The 12 months was 2005. YouTube was based, Dubya was elected to 4 extra years within the White Home, and I obtained my first cellular phone — for emergencies solely! Oh, and after 30 years of GM, my dad ditched home for a then-brand-new, fourth-generation Subaru Legacy.
The Legacy was all the time one thing of a secret handshake in a time when folks didn’t suppose they mechanically wanted an SUV, providing four-season functionality and better-than-usual driving dynamics and inside fit-and-finish, albeit in a considerably plain-looking bundle, although I all the time thought it regarded sharper than most different household sedans on the time.
However again then, Subaru additionally felt frisky, apparently pondering it was a terrific concept to stuff a barely uptuned model of the WRX’s engine beneath the hood of the range-topping Legacy GT. So, right here you had a grocery getter packing 250 horses, a guide transmission, did the zero-to-100 km/h run within the five-second neighbourhood and will hold with the most effective of ’em, particularly in dangerous climate. Oh, and you would get it as a wagon. You may say the Legacy was a little bit of a sleeper.
Sadly, as Subaru grew extra mainstream and traded hood scoops and frameless home windows for framed home windows and CVTs, the magic pale over time. For some time, we didn’t actually have a Legacy GT — nevertheless it’s again, and so long as you’re not anticipating the sleeper of yesteryear, it’s a midsize sedan that also proves you don’t all the time want an SUV.
As they’ve all the time been with the Legacy, your powertrain selections are pretty easy. A 2.5-litre usually aspirated boxer four-cylinder engine is commonplace, placing out 182 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque. And as with each Subaru other than the BRZ, all-wheel-drive is commonplace fare. For these wanting extra kick — and I actually don’t blame you, in a automobile that weighs nearly as a lot as one and a half BRZs — a 2.4L turbo-four is on the market, good for 260 horses and 277 lb-ft of torque. Each engines are direct-injected and CVT-only, and naturally, the return of the turbo means the previous-gen 3.6L flat-six has been put out to pasture.
I appreciated the flat-six within the previous-gen Legacy. It was a responsive and confirmed powertrain, however I don’t miss the three.6 as a lot as I assumed I might. The brand new two-four — cribbed from the Ascent, and there’s a stable likelihood we’ll see it within the next-gen WRX and STI — is punchy, with most buff books pegging the zero-to-100 km/h time at a tick beneath six seconds, a stable two-plus seconds forward of the bottom, non-turbo Legacy. I don’t doubt these numbers; the Legacy GT makes fast work of merging and passing on the freeway. Gasoline financial system is what you’d count on from a mid-size sedan with all-wheel-drive, the on-board journey laptop settling at simply over 10 L/100 kilometres after a reasonably even break up of city commuting and freeway road-tripping.
Nonetheless, the Legacy GT isn’t the sports activities sedan underdog it was once. Off the road, between the CVT and slight turbo lag, the automobile appears to take a second earlier than it realizes you need to go quick, however operating by means of the eight so-called gears utilizing the paddle-shifters places extra of a spring in its step. What would actually assist could be the addition of SI-Drive, Subaru’s doohickey that lets you choose varied drive modes; having the choice of Sport or “Sport Sharp” modes obtainable in different Subaru fashions on the Legacy GT should wake it up significantly. It’s a curious omission, given the GT badge’s inherent sporting intentions — and the truth that SI-Drive initially debuted with the Legacy in 2007.
Yeah, I’m a nerd. So what? As if I had something higher to do than to check Subaru brochures once I was 15.
On the flip aspect, I’d posit this seventh-gen Legacy essentially the most snug to this point. Now using atop Subaru’s new modular platform, the Legacy is roomier, stiffer, and relying on the engine you decide, lighter than the outgoing mannequin. I gained’t bore you with the spec sheet drivel, however all it’s essential know is, this newest iteration looks like a very totally different automobile. At pace on the freeway, wind and highway noise are nearly non-existent, and round city, the suspension and chassis tuning soaks up bumps and potholes extremely nicely. Solely the gnarliest will actually disturb you, and even then, it’s extra of a muffled thump — you hear it greater than you truly really feel it.
Steering is on the lighter aspect, however there’s respectable suggestions and the Legacy GT stays nicely composed in tight corners, although the original-equipment Yokohama tires begin to complain and lose grip before the rubber discovered on many of the Legacy’s different rivals. For those who prefer to have enjoyable on spaghetti-shaped roads or tight on-ramps, you might need to spend money on grippier footwear.
Styling was by no means Subaru’s forte, and the most recent Legacy is not any exception, at the very least, outdoors. The general look is actually a clear and good-looking evolution over the previous-gen Legacy, however rivals just like the Hyundai Sonata, Kia K5, and Mazda6 are way more eye-catching and distinctive. However inside, the Legacy GT is spectacular, particularly on this absolutely loaded, $39,395 Premier trim. Supplies are high notch, the Nappa leather-based seats look (and really feel) like a jar of Jif Creamy peanut butter, visibility is great, and the cabin is correctly roomy — perhaps not class-leading, however entrance and rear headroom and legroom, in addition to cargo house, are aggressive.
It’s spectacular, however not excellent. There are some bizarre clashes between easy and grainy textures on the dashboard, the entrance LED map lights and incandescent central dome gentle is a wierd cost-cutting transfer, and an inside trunk deal with could be good, if solely to keep away from getting ugly smudges and fingerprints all around the backside fringe of the trunk.
After which there’s the infotainment. As an entire, Subaru’s newest iteration of its Starlink infotainment system is definitely fairly good. It’s a reasonably intuitive system with crisp and sharp graphics, in addition to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, however the execution within the Legacy could possibly be higher. Subaru brags concerning the 11.6-inch inch touchscreen, nevertheless it’s not significantly responsive, typically taking a couple of temporary moments to reply to your inputs. On high of that, most local weather management capabilities are built-in into the touchscreen, save for a handful of bodily buttons for the temperature and defroster capabilities. Taking your eyes off the highway for quite a lot of seconds to futz with laggy sub-menus since you need your seat to heat up is annoying, distracting, and decidedly un-Subaru-like, given the automaker usually emphasizes no-nonsense ergonomics and switchgear.
Together with all-weather traction, Subaru actually cares about security. By and huge, Subaru’s EyeSight suite of lively security goodies — commonplace throughout the lineup and together with blind-spot monitoring, automated emergency braking, and adaptive cruise management, amongst different ins and outs — works nicely. In reality, it’s one of many smarter and better-tuned techniques on the market, significantly with how the adaptive cruise management behaves. However the brand new lane-centering perform, unique to the Premier, wants some higher calibration because it tends to ping-pong you throughout the lane you’re in. The Premier additionally provides a front-facing digital camera, however the show is pretty low-res and form of ineffective on one thing that’s already straightforward sufficient to maneuver. A correct 360-degree digital camera could be extra helpful.
The seventh-generation Legacy doesn’t stray from Subaru’s tried-and-true method, proving you don’t mechanically want an SUV if you would like one thing spacious, snug, secure, and succesful in nasty climate. It’ll make many Subaru loyalists glad, however the hood-scoop aficionado in me needs the Legacy GT had slightly one thing further to make it stand out. Maybe with Hyundai, Kia, and even Toyota introducing spicy variations of their midsize sedans, we might see the Legacy spec.B return.
Ha! As if. Dare to dream.
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