Used 1996 Subaru Legacy Outback Consumer Reviews | Edmunds
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1996 Subaru Legacy - Consumer Reviews

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35 Total Reviews

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Love this car!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By speedy2015
on

Vehicle

1996 Subaru Legacy Outback 4dr Wagon AWD


Review

I live in Maine and needed a car that could withstand our weather. I bought my '96 in December because I had heard good reviews about Subaru's. My dad was unsure about it because he had never worked on a Subaru before, but quickly changed his mind when he drove it in the snow. It doesn't shift very smoothly (for an automatic) anymore and the 2.5 likes the liquids a little more than I prefer. The check engine light has been on since I got the car (the previous owner said it was because of an oil leak) and the gas mileage is comparable to a half ton Dodge pick-up truck, but I still love this car.


Best Features

Heated seats, mirrors, cruise control, upgraded stereo, and block heater. Subaru dependability with 196,000 miles and no sign of stopping anytime soon. Great in all weather conditions.


Worst Features

Better gas mileage and more cup-holders.


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Dead reliable , but clumsy & thirsty
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By WriConsult
on

Vehicle

1996 Subaru Legacy Outback 4dr Wagon AWD


Review

I've had Subarus because I need a reliable wagon. Few choices in the decadent SUV era. Bought our Outback when our beloved '90 Legacy w/205,000 mi got stolen. Glad we got a '96 5speed, the only 2.2 L Outback ever. Great for camping/biking/ski trips but not so fun in town: too long for many urban parking spots, HUGE turning radius made tight spots even harder, big blind spots in the rear view. Would drive the smaller, nimbler Forester or Impreza if got better mpg (they don't!) and didn't have the troublesome 2.5 L. I'm a skilled winter driver & use winter tires, so I'd even do without AWD for the extra 2 mpg. Subaru's fuel economy will be unacceptable in the future era of $5 gas.


Best Features

140 hp is plenty. Great shifter. Hill holder. Huge cargo floor. Great ground clearance! Rock solid reliability, maint cost only 6 cents/mi over 4 yrs. (My Jetta wagon has been 22 cents/mi!) Tight as a drum: NO squeaks and rattles even at 150k mark. My Subarus have been even better built than my Hondas.


Worst Features

Tighten up the turning radius. Improve handling w/load. Widen rear view mirror's scope beyond the D-pillars. Outback's mpg is OK for its size, but smaller Subarus should do better! Bring back the 2.2 L! Better mpg, and doesn't have the head gasket problems plaguing ALL 2.5 L Subarus up to present.


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Long Time Owner
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Gonk
on

Vehicle

1996 Subaru Legacy Outback 4dr Wagon AWD


Review

I owned this for over 13 years. Absolutely fun to drive. The most memorable drives were shortly after purchasing it in March 1996. We drove up to the mountains to get a good look at Comet Hyakutake. This began about 10:00PM and for the last 12 miles or so (past the road closed sign) we saw nothing but snowmobile tracks. I drove in perfect confidence. It was amazing. There were many other drives like that. I very reluctantly gave up on it after too many engine expenses.


Best Features

Go anywhere driveability. Versatile. A blast in the snow.


Worst Features

Engine longevity (I suspect this has been addressed) as ours started going out about 5 years into it. "Interesting" cup holders; Front seat support was pretty poor over the long run.


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No regrets
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Chris
on

Vehicle

1996 Subaru Legacy Outback 4dr Wagon AWD


Review

My car is getting old now, but is still the best car I've ever owned, beating even a BMW. It's fun to drive (manual trans) gets 26 mpg and keeps going in Chicago winters--through snow, rain, ice and crazy drivers. The engine (2.2l) is the best. My mechanic loves this car! While I've had work on auxiliary systems it's all been expected maintenance (brakes, clutch, water pump etc). The engine itself is still in great shape. The car seats are a little hard, and really, the cup holder over the CD player? Whose idea was that? My next car will be a Subaru, too.


Best Features

Reliability, reliability, reliability. I never worry about getting where I'm going--mechanically or weather wise. I have a Chevy van that doesn't start half the time and has had the fuel injectors replaced twice, but the Subaru always starts, always runs, always gets me where I'm going.


Worst Features

More comfortable seats and move the cup holder. They may have changed this in the new models but since I haven't been in a dealership for 13 years...


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Best Car I've ever owned!
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Carl Thormeyer
on

Vehicle

1996 Subaru Legacy Outback 4dr Wagon AWD


Review

This car has been a very reliable workhorse. It's great in the mountains and in snow. Great for transporting kids and hauling stuff. Best car I've ever owned. New clutch at 80K miles plus a few other major repairs over time, but nothing unexpected. Keep up the regular servicing and this car will treat you right! But, after 12 years, it's time for a new Outback. I will hate to give up my 1996 edition!


Best Features

4WD - great in snow country. Outstanding reliability.


Worst Features

Get rid of the roof rack. Over time the roof develops rust spots where the rack tracks are attached to the roof. Only significant body problem I've had.


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