• Dec 9, 2010
It's been about a month since the long-term Subaru Legacy 2.5GT arrived in Northern California, and as the weather slowly turned south, my opinion of our burgundy sled has improved. Dramatically.

Transitioning from a German compact into a near-luxury sedan from Japan (both within $1,000 of each other, oddly enough) has proven to be an eye-opening experience – but not in the way you'd think. Maybe I'm just biased towards the staid interior stylings from Deutschland, but the Legacy's insides came off as overwrought and sub-par when compared to the Jetta MK5 TDI Cup Street Edition. The materials didn't exude the same level of quality and while fit-and-finish is certainly above board, it still lacks the high-end tactility I enjoyed in the Volkswagen. Plus, the experience behind the wheel has felt heavy and ponderous after living with the Jetta for the better part of four months.

This opinion lasted right up until the first monsoon. I was driving north on 580 when the world went blurry. Traffic was crawling along, but with the wipers set to meth-head speed, I was able to plow through the storm with confidence. As the weeks have worn on, I've grown fond of the Legacy's added heft and all-wheel drive – there's just something inherently comforting about piloting a heavyweight down the road – not to mention sending power to all four wheels. That said, it's far from a fair weather driver's car. The suspension is too floaty, the seats are far too flat and the shifter is far too floppy. However, that last bit we'll be dealing with soon.




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  • 20 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Down rank me if you will, but I like the previous generation of the Legacy and Outback looked so much better!! The same can be said for the Impreza.

      Come on Subaru!! What happened?

        • 4 Years Ago
        Sorry, been drinking tonight. Ignore the "looked" in my comment.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "but with the wipers set to meth-head speed"

      One word: RainX.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Rain-X is amazing lol. I recently drove from Alabama to Tenn when it was raining hard the day before thanksgiving. About 6 hour drive, raining the ENTIRE time, and never used the wipers once lol
      • 4 Years Ago
      Whatever, I still can't STAND the look of the new Legacy/Outback.

      The previous generation was such a handsome vehicle, and Subaru completely ruined the Legacy for me.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Wholeheartedly agree.

        A new Legacy will not replace my '05. An '09 Spec.B or 3.0R Limited might. But not a '10-current model.

        I have higher hopes for the Impreza Design Concept. It is much more BL Legacy-like... which is putting out Impreza fans, as much as the Legacy fans were put out by the current Legacy when it was shown as a concept car.

        The IDC is just a tad bit shorter in length than the 05-09 Legacy, both in length an wheelbase, but longer at both than the current Impreza.

        More importantly, the IDC is lower in height at the roof, than the '10 Legacy/Outback. Almost 3-inches shorter in height, and right in line with the roof height of the 05-09 Legacy, and also lower at the roof than the current hunch-backed Impreza.

        The IDC is as wide as the new '10+ Legacy, at 71 inches. Likely due to the Impreza Design Concept getting the new engine cradle and front suspension dimensions in common with the current Legacy/Outback. It will likely get the low-front turbo location for 2013 model year.

        2012 new-stye IDC-based Impreza will likely be non-turbo only, and 2012 WRX and STI will likely remain unchanged, on the current body. It seems likely that they will re-merge on the new platform for 2013. Forester possibly getting upgraded chassis, as well.

        Subaru will probably try to draw out the new model introductions as long as possible, to keep up the media attention year after year, instead of just doing a big intro of everything all at once, and then going for a few years before another update.

        Once the next Impreza gets the turbo engine, it will be interesting to see if the Legacy GT will fade away, if it outlives it's usefulness... If Impreza gets all the sporty attention, Legacy could go back to non-turbo H4 and H6 options only, and possibly no manual gearboxes... and just go further down the AWD-Camry-clone road.
      • 4 Years Ago
      John,

      Stop!

      They f#$&'d it up. It doesn't feel at all like the Legacy did. It isn't - any longer - a smarter A4. It's a Malibu with AWD. It's over!
      • 4 Years Ago
      A HEAVYWEIGHT?

      A 34-3500lb upper-midsized sedan is a Heavyweight, now?

      You may want to tell that to cars like Taurus and BMW 5-series, G8, and CTS... Charger, and more...

      Some of those are a bit larger... but 500-1000+ lbs more weight.

      Just because it isn't a compact car that gets tossed around, doesn't mean the Legacy is a heavyweight. I don't like the new bigger styling, and I make no bones about that... but the weight didn't increase when the size did. My 2005 Legacy GT Limited weighs about as much... and my SVX weighs about 150lbs more. Most modern 4-seat midsize or larger cars weigh MUCH more.
        • 4 Years Ago
        OT, but are you on LGT.com boxerfanatic?
        • 4 Years Ago
        On LGT.com (it has been a little while since I have posted there...) I go by IwannaSportSedan, which I chose while I was still preparing to purchase a Legacy GT years ago. I may have registered BoxerFanatic there, as well, I don't remember, but I don't really post as that there.

        On Nasioc, i go by an even older handle, HipToBeSquare.

        On SVX World Network, here at Autoblog, a few motorcycle news blogs, and the 'other' automotive news blog, (not sure if it is appropriate to mention the J-word here, or not...) I do go by BoxerFanatic.

        I disclose that, so that people who rail against my comments can realize that they are railing against just one person. :D
      • 4 Years Ago
      @Damon: Any midsize sedan would be heavy and ponderous compared to a compact.

      A car doesn't need to hammer you with every road imperfection to have good handling.

      If you actually *bought* both cars, I think you'd be driving that Subaru far longer than the Jetta...
        • 4 Years Ago
        But the Subbie will leave you mechanically butthurt while the Jetta will electrocute you everytime you try to start the car.
      • 4 Years Ago

      Damon, unfortunately it is that first impression that holds. I drive Jetta TDI as daily driver and 335i for certain evenings and weekends. However, when on vacation, it's 335i all the way. Every week, punctually as a tide, on Tuesday I absolutely LOVE that Jetta TDI and keep loving it ... until next Monday. After 200-300 miles in a 335i on a weekend, that Jetta TDI doesn't feel all that hot on Monday morning. Quite the opposite, actually.

      What I'm trying to say is that move-up is never dramatic and Friday night move to 335i is "well, what's all the fuss about it?", but the move-down is where it all comes to the surface. So, why don't you try to get keys to that Jetta once more for a weekend and then see how going back to legacy feels. Did it really "improve"?

      Didn't think so.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I hope they can sort out the shimmy/vibration on this generation of Legacy/Outback. I have a 2010 LGT and it is a shaker!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Having gone from a string of VWs ('88 Golf GT, '97 Jetta GLX, '01 GTI GLS) that were fun but never as nice in practice as I expected them to be on purchase to a 2005 Subaru Legacy GT Limited wagon, it would take a DAMNED nice VW to get me out of my Subaru. It's not a perfect car, but it's VERY rewarding to own and drive. I haven't driven the new generation of Legacies because they don't have a proper wagon, but if they're any better than the last generation I'd choose one over a Jetta in a heartbeat... even over a TDI.
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