a lot. It's a different animal than the XT, however all Subarus I have came across are very reliable. I don't mind owning another XT if it's available in my area nowadays. Well, would prefer a XT6 turbo...:)

Anthony/Hong Kong.

17th Dec 2005, 20:30

Hi from Australia,

I have a white 1987 XT Turbo, front wheel drive, manual transmission model which I have owned for 14 years. it has 215,000 klms on it now and has been super reliable and trouble free. I replaced the CV joint covers once, the joints are still fine, the clutch once, the cam belts every 100,000 klms and that's about it. It has normal springs with gas shockers, which are also original and in good condition. The body shows no sign of rust and it's a still great looking car. Every now and then I consider a new car, but I enjoy driving this one so much I see no reason to change. It's a great daily driver, quiet, comfortable and fun.

I'm sorry to hear about your experience, but I can't help thinking that you thrashed it to death and didn't service it. These are NOT fragile cars.

12th Jun 2007, 17:01

Name, Darin M. Jacobs.

Cars: Taurus 2003 SES, 1988 Mitsubishi Mighty Max 4 Cylinder, 1988 Xt6.

This car is fast... very fast...very..very fast. Tops out at around 122 124 mph. If you own this car, don't get a turbo. Get new air intake, new exhaust and jut general stuff having to do with exhaust or intake. If you want a turbo, get a small one.

22nd Jul 2007, 21:06

I just picked up a 1986 XT GL, and so far I'm very impressed with it. The only odd thing is that the gearing on 5th gear doesn't seem all that much higher than 4th, so I'm hitting 3000 RPM when going to 65. I don't know if this is normal or not, but it's the only "strange" thing I've found.

6th Aug 2012, 20:24

The AWD is superfluous? Surely you jest!

Here in the mountains of the west (Arizona California Nevada) we normally get 350 to 625 inches of snow each winter. Can't live without a decent AWD, and all Subarus since the 80's have proven themselves in the snow to be equal to a Jeep or an Explorer any day of the week.

Granted; the 80's Subis were a bit basic, but they were and still are, reliable with a minimum of attention, and in the middle of a serious snowstorm, even the funky XT gets you where you are going safely. Hundreds of 80's and 90's Subis are used around here that have between 200-300,000 miles, and are still going strong. Have no idea why you would think Subaru's AWD is a non-issue... it's why we buy them.