Junkyard Find: 1987 Subaru GL Wagon

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

You didn’t start seeing Subarus in large numbers in North America until the third-gen Leone showed up. Even so, most of these quarter-century-old veterans are gone now, even in regions they once dominated (e.g. New England, Colorado). I found this more-80s-than- Wang Chung example in a Denver self-service yard a few weeks back, and I had no choice but to document this soon-to-be-rare piece of Subaru history.

You want concentrated essence of 80s? Right here.

Japanese car designers really lost something when they decided to listen to American focus groups and killed off these Mars Base-style futuristic interiors.

When did fuel injection stop being special?






Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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  • Volt 230 Volt 230 on Dec 14, 2011

    I wonder why this car is not being used, it looks to be in pretty good shape, much better than some crap I see every day.

  • Rahamim Rahamim on Nov 20, 2012

    i live in israel and am the proud owner of a 1990 dl station wagon with 380000 km (you do the conversion!). Here, we have the regular 4 cylinder v shape engine and no 4wd. these cars are indestructible and you see here so many still on the road - the 3rd generation was produced from 1985-1993 and you even still see the 2nd gen 1980-1992 ones as well as the 2nd gen type open back pickup truck model which often has a rear compartment with 2 vertical benches . there are also still plenty of spare parts because this car is so good!

  • Jeff Good review but the XLT although not a luxury interior is still a nice place to be. The seats are comfortable and there is plenty of headroom. The main downside is the limited availability resulting in dealer markups above MSRP. I have a 2022 hybrid Maverick XLT for over 2 years and it has more than met my expectations. I believe for many who do not need a truck most of the time but want one the Maverick will meet their needs.
  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X I use a now discontinued Kuhmo AT tire that is surprisingly good in the snow, even in 2WD. However since most of my driving is on road, I'm going to look for a more highway friendly tire for smoother quiet. I'm sure it can still handle the forest roads leading to my fishing spots.
  • MaintenanceCosts So this is really just a restyled VW Fox. Craptacular tin can but fun to drive in a "makes ordinary traffic seem like a NASCAR race" kind of way.
  • THX1136 While reading the article a thought crossed my mind. Does Mexico have a fairly good charging infrastructure in place? Knowing that it is a bit poorer economy than the US relatively speaking, that thought along with who's buying came to mind.
  • Lou_BC Maybe if I ever buy a new car or CUV
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