Solid car but expensive to maintain
By Dave Marshall on
1997 Subaru Legacy Brighton 4dr Wagon AWD
Bought at 68K in 2004, we've driven this car everywhere many times over and are now at 199K. Engine still good, never got stuck thanks to AWD, and not a single breakdown. Car has been an unusually expensive one specifically in axle and brake repairs (both rotors and pads). Cat converter began failing long ago but only intermittently. Knock sensor also keeps setting off engine light. Luckily we never had the problems reported for some subies in the head gasket (we have the 2.2L) Original tranny is now close to death (slow to shift, clunks, drivetrain whines). May have pushed it over the edge last year with temporarily mismatched tires. ALWAYS match all 4 tires.
AWD. Sensible interior styling and controls. Maroon model looks nice for a "boring" car. Reliable 30mpg on highway even at 199K.
Brake system needs work -- warps rotors too quickly -- and I am gentle with my brakes and do not drive like a jackrabbit. Also the catalytic converter should not die at 100K -- none of those on my domestic cars ever did.