1996 Subaru Legacy Review

Used Legacy for sale
List Price Estimate:$554 - $1,355
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Edmunds' Expert Review

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.

1996 Highlights

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.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 1996 Subaru Legacy.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

4.75 out of 5 stars
GT 4dr Wagon AWD
It's strange... Looks like a Jeep Cherokee on the outside, feels like Honda on the inside, & drives like a Sherman Tank. The Pros outweigh the Cons, as this is one of the most reliable, safest, & unstoppable vehicles ever made. (Just youtube the words "Outback/Snow/Ice")
4.25 out of 5 stars
Climb a tree if you hit it right!
LS 4dr Sedan AWD
This was the second car i ever owned and after a Hyundai Elantra this eas a god send. The 4 cylinders are great on gas especially on the highway. I took it mudding because i was young and kept up with a 4x4 bronco in the mud. I kept the gas down and it kept moving. I had alot of fun on ice as well, the awd is remarkable. I put alot of wear into that car but it never let up. I wrecked the suspension(totally my fault!) but it took a serious beating. also destroyed the bearings which where a cheap fix. lifters ticked after 157,000 miles with an oil leak. coolant problems at 175,000 miles but a new radiator for 1oo bucks self installed corected this. I sold it cheap. Loved the car. Great buy!
4.75 out of 5 stars
No regrets
Outback 4dr Wagon AWD
My car is getting old now, but is still the best car I've ever owned, beating even a BMW. It's fun to drive (manual trans) gets 26 mpg and keeps going in Chicago winters--through snow, rain, ice and crazy drivers. The engine (2.2l) is the best. My mechanic loves this car! While I've had work on auxiliary systems it's all been expected maintenance (brakes, clutch, water pump etc). The engine itself is still in great shape. The car seats are a little hard, and really, the cup holder over the CD player? Whose idea was that? My next car will be a Subaru, too.
3.25 out of 5 stars
Keeps stalling
LSi 4dr Wagon AWD
I have owned this car for only 5 months and it has been a horrible experience. Its check engine light keeps coming on. I changed master air flow, a wire, the differential, and the main computer. The car is still stalling in traffic and other most inopportune places. I bought this car for my daughter's 21 birthday and she has only driven it maybe two weeks out of owning the car. What else could it be!!!!


IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 1996 Subaru Legacy

Used 1996 Subaru Legacy Overview

The Used 1996 Subaru Legacy is offered in the following submodels: Legacy Sedan, Legacy Wagon. Available styles include LS 4dr Sedan AWD, GT 4dr Wagon AWD, L 4dr Wagon AWD, Outback 4dr Wagon AWD, L 4dr Sedan AWD, L 4dr Sedan, L 4dr Wagon, LSi 4dr Sedan AWD, Brighton 4dr Wagon AWD, GT 4dr Sedan AWD, LS 4dr Wagon AWD, and LSi 4dr Wagon AWD. Pre-owned Subaru Legacy models are available with a 2.2 L-liter gas engine or a 2.5 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 155 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 1996 Subaru Legacy comes with all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 4-speed automatic, 5-speed manual.

What's a good price on a Used 1996 Subaru Legacy?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 1996 Subaru Legacies are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1996 Subaru Legacy for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1996 Subaru Legacy.

Can't find a used 1996 Subaru Legacys you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Subaru Legacy for sale - 11 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $25,014.

Find a used Subaru for sale - 1 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $8,003.

Find a used certified pre-owned Subaru Legacy for sale - 1 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $23,652.

Find a used certified pre-owned Subaru for sale - 1 great deals out of 5 listings starting at $16,699.

Should I lease or buy a 1996 Subaru Legacy?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Subaru lease specials
Check out Subaru Legacy lease specials