1997 Subaru SVX Review

Used SVX for sale
List Price Estimate:$1,203 - $2,799
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Subaru SVX model years
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Edmunds' Expert Review

  • All-wheel drive, distinctive styling, one of few luxury sports coupes left on market, great handling
  • Distinctive styling, average acceleration for this class

Vehicle overview

Subaru has never been what you'd call a conventional car company. When 18-foot-long V8-powered behemoth station wagons roamed America, Subaru was busy marketing tiny, ugly, four-wheel-drive wagons primarily to consumers in the Northeast, Rocky Mountains, and Northwest. While the inline four-cylinder engine became the compact class standard, Subaru installed horizontally opposed flat fours in its models. All the while, Subaru retained character in the styling of its wares, bucking the jelly-bean look for a more squared-off wedge thing. The Subaru XT Coupe, about which nothing was common, became Subaru's first attempt at marketing a sports coupe. The SVX replaced that oddity in 1992.

The first thing you notice about the SVX is the out-there design. Much more attractive than the XT Coupe, the SVX is an interesting blend of curves, bulges and angles which result in a busy, overstyled car that looks too thick in the waist. Captain Kirk likely would have found the styling pleasing, but we don't. A new body-color grille arrives for 1997, and combined with cool alloy wheels, the SVX is at least getting more attractive with age. For 1997, those alloys are shod with slightly taller, slightly narrower tires. The split side glass is a neat concept that allows you to drive with the window down in a rainstorm without worrying about getting a wet arm or mussing your hair, but we suspect that in the real world of varying-height drive-thru service windows, it doesn't work well.

Inside, the SVX looks more like a luxury coupe than a sports car. Cloth covers the seats in the L; LSi models get leather hides. The swept dash is full of oddities, such as the trick stereo cover. Comfortable chairs provide surprisingly good outward visibility, but the rear view is somewhat compromised by the big decklid spoiler.

So why should you buy this Subaru? It's relatively speedy, comfortable and with standard all-wheel drive, is one of the few sports cars made for all-weather driving. Fully loaded at less than $37,000, the SVX gives decent bang for the buck, and makes a strong statement about its owner. If your wacky personality matches the offbeat SVX, you've just found the car of your dreams.

1997 Highlights

A body-color grille debuts, along with P215/55VR16 tires.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 1997 Subaru SVX.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

4.88 out of 5 stars
quality car
LSi 2dr Coupe AWD
This is a great car. Everything from the automatic climate control to the 230 horsepower engine make this car a quality ride. While parts are slightly more expensive then most, it is a well built AWD car that screams excitment
5 out of 5 stars
Best Car
LSi 2dr Coupe AWD
This is the second SVX I have owned, and it is a total shame that Subaru stopped making this car. It has been excellent in every way. It has had no service needs other than scheduled service, is incredibly powerful and is great for merging onto the highways, yet for such power gets good gas mileage about 26.5 on the highway and 23.5 in town. I will never sell the car, I intend to keep it as a fun toy and hope that as it ages I can get parts. It handles like a dream and makes me feel safe on the road. It is best for smaller people, tall ones feel slightly cramped for head height but not leg room. If you can get your hands on a used one, you will never let it go.
5 out of 5 stars
I own two SVX's
LSi 2dr Coupe AWD
Buy and hold. These cars will put my grandkids through college and they are fun to drive. Only 640 97's sold in the US.
3.13 out of 5 stars
Nice looking car!
Car guy.,05/15/2009
LSi 2dr Coupe AWD
I have owned 2 SVX's, and they look awesome, but I will not own another one because on both of these cars, the transmission went out, and it's EXTREMELY expensive to fix it. I found out that this transmission problem is typical on these cars...what a shame. If I had an Art Gallery, I'd have this car there...as long as it's not driven; it just looks good, but that's where it ends.


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

More about the 1997 Subaru SVX

Used 1997 Subaru SVX Overview

The Used 1997 Subaru SVX is offered in the following submodels: SVX Coupe. Available styles include L 2dr Coupe AWD, and LSi 2dr Coupe AWD. The Used 1997 Subaru SVX comes with all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 4-speed automatic.

What's a good price on a Used 1997 Subaru SVX?

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 SVXES are available in my area?

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

Find a used Subaru SVX for sale - 7 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $16,713.

Find a used Subaru for sale - 4 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $11,005.

Find a used certified pre-owned Subaru SVX for sale - 8 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $23,130.

Find a used certified pre-owned Subaru for sale - 2 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $12,081.

Should I lease or buy a 1997 Subaru SVX?

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.

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