Weekly Treasure: 1991 Subaru Loyale Wagon

For Sale / Comments

Before the Outback, there was this quirky thing.

The Subaru Leone dates back to 1971 and became known in the US as the Loyale in 1990. Sold in sedan, hatchback, and wagon body styles, the second generation Leone served as the basis for a number of Subies, among them the Brat. In 1984, the third generation debuted and arrived in the US the following year. Back then, Subaru was still a small brand that was greatly outnumbered in North America by its domestic rivals, specifically Honda and Toyota.

Still, Subarus appealed to drivers in New England and other parts of the country that experienced rough winters. The standard all-wheel-drive was (and remains) highly appealing. And like Saab, Subaru also had a quirky attitude that went against the norm. It still does.

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The Leone/Loyale originally came powered by a naturally aspirated 1.8-liter flat-four with around 84 horsepower and 101 lb-ft of torque. At the time, this output was sufficient enough but a turbocharged version arrived later, increasing power to 111 hp and 134 lb-ft. In 1988, Subaru began to make available a full-time AWD five-speed manual transmission or an optional four-speed automatic.

Although this might seem relatively basic, this Subie also boasted a fully digital instrument panel, self-diagnostic computer, travel computer, cruise control, and an updated height-adjustable suspension that replaced a manual-adjustable one. The model continued on for the next few years and during that time the now highly-sought-after AT version debuted, of which just 2,600 were built.

But the Loyale wagon's popularity really began to take a nosedive when the first Subaru Legacy wagon arrived on the scene in 1989. Not only was it bigger, but also more modern overall.

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By the time 1994 came around, the Impreza had arrived and the Leone was discontinued. There are now fewer and fewer running Leones and Loyales on the road today, and just a handful in remarkably good shape with 100,000+ miles.

This 1991 Loyale wagon is one of them. Up for sale at SS Motors in Seattle is this forever quirky one-owner Loyale wagon with 125,000 miles on the clock and a $3,977 asking price. The gray cloth interior is in remarkable shape and the exterior shows no significant damage. Its powertrain setup is basic: the NA 1.8-liter flat-four paired to a five-speed stick shift. Whether or not it becomes a collector's car, this Loyale has plenty of charm and is ready for a lot more adventures.

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