We have driven a 1996 Legacy Brighton 5 speed 120K miles, and just purchased a 2002 Legacy L wagon wi 5 speed. Subaru's strategy has been to make many improvements on a good base car instead of running wi short cycle of major reengineering and redesign. Like VW's strategy of the 60s and 70s, this has allowed Fuji Heavy Industries to spread major design and tooling costs over longer multiyear production runs. The benefits of this strategy, wi modest yen depreciation, reflected in value. Our 1996 Brighton cost us $15300 with self financing. 2002 L Wagon with the improvements and added standard equipment noted below cost us $18500 with 1.9 percent 24 month financing.
As always, AWD and wagon are biggies. Improvements include larger engine wi more torque & hp, more refined interior, better cupholders, improved instrument pod PLUS adding ABS, power locks, power windows, cruise control, tachometer, roof rails and tonneau cover as standard rather than options.
Manual transmission remains a little vague. Shifting could be more fun and easier.
Larger engine comes at expense of fuel economy.