1996 Subaru Legacy Consumer Review: Wish it was a '97!

1996 Subaru Legacy - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

78 Total Reviews

Brighton Wagon (2.2L 4-cyl. AWD 5-speed Manual)

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Build Quality
Reliability Value
Wish it was a '97!
By Usergonemad on


1996 Subaru Legacy Brighton 4dr Wagon AWD


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!

Best Features

Traded in my '92 Miata SE in a snowstorm just before Xmas '95. Had to get 1500 miles by the holiday. Afterward I drove up the East Coast thru the Snowstorm of the Century. Road closed for 800 miles. Passed a row of snowplows while on all- season tires!

Worst Features

Better electrical components. Better gaskets. Better bearings. Better CV joints. Better brakes. Better radio. Better quality control would have been nice!
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