2010 Subaru Legacy 2.5GT - Click above for high-res image gallery

Like others in our field, we pride ourselves on being able to offer our readers a surprisingly comprehensive assessment of a vehicle after only driving it for a few hours (as at an automaker's first-drive event) or living with it for several days (as with a normal media vehicle loan). But even though we've got our testing methodology down, there's simply no way to learn what it's like to live with an automobile without... well... living with the automobile.

Simply put, a year's worth of the day-in, day-out grind is likely to reveal more foibles and hidden charms than any number of test-drives could ever hope to expose. How does your backside feel after an 800-mile road trip? Does the clutch pedal feel like stirring molasses in subzero temperatures? How will the seat leather and interior plastics hold up over thousands of miles? Will the gearshift feel like a trusted old friend mile-after-mile? These are questions that can only be answered with a long-term driving experience.

To that end, we're pleased to introduce the first-ever entry into the Autoblog Long-Term Garage: The 2010 Subaru 2.5GT. We fell in love with this, the most sporting of Legacy models during its Vancouver launch over the summer, but the popularity of the model and its production-line companion, the Outback, has been so great that it's been impossible to secure a 2.5GT up until now. Subaru's Indiana plant has been so busy building the necessary volumes of the brand's bread-and-butter models that production of the 2.5GT – an enthusiast's sedan, when compared to its counterparts – has only recently started to come on-stream.

We suspect our loaded-up Ruby Red Pearl Limited model has been worth the wait, but we're prepared to take a year to come to grips with our final judgment. How will we feel about this rally-bred all-wheel-drive sport sedan after 365 days of everything from daily commuting to opposite-lock dancing on abandoned fire trails? Will its assertive flat-four thrum and newfound size win over converts – or leave us wishing we had picked a more obvious, safe-as-houses alternative?

More importantly – what do you want to know about life with the 2.5GT? We'll be regularly updating you on our new Subie's progress, passing its keys between our editors stationed around the country, putting its 265 horsepower through the paces in different climates and over various types of roads in order to see if it's worth the asking price. While you're pondering what questions to ask us in the Comments, feel free to check out our high-res gallery below as well as the spec panel after the jump laying out what makes the 2.5GT tick.

How to follow our Long-Term updates:
  • Twitter: Follow therealautoblog and look for tweets tagged #ablongterm.
  • Visit the Long-Term Garage category on Autoblog | Subscribe to RSS.
  • We'll be launching a new Long-Term model page for the 2010 Subaru Legacy 2.5GT in the next couple of weeks that will contain all of the information, insights and updates we publish. Stay tuned!


Photos by Chris Paukert / Copyright ©2010 Weblogs, Inc.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 57 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ummm....according to Subaru.com this car...the 2.5 GT Limited...costs $29,995.00. Mercedes C-class & BMW 3-series are about $33,000...so a little further apart in price than I thought, but not THAT much. Sorry Subie fans, but this car has a really cheap interior shared with the base models, fake wood, and a high price. I don't care for the leatherette b.s. in Bimmers and Mercs either, but if I was going to spend 30 grand on a car, I'd stretch a little more and buy European. Subarus are good cars, but they just don't appeal enough to me to buyone. Maybe if you live somewhere where you need 4 wheel drive it's different, but I don't and it's not a selling feature to me. But mainly, their interiors really need to be upgraded, big time!
        • 4 Years Ago
        No. Junior's comments are valid. He's speaking from a price and range perspective.

        You can't just simply say "well, German car X makes less power so it's not in the same range." You can't say "German car X doesn't have a manual transmission, either."

        There are going to be options, in ANY segment, that don't flow from vehicle to vehicle, mfr-mfr, etc. That's ok.

        I think he's simply speaking from fit, finish, handling, and price. In that respect, and I like Subarus, I'd consider a fine German sedan too.

        You can argue repairs, etc, but servicing a Subie ain't exactly Honda cheap.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I got the 3.6R for 29k with Nav and leather. See what the BMW costs with those options?

        The 3 series drives much better without a doubt but for 42k comparably equipped I'm glad I got the Legacy.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Although my family runs a small used-car lot about a mile from the Lafayette plant, I've had surprisingly little experience with Subarus (way to represent the local economy, dad), so I can't really cherry-pick issues to look for.

      The usual stuff would suffice - servicing costs, mechanical quirks, general liveability, severity of "road-ass" after a medium-to-long-range drive, and the like.

      My pet peeve, however, would be the quality of the interior trim and upholstery. I've too long been responsible for de-stankifying the cars on the lot, and a sub-par interior makes my job difficult. Does it have any of that funky paint-on metal finish business that fades after six months? Does it clean easily (and conversely, does it look nasty with minimal use)? Is the leather of a decent quality - is it prone to cracking, does it wear easily?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Also of note, I have the mpg gauge on my '07 GT. That was the first year they put it in...not '08.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Sorry...

        The interior got updated with folding rear seats, SI-drive on Turbo and H6 models, aux-in stereo, and the changed gauge-faces for 2007. The Spec B also gained the 6-speed manual that year. (STI-type, minus DCCD, VTD-"auto" only. Not the same as '10 Legacy's 6MT)

        The exterior got face lifted with up-swept headlights, shorter tail lights, and different bumper covers for 2008.

        I should have been more precise.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I have an '07 2.5GT. Its a great car. Bought it in West Lafayette after driving all over the state of Indiana from Bloomington to find the right Legacy.

      I have serious concerns about the new car, although I now live in Denver, and see a fair amount of new Outbacks an Legacy's on the road. I have seen 3 new GT's and they look ok from afar, but have concerns about the bulkyness of the car itself, at least compared to my "smaller" GT. I also have concerns about road noise, as I have an '09 Forester LL Bean....

      Please do a side by side with the last model year from the previous generation to this one if possible.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I noted recently (like here, watching the pics of 2010 Subaru) there are distorted proportions on some pics. Altough this is common problem, connected with a lot of video/photo/TV and so on standards, please do not show more unproportional photos - see even the straight taken picture of front wheel of this Subaru is elliptic. It is so annoyng and what is more important, images like that are absolutely not acceptable. They shoud be made in one professional manner, the way the rest of AB is.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Thank you, AB, for getting the manual! Have a blast!
        • 4 Years Ago
        I own a 2008 Spec. B and enjoy it every day. I'll definitely be interested to see how the 2010 model does after AB spends a year with it. I agree with Boxerfanatic when it comes to looks, I prefer the previous model's exterior and interior, but I've always hated the fake wood trim in cars :)
        • 4 Years Ago
        The Legacy GT for 2010 only comes with a cable-shifted 6-speed manual.

        No automatic option.

        And this is not the same gearbox as the WRX STI, nor the 2009 Legacy GT Spec B. It is an additional gear in the WRX and previous Legacy GT's 5-speed unit.

        Good luck with the year long test.

        I love my garnet red pearl 2005 Legacy GT Limited 5-speed. I have a set of Bilsteins to put on it this week sometime...

        The chassis has fantastic capability. But I have to say, I don't like the new one nearly as much as what I have, in terms of interior or exterior shape and styling.

        I would buy a Ruby Red 2009 2.5GT Spec.B, or a 3.0R Limited, and put the 09' Spec B 6MT and rear diff in it, before buying the newer 2010.

        The 2005-2009 was a much better looking car, and 2008-2009 was better equipped than the '10 Legacy GT is available to be optioned, even fully loaded.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Excuse me while I interrupt the 4th gen circle jerk, but almost everything about the 2010 Legacy is better. Sorry you don't like the styling, but I think it's great.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The fourth generation Legacy (and I guess it's wagon variants...) was most attractive car Subaru ever produced. It's sad to see this bloated back-step, unless Autoblog can convince us otherwise
      • 4 Years Ago
      Great choice for a long-term car!

      How's the clutch and shifter? Is the switch to a cable linkage shifter noticeable? Are you going to get the short throw kit?

      How easy is the nav system and other electronic goodies to use?

      What do you think of the seats? The previous generation's were surprisingly uncomfortable for me. I've talked to other Legacy / Outback owners who are unhappy with them too, and I can't think of anyone who thought they were comfortable. Does the new model address this? Is there enough bolstering for energetic driving?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Odd - the seats in my '99 Legacy wagon make my right thigh sore... Would love a new one, alas... Hope to replace it with a 4G.
        • 4 Years Ago
        My 05 makes my right leg sore due to lack of thigh support, after a few hours, but I have heard that the '10 seats are larger, but flatter, with very little lateral support for spirited driving.

        It should be against the law to use the lumbar support lever on the 2005-2009 seats... it will kill your back. I am fine with it "off" but any amount of "on" will kill my back.

        Will be interesting to see how the new one fares.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Smashing idea. Especially considering the Legacy is a car I could see myself buying. I'm curious about alot of things throughout the next year:

      - Seasonal Changes in dynamics/handling
      - Durability and wear & tear
      - Noise, specifically how chassis noise increases/changes after break-in
      - Handing/Fuel Econ/Performance, how it changes after break-in
      - Ingress/Egress on a day to day basis
      - Comfort on a day to day basis, during commutes/long trips

      Gosh, so much to think about really. Can't wait to keep up on this!
        • 4 Years Ago
        - Seasonal Changes in dynamics/handling
        The long-term legacy will spend time in the mid-west, Arizona and San Francisco, so we should be able to see how it performs in all manner of weather.

        - Durability and wear & tear
        We'll be taking it on a big cross-country road trip that should surely test its durability.

        - Noise, specifically how chassis noise increases/changes after break-in
        Absolutely. Right now it's a pretty tight ride. We'll keep our ears open for the first squeak.

        - Handing/Fuel Econ/Performance, how it changes after break-in
        When we launch the special model page for the long-term Legacy, we're hoping to include a MPG chart that tracks our fuel economy over time.

        - Ingress/Egress on a day to day basis
        That'll probably depend on how much fatter we get this year.

        - Comfort on a day to day basis, during commutes/long trips
        See aforementioned cross-country trip above.

        Gosh, so much to think about really. Can't wait to keep up on this!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Good luck on the ingress - egress.

        I have failing weather-stripping on the b-pillar again, where I brush it when I get in and out. It is the inner of two seals, so it isn't a big deal.

        Maybe the new car does that better...

        I bought mine half way across the country, so just driving it home was a road trip. It was a nice car to travel in, but we didn't have rear seat passengers.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @John

        Awesome, looks like you had the same thoughts as I did, plus a whole lot more I'm sure! So pumped about this.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Cool, glad to see you guys adding a Long-Term component! Everytime I hear you guys suggest a Mazda3 on the Podcast, I wonder if any of you have experienced more than a week in one or more then a 3 hour stint behind the wheel. It's just not the most comfortable car. And some details like headlight projection and wipers don't work well at all. While I don't regret buying one, I don't think I'll get another one should I have that choice to make.

      Looking forward to reading more on the Subbie!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Nice pick. But how was this vehicle procured? Was it given to you by Subaru, or did you order one from the dealer like an average Joe. Maybe I missed it above, but I'd like to know. Thanks.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @amp

        It is being loaned to us by Subaru for a period of one year, just like automakers normally do with the buff books (MT, C&D, etc.). Unfortunately, not many pubs can go out and buy long-termers with their own money like Consumer Reports can. We did, however, have the opportunity to pick the trim and options before it was built, just like a normal customer would.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm really curious to see how the cheap plastic interior holds up over time. Subarus interest me, mainly because of the Boxer engine and all wheel drive, but every time I've sat in one the cheap, chintzy plastic interiors have left me very underwhelmed. I hate to say it, but they give me Yugo flashbacks. VERY cheap plastic! As far as looks, they realy are big, bulky, and ugly like the Accords/Camrys of the world. Totally impractical for city-dwelling condo owners with narrow parking spaces. The Legacy is a fine driving car, I like the CVT okay...but overall I really feel that these are overpriced for what you get. This car is around the same price as a Mercedes C-class/ BMW 3-series. Which would you rather have? Yep, me too. That's really why I wouldn't buy a Subaru.
        • 4 Years Ago
        What country are you in?

        In the US, these cars are roughly 10 thousand dollars cheaper than a Benz or BMW base car. Not the same price point at all.
        • 4 Years Ago
        junior hails from the state of Denial, where a base BMW 328i with manual vinyl seats, basic stereo/electronics, no moonroof, RWD, etc. can be fairly compared to a fully optioned Legacy GT with navigation because their prices happen to be fairly similar.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Holy sticker batman!
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