Used 1997 Subaru Legacy Outback Limited Consumer Reviews - 18 Car Reviews | Edmunds

Consumer Reviews

1997 Subaru Legacy

Average Consumer Rating

18 Total Reviews

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typical head gasket problems
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Dr. Kupras
on

Vehicle

1997 Subaru Legacy Outback Limited 4dr Wagon AWD


Review

Haven't had this car for 3 years yet and have been very dedicated to maintaining it; new tires, struts, water pump, starter, 2 timing belts, front wheel bearing, etc, etc. Bought it with 85k on it, now has 123k and the head gasket is blown, which I found out is very common on these Subarus. Damn thing keeps over heating and will cost about 2 gs to fix it now, which I won't do. I will never buy another Subaru again. I paid extra for it since I was under the illusion it was a quality car. However, I know now that they are junk like most other cars out there. It doesn't matter if you take great care of them or not, they'll only bleed you dry.


Best Features

6 CD changer, and heated seats were nice for the winter. AWD was great in snow.


Worst Features

Subaru should own up to the fact that the 97 head gasket problem was a design flaw on their part. This is not a one off, these cars die repeatedly and Subaru should be ashamed of themselves for making this can of junk.


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Overall Quite Good!
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By FIXBKS
on

Vehicle

1997 Subaru Legacy Outback Limited 4dr Wagon AWD


Review

Bought this car with 82,000 on it and was already 6 years old! I haven't had one single problem with it yet. First thing I did with it was drive from Wash. DC to San Diego, up the Cali. coast with two bikes and a cartop box on the roof (and back)! Now I've got 110k miles on it and aside from a loose heat shield (annoying rattle) and some weird noise coming from the rear axle area that I'm ignoring because I'm in denial that there's something wrong. Stupid, I know. Will have it checked out soon. Otherwise I've had only oil changes. My car goes on all the ski/snowboard/mtn bike trips because it's the roomiest and most versatile, including my buds with the Cherokees and Explorers.


Best Features

AWD is very functional though better on the 5 speed models. I put some new Michelins on it and for a big ol' wagon it handles very well. Storage between rear cargo and above spare tire is nice and the little cubby in the cargo area is good too. Heated leather seats and heated mirrors are grrrreat!


Worst Features

Here we go: Improvements on frameless doors/windows seals. Also, cup holders in the back seat? Seems that the fuel economy could be better ... why isn't it? Along with that a peppier 2.5l 4 banger couldn't hurt. Apparently a tough mix; economy vs. power. Rear window washer should spray down, not up!


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I love my Sube
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Lauraine
on

Vehicle

1997 Subaru Legacy Outback Limited 4dr Wagon AWD


Review

This is the 3rd Subaru for me. I bought it when it was two years old. My next car will also be a Subaru Outback. It's peppy, handles like a sports car, and is extremely reliable. The car has cost me no money other than general maintenance. I love the heated seats in our climate. I also like the styling. It doesn't look like a stodgy station wagon. The AWD is wonderful in snow. I can go when others can't. Unplowed roads are no problem for my Sube. Get one, you'll love it!


Best Features

Cruise control, a/c, power windows, power door locks, tilt wheel, center console, lots of cargo space, fold-down rear seats, short turning radius.


Worst Features

Gutters for over the windows.


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Excellent All-Weather Vehicle
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By kbat17
on

Vehicle

1997 Subaru Legacy Outback Limited 4dr Wagon AWD


Review

I have taken this car through snow, ice, gravel, loose sand and over logs (um, accidentally) and very little stops it. The heated mirrors and seats are very nice on snowy days. It's stable on curves, and much more so since I put good all-weather tires (Goodyear Assurance Triple Treds) on it. Gas mileage is decent for a larger vehicle. So far I have been keeping it regularly maintained and have had no problems with it, although I have heard that the head gasket problem is a design flaw that was fixed in later models. On icy, snowy days I have driven up steep hills past dozens of stranded and abandoned vehicles and it never lost a beat.


Best Features

AWD system is great. Goes just about anywhere. ABS system has saved my butt. Lots of cargo space for dogs, equipment, etc. Gets you where you need to go safely and in reasonable comfort. Fog lights are a big help.


Worst Features

More horsepower (added in 2005), better sound system, some of the interior features like the cup holders are a little chintzy. Better fuel economy.


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4 Door Legacy Outback Limited
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By buffbillsboy
on

Vehicle

1997 Subaru Legacy Outback Limited 4dr Wagon AWD


Review

I bought my stick shift Subaru in
1997. I had problems with the brakes,
the alternator (changed it once), and
the paint on the bottom of the car (it
falls off easily). While those
problems existed, I have enjoyed the
interior space and the way it performs
in snow.


Best Features

Great AWD- In fact, I have out performed some of my friends large SUV's in harsh weather conditions. The seats and space in the car are great. Very comfortable


Worst Features

The car needs more horsepower (I think it's coming). I also think the car had problems because it was the second year of the outback's existence. They were working out the kinks.


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