Used 1997 Subaru Legacy Sedan Consumer Reviews

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$1,248 - $3,051

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Pros
Cons

Lacking in Gas Mileage

splendidsplinter, 07/17/2002
GT 4dr Sedan AWD
5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Great car, wish the gas mileage was better.

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This takes the silver

not impressed, 04/03/2005
GT 4dr Sedan AWD
6 of 9 people found this review helpful

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

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My Subaru

emrose88, 02/24/2013
L 4dr Sedan AWD
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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!

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I love this car!

Subie, 07/22/2003
GT 4dr Sedan AWD
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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...

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The amazing legacy

karguy, 02/08/2008
GT 4dr Sedan AWD
2 of 3 people found this review helpful

The car is so immensely reliable and so capable, it's very difficult to get left stranded with this car under nearly any circumstances!

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A car that keeps on giving

nikki, 11/24/2007
GT 4dr Sedan AWD
2 of 4 people found this review helpful

I owned a 1997 Subaru Legacy GT Limited Edition until I recently got in an accident. This car had it all: leather interior, sunroof and a moonroof, front and rear spoiler, interior wood trim, tinted windows, keyless entry, fold down back seat to the trunk, fast, comfy, strong, easy to drive, safe, and definitely reliable. she was at 172,000 before I totalled her. I am sure she would have gone another 100,000 miles with no problems. If you are considering buying a Subaru, do it. I promise you will have no regrets and will be satisfied with your purchase.

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Like a pet

Froggy, 07/27/2008
L 4dr Sedan AWD
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

We loved this car so much that we gave it a name (soobie). Until we bought our new 2004 Legacy, it was the best car we ever owned. It was economical (5 speed), reliable (few repairs in over 130,000 miles) and safe (I got rear-ended at a stop light. The car that hit me had to be flat bedded. I drove to work.) I eventually sold this car to a friend, reluctantly, and when we heard that it was eventually totaled in an accident, we almost cried.

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OK, till 130,000 miles

LarryNH914, 02/09/2004
L 4dr Sedan AWD
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

After 130,000 miles watch out, water pump, oil pump, engine seals etc... frequent engine repairs. I thought the 2.2 was tried and true. The engine just went totally kaput at 150,000 (siezed camshaft). If you think perhaps that maintenance is an issue, my Hyndai excel (at $5000) went 170,000 miles.

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Great all-around fun to drive car

rgt4810, 05/09/2002
GT 4dr Sedan AWD
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

I love the all-wheel drive all year round. It really works on wet rainy roads along with snow and ice. Car has good power and handles excellently. The Build quality and interior quality are on par with other Japanese cars. Had the alternator replaced on a recall. I had the same problem of the lights going out on the heater control panel. I bought 3 new bulbs (I didn't need all 3 but thought I would change them all while I had it apart) and replaced them in about an hour. I reccomend the 2.5 liter motor because it has a better maintenance schedule (spark plugs at 60,000 vs. 30,000 and timing belt at 115,000 vs. 60,000).

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What's breaking next?

Jabberwocky, 09/07/2008
Outback 4dr Sedan AWD
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Bought for $3,000, sold for $400. Transmission went out 1 week after purchase. Put another $1,200 in it trying to keep it running for my wife. Still drivable, just not on highway (it would not go above 40 mph). Head gasket blew after 3 months. Found out later that all wheel drive was never really working (no power going to the rear wheels). Power steering went out. Stereo stopped working. Hatch lock broke and would not close.

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No Major Issues

Roper1313, 05/01/2002
L 4dr Sedan AWD
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Besides the fact that my Subaru has been a magnant for door dings I have no major gripes. My alternator had no problems, but was replaced by the recall. The heater and AC control lights are also mysteriously out.

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Absolutely Perfect

ljwoodw, 05/27/2002
Outback 4dr Sedan AWD
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Where to begin--it's an wonderful car without the monotony of its competitors. We were searching for a sedan-like car and the Subaru Outback was that and more. It's never spent any time in a repair garage, and can really do anything from stop-and-go city driving to very pleasant long trips. Lots of small touches make it special.

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Reliable +++

Salmo, 07/03/2003
Outback 4dr Sedan AWD
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

I have 138,000 miles on my 1997 Outback. I just replaced the battery and have the original suspension system. Just periodic recommended maintenance has kept this an extremely reliable car. In the wintery Northeast it is a must. I was so impressed that my wife and I bought her the sedan.

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Subaru could be much better

monster B, 10/18/2003
Outback 4dr Sedan AWD
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

I have had this car for 4 yrs now, and I must say it is not what I thought it would be....I have spent over 3,000$ repairing it in the past year....head gasket(1500$)....wheel bearings, struts, the heater only works on full blast(had it fixed once already), the lights on the heater control and the seat heaters dont work, the powerlocks dont work, the enging howls at 40mph....and it leaks oild like a siv...I take good care of my cars, and this one has not been reliable at all....

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A Sad Tale

Ex-Subaru Fan, 04/20/2005
Outback 4dr Sedan AWD
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

This was a great car for 7 years and about 65,000 miles, then the engine problems started: the engine seals leaking, the throttle sensor failing. Same thing the other reviewers experienced. The dealer estimates it needs close to $3,000 in repairs. I took it to an independent mechanic who agreed with the dealer's assessment, but would charge somewhat less to fix it. He said this should not happen to a car with such low mileage, but he said he has replaced Subaru engines because of the problem. Will I fix it? No! Trade it? Yes! BUT NOT ON ANOTHER SUBARU. Never again will I buy a Subaru, and that's a darn shame.

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1997 Legacy GT Loveland Co

TCJ, 06/09/2005
GT 4dr Sedan AWD
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Bought new in may 1997; have had all service and maintenance done by dealership where bought. Never have had one problem of any kind with car. This is the most reliable car we have ever owned as well as being sharp looking and fun to drive.

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What Could Go Wrong Next?

BMA, 01/24/2004
GT 4dr Sedan AWD
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

The alternator went...the antenna will not retract automatically...the dash lights behind the heating controls do not work...the radio would turn on only when it felt like it and would sometimes be off for days...the wiring to the headlights had to be completely redone by a dealer...the driver's side door lock does not turn...the left rear passenger window control does not work...burning oil smell coming from the engine...and this week while driving at night the whole dashboard suddenly went black!...stuff like this is all too typical for this car! Not acceptable. This is my last Subaru.

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Nice ride- love the AWD

mjd, 02/16/2004
GT 4dr Sedan AWD
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

This is the 2nd Legacy GT sedan I've owned and both have been solid rides. The interior is laid out well and functions well. I live in Wisconsin and you can't beat the AWD for making sure you can get around in the winter. I have the 5-speed and it beats the automatic, but more power would make this a GREAT car.

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1997 Legacy L AWD

bryan medlel, 07/23/2006
L 4dr Sedan AWD
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

I love this car. Bought it with 223,000 miles on it. Redid the cam seals, timing belt, fuel pump, fuel filters and put a new head on it. It now preforms as a new car only at the $3000 I paid for it and with the $1500 I spent to re work it. I feel as though I have a $10-15000 car and I expect to get 400,000 miles with it easy, with regular oil changes and belts. I rate it a 9.25 now. For $4500 find anything better. Let me know, I will take 10 of them. Hope this helps. Only fault as of now - check engine light is on due to fuel heat sensor unit is bad. Being able to do the work myself it does not bother me. I would drive to Alaska.

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Common Problems

EOW, 06/17/2004
GT 4dr Sedan AWD
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Reading other reviews proves I am not only one. At 16000 miles had to have engine replaced due to bad cylinder. Also the auto antenna sticks constantly. It is erratic, can't make up mind whether up/down. Also the ride is like a truck, very noisy. Mechanic at dealership says it is the tires which are original wide tires. It is VERY good in snow. Design of the cup holder is extremely poor which has been changed in the latest ones.

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Affordable reliability

vermonster, 07/02/2004
Outback 4dr Sedan AWD
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

At 120,000 our Outback has had few problems. Only repair issues (beyond standard maintenance stuff like brakes, suspension components, etc) has been ac compressor. Also, keyless entry and one of the seat heaters have both stopped working. Burns zero oil, and has never let us down. Not super zippy, but gets you where you need to go. Also, this isn't a luxury car, so the ride isn't as smooth as it could be. But, what do you expect in this price range. I would categorize this as super-reliable. A good car at a great price.

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Very Solid Car

Brad F., 08/02/2004
GT 4dr Sedan AWD
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

I bought this car over e-bay at 85k and I now have 104k on it. I've spent $2500 since then for all the normal stuff (brakes, tires, struts, timing belt, ect,). It lives outside and since I'm always in a hurry, I drive it hard. So far, it has taken all my abuse in stride. Since it has the 5- speed, it can be fun to drive. The ride is rough, but it handles well. The rear fenders have started to rust where the wheel well meets the rear bumper. This may be due to poor care on the 1st owners part. No other rust.

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solid all-around car

caseo6, 09/16/2004
GT 4dr Sedan AWD
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

I bought this car with 150000 miles on it. I was a bit leary of it at first, but I've come to like it. It was only $3600, right in my price range as it is a car for my son. The leather is in remarkable condition,as are the interior accents,power equipment, for a car with that many miles. The engine is still strong,though it hesitates slightly on take off with the auto tranny(a recall should correct this). All the paint is fine as well. It only has one problem that will cost money, the headlights have hazed over. The dealership said toothpaste will remove it.I see this car making well over 200k miles with no trouble.

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97 Outback Still going strong

Len, 12/29/2004
Outback 4dr Sedan AWD
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Pretty good vehicle. Great in inclement weather. Stores alot of stuff in the back. Good handling, responsive. Tires and brakes last about 60k. Blew the engine at 35k, so the dealer installed a new one, and it has been great ever since, and it was covered 100%. Very few recalls (maybe 1).

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check your oil often!

fawkes, 03/19/2005
LSi 4dr Sedan AWD
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

If your car smells like burnt oil after driving, be sure to check the oil often! I was only 3,800 miles into an oil change and the engine ran out of oil and burnt up, no warning, no panel lights, nothing (and I was watching the gauges like a hawk). Got a rebuilt one for $4600...ouch. Has grinding brakes every now and then, and needed a new catalytic converter (the non-generic one @ $800). Given, this was around 140K miles - car is at 150K now with no more problems. Gas mileage is 23-30, never gotten under 23mpg, even in stop-and-go traffic. I love to drive it around, though - it's great in bad road conditions. Love is gentle, love is kind, love pays for any number of repairs.

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Great all around, especially in the snow

j_uken, 03/21/2005
GT 4dr Sedan AWD
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Bought with 100,000 miles. Now at 145,000. Normal maintenance required, nothing out of ordinary. A blast in the snow and wet pavement. Don't think I'll ever go back to 2wd, AWD is great and feels much safer in poor conditions. Nice leather interior.

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Not a bad starter car but beware....

JRealtor, 04/06/2005
L 4dr Sedan AWD
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

I have owned this car for two years and will FINALLY be replacing it with another vehicle. This isn't an awful car and is really quite durable. I had a minor accident with it that destroyed the radiator, hood and some other parts but it still started even with the car smashed to bits. I repaired it and it still runs very well today. The electric system in this car is absolutely awful and I've seen the a/c heat backlight come on maybe twice the whole time I've owned it. The engine is super reliable and I've never had any problems starting it. The body is still in great shape for a 1997 but the interior is awfully cheap. Excellent starter car but not without its issues. A good budget buy.

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I love my car

bas, 08/05/2005
GT 4dr Sedan AWD
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

I bought this car 7.5 years ago and I absolutely love it. I've never gotten stuck in the snow and it starts every time. I've never had any problems with this car. I have been taking it to the dealer for maintenance and they have done a great job taking care of my car. I'm looking at buying a new Subaru because of my Legacy GT and the dealership.

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Great Car

Keith Byrd, 01/16/2003
GT 4dr Sedan AWD
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Great car, I have nothing to complain about, I have put over 100,000 miles on it and it still runs like a [violative content deleted] with NO problems what so ever

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Worth it

A_Westwood, 05/02/2008
GT 4dr Sedan AWD
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

I bought this car after I rolled my rear wheel drive truck in the snow. I wanted something that would hold the road and it has not disappointed. The car shifts rough into second gear, but it does have 170,000 miles. I just replaced the front axle and when I first got it had to replace the NOC sensor. Something like that. If I don't sell it, I think it'll make it to 220,000 or so before anything major needs to be done to it.

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Great first car!

Ally, 03/30/2019
LSi 4dr Sedan AWD
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

I bought this for my first car in summer 2018. it may be older than I am but I love it! I live in an area with holey roads that never get plowed in the winter but this car does just fine! had to have the head gaskets fixed twice before the end of the year, and occasionally it makes some strange sounds but I haven't had any other problems. I've never had an issue starting it in the cold, it warms up very quickly and heated leather seats are a blessing. even for an older car it looks really good, I've had people ask me if it's for sale! only thing I absolutely hate is the cup holders. they're so tiny and they're right in front of the vents and they do feel kinda flimsy. the wood trim around the window controls is kinda falling apart, I've sliced my finger on it a few times. but overall, it's a great car and I feel like it'll last a long time.

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