How long do Subaru Legacys last?

oregonrose
25

Asked by oregonrose Aug 06, 2007 at 07:39 PM about the 1996 Subaru Legacy 4 Dr Brighton AWD Wagon

Question type: General

What is a typical lifespan for Subaru Legacy wagons?  I have a 1996 Subaru Legacy Brighton with 132,000 miles (bought it used, with 18k already on it).  I've kept it maintained over the years.

Two different mechanics have told me two different things about my car.  The first said to expect the Subaru to last until about 300,000 miles.  The second said it won't last another 100,00 miles.

What do you think?

43 Answers

lightGear
19,115

i think to expect any car to run to 300,000 miles is a bit of a stretch. It really depends on how much you are willing to pay to keep the car in running condition. As with any car parts are going to need replaced, as long as you keep the car in good shape I see no reason you couldn't get another 100,000 miles out of it. I hope you do make it to 300,000!

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
SubyBliss
20

I've got a '92 Loyale wagon, with 215 K miles on it, and it's still running. I've had it for about 3 years and driven about 40-50 K miles on it. Repairs I had done: new tires, rear suspension replaced, timing belt replaced, and new muffler. The front suspension should get fixed soon, but other than that (and the ever-present small amount of oil leakage) it runs fine. Please let me know if you get any more info on the top mileage to expect on these cars...I'm debating buying a newer one. Good luck!

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
David Urquhart
65

I used to sell subaru's, and I consistently saw 200K + on them, with TLC and willingness to keep it maintained, I saw one a '95 with 305,793 miles, no reason for you not to get it.

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.
Stephen Pietsch
135

Since most Subaru owners use there cars to the fullest extent possible, Subaru’s tend to have a shortened life span, but if treated with care 300,000 miles is 100% possible. My Subaru has only 115k on it, but I off road with it more than most guys who own trucks and the structure of the car is still 100%. My car has also seen lots of road salt, for almost every snow storm I go out driving, and the rust damage to my car is minimal, even to my OCD eyes.

8 out of 8 people think this is helpful.
Ty Elliott
685

it lasts until it's off the dealers lot

8 out of 8 people think this is helpful.
Ben Allen
75

The old Brightons used the 2.2 engine, which is probably one of the most reliable and long-lasting engines ever developed. If you take care of the car and do the maintenance you're supposed to, there's no reason you can't get 300k out of it. That said, maintenance will get more and more expensive with time and you'll probably get to a point where a set of new tires is worth more than your car. My advice is to run it as long as it is still cheap to keep on the road; once you start dumping more than a few hundred bucks into every few months is when it's smart to get rid of it and get something newer.

7 out of 7 people think this is helpful.
Matt Olson
45

well i had a 1990 subaru legacy last me up till 170 thousand and i trashed the thing after the trannie's main seal finally blew chunks all over the place and refused to move :D me and my dad ended up dumping a whole crap load of trannie fluid into it and getting the car to move and stall up on a hill XD we ended up blowing the engine. that car got the shit beat out of it daily...on my 60 mile drives from college to back...it was a really good car and i have to say that anyone that buys a Subaru expect to have it for at least 10 years

A Facebook user
55

Obviously the first guy seems to be on the ball, the EJ20 engines have been known to go well beyond the 300k mark providing they are given regular tune ups including fluid changes. Engines like these, as with most other engines can and will offer significant mileages once properly maintained.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Greg Donovan
85

seeing as this question is over i a year old i am really curious what was done and hwo the car is doing now. my 95 legacy L AWD wagon with 4EAT has 265,000 on it and is going strong. it isnt perfect but it is till running. it is getting pretty rusty and the door electrics are acting up a bit. the awd binds a little in low speed turning but even that isnt too bad.

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.
Warren Haslip
25

As with any machinery I think it depends on how it's built and how you treat it. With the 93 subaru legacy I own I had changed engines three times by the 130 Km mark. Although this sounds as if the vehicle is very unreliable we were asking a lot of it at the time. ie: 13 second 1/4 miles. This vehicle handled the horsepower very well and I feel a standard unit would operate well to the 200 Km mark very easily and possibly a lot further with the right mantenaince.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Brian Denis
185

It is said that 90% of all subarus made in the last ten years are still on the road.If you want it to last , just maintain it properly.It will last u as long as u want it to.

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.
Eric Kothe
15

I got a 97 Legacy 2.5 , its got 176,000 miles and the only problems are rattlin in the exaust and the stick sometimes gets stuck between 2nd and 3rd - If you show the Legacys some love I think they could take you to 300K.

Chris Lund
15

i have a 1997 subaru legacy 2.5gt with 276000km on it and it just died after putting 20000km on the motor with both head gaskets blown out it still starts but dosnt stay running i bought the car with 220000km on it and i dont think that i ever shifted a gear below 4500 rpm and it ran strong till i over heated it on the highway going 220kmh

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Lauri Koskinen
85

In here Finland I've seen Subaru's droven over million kilometres (approx. 600 000 miles) and they run better than many three year old cars. Also even here are long and cold winters with lot of road salt and rough roads, in Subarus you hardly ever see rust problems. In the statistics it also has the second least percentage of inspection failures (after Porsche). So I bet you can rely on SUBARU!

6 out of 6 people think this is helpful.
sanddog
30

To resurrect an old but important topic... I have a '97 legacy wagon that just rolled over 300K. I fully expect to get at least another 100K out of it. I also have a '98 Forester that's got 205K miles. If you take care of them and service them regularly, they'll outlast almost anything on the road.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
lookhowhighijump
0

I have a 95 Legacy with about 185,000 miles on it. I had to get a rear gasket replaced at one point, and now i need new struts but it has yet to fail me. I have heard some people say if you take good care of these cars the engine will easily outlast the body. from reading the other posts it seems like maybe the older ones had better engines.

Marvinlee
10

Subarus have very normal mechanical parts (bearings, pistons, etc.) and one should last, on average, about as long as other cars of similar size, mileage, use, and maintenance. If factory maintenance requirements are met, you drive in a normal fashion, and fix problems as they occur, 150,000 miles of reliable service is a reasonable expectation. However, note that individual cars vary greatly in their tolerances. You can read the possible as-built tolerance variations in the Subaru factory manual. Some owners will obtain very high mileages and often go public with their praise. Those whose cars do worse are perhaps less apt to say so. Another factor is that owners vary in the accuracy of their recollections as to past repairs and repair costs. In fifty years of driving, I have never worn out a car engine.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Nick Eidemiller
2,675

it depends on how it's treated mine lasted about 158k the first time my family has owned mine off the show room floor in 93 but my parent took poor care of it I now put a new motor in with about 50k miles on it at this point and am doing better maintenance on it and can definately tell a difference in how it runs versus the old motor, the one thing I would say is if you have to replace it ever go with the 2.5L motor they last a bit longer overall.

Chris Brensinger
75

i have seen them last with over 400,000 miles on them...so they are definately worth putting the TLC into, just take good care of it n itll take good care of you

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
Brandon McMillan
45

Well we picked up a 96 Legacy L sedan with the 2.2 a few months back. My wife rolled our ford escape. In the escapes defense, it just slid off the road, the hill she hit rolled it. But she wanted something with a low center of gravity, with AWD and great reliability. The reason we picked it up is because I've heard great things about it. I'm a mechanic and keep things well maintained, even the escape still drove after it was rolled. I've yet to blow an engine on anything I've owned. So I think 300k is a reasonable expectation. When we got it, it still had only a piddly 82K on it. Also, I have a friend with a 94 wagon that has a good bit over 300k on his.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Chris Woody
75

I can also testify that my 97 impreza outback that has almost 200k miles on it is still going strong and should easily see another 100k. It all depends on what maintenance you do and how much you are willing to do or pay to be done. I am currently rebuilding a junkyard motor to put in it, so I guess I am willing to do pretty much anything that I have tools for at home. Theoretically, you could make it last as long as you wanted. The thing I would be worried about would be the body rust. The mechanical parts in subarus are well known to outlast the body.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
joetaxi
30

I have had 5 subarus ( 1 leone, 2 legacy and 2 outbacks) , one legacy ran 498,000 miles for me. the other legacy 271,000 before it was stolen.the leone 200,000 and i traded it, it was still running 2 years later. my last was an outback with 249,000 and have just replaced it with another outback that has 130,000 on the clock. All have been used as taxis, change your oil and filters at 5 or 6 thousand and 300,000 is very possible. joetaxi.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
quinnmcsmart
20

I've got a 96 brighton too and I've got almost 350,000 miles on it. They're pretty tough wagons provided you take care of them. On a lighter note, I need doors for mine. If your engine quits, talk to me about the doors. quinnmcsmart@hotmail.com

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
studb01
35

I own a 1997 Legacy L wagon and we now have over 360,000 miles. All original and all on one transmition and same engine. This baby is bullet proof. We go to the snow and to the beaches. She will purr for many many more miles to come.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
Jim7777
90

Subaru is very different from other car brands in that they are very reliable and last forever. It is not unusual to see a Subaru that is 15+ years old with well over 200,000 miles and still running strong. The Mechanic who told you 300,000 was correct. They do easily last this long IF you take care of the car, oil changes, timing belt, etc. The people who say that 200,000 miles is a lot of miles for a car have never owned a Subaru. I honestly cannot understand why people buy Honda or Toyota or any other brand of car... Subaru will FAR Outlast anything else made today.

9 out of 9 people think this is helpful.
chrispwill
15

My Subaru is a 1993 Legacy L Wagon and is currently flirting with 294,000 miles, all on the original engine, transmission and suspension. As others have said, you can choose to take care of the car and perform the required maintenance and repairs and they last forever. I can still expect the car to start and run any day I need it and it still has plenty of power for it's age. I tease my 7 year old daughter, who likes daddys Subaru over moms car, that she can take mine to college some day if she plays her cards right! Change the oil & filter and fix what wears out or breaks and the car will deliver years and thousands of miles.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Sala Turekeshov
55

as long as you love it! :)

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Diannel
55

Mine has 197,000 miles. I had one w/239,000 mi but sold it.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
gunnerdog
10

pretty easy 2 go 300k

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Christopher Gonzalez
30

My 94 Legacy 2.2L with a 4EAT has 370k+ and its still going strong only "big" investment was full suspension all around from springs to balljoints and bushings

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
Randlee
40

My 2003 Outback has 597,000 miles. It's now on it's second engine. The tranny is still original and seems to be fine. Should put aside some money for future overhaul I'm thinking....

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Chris Whalen
245

the cars will easily make 300k mechanically the major problems are rust depending on your location these cars will last forever with minimal maintenance and just the basic TLC

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.
Randlee
40

For your average driver, 300k is certainly doable. For those mechanically inclined, there is simply no limit how far these cars can go. I'm shooting for 1,000,000 on mine. By then, fossil fuels will probably be history....lol.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
dt9996
20

My 93 Subaru Legacy just hit 332000 on original engine.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Legacylover
20

My 90 Subaru is at 316857 miles as of today. The struts are gone on it and a deer ran into the side of it, but other than that, as long as I give it a tune up twice a year and keep oil and fluids full, with Gods grace it will keep going.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Wes Braun
30

I have a I guess low mileage 145K 1996 Outback 2.2 manual AWD. And was really thinking of trading it in on something in the 2000+ range but I think I'm going to keep it. Was looking at a 2003 ford focus with 129K but I dont want payments and now know and hope my Suubee will go 300+K. I too have a grind from 2nd to 3rd, is this a common problem?

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
subyfan
20

My 96 Legacy Brighton with a 2.2 and auto tranny has 414K on the odo and the drive train has never been touched. All I do is keep up with regular maintenance, and all that requires is oil changes at 5K and occasional air filter and platinum plugs at 70K or so. Normal wearing parts like brakes are the norm for any vehicle, of course. This has been the most trouble free, thus cheapest vehicle I've EVER owned, by a long shot. Expect long life.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Rick Cormier
45

mine has 312 500 miles /503000 KM and still going

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Hayden Woodhouse
10

my 91 subaru legacy 2.2 gx is on 273,000ks and because its not turbo will last more than 350'000ks.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Venice Goetz
10

awesome news everyone! my '98 Subidoo has 171K and I am planning to keep it as long as I can. thanks for all the votes of confidence on the longevity of a Sube. I try not to think of how many times I have started the car...because even the starter never wears out!! I change the oil every 3000-4000 out of habit. All is well with my little car. :-))

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
RDL_II
0

Hmmmm, it's 2013 and my '91 Legacy L+ wagon (back when wagons could be called "Legacy" :o) has 210k but needs a valve-cover gasket (I presume --slow leak), new exhaust ($1k or so est.), timing belt change (ooops, haven't done it since 60k change), and the dreaded solenoid whatever replaced as it's got a bad case of the rear clutch bind, alas. In light of the estimated repairs, I'm thinking it's time to donate it to someone who can use the EJ22 reputedly great engine, if not the full car, maybe doing their own repairs.

jerseydanny1320
20

Change the oil & filter every 3K/mi, DON'T overheat it, and it should go an easy 300-400,000 miles. I have one with almost 500,000 miles on it - an '89

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
subi123
0

I have a 97 legacy with a little over 160 k on it and its still going I resently replaced the timing belt o2 sensor and thermostat outher than that just regular matince oil,filters ect... I only paid $250 for the car because it was on its way to the scrap yard for some odd reason it was my first car and is hopefully the only car i'll own for a while and if your fwd light is on look under the hood and look to the passenger side in the back right corner their will be a fwd fuse box and if their is a fuse in their take it out because if their is a fuse in the box you are only running front wheel drive when you take the fuse out the light will go out

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