Long before the WRX was even a glint in the eye of Subaru USA’s marketing team, Fuji Heavy Industries was offering a turbo wagon in the US market. The first-generation Legacy Sport Wagon was the most athletic wagon Subaru had brought to America, but it was also one of the rarest. It was sold for only two years — its inaugural year of 1993, which was mid-way through the generation, and 1994, the final year before the second-gen’s debut.
Powered by an EJ22T turbocharged 2.2-liter boxer, this unassuming wagon made 160 horsepower and 181 lb-ft of max torque at just 2800 rpm. That was enough to launch the wagon from 0-60 in just 8.7 seconds during Motorweek‘s tests, which they note was only a tad longer than the sedan’s time. The review also notes its excellent handling with minimal body roll (for a wagon), even if the tail wants to get a bit loose.
On road manners are rated as “outstanding,” “a great cruiser,” and “big car comfortable. Front bucket seats are supportive but they say the rear bench is on the hard side. AWD and ABS provide a lot of tech for the price, which starts at $21,645. Motorweek is quick to mention that an Audi 100 CS Quattro wagon with AWD costs north of $40,000.
Tragically, the Legacy wagon only came with an automatic transmission. That’s made even more painful when you consider that a turbo sedan with the same drivetrain could be bought with a 5-speed stick. These days, either one is extremely rare. They’re distinguished by a thin hood scoop, a slightly more aggressive front bumper, and 15-inch alloys.
The first-gen Legacy was a huge departure for Subaru, as engineers tried to leave behind the company’s utilitarian roots with something sleeker and sportier. Back these pre-crossover days when station wagons were still considered the family haulers of choice, the Legacy Sports Wagon would have been a compelling alternative to Accord or Camry wagons, if you didn’t mind the lack of a third pedal. They’re almost nonexistent today, but if you know of one that’s been saved, let us know.