2002 Subaru Legacy Review

Used Legacy for sale
List Price Estimate:$1,351 - $3,205
See All Cars For Sale
cash graphic with confetti

Get More For Your Trade-In

2002 Subaru Legacy appraisal values can range from $434 - $2,448.
Find out what your car is really worth in minutes.
See your car's value

Edmunds' Expert Review

  • All-wheel drive, a host of standard features, less expensive than many European competitors.
  • Side airbags available only on Limited models, no six-cylinder engine offered.

A capable all-weather sedan or wagon for an agreeable price.

Vehicle overview

Do you live in a place where it is often cold and snowy? Do you have an entire drawer at home dedicated to "long johns?" Do you like the idea of owning a vehicle with all-wheel drive? Do you dislike the idea of owning a gas-guzzling SUV? If you've answered "yes" to any or all of these questions, Subaru has a car it'd like you to take a look at.

Subaru's midsize Legacy comes in both sedan and wagon form. It's powered by a 2.5-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine that makes 165 horsepower and 166 pound-feet of torque. This engine can be equipped with either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. All versions of the Legacy are all-wheel drive. While the drivetrain provides more power than most other four-cylinder midsize cars, it comes up short compared to the V6s found in competitors. If you want a bigger engine, check out the Outback; it comes with a 212-hp six-cylinder.

There are three different trim levels: L, GT and GT Limited (sedan only). Subaru outfits these cars with a high level of standard equipment. L models receive items like air conditioning, antilock brakes, cruise control, power windows and locks, and a tilt steering wheel. Going with a GT earns larger 16-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, special body add-ons, a power moonroof, a power driver seat and keyless entry. For the GT Limited sedan, Subaru takes a GT sedan and adds leather seating, an upgraded audio system and side airbags.

The best reason to take a look at the Legacy is its all-wheel drive. With all four wheels receiving power, the Legacy is more stable than a two-wheel-drive car when it comes to driving on wet, snowy and icy roads. Even on dry roads, the Legacy is an entertaining car to pilot thanks to its compliant suspension and tight steering. For maximum fun, get the GT model with the five-speed manual transmission.

Inside, the Legacy offers supportive seats and a roomy cabin. With the rear seats folded down, the wagon can hold 68.6 cubic feet of cargo. Interior design is straightforward, but it lacks the upscale look and feel found in the car's European competitors. In terms of protecting occupants, the Legacy has earned a four-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for driver and front passenger safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has given the car a "good" rating for offset crash protection.

Cars like the Audi A4 and Volkswagen Passat have more prestige associated with them, and their base prices are similar to the Legacy's. But load them up with equal amenities, and their stickers go skyward. For buyers with limited fundsand a desire for a relatively upmarket AWD sedan, the Legacy immediately takes the lead.

2002 Highlights

Only minor changes are in store for Subaru's midsize Legacy sedan and wagon. GT Limiteds receive a standard All-Weather Package that includes heated front seats, heated outside mirrors and a windshield wiper de-icer. GT models now have larger front brakes, a new ignition switch illumination ring, standard floor mats and wood grain-patterned door switch trim. Other upgrades for all Legacys include a dome light off-delay and an internal trunk release (sedans only).

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2002 Subaru Legacy.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

4.88 out of 5 stars
Can't part with it.
ctgal,11/13/2010
GT AWD 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 4A)
I bought my subie because I needed a reliable car to get me back and forth to work every day in the NW CT hills. Through snow, ice, torrential rains, you name it. 120 miles a day. This car never failed me and was fun to drive! Finally, at 150,000 miles and 3 trips from East Coast to West Coast, it needed a new head gasket. There is no rust on this car and the finish looks as good as the day I bought it. There is a little wind noise from the driver's side window but I never felt noise was a problem. Now, with 175,000 miles, the car lives in sunny CA where I hope to put another 75K on it driving back and forth to the Sierra Nevada. Still has the pep of a youngster.
4.13 out of 5 stars
Wonderful car
Ownedlotsofcars,05/20/2010
GT AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 4A)
I bought my 2002 Subaru Legacy wagon used in 2006. It has been sensational, reliable, fun to drive, easy to handle, just a fine automobile. Things I've had to repair: cooling system has a minute leak somewhere that was stopped with additive; moon roof stopped popping up but the sun roof (yes it's a double moon/sun roof!) works just fine, so the moon roof pop up hardware just needs to be re- engaged. I'm going to have to replace the head gasket soon, but I'm putting it off and putting up with the small leak stain I have in my garage. For a used car, though, it's hard to imagine a better buy. I'm a pretty assertive drive. I drive the crap out of this thing and it has never let me down.
4 out of 5 stars
Really Reliable Subie
Adrian,06/01/2016
GT Limited AWD 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 4A)
I traded my piece of crap truck for my 2002 Subaru Legacy GT Limited, and it has been really reliable for me. It had 239,000 miles on it when i got it, and I have put almost 10,000 miles on her since I got her. I'm a delivery driver at a pizza company, and so I really depend on my car, and it has not failed me once. Occasionally when I'm at a complete standstill while in either reverse or drive, I'll hear a little knocking sound, but It hasn't really effected my Subie's performance at all. I live in California, so I don't really have to deal with the snow, but even still, it's been fun having her. I really don't want to get rid of her until she runs into the ground. Handles like a dream, hugs corners nicely. Not a racing car, but something to get you from point A to point B without having to worry about reliability issues.
3.88 out of 5 stars
she gave us 130K trouble-free miles
kat2015,06/15/2014
L AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 5M)
We bought our 2002 Legacy Wagon brand new in 2001. We have put almost 135K miles on her, and now she's burning/leaking about 1 quart of oil every 1000 miles. Mechanic tells us she has a cracked head gasket and unlike older Subarus, where you could simply put a new engine in the thing for about $1500, these models don't work like that and will require repair for about $2000. So we are shopping for a new car. Most likely another (our 3rd) Subaru, as we are addicted to AWD in the unpredictable northwest winters.

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger5 / 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
    Rollover4 / 5
    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
    Good

More about the 2002 Subaru Legacy

Used 2002 Subaru Legacy Overview

The Used 2002 Subaru Legacy is offered in the following submodels: Legacy Sedan, Legacy Wagon. Available styles include L AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 4A), L AWD 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 4A), GT Limited AWD 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 4A), L AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 5M), GT AWD 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 4A), GT AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 4A), GT Limited AWD 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 5M), L AWD 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 5M), GT AWD 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 5M), and GT AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 5M). Pre-owned Subaru Legacy models are available with a 2.5 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 165 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2002 Subaru Legacy comes with all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 4-speed automatic.

What's a good price on a Used 2002 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 2002 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) 2002 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 2002 Subaru Legacy.

Can't find a used 2002 Subaru Legacys you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Subaru Legacy for sale - 11 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $7,985.

Find a used Subaru for sale - 8 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $15,610.

Find a used certified pre-owned Subaru Legacy for sale - 8 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $9,191.

Find a used certified pre-owned Subaru for sale - 9 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $8,257.

Should I lease or buy a 2002 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