1996 Subaru Legacy - Consumer Reviews

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Average Consumer Rating 35 Total Reviews
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Very good car
By Bogey on 05/30/03 00:00 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1996 Subaru Legacy Outback 4dr Wagon AWD

Review

A very reliable , comfortable and well- equipped car. Only one major servicing in 7 years- and that includes this past terrible winter. Not garaged, but started first try every day. Enough power for major highways and comfortable in any conditions. New car will be same make and model.
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Skip the 2.5...go for a stick 2.2 outbac
By amc62 on 05/09/03 00:00 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1996 Subaru Legacy Outback 4dr Wagon AWD

Review

Many of the problems associated with the outback are due to the 2.5 liter engine option...1996 was the only year you could get a 2.2 with a manual in the outback. on the other hand, the car has a poor clutch (still grabs fine, just shudders and squeaks and chirps). Also, be aware that a used outback that has had mismatched tires is hard to determine until you get the characteristic transfer case binding. i have heard of miracle cures for the automatic transmission-equipped cars, but good luck with the manuals. seems you have to buy an entirely new viscous coupler to solve the problem (subaru didn't design the coupler to be serviced).
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1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Hard to Beat!
By mtnsnows on 05/09/03 00:00 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1996 Subaru Legacy Outback 4dr Wagon AWD

Review

Bought with 60K, now 170. Have the 2.5 - NEVER buy the 2.2! I drive in snowy mountains and fast, hard highway driving. Can't imagine a better car. Comfy and full featured. Just noticed the seats could be better (I'm 6'4", 230 lbs.), but has adj. lumber support and seat heater makes popcorn! Fantastic reliability. NO unsched. maint. until 10K mi. ago. Overheated, led to head gaskets. Re: other reviews. The oil seal is designed to be replaced with timing belts (at 60-80K), any GOOD, TRUSTY dealer/mech will do this. Awesome AWD, goes thru snow that leaves Jeeps, Explorers and Rodeos stuck. Love it! Hard to replace.
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Watch Out
By Hollander on 03/24/03 00:00 AM (PST)

Vehicle

1996 Subaru Legacy Outback 4dr Wagon AWD

Review

Overall, I've been very happy with the Outback, a great alternative to SUVs. Generally reliable until my 95K mile gotcha -- exhaust valve replacement for $2,400. Apparent design defect; my local dealer said they see this sometimes on the '96s. I opted for the repair since I had had no other problems in 7 years, just routine maintenance.
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Profound Disappointment
By Budster on 02/26/03 00:00 AM (PST)

Vehicle

1996 Subaru Legacy Outback 4dr Wagon AWD

Review

Purchased this car new, largely on the strength of Subaru's reputation for safety and reliability. Mistake One: did not check cost of repair rating with insurer-- insurance cost STEEP. Mistake Two: did not buy this car from a standalone Subaru dealer. Multimark dealers do not maintain parts or knowledgable mechanics on site. (Found this to be true with several dealers.) This car is fine in poor conditions-- but so are many others. It was cheaply built of cheap materials. The absolute WORST paint job I've ever experienced. Alloy wheels corrode so badly that tires won't hold air! The ride is absurdly poor, and always has been. No more Subies for me!
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Don't buy a Subaru
By vawest on 02/02/03 00:00 AM (PST)

Vehicle

1996 Subaru Legacy Outback 4dr Wagon AWD

Review

A real disappointment! Transmission Problem just 6 months into ownership.It routinely rev's the RPM's > 4000 when on hills. We paid extra for the bigger engine (2.5L), yet the engine's performance is absymal No p/u whatsoever. The gas mileage is poor at best.And Lately the engine light is on continuously. Four times we have had the dealer look at it. They know that the trouble is the EGR Valve, yet haven't been able to fix it. Along the way, we have put out hundreds of dollars trying to get it repaired.Twice the car has stalled & wouldn't start up due to this issue. What a piece of junk! I will never, ever buy a Subaru again!
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Dependable Car
By Zach and Maggie on 11/26/02 00:00 AM (PST)

Vehicle

1996 Subaru Legacy Outback 4dr Wagon AWD

Review

Have enjoyed driving this vehicle since day one. Handles wonderfully in all types of road conditions. Liked our 1996 so well that we purchased a second one in 2001. A pleasure to drive.
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Wish it was a '97!
By Usergonemad on 11/03/02 00:00 AM (PST)

Vehicle

1996 Subaru Legacy Outback 4dr Wagon AWD

Review

Good handling, reasonable power, wonderful bad-weather car with plenty of room and good comfort. But at 22K the trick 16-valve 2.5L quad-cam boxer engine (only made in '96) started pinging like an old GM diesel, even on 94.5 octane premium gas. Dealer no help. Now at 99K it has bad oil seals, a bad wheel bearing, needs a 3rd set of brakes, bad CV joint, engine sensors, more. Love the car, hate the reliability. Service expensive, parts expensive, fuel economy is poor for the power. Absolutely incredible deep snow capability makes up in part for the rickety nature. 100K trouble-free is not a lot to ask from a car nowadays!
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Used car buyers... this is the one!
By Travis on 10/01/02 00:00 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1996 Subaru Legacy Outback 4dr Wagon AWD

Review

Ok, so I've only had the car for about a month now. But even at 102,000 when I bought it, I feel like I am driving a new car! I have put about a thousand miles on it already and find the comfort level of the car to be very good. I am a recent college grad who didn't want the massive gas bills of an SUV, but still liked the idea of being able to move stuff around. I feel like I really am driving a luxury vehicle that I purchased for only $7500. For you recent college grads who's parents can't afford to give you a car graduation gift, try a used Subaru, it has the flexibility and luxury that I think you will really enjoy.
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Great Car
By DonSS3 on 07/17/02 00:00 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1996 Subaru Legacy Outback 4dr Wagon AWD

Review

Bought my Subaru in 2000 with about 68,000 miles. It's got 168K on it now and still drives great. Had to replace timing belt at about 140K (even tho it should have been replaced earlier). The belt broke, but luckily no damage to the valvetrain. Alternator died at about 115K, replaced under Subaru recall program. Yes, I would buy another!
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