2011 Subaru Legacy Review | Autonet
2011 Subaru Legacy Review
By Daniel Barron – Toronto Sun
Legacy carries on Subaru tradition
For years since its inception in 1953, Subaru was known as an automaker that marched to the beat of its own drum. It used engines, styling and an all-wheel drive system that set it apart not just from its Japanese counterparts, but from most other automotive manufacturers worldwide.
Though Subaru’s styling has certainly gone much more mainstream in the 21st century, the vehicles themselves are still very much like Subarus of years past. Far from shying away from the Boxer engines and Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive for which it has become known, Subaru actually touts the use of these things seemingly every chance it gets.
The 2011 Legacy is no exception. It comes in all sorts of flavours, from an affordable 2.5i, to a more environmentally-friendly PZEV model, to a powerful 3.6R version.
There’s also the vehicle we have for testing this week, a 2.5GT. This model stands atop the line-up both in terms of price and power. It gets the only turbocharged engine in the Legacy line-up (me love Subaru turbos long time!), and gets several visual upgrades that do more than just hint at this trim’s sportiness.
In fact, of the relatively limited changes to the 2011 2.5GT, most are of the aesthetic variety, which include simulated carbon fibre interior trim, silver stitching, aluminum pedals, front fog lights and new exterior colours. That being said, all these things really only spruce up a generally staid-looking sedan.
The Legacy is certainly one of the better vehicles we’ve driven in this segment, possessing both good road manners and sporty capabilities. Subarus are known for having a low centre of gravity due to using low placed compact Boxer engines, and the Legacy gains plenty of driveability because of this. The engine itself is wonderfully refined, offering plenty of power at low RPM. The six-speed to which it’s mated feels a little more raw while shifting than other Subaru manuals we’ve used (the clutch is all roses), but that may be just what engineers were going for.
Low ground clearance means you definitely don’t want to take this car over too many snow drifts, but that wonderful all-wheel drive system really does work wonders over flat, snow-covered surfaces such as, y’know, roads. If you actually find some dry asphalt this time of year, the Legacy 2.5GT does an exceptional job at handling duties.
Inside, the office still can’t compete with more upscale luxury brands, but it’s a nice setup for the most part. Metallic-looking pieces on the steering wheel and centre console break up what easily could have been a very plasticky cockpit, while perforated leather seats look nice (though they’re uber-chilly when the car’s been sitting in a cold parking lot a few hours!).
The Legacy may be shorter than competitors like the Buick Lacrosse or Ford Fusion, but rear seats have more than decent room. With two passengers, there should be no issues with leg, foot or head room. Add another person, and things change for the worse, but that applies to pretty much any midsize sedan. There’s plenty of room up front, though occupants are treated (and we use that term loosely) to some pretty awful seats – badly-bolstered, unsupportive, and covered in leather that lets you slip and slide every which way.
Trunk space is also more than decent, affording plenty of room when you have a week’s worth of groceries or some luggage to carry.
The Legacy 2.5GT likely isn’t about to blow anyone away with its performance, but pit it against an Accord, Camry, or Sonata, and it’s easy to see that Subaru has done a good job of spicing up a segment that is known for fuel economy and safety above all else.
Even then, the Legacy is pretty fuel efficient and safe, too!