1996 Subaru SVX – Today’s Tempter

By: Spencer Leech, Unique Cars magazine

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Early Subaru sportster with sub-$7k price tag

1996 Subaru SVX – Today’s Tempter
Subaru SVX seems like a lot of car for the money.

The Subaru SVX is one of the less-appreciated Japanese coupes from the 90s, which is curious because the car was well-reviewed upon its release, and was equipped with some very high-end features for its time. The car was developed smack-bang in the middle of the Japanese sportscar boom, and was intended to take on the ‘grand tourer’ segment shared predominantly by the Mazda RX-7 and Nissan 300ZX. 

The car boasted futuristic styling by renowned Italian designer Giorgetto Giurgiaro, and was powered by a horizontally-opposed six-cylinder engine. In typical Subaru fashion, the SVX put its power to the ground through an all-wheel-drive system.

Though the car first appeared in 1989, a production model didn’t arrive in Australia until 1992. At launch the car cost just over $67k, which undercut the RX-7, the 300ZX and BMW’s 325i Coupe.

Partly due to some economic changes in Japan forcing the car to rise to $73k, imports ceased in Australia in 1997. Just 249 SVXs ended up staying in Australia from a total of 24,379 worldwide as most units were exported to the United States. It’s believed that Subaru lost thousands of dollars on every SVX, and the car was quickly forgotten by the public.

It’s been nearly two decades since the car departed from Aussie shores, and after all this time, the low-slung Suby still sits under the every-day enthusiast’s radar.  

Right now, you can find a good one for under $10k, and a pretty good one for around $5k. We’ve dug up an example that we think could be a good buy.

It’s a 1996 model, in red, with 219,000kms on the dial. The seller says that it comes will full service records, a roadworthy certificate and 12 months registration. They’re asking $6500. It could be a fun budget weekend toy.

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