“Inexpensive and built to stay that way.” What does that mean?

I heard Steve on the mobile say to his mechanic, “I’m not sure whether it’s a two door or a four door………come to think of it, it looks more like a no door………it’s a two seater now but I think it use to be a four seater………I know it’s yellow and the paint work’s original”

I found this honest review on the WWW


You can’t beat the mileage, and usefulness


Rust, rust, rust; had to replace rocker panels and repair quarter panels, as well as a shock tower on the rear. I also had to put a push pull cable on the choke and a used alternator.

Have had the exhaust gasket blow out at the head twice. The brakes are a little weak, but they do stop you eventually.

General Comments:

Very economical; I get around 42 mpg around town and driving in the mountains. It  gets in the low 30’s on the highway due to its low gear ratios and the absence of overdrive. It will go almost anywhere within reason. The 4wd system is excellent, and I have never gotten it stuck. The ground clearance is fairly low, so you need to watch  where you go.

It is an excellent vehicle to use around the farm, because of how much the little car can haul inside

And here’s another review picked up from the WWW


Tough car mechanically, but resistance to rust questionable


General maintenance items: tires, exhaust, plugs, wires, etc. More expensive items: radiator, alternator.

Rust, rust and more rust.

General Comments:

This car actually belonged to my parents. I had a chance to drive it when I was a teen/young adult and still living at home. Overall, mechanically I would give this car outstanding marks. It was still running on the original motor when we traded it in. The Subaru flat-4 motor seems very reliable.

The car’s weakest part was its ability to rust. Granted, it was in Ottawa, Canada where they generously salt the roads in the winter. By the end of its life (11 years) there were severe rust holes at the bottom of the doors, rocker panels, rear hatch, front hood, floors and rear quarters.

In fact, it was hard to say what wasn’t rusty! Even when my parents bought the car (6 years old), it was already starting to rust in the rocker panel area. There was also surface rust on the rear hatch. The used car dealer fixed that, but they did a poor job because the rust reappeared shortly thereafter.

The manual transmission often popped out of gear in reverse. It probably was a manufacturing defect, and as long you held the shifter when in reverse, you had no problem reversing. We actually never got that fixed. Because you only reverse for short
periods, it was a problem you could live with.

This car was by no means peppy; quite clunky in fact. It did, however, have a cool sounding “growly” exhaust. The car did seem pretty simple and I bet it would’ve been pretty easy to soup-up and get a lot more power out of it.

In fact, the modern rice-rocket Subaru (ie WRX, STi) have the same flat-four engine layout, albeit a bigger engine displacement and pimped out computer chips!

Fuel economy was decent: around 10 L /100 km city, 8 L / 100 km highway. A little  worse in the winter.

If you’re thinking of getting an older Subaru, I recommend looking for one that spent its life in a dry climate. Even then, I’d recommend rust proofing it regularly. Try Krown (

It’s one of the best products out there (no, I don’t work for Krown; it’s just that good). My parents and I have used Krown on subsequent cars and the results are quite astonishing!