Intro: IT HAS IT ALL FOR PLEASURE
The first Legacy came out in 1989. This is Subarus 4th generation. The last version was a big hit and this one boasts some new features like the H6 engine. As its name would indicate, this new group has gone back to the boxer architecture, sort of the trademark for the Japanese manufacturer. Of course, another characteristic of the Legacy is the all-wheel drive feature, The Legacy exists, in both sedan and station wagon versions, but the all-roads vehicle, called the "Outback" which we have chosen, has, without a doubt, a cooler look to it thanks to its stocky sort of appearance, reminding us of certain Audi All-Roads or Volvo XC 70s. (by Philippe Fauconnier)
Esthetique: TOP OF THE LINE
Ground clearance has been increased by 5 cm, bringing it to 20 cm, the bumpers and the wheel arches have been re-sized, in other words, a good-looking machine.
OK, its plastic will not be going down in history, thats for sure, and even if it has its own distinct personality, the curves of the Legacy lack cruelly in character. Nothing really makes it stick out from mainstream Japanese style. And yet it is quality work with a certain elegance to it, although its discreet nature borders on the banal. These characteristics seem to be appreciated by Legacys clientele.
On the inside, we liked the high-quality finish, the ergonomics and, generally speaking, the overall impression generated by this clear and welcoming cab interior. The controls are right at your fingertips; comfort is high in all circumstances. The engines power, as it steadily increases under the hood, can really be appreciated thanks to some terrific sound insulation.
Dont forget the large glass roof, which bathes the whole car in light.
Motorization: AS IF FROM A GOLDSMITH
On the engine side, some nice power and torque, but youll have to get up to 4200 revs/min. Up to this point, everythings OK, but youll see during this test drive that the 5 speed automatic gear box is too slow and takes away from driving pleasure. And yet, its thanks to the engine itself, a real work of art, that people have so much fun driving the Legacy, proof that Subaru knows how to master the mechanics, but we already knew that thanks to Subarus Impreza. Performance is top-notch for this car, weighing in just a bit over 1t5 despite its all-wheel drive system. Mileage is kept under control at less than 10 litres based on average use, of course.
On the road: (ALMOST) WITHOUT FAULT
Road handling and damping are, as often with Subarus, faultless. No rolling, lots of precision steering and some terrific all-wheel drive effectiveness allowing for comfortable, sustained vehicle handling, by far, the brands best feature.
The only problem, we mentioned it earlier, is the gearbox. Much too slow, whether in automatic or sequential mode, which significantly limits the cars and the engines capacity. Even if the increase in speed is clear-cut, it is greatly limited by an obsolete gearbox, by reaction times which are much too long and which tire out quickly when you really solicit the engine, even if it does get started at the drop of the hat. The stick shift version wont be out for another year and a half.
Dont forget that the Legacys biggest markets are Japan and the USA, two countries where car manufacturing is not taken lightly. But if the brand has realized that it needs to increase European sales, it will have to understand the necessity for adapting to a European mentality as well. Subaru will have to make a few changes along these lines, its not only important, it happens to be the only negative remark well make with respect to the Legacy.