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This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Thu, Jun 10, 2010

By: The LACar Editorial Staff


Subaru's legacy versus Subaru's Legacy By Roy Nakano Subaru’s legacy in this country goes back to 1968, when Fuji Heavy Industries began selling its quirky 360. Nicknamed the Ladybug in Japan, the 360 was like a Japanese Beetle that had been cross-breed with a BMW Isetta. Since then, the company cranked out a number of reliable but heavily character-laden vehicles for the American public. While the industry favored four-in-line and V6 engines, Subaru stuck with horizontally opposed (boxer) four and six cylinder engines to keep the center of gravity low to the ground.


When rear-wheel drive was still the norm, Subaru went head first into front-wheel drive to keep the weighty engine over the driving wheels. And when the industry went front-wheel drive, Subaru went all-wheel drive. All the while, the company’s designs were off-beat, but always endearing—e.g., the window-within-a-windowed SVX, the stiletto-like XT, the Brat pickup with its rear-facing seats in the truck’s bed, the bug-eyed WRXes of the the early 2000s, and the upside-down Alfa-grilled cars of the late 2000s.


Given this backdrop, it seems a bit odd that Subaru’s Legacy vehicle is so uncharacteristically normal-looking and behaving. To an untrained eye, the Legacy can be mistaken for just another Accord-Camry wannabe. The new, sixth-generation Legacy has none of the quirky qualities that appear on other Subarus. To the diehard Subaru aficionado, these may be missed. To the targeted Legacy buyer, however, one gets a no-nonsense family sedan with the all-important addition for those in less-than-ideal road and weather conditions: all-wheel drive. While this feature may not be all that critical in day-to-day driving in sunny Southern California, it is an important attribute for those that make the occasional trek over to Lake Arrowhead, Big Bear, or other mountainous regions surrounding the city.


We found the 2.5 liter engine to have ample torque for these contingencies. We also found the paddle-shifter-equipped CVT in the Subaru to be better than most continuously variable transmissions, offering the sportiness of a Tiptronic-like manu-matic, while maximizing fuel economy in normal driving. In the end, the lack of quirkiness wasn’t missed all that much. The Legacy sells quite well, leading us to believe that Subaru knows what it’s doing with this latest Legacy design.


Rear vision monitor SPECIFICATIONS Name of vehicle: 2010 Subaru Legacy 2.5L Limited/AAF Price Base: $25,295 As tested: $29,511 – includes navigation system (voice-activated control, auxillary audio USB/iPod port, rear vision camera, 1CD/DVD player, Bluetooth hands-free phone capability), power moonroof, 440-Watt Harman/Kardon nine-speaker audio system, 10-way adjustable power driver’s seat, four-way adjustable power passenger’s seat, leather-trimmed upholstery, anti-theft alarm and immobilizer EPA rated fuel economy (city/highway): 23/31 miles per gallon Engine: SOHC 4-cylinder, horizontally opposed (Boxer); aluminum cylinder block and heads, i-Active Valve Lift System (AVLS) Horsepower: 170 hp @ 5,600 rpm Torque: 170 pound-feet @ 4,000 rpm Transmission: LineartronicTM CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) includes manual mode and steering wheel paddle shifters Drive configuration: All-wheel drive Steering: Rack-and-pinion with engine-speed controlled variable power assist Suspension Front: MacPherson-type struts with internal rebound springs, lower L-arms, coil springs and stabilizer bar Rear: Double wishbone with subframe Brakes Power-assisted 4-wheel disc with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), 4-channel / 4-sensor ABS and Brake Assist Front: Dual piston calipers, ventilated discs (2.5i: 11.6-in.; all others: 12.4 in.) Rear: single-piston calipers, (2.5i: solid 11.3-in. discs; all others: solid 11.4-in. discs) Wheels and tires 17-inch alloy wheels P215/50 R17 all-season tires Dimensions Length: 186.4 in. Width: 71.7 in. Height: 59.3 in. Curb Weight: 3451 lbs.

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