Used 1997 Subaru Legacy Outback Consumer Reviews - 28 Car Reviews | Edmunds

Consumer Reviews

1997 Subaru Legacy

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28 Total Reviews

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Subaru Blues
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By mbgphoto
on

Vehicle

1997 Subaru Legacy Outback 4dr Wagon AWD


Review

Bought this car in 2001 with about 85k it. Spent $10k on what was at the time a perfect running car. Probably too much but this was the only 5 speed I could find. Had a great time in 18 inches of snow where the car plowed through even with old Michelin XW4s on it. Then the problems started. First an alternator which was covered by recall, then the interior started to fall apart. (cargo cover tabs, cargo net hooks pulled out, panel that covers the spare cracked) Whistling sound under acceleration cannot be remedied by 3 dealers, 2 mechanics. Timing belt, clutch, tranny, CV, wheel bearing, 2 oxygen sensors, cat converter, brakes, 2 sets of 80k Michelins in 50k miles! Over $2,500!


Best Features

Exterior style, super easy oil change, Great AWD in snow especially, factory stereo, bomb proof roof rack, cold weather package.


Worst Features

MORE COMFORTABLE SEATS! Beef up sloppy manual tranny, more power or turbo for the intake on the hood, adjustable ride height, stronger interior components especially in the cargo bay, develop more reliable engine, better cup holders, offer a super rugged off road version. Oh, and better gas mileage.


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Great in the snow but...
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By outbackschmoop
on

Vehicle

1997 Subaru Legacy Outback 4dr Wagon AWD


Review

Bottom line, this just isn't a reliable car. Bought the car with 100K thinking that Subarus run forever. I was wrong. Brakes wear down quickly and it seems to always be leaking oil. At 130K the head gasket blew and the cylinder heads cracked. Repair bill ran over $2,500K. Next time I go Japanese it'll be Toyota or Honda.


Best Features

Handles snow effortlessly. Looks great from the outside. Roomy in back.


Worst Features

Reliability. Power. Turning radius.


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Bad engineering on 2.5L engine
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Troy
on

Vehicle

1997 Subaru Legacy Outback 4dr Wagon AWD


Review

This car is shiny and nice looking at first, and there is a lot to be said about the AWD and room inside, but overall since I bought it, I have not felt really confident in it. in the 5 months I have owned it, I have had a bad water pump, (then another bad water pump Subaru sent to replace that one), blown head gaskets (like most other 2.5L engines), bad thermostat, and a bad knock sensor. In that time, the car has been in the shop for a total of over 2 weeks, and a total of over fifteen hundred dollars. The engine cylinders are not welded to the block very well, which is the reason for the gaskets going out all the time, and I have lost a lot of faith in Subaru.


Best Features

When not loaded with gear, the car has good pep, and the AWD is really well done.


Worst Features

Use some experience to build a better engine. Don't put a hood scoop on a car that doesn't use it. Combine the AWD system with a truly reliable turbodiesel engine, and you will have a car that is worth buying.


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1997 Outback
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Craig Martinson
on

Vehicle

1997 Subaru Legacy Outback 4dr Wagon AWD


Review

Main disappointment with the vehicle is a blown head gasket at 135,000 miles, but my 2002 F150 blew the head gasket at 57,000 miles, go figure. Car is the greatest in snow, is our vehicle of choice in the winter over the four wheel drive F150.


Best Features

Great in snow, love the overhead rack, looks great.


Worst Features

Cup holder, better head gaskets.


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Love my Subie!
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By MattF
on

Vehicle

1997 Subaru Legacy Outback 4dr Wagon AWD


Review

I've got to say the Outback has had her problems, but I still love her. I bought the car in Feb. 2002 with 54,000 miles on the clock. She had 4 month old Michelins on her then. The engine developed a ticking sound (like the valves needed adjusting), when cold, after about 6 months. The ticking would disappear after she warmed up. Finally in March 2003, I needed new brakes. I had a tune-up done, had the brakes re-done all around, had the transmission flushed, and had the tensioner replaced (tensioner replaced under warranty), for a grand total of $615. The only other problems I've had are the dash lights ($80 @ Subaru - $6 and 30 miniutes diy), a battery blow up, and the dome (entry) light not working.


Best Features

AWD - of course! Great looks, ground clearance, mileage, dog carrying capacity, standard features, boxer engine. Will buy a JDM engine ($1200 w/~ 36,000 miles) when this one dies (I've got 110,000 on her now), and see how long she'll go


Worst Features

Better cup holders (front and rear; will only hold a can or small cup - no coffee mugs/20 oz. drink). Cruise control that stays on when you shut the car off, standard cold climate accessories (heated mirrors, heated windshield wiper rests, washer reservoir heater, heated seat). I will buy another one!


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