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2010 Subaru Legacy 2.5GT Limited Review

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Model: 2010 Subaru Legacy 2.5GT Limited
Engine: 2.5-liter turbocharged DOHC H4
Horsepower/Torque: 265 hp @ 5,600 rpm/258 lb.-ft. @ 2,000-5,000 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Wheelbase: 108.3 in.
Length/Width/Height: 186.4 x 71.7 x 59.3 in.
Tires: P225/45R18
Cargo volume: 14.7/~30 cu. ft. (rear seat backs up/down)
Fuel economy: 18 mpg city/25 mpg highway/22.2 mpg test
Fuel capacity: 18.5 gal.
Sticker: $34,146 (includes $695 destination and delivery and $3,345 in options)

The Bottom Line: The Legacy is Subaru’s best sedan, at a price. It combines styling, a powerful engine and all-wheel drive in a nice package. It’s pricey, but compares well with other mid-size sedans.

What are the odds? The week we had the Subaru Legacy was also the week our area was hit with an icy rain storm. Little did I know that the Legacy would be an excellent car for that week’s travels.

As we headed out to church that Sunday morning, I failed to notice that under the misty rain that was falling was glare ice on my front walk. Before I knew it, I was on my butt and had trouble getting back on my feet. We decided to take the Legacy sitting dryly in the garage rather than the other test car sitting icily in the driveway.

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We negotiated the first two hills with no difficulty and had no problems at the first stop sign. The next turn was a sharp right after a short downhill, but it was a snap. The ABS began to chatter as we headed down the road and we decided to follow the car in front, which seemed to be having troubles.

He went straight, but at the next downhill, the car in front was going very slow and slip-sliding all over. He almost didn’t make the next turn (at a sedate 25 mph). We had to head right over a small bridge and then up a steep hill. Cars coming down the hill had trouble making the turns. We didn’t have trouble getting up the hill.

The closest thing we had to any problems was when the ABS chattered a couple of times when we tried to stop. The rest of the time, Subaru’s legendary Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive took over and pulled us through all the slippery roads.

In dryer weather, one can be tempted to over-drive the Legacy. Its turbocharged DOHC horizontally opposed four pumps out a healthy 265 horsepower, which is more than enough for the 3,440-pound car. In fact, it was this tendency to over-drive that caused our first ABS chattering and informed us that the roads were indeed quite slippery.

The engine is very powerful and not at all like a four. Even H-4s often tend to be noisy, but this engine was more like a six, both in sound and feel as well as power.

It’s hooked to a 6-speed manual transmission that is perfect for the package, although an automatic with a manual mode might be better. I loved the fact that the gear in which you were driving was listed on the dash. You get this sometimes with automatic/manuals, but rarely with a straight manual. I missed it on other manuals I drove later.

In addition to power and AWD, the Legacy may well be Subaru’s most attractive car. The styling is modern and in the style of most competitive mid-size sedans. The fact that it was red tended to distance the Legacy from some of the other mid-sized sedans we have driven lately.

Front seats were great, with very good side support. Those seats were heated, which was great in the cold weather that hit us suddenly.

The rear seat offered good leg and knee room, and was wide enough for two child seats with enough room for a small person in between.

The trunk is excellent, with the ability to fold down the rear seat backs to more than double its size. I liked the fact that the rear seat back release was located in the trunk, where it would be needed.

My wife was impressed with the excellent HVAC system that warmed the car quickly. That, combined with the heated seats, made driving a pleasant experience.

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The instrument panel was a departure from the standard white-on-black. It had white-on-black numbers, but there was a light blue highlight section in the middle of the dials and the ends of the pointers had a lighted aura at night that was attractive. I don’t believe this “aura” helped in any way, but it was neat.

In addition to the standard round dials, there was a digital readout at the top center of the dash that included overall fuel economy, outside temperature, and a digital clock.

The Subaru Legacy GT is a very nice mid-size sedan that offers the desired size of a mid-size combined with the safety of Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive into a great package.

2009 The Auto Page Syndicate