1996 Legacy GT-B Twin Turbo
To the untrained eye, this 1996 Legacy might seem like the perfect family commuter. While the refined cabin and spacious accommodations are nice to have, how about a healthy heap of horsepower provided by a bi-turbo flat-four. Enthusiasts will love the manual gearbox and punchy powerplant, and it doesn't hurt that this wagon only has logged 119k verified and documented miles. Finished in Light Silver Metallic (406), this sleeper sports some updated OEM alloys and some subtle one-piece factory rainguards. Aside from a few scuffs, chips, and dings, the body is in good nick, and prior repairs in Japan include a new driver's front fender. Fresh off a recent service, this affordable, practical, and fun Subaru is a killer buy and a bonafide Japanese Classic.
The cabin is spacious, simple, and features some decent ergonomics. The dashboard is in good nick and lacks any cracking or distortion. The OEM MoMo steering wheel has an integrated SRS airbag and the digital climate controls are all at hand. The A/C works properly as does the heat, and the OEM audio was replaced with a flashy Carrozzeria unit. It sounds good and offers both Bluetooth and auxiliary inputs. The gray cloth is in above average shape and is soft to the touch. It lacks any rips, holes, or tears and is comfortable over long cruises. The two power sunroofs let tons of natural light in the cabin and both power open for additional ventilation. The electric windows, door locks, and power mirrors are great to have on hand for those who plan to daily drive. The headliner and door panels have withstood major abuse over the years, but we did want to note some minor carpet staining. There is also a light cover missing from the driver's lower door and the power-folding function on the side mirrors no longer works. Still at this age it's a bit of nitpicking, and we have no reservations that the next owner will agree.
Under the bonnet sits Subarus potent EJ20R. Tuned to provide 30 more HP over the standard Legacy twin-turbo, this engine benefits from a new 12v battery and an oil and filter service. The 2.0L fires up promptly and sounds great with the subtle signature burble. Power is fed through a close-ratio five-speed manual gearbox to all four wheels. It's a blast to row up and down the gears and there isn't a hitch or grind to note. Acceleration is brisk and the EJ breathes better thanks to a new engine air filter. It's also geared such that sustained highway cruising is comfortable. The suspension is stable and confident and we have replaced the right front inner axle boot as it was worn, and also replaced the axle. The brakes got a bit of a refresh too, and the front pads and rotors were replaced with new ones. Lastly, we wrapped the wheels with new rubber at all four corners. The new Falkens add plenty of adhesion and should last for tens of thousands of miles to come.