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1996 Subaru Legacy

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Consumer Reviews & Ratings

Overall Rating
8.6
Out of 10

Based on 293 Ratings for the 1995 - 1999 models.

Review this car
more rating details
  • Value
    8.9/10
    Quality
    8.9/10
  • Reliability
    9.0/10
    Performance
    8.7/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.5/10
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We bought it used in 1997

By on Sunday, March 23, 2008

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

"It had 28000 miles on it. It now has 120000, combination of city and roadtrip in Wisconsin. We changed the timing belt at 75k, alternator at 105K, and battery at 110000k. Brakes were done at 85k. Tires need to be rotated every 6k, but that is free with purchase. That is it. We get 30 mpg at 60 mph, 25 mpg at 70. Great car - carries a canoe, split back fold down rear seats accommodate paddles or skis. Only drawback is the 12 gallon tank makes for frequent fillups on road trips. I still have no hesitation about taking it to Montana. Great car!"

9 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Best, most reliable car we've ever owned.

By on Thursday, September 13, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 90,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
8/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "reliable, well built, tough as nails."

Cons: "really, none."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"great car."

8 people out of 8 found this review helpful

The best car I've ever owned; will buy another!

By on Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 245,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Very useful for hauling lumber, surf boards, etc. Comfortable on long drives."

Cons: "Could use a better sound system, more adjustments on the drivers' seat."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"The most reliable, best driving car I've ever owned. The brakes, water pump, alternator and other 'short life' parts seem to last about 3 times longer than other cars. I have driven it off road where I would not take a "regular" car, and it feels great on the highway, too. The all wheel drive was noticeable the first day I bought it and drove it home in the pouring rain. It grabbed the road like it was dry, and hugged it like no car I've ever driven, including Porsche and Mercedes. I've had it for 7 years, put nearly 200000 miles on it, and I wouldn't hesitate to drive it long distance tomorrow. My next car will be a Subaru. I highly recommend it to you. You'll see why I love it as soon as you drive it!"

8 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Not overly powerful but not underwhelming

By on Thursday, October 3, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 113,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Great bang for the buck"

Cons: "no turbo :("

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Great winter vehicle good summer vehicle. This car from factory has a fuse in the front to switch from all wheel drive to just front wheel drive which is great because it gives me 5 mpg more than AWD also gives it a bit more power which is also great when its hot out and you wanna run the a/c but don't wanna be out of power. Speaking of hot if you plan to buy a wagon the whole cabin becomes a greenhouse in the sun so be forewarned maybe put the windows down a hair. I've owned my subaru wagon for 3 years with zero regrets. I accidentally gave it a little more oil than I was supposed (like a quart) which pushed it past my valve cover gasket and onto my exhaust and it smelled for quite some time but I replaced my valve cover gasket and there was no adverse effects on the motor. The car is very controllable in the snow and ice, sideways when you put some(half) pedal down or dead on when you want it(Honestly we've all seen the rally subarus and the car should always be sideways) the controllable bit in the snow is in AWD of course, front wheel drive you have a lot of understeer but still driveable with decent tires. The doors are incredibly light feeling when you open them up. I would honestly buy this car several times over. Great fun, great times."

7 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Best car I've ever owned!

By on Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 170,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Everything about an Outback is excellent."

Cons: "None"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"The Subaru Outback is one of the best vehicles on the market. It is extremely versatile. I have a full size Chevy truck but haul everything that does not require a trailer in my Subie. The rubber mat in the back keeps it clean, and the fold down seats offers more cargo space than generally needed. I regularly throw the kayak on top and cruise down the freeway without any problems. The interior (in a limited) is wonderfully designed. The leather is top quality and shows little wear over time. Driveability is excellent. You can throw it in a curve like a coupe and it powers through superbly. Honda Civics can't keep up, that's for sure. The all-wheel drive systems keeps it rockin even in the snow, which makes for a great day of snowboarding when everybody else is stuck indoors. I have nothing bad to say about the Outback....now go get you one!"

7 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Inherited this car; dependable but uncomfortable

By on Saturday, January 3, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 130,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "good winter car in upstate NY"

Cons: "uncomfortable and console controls locations odd"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"Very reliable but front seats are very uncomfortable and have had trouble with back lift gate not operating. Gas mileage is good, but not great about 25 mpg."

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

a tank!

By on Friday, November 4, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 212,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Cons: "cons??"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"wonderful car! 3rd Subaru and I cant wait for my 4th! 200k mile club...hoping to get to 300k and i feel like that is a very real possibility."

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Great Car so far

By on Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 130,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Useful (wagon), AWD is great for avoiding winter accidents"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought this car with 114000 miles and it's done great. I love having a wagon that I can load with bikes, construction materials, etc. but also get decent mileage. It seems like I get about 24 mpg around town and 26 ish on the highway. Repairs have been average for a car with this many miles."

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Awesome vehicle! Keeping for at least another 100k

By on Saturday, June 25, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 96,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great handling, quick acceleration, good on gas, comfortable for long road trips"

Cons: "Cup holders and radio antenna = major fail"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I recently visited KBB to assess what my 1998 Legacy GT Limited is currently worth. After looking at the prices of newer cars I decided it simply isn't worth the hassle or the extra money to sell and buy a newer car. I had the head gasket and timing belt replaced at approximately 75,000 miles. I had my work done by a local mechanic for around $800 and haven't had the slightest mechanical issue since (it now sits at just below 96,000). Aside from this there have been no major mechanical issues. This car has been incredibly reliable and handles like a king in the snow - I certainly do enjoy the winter months with my subaru. This is a top quality car that I hope to keep for 100,000 more miles, and I doubt that it will be my last Subaru. Oh yes - very cozy on long drives, too Beware: radio antenna isn't so great. Highly susceptible to being devoured by your local car wash (just don't forget to turn it off!)"

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

My Mail Car

By on Monday, February 9, 2009

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

"I purchased mine new in 1997. It is a right hand drive built for mail delivery. I have used it in all kinds of weather including snow and it has performed perfectly. It's 12 yrs old and still working great. I'm retired now and sold the Subaru to another carrier in my Post Office. They are tough little cars!"

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

One Reliable Car

By on Saturday, July 28, 2007

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

"Bought this car new over 12 years ago, and it has been incredibly reliable and versatile of use. Great capacity for loading in large items (gas barbeques, ladders, 11 foot market umbrellas etc.), comfortable passenger car, wonderful visibility from the driver's point of view and handles well in all road situations and weathers."

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

a great car

By on Friday, January 4, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"drives thru blizzards that stop hummers, a great value, and i am reluctant to sell it."

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

1999 Legacy Outback

By on Friday, July 30, 2010

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

"When buying, make SURE you get it checked by a mechanic BEFORE signing the dotted line. Bought ours used for $3,700 @ 166K miles and one week later paid $3,600 in maintenance fees--timing belt, head gasket, re-tooled brakes, leaky seals, and more. Could've had a brand new KIA for that money, but I feel like my 20 yr old daughter will be safer in this car as she drives 450 miles one way to and from school several times a year. The mechanic also says it's a very good car and shouldn't need anything else done for a very long time. Says it will hold its value well."

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

a trusty friend...

By on Friday, April 9, 2010

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

"I purchased my 1997 Subaru Legacy 2.5GT in 2001 with 34K. It now has 201K and is still plugging along. There've been a few hiccups down the road: replaced head gaskets at 120K, along with timing belt, water pump, & thermostat (YIKES); replaced the C/V shafts/boots twice in 2 years; engine leaks oil and have recently run into power steering problems. However, the car itself handles great, gets ok gas mileage (20-22mpg), and the AWD was worth every penny. I live in North Dakota, and being able to power through snow drifts has been a huge plus. The acceleration is just powerful, and i do love my subaru! sadly, i'll be trading it in soon for a less thrilling (nonAWD) vehicle. I drive 2500 highway miles a month, and gas mileage is far too important these days! subarus seem to last forever - my dad's outback finally died at 313K. if you can handle the repair cost, you'll love your subaru too!"

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

best I have ever owned

By on Sunday, August 23, 2009

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

"Owned 11 years as of August 2009 Most reliable and safest car I have ever owned"

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Totally awesome!

By on Tuesday, August 11, 2009

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

"My dad runs an auto repair shop and got this car 7 or so years ago when it was having some transmisison trouble and someone didn't want to fix it. He had a friend suggest a product that does wonders for Subaru transmissions and it worked. I have had the car for about 3 1/2 years and it just hit 300,000 miles with the original engine and transmission!!! It still runs fine but the rust is starting to really eat it up. I love this car and will be a Subaru owner for life if I have my choice!"

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Like One of the Family

By on Friday, November 30, 2007

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

"I put 231,000 miles on this car in ten years and never had a major problem. It was reliable, got great gas mileage, and had room in the back for my stuff. Just a few months ago a guy offered me cash for her and I turned him down. I had planned to drive her another two or three years at least, or to 300,000 miles. Now she's been totaled in a wreck! No injuries though, she kept us safe. This was an awesome car and I can't imagine owning another."

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

I loved my car!

By on Monday, September 3, 2007

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

"This is, perhaps, one of the best vehicles ever made. period. the 2.2L engine will go on FOREVER. my last one had 320k miles on it, and passed smog with little notice of an increase after all those years. I'd done the maintenance myself, and had only one problem with the car over the ten years i owned it. (Alternator went bad at 200K, and cost me about $200 to fit) i dropped the quality notch only because I think that the bumpers could have been slightly better designed, but hey- that's my personal preference."

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Over 200K+ & still dependable

By on Wednesday, July 25, 2007

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

"Of course with this mileage, there were minor repairs. Engine is still great and it is fun to drive. This get around 27 miles/gal. I will buy another Subaru when I need. This is our 2nd Subaru and our 3rd Subaru also has almost 200000 miles and still going strong."

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

1999 Outback

By on Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 161,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "great deal of horse Power, Convenience & Fun Drive"

Cons: "Known to Blow Factory Gaskets & Low MPG"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"I Have owned 3 Outback's in my day all used from others, the only thing that i really don't like is the Fuel Economy, love the Power this 4 Cylinder puts out. i love the exterior design over the non outbacks, the lift is great but i could use some more, as for reliability these 2.5's are known to blow the original factory gasket, best to replace it with the new and improved gaskets before the old ones go bad."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Best vehicle I have ever owned. Period.

By on Thursday, April 25, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 98,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "It's responsive and fun to drive and RELIABLE."

Cons: "When this one wears out, i will get another Suby."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

My wonderful 1999 Suby Brighton wagon/hatchback.

"I have owned many vehicles over the years. This is my first Subaru and I LOVE IT! Absolutely reliable. Handles like a sports car with nice firm steering and body action. I honestly get 29MPG with it's 4-cylinder Boxer opposed cylinder engine AND the Semetrical SUBARU (AWD) ALL WHEEL DRIVE. This is the BEST vehicle I have ever owned. Ever. I am now 68 years old. Yes, I am retired USCG."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

My wonderful 1999 Suby Brighton wagon/hatchback.

not a bad car

By on Thursday, April 12, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 192,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "4by4 is great lots of room"

Cons: "2.5l eng leaks oil head gaskets go often"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"only owened ca a few months runs good eng leaks a lot have heard bad head gaskets r a problem"

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

this car and drivetrain are bulletproof

By on Saturday, November 19, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 208,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "4WD and overall reliability"

Cons: "cup holders could be in a better spot"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Subaru perfected 4WD for cars and this vehicle is evidence of that. Someone else called it a 'tank' and I agree, it is a little 'tank'. With 4WD, doesn't even slip, much less lose control, in MI winters. I have gotten as much as 33 MPG on pure highway trips. I may not own it when it rolls over 300K, but this one has 208K now and I guarantee it will be rolling down the road somewhere with 300K miles !! The 2.2 litre, 4 cyl. is far superior to the 2.5 L -- which has head gasket problems."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Awesome inclement weather driving

By on Monday, September 12, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 145,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "AWD, ride and handling quality, build quality, paint quality, reliability."

Cons: "parts expensive, fuel mileage not as good as comparable models"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Bought this car inexpensively with 100,000 mi on it because previous owner let many things go. Exterior and interior cleaned up very well, and I get lots of comments on how the car looks. Necessary repairs were all wear and tear items. Changed all fluids, replaced all 4 Rotors and disc pads. timing belt/drive belts/seals/water pump. Plugs/wires/distributor rotor. At 125K replaced head gaskets. I did all the work to the car myself and used ONLY factory Subaru parts-$$$$! Vehicle now has 145K on it I enjoy driving this car, has a very compliant, well controlled ride, good handling, good visibility and runs terrific. Nary a squeak or rattle to be heard. There are some issues, heck it IS a 1998 vehicle and its 2011! sometimes shift quality (automatic) seems harsh and I do have a cold noise in engine. Have been told it is not that critical (cold engine piston slap) because noise is fairly quiet at operating temp, and engine doesn't use oil between changes. I plan on driving it until 300,000mi, or til it rusts away."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

A reliable winter machine

By on Tuesday, August 24, 2010

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

"I've had my 98 limited for just over 6 years now, I bought it used with 100K miles on it. It is true, that these 2.5L engines had issues with the head gaskets, I had mine replaced at about 140K. I've also had many other things replaced on the thing, like struts, alternator, timing belt, O2 sensors, exhaust, etc, but the bottom line this thing is a great car. Starts everytime, excellent turning radius, enough pep to get on the highway in a hurry, and can take turns really, well- as long as your don't have a to-go cup of coffee to spill. Overall, I love this car, it's leather heated seats. and how it handles in new england winters - would never trust another maker to get me from a to b in winter - not with all the crazy drivers out there."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

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