1997 Subaru Legacy Wagon - Consumer Reviews

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Overall Quite Good!
By FIXBKS on 12/23/05 15:47 PM (PST)

Vehicle

1997 Subaru Legacy Wagon Outback Limited 4dr Wagon AWD

Review

Bought this car with 82,000 on it and was already 6 years old! I haven't had one single problem with it yet. First thing I did with it was drive from Wash. DC to San Diego, up the Cali. coast with two bikes and a cartop box on the roof (and back)! Now I've got 110k miles on it and aside from a loose heat shield (annoying rattle) and some weird noise coming from the rear axle area that I'm ignoring because I'm in denial that there's something wrong. Stupid, I know. Will have it checked out soon. Otherwise I've had only oil changes. My car goes on all the ski/snowboard/mtn bike trips because it's the roomiest and most versatile, including my buds with the Cherokees and Explorers.
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It is no Toyota
By fistik on 10/12/05 23:42 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

1997 Subaru Legacy Wagon Outback 4dr Wagon AWD

Review

It is not a bad car to drive. comfortable for a 4wd. Decent pickup with auto trans. OK gas mileage. I have owned it for only 4 months so I can't comment on reliability. My guess is not as good as Honda or Toyota. Shortcomings: for a $27,000 car skimpy parts and options (no light for ignition key, windows). Poor design (open a window switch and you'll see). Other parts are similarly designed. I would never buy it new. Definitely overpriced. Honda or Toyota should design a similar car.
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I love my Sube
By Lauraine on 09/01/05 11:04 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1997 Subaru Legacy Wagon Outback Limited 4dr Wagon AWD

Review

This is the 3rd Subaru for me. I bought it when it was two years old. My next car will also be a Subaru Outback. It's peppy, handles like a sports car, and is extremely reliable. The car has cost me no money other than general maintenance. I love the heated seats in our climate. I also like the styling. It doesn't look like a stodgy station wagon. The AWD is wonderful in snow. I can go when others can't. Unplowed roads are no problem for my Sube. Get one, you'll love it!
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Subaru Blues
By mbgphoto on 07/26/05 16:17 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

1997 Subaru Legacy Wagon Outback 4dr Wagon AWD

Review

Bought this car in 2001 with about 85k it. Spent $10k on what was at the time a perfect running car. Probably too much but this was the only 5 speed I could find. Had a great time in 18 inches of snow where the car plowed through even with old Michelin XW4s on it. Then the problems started. First an alternator which was covered by recall, then the interior started to fall apart. (cargo cover tabs, cargo net hooks pulled out, panel that covers the spare cracked) Whistling sound under acceleration cannot be remedied by 3 dealers, 2 mechanics. Timing belt, clutch, tranny, CV, wheel bearing, 2 oxygen sensors, cat converter, brakes, 2 sets of 80k Michelins in 50k miles! Over $2,500!
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Great in the snow but...
By outbackschmoop on 06/03/05 20:10 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

1997 Subaru Legacy Wagon 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 Wagon 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 Wagon 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 Wagon 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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Excellent All-Weather Vehicle
By kbat17 on 12/05/04 17:01 PM (PST)

Vehicle

1997 Subaru Legacy Wagon Outback Limited 4dr Wagon AWD

Review

I have taken this car through snow, ice, gravel, loose sand and over logs (um, accidentally) and very little stops it. The heated mirrors and seats are very nice on snowy days. It's stable on curves, and much more so since I put good all-weather tires (Goodyear Assurance Triple Treds) on it. Gas mileage is decent for a larger vehicle. So far I have been keeping it regularly maintained and have had no problems with it, although I have heard that the head gasket problem is a design flaw that was fixed in later models. On icy, snowy days I have driven up steep hills past dozens of stranded and abandoned vehicles and it never lost a beat.
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Love this fun, safe car
By AdeleA on 10/07/04 00:00 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1997 Subaru Legacy Wagon 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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