39.5 km – By turn two I have learned that suspension travel is epic. I need to check to ensure the SVX wasn’t accidentally shipped with Fox off-road racing shocks installed.

Final Drive: 1997 Subaru SVX motoring memories final drive car culture car culture
Final Drive: 1997 Subaru SVX motoring memories final drive car culture car culture
1997 Subaru SVX. Click image to enlarge

41 km – It reassures me to discover that Subaru hasn’t just been installing inferior radios lately; it is a longstanding tradition. I decide to pop in a CD, but am disheartened to discover this SVX has a trunk mounted 10-disc changer. Remember when we thought these things were a good idea, and were willing to pay a premium for them?

46 km – Check engine light is back on. Maybe I should pull over and check. That way, I can finally insert a CD into the changer.

46.1 km – Pulled over at the side of the road in the dark, I turn the car off and all the exterior lights go out; even though I left them on. I give them a quick flick on and off; nada. I turn the car on and off; again, nada. Confused, I start pressing random buttons on the dash. One marked ‘P’ suddenly brings the parking lights to life on the outside. Ah, so the parking lights need a separate button to operate when the car is turned off… even though there is a parking light position on the headlight switch… I see (or don’t, as the case may be. –Ed)

46.1 km – After checking that the engine is indeed still under the hood, the check engine light has not gone off. Oh well.

58 km – There is a “manual” button on the side of the automatic gear shifter. I decide to see what it is all about, but am quickly bummed to learn it is not a rudimentary manumatic setting, but rather a way to keep the transmission in second gear at takeoff instead of first. Because that is needed in an all-wheel-drive car when, exactly?

63 km – There is a loud bang from the center of the roof beside my head. Did I just lose my sunroof? Nope, it’s still there. To this day, I’m not sure what that random roof-bang was.

Final Drive: 1997 Subaru SVX motoring memories final drive car culture car culture
Final Drive: 1997 Subaru SVX motoring memories final drive car culture car culture
1997 Subaru SVX. Click image to enlarge

77 km – Check engine light turns off.

85 km – The trademark of the Subaru SVX was the window-in-a-window design. They were said to quell wind buffeting on the highway when all the windows are open. Since I am now on the highway, I put this to the test. Subaru is correct. It is barely breezy inside the cabin. It leads me to wonder what wind buffeting is like at 200 km/h. Thankfully, I was not foolish enough to perform that test on public roads.

94 km – I bump the steering column with my left leg, and it causes the windshield wipers to drop a few more inches and park off of the windshield. At first I think it is magic, but later learn I hit the winter mode switch for the wipers. In summer it rests the wipers down low, in winter they rest higher on the windshield so the defrosters can help melt ice off of them.

98 km – Before I end my trip I decide a quick stop for coffee is in order. I begin to negotiate the drive-through only to discover the window-in-a-window greatly impedes my ability to order, pay for, and accept my food. I need to crouch down in my seat and contort my body part way out of the car to perform any of these tasks.

100 km – Check Engine light is back on.




About Mike

Mike Schlee is the Social Editor at Autos.ca and autoTRADER.ca. He began his professional automotive writing career in 2011 and has always had a passion for all things automotive, working in the industry since 2000.