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Hello - thoughts on this car?

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Hi, new to the forums. I'm a BMW fanboy but I like all cars and have always wanted a Subaru. I'm going to be getting rid of one of my BMWs and want to get something solid and reliable for this winter (in Michigan). I don't know a whole lot about Subarus but I've heard the 2.5L engine has head gasket issues and that the 2.2L is a good engine. I came across this on CL:



That's at the top of my price range. I'm not looking for fast or sporty or cool, just reliability. I don't like the color but meh. Anyway, is a car like that a pretty good find? Other cars competing for my attention are ones like this:



It'd be nice to have lots of cargo room.


Thanks for you help?

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Welcome to the site and glad you could join us.


The Subaru Legacy is a 30th anniversary "L" edition. I had a 99 30th L Wagon. Loved it. It was as trouble-free as the year is long. Has some nice features, including rear disc brakes, height-adjustable driver's seat, electric tilt and slide sunroof, 15" alloy wheels, rear spoiler, power antenna, color-coordinated door handles and body-side moldings. Options often included keyless entry. The rear diff is an open diff, but the the auto transmission, coupled to the new Phase II 2.2L engine is pretty smooth.


The engine does have one Achilles heel and that is the plastic/fiber vapor-barrier that sets at the back of the engine, behind the flexplate (auto trans) or flywheel (manual trans). It occasionally leaks and should be replaced with a stainless steel one that Subaru calls for. Requires pulling the transmission.


Speaking of auto trans, it's a 90/10 F/R torque-split until slip is detected then the center diff will send power (up to 50%) to the rear axle. Put the auto into 1st or 2nd, and the center diff locks at 50/50 F/R torque-split and it will start-out and hold whatever gear you put it in. Need more power and push from the rear, then put it in 1st. Still need push from the rear, but not all the power, put it in 2nd. If it's a 5MT, then you're running at 50/50 torque-split all of the time.


And, we learned at a young age on a tricycle, that FWD isn't much fun, and loading down the back-end of a FWD wagon, definitely decreases the fun-factor. ;)


Anyway, whatever you go with, good luck with it and hopefully, it'll be a Subaru - they're great cars and, I think at last count, we were on 14 or 15 over the last 30+ years.


Again, welcome.

- Pro amore Dei et patriam et populum -
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Looks like a nice car. $3K is not a bad price for a car with 123K miles. If it has been reasonably well maintained, no reason you shouldn't get 250K- 300K out of that engine. I just bought a '98 wagon with the 2.2 this past June with only 90K miles on it- hoping I can log 200K more on it.
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it looks like a really good $2500 car to me.

offer $2000 and see?

regardless of what the counter offer is, then go to $2100.


the ej22 engine in the 99 sybaru is a phase 2 engine. (think 00 - 04)

it is slightly more powerful , very slightly, than the 95 - 98 ej22.

and it is not the ''bullet proof'' engine the 90 - 96 ej22 was.

but it is still a good engine,

and you will love driving it in the snow.


TIP: just because you can drive up the hill easily with complete control,

does not mean you can drive down the other side of the hill easily with complete control.

put it in 2 in the snow and leave it there. (maybe down shift to 1 going down hill.)

unless you are trying to see what it takes to get stuck, or hit a tree.

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