"My little brown Subaru came to me as a freebie from my mom, I loved it, it was my first car. While over the years it began to not look so pretty it still ran great, and the key wore out before the car. I had such a good experience with this Subaru I went and got a brand new Impreza! I would recommend, even if it has a lot of miles (and I know it will) it will get you everywhere you want to go."
"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."
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!"
"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!"
"I bought this a few years ago for my kids to drive, mainly for the AWD and better fuel economy than an SUV.
It had 153k miles on it and I had a list of about a dozen problems both big and small that needed fixing, but the body and interior were nice. Still haven't got to every thing because when you get one thing fixed another crops up. My impression is that at 150k things need constant fixing on a Subaru, everything from starters to lock cylinders.
The most serious problem was extremely poor acceleration/bogging down, intermittently. After a few months of trying everything I figured out the ECU was over-reacting to the knock sensor and retarding the engine timing to an extreme -thus no acceleration. Instead of trying to replace the ECU I just replaced the 2nd new knock sensor with a fake that provided the right resistance (but no knock signal) to the ECU. On the positive side, I will say that the 2.2L engine burns no oil, is plenty peppy, and seems great at this mileage. The 2.2 engines are supposed to be bullet-proof, but watch out for the 2.5s (head gaskets - $2000-$3000 fix). Also even with half worn-out summer tires, the AWD is amazing in the snow and ice."
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."
"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!"
"Well, I hit a moose with my '99 Subaru Legacy Outback, so this review is in memorandum. I will be buying another Subie, probably a Forester around '01-'04.
I'm not much of a car person. I don't like to spend a lot of money on them, either in initial purchase price or repairs. I just want the thing to work with as little significant drama as possible, because I use it every day, and if it's down then I'm down.
That's why I like Subarus. They just work. As I'm sure everyone else has already noted, they're amazing in the snow and the storage is unreal. To me, they're also just the right size...not clown-car small, but also not so large that it's a hassle just to park at the grocery store.
Some of the bad things with Subarus, at least with this '99. The gadgets, interior, etc. are kind of chintzy, and they break a lot. For example, the speedometer and odometer stopped working on mine and I had to remove the entire gauge assembly and re-solder a wire to the circuit board. It wasn't difficult and it completely fixed the problem, but I figured out how to do it from a YouTube video, so I'm apparently not the first person to have that problem. The seats aren't really comfortable, and if you're a tall person the interior might be kind of cramped. I'm only about 5'8" so it ain't really a problem for me, but tall friends who have gotten in it look pretty comical. The cupholders are imbecilically placed; you basically have to choose between drinking coffee or controlling the heat/air conditioning. Subaru also decided to be as annoying as possible, and the check engine light will come on for...like...no reason. If the gas cap isn't tight enough, for example.
Larger problem. If you're buying a used one look for ones that have already had the head gaskets and catalytic converter replaced. Those two things just seem to go out early. However, once they're replaced, the car is basically indestructible.
It sounds like I'm complaining a lot, but I really like 'em. Again, no better car in the snow, blissful storage capacity, perfectly sized, great handling and hard to break."
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!)"
"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."
"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."
"This has been the most reliable car I've ever owned. Traded in a 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee for this car and I'm so glad I did. I've had to put money in it from time to time but it's never been anything out of the ordinary; just standard things like a brakes, clutch, etc. I know people who have had problems with later models and I asked my mechanic about it (Superior Import Repair on Burnside) and he said the engine for my year and model was a particularly sturdy one."
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
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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!"
"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!"
"I bought this car less than 1 year ago from a private seller. It had 127K miles on it and I though we could easily get another 70K out of it. My daughter used it to go back and forth from school and work. I loved driving the car, the way it handled and it's comfort. Just a fun car. That's why I gave it 4 stars for styling, performance and comfort.
Much to my disappointment, 10K miles later, the check engine light came on and I was informed after the diagnostic that the torque converter is bad and the connecting rods in the engine are going. I have to get rid of the car because it will cost more to fix it than the car is worth. I'm not angry, just disappointed and unhappy."
"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."