Giorgetto Giugiaro designed the SVX and it replaced the XT in Subaru's lineup (Both the SVX and the XT were named Alcyone in the Japanese market.) While it looks pretty tame - and quiet nice - today, back in the early 1990s, this was considered an outrageous looking car. It was rounder than any previous Subaru and featured a controversial "window-within-a-window" design. People either loved it or hated it. (I, as you would imagine, loved it.)
The engine is a 3.3-liter, normally aspirated, 230 horsepower, flat-six. 0 - 60 times were in the low to mid 7 second range. All SVXs came with automatic transmissions.
Except for a few "price leader" cars sold in 1994 and 1995, all SVX cars came with AWD. It was the typical, effective, Subaru set up with a center differential. Under normal driving, there was a 90/10 power split ratio front to rear. When maximum traction was needed it would provide a 50/50 power split.
Inside, the SVX was more luxurious than any previous Subaru. The top of the line model came loaded with leather and power everything.
When introduced, the SVX sold for around $24,000.00 to over $28,000.00. That was a lot of money for a Subaru in 1992, and the SVX never sold well. Between its introduction in 1991 (as 1992 model year) and its final sales year in 1997 (all built in 1996), Subaru sold just over 14,000 SVXs in the US.
The SVX is a fairly reliable car. Rear wheel bearing problems are common as is the occasional electrical glitch (The electrical problems are due more to the the car's age, not any design flaw). The biggest issue can be the JATCO (Japanese Automatic Transmission Company) transmission. A poor design caused it to get extremely hot. The radiator-based transmission cooler in the SVX can't keep the transmission fluid cool enough and eventually the transmission fails. Subaru was aware of this problem and made improvements throughout the car's run. Later transmissions are better, but every site I have seen recommends installing an external transmission cooler and filter. (Google "Subaru 4EAT transmission" for more details.)
The SVX was probably 10 years ahead of its time. It was Subaru's first giant leap away from being known as a builder of plain, effective AWD cars - that were loved by those of us in New England and the Snow Belt - and towards the performance company it is becoming known as today. It's a cool, slightly quirky, piece of Subaru history that could be a fun and unusual daily driver.
This SVX is close to the top end of stock SVX pricing. It has just 45,000 miles on it. It also has a salvage title. Take the seller up on his offer and have it thoroughly checked out by a knowledgeable Subaru mechanic before making an offer.
Located in Everett, WA, click here to see the Craigslist ad.