Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Loyale Companion: 1988 Subaru Loyale TURBO 4WD Wagon

by Adam -- Growing up in a wintry wonderland, the kids whose parents really cared for their offspring found themselves equipped with four wheel drive cars. How the rest of us poor people survived I will never know. This turbo all-wheel drive wagon may have migrated from colder climates or was purchased by someone who visits the slopes in Arizona. Every option available for this model is present and works! That means the rare electronic ride height control is present along with the “digital” dash, trip computer, sunroof, power windows/doors/mirrors and “Turbo” light. Come on, who doesn’t want or need a turbo light in their life. Just in case you forget this is a turbo model graphics on the rear of this four door wagon remind you with “FULL TIME 4WD TURBO”. This 1988 Subaru GL-10 (Loyale) Wagon TURBO 4WD is available in Prescott Arizona  for $2,800.00.

Presented as a no rust car the photographs appear to be an accurate representation of the current condition of this Subaru. New for this generation was a dual range hi/low gearing for the 4WD automatic transmission. Push a button to engage the 4WD rather than shifting a leaver and a solenoid locks you into the world’s first “wet hydraulic multi-plate clutch”. Refined, smooth and all at your fingers no longer do you need to lock your hubs by messing with a stick or exiting the vehicle . This brings the rear wheels into the equation and away you go. No longer are you an ordinary station wagon but a lean mean snow and dirt running machine [ed CFlo: this thing has full-time AWD; the button engages low range gears in the transaxle - but nice description of a part time 4WD system!].

Powered by a 1.8L Turbo flat four the EA82T multi port fuel injection was really a de-stroked 2.0 liter. The turbo puts out 7 psi of pressure into the system and for reliability the compression ratio set at 7.7:1 so this combination continues the reliability Subaru is famous for. Total output is 115 bhp at 5,200 rpm to motivate the 2,050 pound wagon. While not the fastest of the era this wagon appears to be an honest two owner car.

Plenty of photos document the seller’s claims. A Polar White exterior is set off by the blue interior which appears original and in good condition. The sunroof works, the dash appears crack free and the ergonomics is totally eighties. The speedometer, tachometer, trip meter and fuel gauge are flanked by rectangular height, cruse, rear view heat, defrost, and air-conditioning button with a temperature slider gauge which appears to be taken from a Colonial Viper. Speaking of the speedometer and gauges check out the pictures of the dash and what was, at the time, state of the art. If appears to be fully functional in its great, green glory. A pure, clean, early attempt at a digital dash which is put to shame by the mobile device you are using to read the best car site on the web right now! With classic Japanese iron prices on the rise I doubt you will be able to find a 4WD Subaru wagon in better shape. With 165,000 miles on the odometer this Subaru has been Loyale to its previous owners.

Enjoy this video of a Subaru Loyale doing some light off-roading to distract you from work.

If you see a better 80’s Subaru wagon? Send it here:

A refugee from the frozen north who loves running and water sports, Adam can be found looking for the next slow car to drive fast when he has access to electronics he hasn't immersed in liquids. He is an analog kid, not a digital man. 


  1. Damn Daniel, back it again with the cool hubcaps!

  2. Rare to find one of these this rust free. There are spots here and there in the pics... but this thing is relatively pristine for the year/mileage.

    I look at how much storage aft of the rear seats this thing has, then at how much the current crop of CUV's don't have and get a bit nostalgic.


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