Subaru Leone (1979 – 1989) Review

Subaru Leone (1979 – 1989) At A Glance


+Flat-four engine uprated to 1.8-litres with more power, five-door estate roomier and more useful, three-door hatchback added (although not sold in the UK)

-Rust has killed almost all of the UK cars, some are now coming into from Japan

The squarer-cut second-generation Subaru Leone arrived in the UK in 1980, and was sold here as the 1600GL and 1800GLF. The new car kept faithful to the original formula, but offered more equipment and interior room, and continued to sell well into the ‘80s. Subaru’s signature flat-four and frameless side windows were retained.

As before, the car was offered as a two-door coupe, four-door saloon, and five-door estate - all with dual range  four- and front-wheel drive. A hatchback was added to the range, as well, which sold in limited numbers in the UK. In November 1983, a turbocharger was added to the range, and offered in the Brat pick-up as well as the estate and saloon. It proved surprisingly long-lived, the passenger versions remaining in production until 1989, with the Brat hanging on until 1993.