• (3.9) 11 reviews
  • MSRP: $1,101–$8,137
  • Body Style: Sedan
  • Combined MPG: 24
  • Engine: 165-hp, 2.5-liter H-4 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain: All-wheel Drive
  • Transmission: 4-speed automatic w/OD
2002 Subaru Legacy

Our Take on the Latest Model 2002 Subaru Legacy

2002 Subaru Legacy Reviews

Vehicle Overview
All GT versions of Subaru’s compact series gain larger-diameter front brake discs for 2002. A standard All-Weather Package on the GT Limited sedan includes heated front seats, heated mirrors and a wiper deicer. Sedans gain an internal trunk release with a self-illuminating handle.

A new Outback H6-3.0 sedan joins the 2002 lineup. It is powered by a six-cylinder engine — like its Outback wagon sibling — rather than the four-cylinder equipped in other models. The Outback H6-3.0 sedan is available with either Active All-Wheel Drive or Subaru’s electronic stability system, called Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC).

Other Legacy models include the L sedan and wagon, GT sedan and wagon, GT Limited sedan and Outback Limited. Equipped with all-wheel drive, the Legacy and its Outback companion was last redesigned for 2000 and is Subaru’s most popular series. Most Legacy sales are for wagons, notably the SUV-like Outback.

The Legacy sedan rides on a 104.3-inch wheelbase and measures 184.4 inches long overall. The Outback sedan has 7.3 inches of ground clearance — far more than other models — and stands 58.3 inches high, compared to 55.7 inches for the regular Legacy sedan. Subaru says the Outback is suitable for “light offroad travel.” The Outback sedan borrows some of the Outback wagon’s styling cues, including bigger front fenders, lower-body cladding, large fog lights and two-tone paint.

Seating for five occupants is possible with the Legacy’s front buckets and rear three-place bench. The center rear position has a three-point seat belt. The Legacy’s rear seatback does not fold for additional cargo space, but there is a small pass-thru section into the trunk. Cargo capacity totals 12.4 cubic feet.

Air conditioning and cruise control are standard even in the L sedan, along with power windows, locks and mirrors. The GT adds a power sunroof, six-way power driver’s seat, remote keyless entry, fog lights, sport suspension and 16-inch tires on alloy wheels. Side-impact airbags, leather upholstery and a cassette/CD player are included on the GT Limited.

Under the Hood
A 2.5-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine sends 165 horsepower to a standard five-speed-manual or optional four-speed-automatic transmission. Only the automatic is available on the Outback Limited sedan. Outback H6-3.0 sedans use a 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine that produces 212 hp. All Subarus have all-wheel drive.

Antilock brakes are standard. GT Limited, Outback Limited and Outback H6-3.0 sedans have side-impact airbags to protect front-seat occupants.

Driving Impressions
With its all-wheel-drive lineup, Subaru occupies a unique niche in the compact-car market. Promising sufficient interior space for a small family, the Legacy is a competent sedan that offers more than just all-season traction. Performance is sufficiently strong, helped by a smooth-operating automatic transmission. The Legacy is stable on the highway and easy to drive anywhere.

The Outback sedan or wagon adds extra advantages for driving on less-than-perfect roads and is a nice alternative to a sport utility vehicle. It is well-assembled and yields a solid feel on the road. On the negative side, a rather stiff suspension means the Outback’s ride can become harsh, even jarring, on urban pavement, though it’s pleasant enough for highway travel.


Reported by Jim Flammang  for cars.com
From the cars.com 2002 Buying Guide

Consumer Reviews


Average based on 11 reviews

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Most reliable car I have owned

by EddieR from Milton, VT on October 20, 2017

When I bought this car it had 500 miles on it, it was a demo car. I got a sweet deal on it and I was so happy to make it work out to buy it. I drove a lot for work, 50,000 a year was my average. I liv... Read Full Review

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5 Trims Available

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Our 2002 Subaru Legacy trim comparison will help you decide.

Subaru Legacy Articles

2002 Subaru Legacy Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports


There are currently 5 recalls for this car.

Safety defects and recalls are relatively common. Stay informed and know what to do ahead of time.

Safety defects and recalls explained

Service & Repair

Estimated Service & Repair cost: $5,000 per year.

Save on maintenance costs and do your own repairs.

Warranty Coverage

What you should get in your warranty can be confusing. Make sure you are informed.

Learn More About Warranties

Warranties Explained


Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.


Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

Roadside Assistance

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

Free Scheduled Maintenance

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

Other Years