Used 1997 Subaru Legacy Sedan

List Price Estimate
$598 - $1,461
(97)
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Edmunds' Expert Review

  • SUV utility in car-like package, excellent rear leg room, better than you'd think acceleration & handling
  • High price, dull styling

Vehicle overview

Recently, Subaru decided to distance itself from mainstream automakers by emphasizing all-wheel drive models. A wise move, since loyal Subaru buyers stick with the brand, partially because of the wide variety of AWD models in the company's stable. In the early 90s, the company attempted to steal market share from Nissan, Toyota, Honda and Mazda. The campaign failed dismally.

These days, Subaru is enjoying rising success in the United States, in part due to consumer awareness of the safety benefits of all-wheel drive vehicles, and in part because of the popularity of the sport-utility vehicle. In 1996, Subaru introduced a jacked-up, duded-out edition of the hot-selling Legacy station wagon. Called the Outback, it was sold as the world's first sport-utility wagon. Evidently, Subaru marketing gurus, like much of the buying public, have forgotten the AMC Eagle Sportwagon of the early '80s.

The Outback is leading the way again for 1997. Subaru has added leather seats, woodgrain trim, and gold badging to this popular wagon, creating the Limited Edition. All that's missing now is the vinyl woody siding. All Outbacks are equipped with a 2.5-liter engine this year, including those equipped with manual transmissions. We've driven the Outback, and were impressed by its on-road handling and off-road capability. Great family vehicle. We recommend it.

However, we also like the 2.5GT. Available in sedan or wagon format, the 2.5GT finally gets a much needed manual transmission. Also new for 1997 is revised styling, more horsepower and torque, and larger tires. Lesser but still loaded LSi models only come with an automatic transmission, and are more luxury than sport oriented.

Bargains can be had in the Legacy lineup. The L model moves up to fill the gap left by the departed LS model. Cruise control, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, and power door locks make their way onto the standard equipment list for 1997. The real deal is the Brighton Wagon. With all-wheel drive, an 80-watt sound system, and air conditioning all standard, this wagon is priced much less than most other two-wheel drive wagons on the market. Add some alloy wheels, and nobody will know it's the cheapest model in the lineup. Unfortunately, ABS is not available on the Brighton.

Subaru has a good thing going with the Legacy, which offers a little something for everyone. Roomy, comfortable, and loaded with utility, the Legacy's standard all-wheel drive should make you think twice about that Taurus, Accord or Camry.

1997 Highlights

Front-wheel-drive models are given the ax as Subaru returns to its all-wheel drive roots. Power and torque are up marginally with the base 2.2-liter engine. The 2.5-liter motor (also stronger this year and now available with a manual transmission) is now the only engine mated to the Outback. L models gain cruise control, antilock brakes and power door locks as standard equipment. GTs get a manual transmission, larger tires and revised styling. The Outback lineup is expanded with the introduction of a Limited model, which includes a leather interior, new alloy wheels, fresh exterior colors and wood grain interior trim.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 1997 Subaru Legacy Sedan.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

Lacking in Gas Mileage
splendidsplinter,07/17/2002
GT 4dr Sedan AWD
Great car, wish the gas mileage was better.
This takes the silver
not impressed,04/03/2005
GT 4dr Sedan AWD
After owning 21 cars now. This takes 2nd in worst cars I've owned. At 60k oil leaks. At 90k new head gaskets, water pump, thermostat, timing belt, and recored radiator. Shortly after all new brakes. Followed by 4 new struts at 95k. Oh wait more...O2 sensor, MAF sensor, and transmission failing at 105k (still have yet to fix). Car stalls for no reason etc. From July of '04 to March of '05 I spent a little over $3,000 in repairs. And plenty more to come. I am really turned upside down on this car. I plan on eating it and trading it in for a Mustang. Whatever you do. Stay away from Subaru. They didn't have it back in 1978, and they still didn't in 1997. Ford, Toyota, or Honda for me
My Subaru
emrose88,02/24/2013
L 4dr Sedan AWD
I bought this car at 170,000m now still running strong at 205,000m with routine maintenance. We did replace 02 sensors around 200,000m as well as brakes, rotors, cv shaft. Other than oil changes, tires and other typical replacements this car has been a dream!
I love this car!
Subie,07/22/2003
GT 4dr Sedan AWD
This car is so fun to drive. When I am with my friends I will always offer to drive just because I love driving it so much. I went to Costa Rica last month and when I was flying home I couldn't wait to get back and drive my Legacy. It's so easy to maintain. Very well designed and reliable. I will buy another one when it's time...

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
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
    Acceptable

More about the 1997 Subaru Legacy

Used 1997 Subaru Legacy Sedan Overview

The Used 1997 Subaru Legacy Sedan is offered in the following styles: GT 4dr Sedan AWD, LSi 4dr Sedan AWD, Outback 4dr Sedan AWD, and L 4dr Sedan AWD. Pre-owned Subaru Legacy Sedan models are available with a 2.5 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 165 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 1997 Subaru Legacy Sedan comes with all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed manual, 4-speed automatic.

What's a good price on a Used 1997 Subaru Legacy Sedan?

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 1997 Subaru Legacy Sedans are available in my area?

Used 1997 Subaru Legacy Sedan Listings and Inventory

Simply research the type of used car you're interested in and then select a prew-owned vehicle from our massive database to find cheap used cars for sale near you. Once you have identified a used or CPO vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1997 Subaru Legacy Sedan.

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1997 Subaru Legacy Sedan for sale near you.

Can't find a used 1997 Subaru Legacy Legacy Sedan you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Subaru Legacy for sale - 6 great deals out of 7 listings starting at $15,527.

Find a used Subaru for sale - 9 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $7,796.

Find a used certified pre-owned Subaru Legacy for sale - 11 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $16,604.

Find a used certified pre-owned Subaru for sale - 9 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $16,338.

Should I lease or buy a 1997 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