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Legacy vs. Camry


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17 replies to this topic

#1 viceversa

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Posted 01 November 2004 - 10:46 AM

I narrowed down my choices to '95-96 Legacy and Camry, both wagons and both 5-speeds, and probably 4-cyl.

I've had a Loyale before so I know something about Subarus. I also know that Legacy is a more substantial vehicle. Still, I want some brutally honest and unbiased opinions and pros/cons, especially from those who owned both vehicles.

I don't care for performance but want great mileage. At least 29MPG on highway-only. 31mpg would thrill my soul. Still, I don't want to drive a turtle, it has to keep up with traffic at 80mph....

Does Legacy have suspension issues?

I realize both are non-interference engines. 2.2L Subaru vs. 2.2L in Camry? What about trannies?

I do almost all work myself and want to know which is easier to maintain. I took my Loyale apart, and wasn't particularly hard (but could be easier). How does Legacy score vs. Camry in that regard. I fix things except for stuff like timing belts which is out of my league (for now).

What specific items should I pay attention to with Legacy, and what maintenance records should I want to see? Is OBDII easy to read on it?

I am a cheap soul and I care about cheap replacement parts.
Both score well in that regard, they are lots of mid-90's cars in junk yards. I currently drive an '87 domestic piece of junk and even though it was a very common model, junk yards have crushed all of them. So I want to ensure I can get body parts if I need them.

I will be looking for something with about 100K so enough life left in it but also much room for various maybe even serious issues. So I want to know all the (potential) problem areas. Not interested in 4WD. Does Legacy ride lower than Camry, or is that an illusion?

#2 rweddy

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Posted 01 November 2004 - 11:15 AM


I don't care for performance but want great mileage. At least 29MPG on highway-only. 31mpg would thrill my soul. Still, I don't want to drive a turtle, it has to keep up with traffic at 80mph....

A legacy with AWD will not get as good gas mileage as a front wheel drive only camry. But a lot depends on driving style.
I have a 96 outback wagon 2.2 5 spd and get 28-30 highway 75mph on my daily 100 mile commute.

Does Legacy have suspension issues?

No in 90-94 there was an ride height option system that raised and lowered the vehicle that was problematic, but other than that suspension issue are very rare in Subaru’s.

I realize both are non-interference engines. 2.2L Subaru vs. 2.2L in Camry? What about trannies?

I know the subaru is non-interference; I am not sure about the Camry. No major tranny issues with subaru 5spd at all, very stout units. No in 90-94 there was a ride height option system that raised and lowered the vehicle that was problematic, but other than that suspension issue are very rare in Subaru’s.

I do almost all work myself and want to know which is easier to maintain. I took my Loyale apart, and wasn't particularly hard (but could be easier). How does Legacy score vs. Camry in that regard. I fix things except for stuff like timing belts which is out of my league (for now).

I know the Subaru is non-interference; I am not sure about the Camry. No major tranny issues with Subaru 5spd at all, very stout units. Toyota are engineered very good also, easy to work on. Both are very nice compared to say Nissan were you have to take 4 parts off to get to the one you need.

What specific items should I pay attention to with Legacy, and what maintenance records should I want to see? Is OBDII easy to read on it?

Not really any trouble areas in 2.2 subarus.

I am a cheap soul and I care about cheap replacement parts.
Both score well in that regard, they are lots of mid-90's cars in junk yards. I currently drive an '87 domestic piece of junk and even though it was a very common model, junk yards have crushed all of them. So I want to ensure I can get body parts if I need them.

No comparison here at all. The parts for Toyota are shocking expense new or used or junkyard.
Example my 87 truck alternator $550 dealer, napa $400, junk yard, $200. :banghead:
Toyotaparts are more expensive they Mercedes parts.
They are very hard to find cheap parts for and you run into issues if you use non-oem parts on them.

I will be looking for something with about 100K so enough life left in it but also much room for various maybe even serious issues. So I want to know all the (potential) problem areas. Not interested in 4WD. Does Legacy ride lower than Camry, or is that an illusion?

100k is nothing for a Subaru. You can get 300k out of a 2.2 car. But the same can be said for Toyota.
I think about same ride height.
Subaru stopped making front wheel drive cars in 95. So 96 up are all AWD cars. Not sure about your area but here it is very hard or impossible to find FWD Subaru’s.
Toyotas are great cars but when they break, they are unbelievably expensive. Subaru’s are very good vehicles, and when the break the do not break the bank like a Toyota will. Plus how many Camry board like this do you see? No many because they are pretty boring cars, looks driving, etc.

#3 archemitis

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Posted 01 November 2004 - 11:35 AM

i can say from experience that toyotas are always harder to work on than subarus. and transverse engines... i dont like them, expecialy for changing a clutch.
a legacy is a huge jump from a loyale :lol:

#4 calebz

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Posted 01 November 2004 - 11:47 AM

In addition to my Subarus, I have a 94 Camry XLE.. Same as the 95-96 years you are considering. Mine however is a V6. The camry is harder to work on than a Subaru, But I have spent a whole lot less time working on that than I have my Mother in Laws 97 Outback. Hasn't cost any more than a Subaru for Parts either. Oh.. and with 200hp, while its not an STi, its hardly boring :)

#5 bajavwnsoobnut

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Posted 01 November 2004 - 02:44 PM

well I used to have a gen 2 Camry and know that it is a sweet car and all but the subaru is way easier to work on than the Legacy's will be even with the timing belt cause of the EJ-22 all you do it take the crank pulley off and any accy that will get in the way of the covers and just remove the covers and untension the tensioners and viola you have the belt off and just reverse of what you just did

as with the Camry you first have to dismantle the suspension on the side that the belt is on and take the wheel well lining out, then remove the crankpulley, then take off the covers, then undo the tensioner, and then you pull off the belt and then you reverse the process and have to take the car to a alignment shop to realign the car cause of removing those suspension pieces


so I for one don't like the Camry's much due to the fact that it's a lil bit harder to work on than any subie cause of the fact that everything is usualy right there where you can work on it on the Subies



oh yeah and also good luck trying to find a Camry in a wagon and also even with a 5 speed cause of alot of people wanted the sedan more than the wagon and also they wanted the auto (very lazy people) than the 5 speed and oh yeha more V6's than I4's too

unlike the subies which had more of a good mix between auto and 5speed and also there are alot of wagons out there too :)

#6 viceversa

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Posted 02 November 2004 - 12:16 AM

Thanks for the wealth of info.

The transverse engine of Camry is just about the only thing I wouldn't like about it, the "conventional" engine position of Legacy might be the ultimate reason for me to choose it.

What's the last year for that great 2.2L engine? 1996? How many horses? Good combo with 5-speed manual?

And, can I get any post-95 Legacy with 4WD vs. AWD? How much mpg-wise penalty is there for AWD? 1-2mpg? Any problems with the AWD design?

What are the weak points of Legacy? 2.2L/manual that is.

Also, where can I find specs on both Legacy and Camry, stuff like curb weight/width/etc. Camry seems wider, but it might be just an illusion.

When did Legacy get titanium wheels (instead of older steel)

#7 bajavwnsoobnut

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Posted 02 November 2004 - 01:30 AM

What are the weak points of Legacy? 2.2L/manual that is.

When did Legacy get titanium wheels (instead of older steel)


there are not many weakpoints on the 2.2 w/ manual tranny and the weakpoints are nominal

and Titanium wheels? those would be way way way more expensive to manufacture and sell than the Aluminum Alloy Wheels and the Legs always had that as an option so you can prolly find some decent used ones at J/Y's or even Ebay or this board in fact

#8 Setright

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Posted 02 November 2004 - 01:57 AM

The main thing to keep in mind with a permanent 4WD vehicle is that towing must be all wheels up on a flat bed. Brake tests must be on four wheel machines, and the same goes for "rolling" emissions test beds.

Any situation that involves only two wheels moving, while the other end stands still will spell destruction for the central differential. That includes handbrake turns!

"4WD" vs. "AWD" is a definition debate. Manual gearbox Subaru's are permanent four-wheel-drive in logical terms. Sube calls this AWD.

Oh, and although the 2WD Camry has the potenial for better fuel economy, that is the ONLY thing going for it in this contest. The Sube is better on all other counts.

In my most humble opinion :-)

#9 viceversa

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Posted 02 November 2004 - 08:42 AM

I think I am going to look for a non-AWD model, the last year of it.
Maybe.

#10 powderhound

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Posted 02 November 2004 - 08:53 AM

The Camry wagon is one of the ugliest cars on the road.

#11 rweddy

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Posted 02 November 2004 - 09:30 AM

What's the last year for that great 2.2L engine? 1996? How many horses? Good combo with 5-speed manual?

Check out this link
http://www.cars101.com/legacy.html
2.2 Horse power
95&96 130hp
97&98 137hp
2.2 with 5 spd is a great combo.


And, can I get any post-95 Legacy with 4WD vs. AWD? How much mpg-wise penalty is there for AWD? 1-2mpg? Any problems with the AWD design?

No all Legacy models are AWD, 4wd was dropped in the US in 89?
Loyales were AWD push button after 89
I think that AWD is only 1-2 MPG loss, I have heard the weight is actually the mpg loss not the AWD system.
No problems with the system, can get torque bind if you do not keep the same sized tires.

What are the weak points of Legacy? 2.2L/manual that is.

None.

Also, where can I find specs on both Legacy and Camry, stuff like curb weight/width/etc. Camry seems wider, but it might be just an illusion.

http://www.cars101.com/legacy.html

When did Legacy get titanium wheels (instead of older steel)

Do you mean alloy? They have never had titianium.

#12 Huck369

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Posted 02 November 2004 - 11:04 AM

Not all Legacy's were AWD, from 90-95 They were offered with FWD or AWD as an option....

The 2.2 is one of Subaru's best engines...but 97-up is an interferance engine

#13 Sweet82

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Posted 02 November 2004 - 11:33 AM

I have a 92 Camry and a Forester too, I take the Camry on road trips because it is huge inside and get great mileage. The Camry is a BIG car the Forester is a small car.

The Forester 2.5 is the more powerful of the two by far! But there is 10 mpg. difference between the two on the road! I just took the Camry 2.2 out on a 600 mile trip this weekend and got 33 mpg. The same trip in the Forester I got 21 mpg.

I have not had any real repair issues with the Subaru or Camry. They are just different cars!

Kinda depends on what your looking for?

Good Luck,
Glenn

#14 hop

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Posted 02 November 2004 - 12:40 PM

I sold my 89 v6 at camry sedan to get a 97 mt legacy wagon.

they get about the same gas mileage city/highway. About 24/29. I maxed out with 31 with four people and four surfboards on the roof of the wagon, but when I had anything on the roof of the Camry it was painful.

parts/labor/work/maintenance so far has been about the same, although I have only had the Suby since July and had the Yoda for 6.5 years. The Yoda was getting to the point where it wasn't reliable w/o some serious upkeep, and with nearly 230k on it, I decided it was time to sell.

My first impressions on the suby vs. the yoda are: The yoda felt a bit more solid when you slammed the doors, etc. The Suby has some squeaks and rattles.

The v6 had a lot more pep. Duh. Both trannys are smooth. The suby body style is way nicer looking than the mid-90's Camry shoehorn wagon.

#15 CardinaA

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Posted 02 November 2004 - 10:10 PM

If you really need the space of a wagon and want a Toyota (and AWD), get a Previa. They're not as safe as Subes but they're neat cars and their All-trac is fine except for problems with SAD shafts (subes burn VC units clutch packs). They were made 91-97 although the later models were all supercharged (S/C) which may be an issue.

I am not aware that Toyota ever made a 5 speed Camry wagon- manual sedans are plentiful but all the Camry wagons of 92-96 were LEs and therefore no MT. Special order is always a possibility but unlikely.

As for the Previa, there were 5speeds available in the RWD model (I remember riding in one) and I've heard of 5 speed for the All-trac but never seen one. The Previa has a strong motor and drivetrain.

I own a 96 Legacy Outback 2.2 5 MT and I really like it. It's a good car and has been quite reliable.

#16 rweddy

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Posted 02 November 2004 - 10:18 PM

If you really need the space of a wagon and want a Toyota (and AWD), get a Previa. They're not as safe as Subes but they're neat cars and their All-trac is fine except for problems with SAD shafts (subes burn VC units clutch packs). They were made 91-97 although the later models were all supercharged (S/C) which may be an issue.

I am not aware that Toyota ever made a 5 speed Camry wagon- manual sedans are plentiful but all the Camry wagons of 92-96 were LEs and therefore no MT. Special order is always a possibility but unlikely.

As for the Previa, there were 5speeds available in the RWD model (I remember riding in one) and I've heard of 5 speed for the All-trac but never seen one. The Previa has a strong motor and drivetrain.

I own a 96 Legacy Outback 2.2 5 MT and I really like it. It's a good car and has been quite reliable.


Previa are nice, but death traps. We looked into one for our family van, and saw their one star crash rating. No thanks

If you do not need/wand AWD you might also look at Honda Accord Wagons. They too are rare but great vtec motors, great mpg, and very reliable vehicles. We had a 93 EX wagon, great little car, but again very hard to find a 5spd.

#17 viceversa

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Posted 13 November 2004 - 09:45 AM

I also looked at Nissan Maxima, same year, '96. Nice. Only problem is, it needs 91 Octane, which is a problem in our times.

I will look for a '95 Subaru with 2.2/MT and without AWD....

#18 rweddy

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Posted 13 November 2004 - 04:00 PM

I also looked at Nissan Maxima, same year, '96. Nice. Only problem is, it needs 91 Octane, which is a problem in our times.

I will look for a '95 Subaru with 2.2/MT and without AWD....

Yes we owned a 96 Maxima, great car, not as boring as the camry. Quite fast car also, but not very good mpg.




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