If you want something fun to drive, have all wheel drive then the 1997 Subaru Impreza is a great choice. I own one to this day. When I bought the Impreza, it had 109,700 miles on it...NOW IT HAS OVER 230K! So far I do the usual. Oil changes, tire rotations, etc. The major problems were replacing the fuel system and catalyst. Other than that, my 1997 Impreza has not given up! Hope it makes the 300K mile mark!
An amazing reliable ugly little car!! Loved it!
I owned a 97 subaru outback sport for about 4 years while in college full time and also had two jobs.I therefore was always in a hurry and with no time for anything else.I pretty much abused my subie but this car could not break down!When I did go for maintenance I always asked the mechanics ..."are you sure nothing is wrong ?" and they would always confirm that it was a sturdy vehicle.Watch out though ,it handles the snow very well and this gives one too much confidence.Its not a looker but its definately the best car i've ever owned so far without a doubt!
Not the best car ever, but good for the money
I have owned a 1997 outback sport for over a year now. It has been good. I got a really good deal on it, so I can't complain too much. Given the choice of using the cash for a down payment on a nicer car and just buying this car, I would go for the old Impreza. It really has gotten me through college with only routing maintenance, and a little more than average gas price. Only recently have I had to even consider fixing routine items like a clutch or a timing belt. The only mechanical trouble I have had is with the steering rack, everything else is good to go. By the way, I autocross, and am not very subtle in my driving technique. I have abused this car, but it is fantastic in defending itself. Handling is good, but can be improved with some cheap, easy to install parts. The interior is the worst, though. I really can't fit more than 2 adult friends in the thing. Also, if you plan on driving fast the seats will need to be swapped for some race stuff. I did it on the cheap and it looks good and feels great. The engine is beefier than a stock honda, but a wrx implant is choice. If you live somewhere with snow, the drivetrain layout makes for a safe, and even fun, winter drive. Of course braking on ice is the same on every car, so don't get over confident like I have in the past. Finally, the wheels are ugly, and need to be changed no matter what. However, be careful. I bought wheels with too big of an offset, and the tires rub on the wells. It takes a lot of work to get big wheels and tires to fit. I did it, but they still rub once and while on big dips.