Used 1996 Subaru Legacy Review

Edmunds expert review

What's new for 1996

A new sport model debuts, with a larger, more powerful engine. The 2.5GT is available in sedan or wagon format. The luxury-oriented LSi model also gets the new motor. A knobby-tired, raised-roof Outback wagon appears, offering 7.3 inches of ground clearance and an optional 2.5-liter engine. Designed specifically for American consumers, the Outback provides a carlike ride with light-duty off-road ability.

Vehicle overview

The Legacy is a model of car that suffers from multiple personality disorder; half family sedan, half sport-utility wagon, this car has a lot of diversity. Try to imagine another lineup of vehicles that competes with both the Toyota Camry and the Jeep Cherokee for customers. Not too many are there?

Stying on the Legacy sedan is attractive, and the availablity of AWD on any trim-level makes this car as desirable as any Toyota Camry or Honda Accord. Unlike the Camry and Accord, however, the Legacy doesn't have the power to match its sharp handling and good looks. An optional six-cylinder engine, or better yet the resurrection of the 2.2 L turbo, would inject much needed vigor into an otherwise desirable family of cars.

The mainstay of the Legacy lineup is the wagon, for thirteen years Subaru has sold more wagons in the US than any other importer. The AWD wagon in general, and the Outback wagon in particular, is Subaru's response to the sport-utility shopper. AWD, optional ABS, improved ground clearance, and a host of safety features not generally found on a truck, make the Outback wagon a decent choice for anyone looking for the utiltity of a wagon, the comfort of a car, and the capabilities of a light truck.

We think that the Legacy's AWD sedans and wagons are a great idea, we just wish that they were a little bit faster.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.