2002 Legacy New Car Test Drive
City cousin to the adventurous Outback, the Subaru Legacy features the same base engine and all-wheel-drive in a buttoned-down package that's both lower to the ground and lower in price. Legacy costs less than other mid-size sedans that don't offer all-wheel drive, and it easily motors past those other cars when it snows. It'll also stop much more quickly than an SUV, whether the roads are dry, wet, or covered with snow. Even when the roads are dry, the Legacy is fun to drive.
The Legacy lineup comprises three sedan models and two station wagons. The sedan lineup consists of the L ($19,295), the GT ($22,895), and the GT Limited ($24,695). Wagons come in L ($19,995) and GT ($23,795) guise. (Look for a separate review of the Legacy-based Outback at NewCarTestDrive.com.)
All Legacy models are powered by Subaru's 2.5-liter four-cylinder boxer engine, which produces 165 horsepower. A five-speed manual transmission is standard; a four-speed electronically controlled automatic is optional ($800).
Legacy L models are equipped well, with anti-lock brakes; air conditioning; power windows, mirrors and locks; and AM/FM/cassette stereo.
GT models add a sport-tuned suspension, bigger wheels and tires, bigger front brakes, slightly different gear ratios, a limited-slip rear differential, sporty cloth upholstery and other features.
Limiteds get side-impact airbags, leather upholstery and a CD player. For 2002, Limited trim also includes an All Weather Package consisting of heated seats, heated mirrors, and windshield wiper de-icers.
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