1997 Subaru Legacy - Consumer Reviews

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Average Consumer Rating 27 Total Reviews
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Great in the snow but...
By outbackschmoop on 06/03/05 20:10 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

1997 Subaru Legacy Outback 4dr Wagon AWD

Review

Bottom line, this just isn't a reliable car. Bought the car with 100K thinking that Subarus run forever. I was wrong. Brakes wear down quickly and it seems to always be leaking oil. At 130K the head gasket blew and the cylinder heads cracked. Repair bill ran over $2,500K. Next time I go Japanese it'll be Toyota or Honda.
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Bad engineering on 2.5L engine
By Troy on 05/31/05 14:05 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

1997 Subaru Legacy Outback 4dr Wagon AWD

Review

This car is shiny and nice looking at first, and there is a lot to be said about the AWD and room inside, but overall since I bought it, I have not felt really confident in it. in the 5 months I have owned it, I have had a bad water pump, (then another bad water pump Subaru sent to replace that one), blown head gaskets (like most other 2.5L engines), bad thermostat, and a bad knock sensor. In that time, the car has been in the shop for a total of over 2 weeks, and a total of over fifteen hundred dollars. The engine cylinders are not welded to the block very well, which is the reason for the gaskets going out all the time, and I have lost a lot of faith in Subaru.
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1997 Outback
By Craig Martinson on 02/24/05 23:50 PM (PST)

Vehicle

1997 Subaru Legacy Outback 4dr Wagon AWD

Review

Main disappointment with the vehicle is a blown head gasket at 135,000 miles, but my 2002 F150 blew the head gasket at 57,000 miles, go figure. Car is the greatest in snow, is our vehicle of choice in the winter over the four wheel drive F150.
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Love my Subie!
By MattF on 01/31/05 00:21 AM (PST)

Vehicle

1997 Subaru Legacy Outback 4dr Wagon AWD

Review

I've got to say the Outback has had her problems, but I still love her. I bought the car in Feb. 2002 with 54,000 miles on the clock. She had 4 month old Michelins on her then. The engine developed a ticking sound (like the valves needed adjusting), when cold, after about 6 months. The ticking would disappear after she warmed up. Finally in March 2003, I needed new brakes. I had a tune-up done, had the brakes re-done all around, had the transmission flushed, and had the tensioner replaced (tensioner replaced under warranty), for a grand total of $615. The only other problems I've had are the dash lights ($80 @ Subaru - $6 and 30 miniutes diy), a battery blow up, and the dome (entry) light not working.
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Love this fun, safe car
By AdeleA on 10/07/04 00:00 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1997 Subaru Legacy Outback 4dr Wagon AWD

Review

I have owned it for four years, and drive it everywhere (across country, vacations, work everyday). I feel safe in it, and trust putting my family in it everyday. Was in a car accident (not my fault!) that pushed me across the road and up on the sidewalk. Even though caused alot of damage, I walked out of the car with no injuries. Thank god for a well built car.
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Excellent Car
By JustinP on 09/29/04 00:00 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1997 Subaru Legacy Outback 4dr Wagon AWD

Review

I bought this car for my mother in 2000 with 30K on it. In the last 4 years, she has used it as a delivery car and it has 300K all city miles on it. We have replaced brakes a dozen times because of stop and go traffic, but other than that we have only done an alternator, a fuel pump, and some suspension. The car has 300k all city miles and does not rattle or shake. I only change the oil every 5k and it ru ns great. We could easily put another 300 k on it. This is a rugged car that can handle constant city driving and get good gas mileage. This is easily the best car in its class.
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97 outback wagon
By doc2 on 06/10/04 00:00 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1997 Subaru Legacy Outback 4dr Wagon AWD

Review

great all wheel drive, needs more pep. at 105,000 miles developed minor noise. took it in and were told a rod or bearing is lose or broken. $4000 for new engine. what happened to japanese reliability? test drove an '05 and it seems they have addressed the pep issue! wonder if it will last? seems like hondas go on forever, hoped the subaru would too.
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engine failure
By Wilsons on 09/23/03 00:00 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1997 Subaru Legacy Outback 4dr Wagon AWD

Review

Bought a used 97 outback only 5 months ago. The car was great at 1st & I was such an advocat of Subaru that I bought another one for my wife. I opted for this car & thought (wrongly) that it was reputed for reliability. I drive many Hwy miles & expect more from Subaru. I had problems around 100k: crankshaft seals, burning oil smell, alternator recall & faulty dash lights! Also had the mass air flow & TPS sensors replaced at $600. At last oil change was informed cam & rear engine seals need replaced for $700. Motor failed 108K. Subaru advised on a new engine at $5700. This car should last longer than this & problems are more than coincidence!
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Hard to say
By lmac on 09/15/03 00:00 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1997 Subaru Legacy Outback 4dr Wagon AWD

Review

Initially we were in the honeymoon stage...Then constantly needing brakes or making brake sounds..replace the AT clutch cylinder ($1200) various smoking dripping oils even after replacing different seals, gaskets, etc. Now strange suspension sounds and like many where is the heater light?? I Never even knew there was one!! It has been handy in the snow & I love not having to stop & chain up though it is not infallible. Never buy dark blue if you live on a dirt road. Noisey inside, sounds cheap & always head an engine ticking sound.
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Best Car Ever!
By RevDusty on 07/26/03 00:00 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1997 Subaru Legacy Outback 4dr Wagon AWD

Review

145000 miles with only the oft- experienced alterntor problem for which I was promptly reimbursed. Only other complaints are the need for new brakes and/or resurfaced rotors every 30000 miles or so (but maybe that's my fault?), and the dashboard lights going out one by one. The AWD inspires deserved confidence. Handles great! Plenty of room. Comfortable enough!
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