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

1996 Subaru Legacy - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

79 Total Reviews

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

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


1996 Subaru Legacy Outback 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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