1988 Subaru Loyale RX Turbo AWD


If I asked you how much a car with four doors, all-wheel drive and a turbocharged engine would cost, what would you say? $40k? $50k? $60k? Probably some fancy Audi, right? Wrong! It's a $4,500 1988 Subaru.

Back in the 80s, Japanese manufacturers were eager to attract new buyers with all sorts of cutting edge technology and drivetrain combinations. Isuzu was bold back then. They made compact cars with all sorts of unique goodies. One example was this Loyale RX.


The Loyale was known as the Leone around the world and lasted from 1984-1994. In the US it was known as the DL and Loyale. These were normally quite sedate front-wheel drive four banger cars. But the "RX" trim took things to a whole new level with Subaru's patented all-wheel drive system, a turbocharged engine and a manual transmission. Suddenly, the small size and relatively light weight transformed the car into this sporty, grippy all-weather people carrying machine.

The styling giddily hints at the specialness of this thing with the all-white look popular in that era, front and rear spoiler, ground effects, red accents and "TURBO" text cooly placed on the trunk.


Everything looks amazingly well-preserved too, including the interior and dashboard. The seats are half-vinyl, half-cloth. The instrument cluster is simple, no-nonsense and driver-oriented. Also cool is the full time 4wd display in between gauges in the instrument cluster.


The seller is well-known in internet circles for their low-mileage "new" classic cars that they somehow acquire. I admit, they've got an eye for it. And while they sometimes price the cars ridiculously high, they want just $4,500 for this one. Granted, the milage is at 186k, but at that price you don't feel too bad if something goes wrong. Which if the cosmetic condition is any indicator of the mechanicals, is unlikely. Parts should be plentiful and cheap and repairs easy, anyways.

This was a high watermark for Subaru and cars in general. They offered a lot with clean styling and compact dimensions.

Available here on ebay.

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