By on March 30, 2012

Subaru will revise their 2013 Legacy with an all-new 2.5L FB boxer engine. The 2.5GT model, with its turbocharged 2.5L engine, will die a quiet death as Subaru axes their antiquated SOHC flat-four range.

The new DOHC 2.5L will make 173 horsepower and 174 lb-ft, while mated to a 6-speed manual or a CVT. The 3.6R model, powered by a 3.6L flat-six engine making 256 horsepower, will survive the transition. Only a 5-speed automatic will be offered with the 3.6.

The 2.5 liter engine mated to the CVT  in the Legacy will return 24 mpg city and 32 mpg with a combined rating 27 mpg. The Outback with the same drivetrain will get 24 mpg in the city, 30 mpg highway and 26 mpg combined. Subaru’s Eyesight stereo camera driver monitoring system will be offered on both models.

 

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49 Comments on “2013 Subaru Legacy Quietly Drops 2.5GT Model...”


  • avatar

    Saw this one coming. The conclusion of the July 2010 TTAC review:

    “The number of self-shifters seeking the new car’s bundle of attributes cannot be large. So the prognosis for the Legacy GT is not good. Subaru might rethink the car, like they did with the 2008 WRX after enthusiasts rejected it. But they’re more likely to send it the way of the Legacy wagon. Don’t want the Legacy GT to go away? Then you’d better put your money where your mouth is and buy one soon.”

    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/07/review-2010-subaru-legacy-gt/

    • 0 avatar
      Marko

      I agree. The 2010-present Legacy might be a good car in its own ways, despite enthusiasts’ criticism, but the turbo four and stick don’t really match its personality.

    • 0 avatar
      wilksl

      I have had a 2012 GT on order for 7 months now and the dealership, The Car Store in Norwich VT, could not deliver. I will admit, after 7 months of lies, I cancelled my order which they were happy to do since the car was being discontinued. I regret my decision, told them I regretted my decision (just two days after the email cancelling) and the sold the car to someone else without a thought to me. I guess I deserve that. I have had 4 Subarus in 10 years, 3 of them GTs. There are NO other GTs around or I would gladly purchase one. I can’t believe that Subaru killed the GT. I am not interested in buying the teenage WRX STI. I want the classy, sedan. But, it is gone.

  • avatar
    thatguy

    “The 2.5GT model, with its turbocharged 2.5L engine, will die a quiet death as Subaru axes their antiquated SOHC flat-four range.”

    As far as I know all of the turbocharged Legacys were DOHC. But the point about the new long stroke architecture is valid.

    • 0 avatar
      grzydj

      I think he meant the normally aspirated SOHC EJ engine is being phased out and replaced with the FB engine for non turbo Legacy variants.

      The Legacy GT used the EJ255 engine, which was a DOHC engine.

    • 0 avatar
      KitaIkki

      All Subaru engines with belt-driven cams are going away. The new FB’s have chain driven cams. The 6 cylinders have always had chain driven cams.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    So do any of the B&B want to make a prediction for the end of the 2012 model year? Deep discounts on Legacy GTs or bidding wars?

    • 0 avatar
      Ubermensch

      I doubt you will see many bidding wars over the last of the 2012s. The redesign was not very popular with the Legacy fans and most held on to their 4 gen LGTs.

    • 0 avatar
      Marko

      Deep discounts. Most people who want an upgrade over the base engine go for the six and its automatic. (That’s not even that many people.) The type of person who would potentially want a 2.5GT usually just buys a WRX.

  • avatar
    Ion

    Rarely see the turbo model or the 6cyl anyway. Most people go for the NA H-4

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      About 80% of Outbacks and 90% of Legacys are sold with the base SOHC H4 – and that’s the craptastic 15 year old EJ against a modern H6.

      I think this is because most people who like cars enough to want the engine upgrade like cars too much to want an AWD Camry with any engine.

  • avatar
    Patrickj

    Interesting that Subaru has not increased maximum horsepower and torque significantly with this brand new engine, either in the Forester or the Legacy/Outback.

    2004 Legacy 2.5 statistics
    Horsepower: 165 hp @ 5600 rpm
    Torque: 166 ft-lbs. @ 4000 rpm

    I recognize that the torque curve is likely flatter on the new engine. Are they keeping power output down to increase reliability of the CVT?

    • 0 avatar
      grzydj

      Engine is tuned more for fuel economy than performance. I think the FB engine/CVT in the Outback is going to be an excellent combo for drive-ability and EPA ratings.

      • 0 avatar
        Ubermensch

        It is if you enjoy close to 11 second 0-60 times and an engine that sounds like it is full of rocks that is kept revving by the CVT. The 2.5i has to be one of the worst sounding 4-cyl engines on the market right now.

        I wouldn’t say the 2.5i “underpowered” but it is slooooooooww.

      • 0 avatar
        grzydj

        You’ve driven the Outback with the new FB mated to a CVT already? Or are you talking about the previous configuration?

        I can’t really heard the EJ in my Impreza over the road and wind noise. :)

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    Isn’t 256 hp really weak for a 3.6L engine? Hopefully it either sounds great, has a broad torque curve, or has some other offsetting positive attribute. Otherwise, no wonder few bother with it.

    • 0 avatar
      Rental Man

      The HP in the 3.6 does not bother me. 5SPD Automatic does. They are now part of Toyota. Maybe the other sister AKA Aisin Transmissions can find a small, more speed trans to fit in the space?

      • 0 avatar
        Ubermensch

        Fuji Heavy Industries is not “part of Toyota.” Toyota only holds a 15% stake in the company. Subaru has had to source it’s own transmission because of it’s use of symmetrical AWD systems. None of the standard transverse transmissions will work with Subaru’s longitudinal drive-train layout. This is part of the reason they used the 4-speed unit and now 5-speed unit for so long. I believe the new CVT they use is developed by Subaru themselves.

  • avatar
    PenguinBoy

    The Toyotafication of Subaru continues. The previous generation was almost a poor man’s Audi – the new one is looking more and more like an AWD Camry.

    When the current bodystyle came out a couple of years back, I went and had a look as I was seriously considering replacing my aging Legacy Wagon. I walked away underwhelmed, and decided to dump a bunch of money into my old Legacy and put off the decision for a couple of more years.

    I’m surprised that the new engine is only 170 HP. Back in the day, the NA 2.5 H4 made about 170 HP – which made it almost competitive with some domestic V6s. Now the domestic V6s are pushing 300 HP with greater refinement and no real world fuel consumption penalty compared to Subaru. I”m surprised they would bother with a redesign that, on paper at least, seems almost identical to what they were offering 10+ years ago. Hopefully the head gaskets are better on the new design!

    • 0 avatar
      grzydj

      Toyota has literally nothing to do with with the Legacy/Outback, so there is no “Toyotaification” that you speak of.

      • 0 avatar
        Ubermensch

        I believe he is referring to Subaru making their cars more mainstream like Toyotas in pursuit of higher volume.

      • 0 avatar
        grzydj

        That is working quite well then. I don’t think any company would mind having the sales figures and stockpiles of cash in their coffers that Toyota does.

        Subaru still makes and designs freaky cars compared to the “mainstream”

      • 0 avatar
        PenguinBoy

        “I believe he is referring to Subaru making their cars more mainstream like Toyotas in pursuit of higher volume.”

        Correct – although I wonder if Toyota had some influence on recent Subaru design decisions.

        I realize there is nothing in common between the Legacy and the Toyota platforms, but it does seem more mainstream than previous models. As a (former?) Subaru fan boy, it certainly has less appeal to me.

        “I don’t think any company would mind having the sales figures and stockpiles of cash in their coffers that Toyota does.”

        Except that Subaru isn’t really that competitive as a mainstream model. Once you take away the things that “Make a Subaru a Subaru”, why would anyone buy a Subaru instead of a Toyota, GM, Ford, or any other mainstream marque?

        Now that the Legacy wagon is gone, and the Outback is just another big bloated crossover, why would anyone choose an Outback over any other crossover? Subaru’s AWD system is superb – especially with a manual gearbox – but their engines, transmissions, seats and interiors aren’t really class competitive.

        Affordable All wheel drive station wagons with manual transmissions may be a small niche, but it was a niche Subaru had all to themselves…

      • 0 avatar
        grzydj

        @PenguinBoy

        Everybody complained that the previous generation of Legacy/Outback was too small to be competitive in the mid-sized market, so it grew in response. Weight didn’t go up significantly, and it finally has a decent engine and a CVT that I think is quite excellent for what it is. CVTs aren’t designed for performance, they’re designed for smooth operation and fuel economy, not everybody is going to like that.

        Still, they’re still remarkably weird cars compared to buying something like say, a Chevy Malibu.

        Again, Toyota has NOTHING to do with the styling cues of the Legacy or the Outback, or even the Impreza for that matter. The BRZ is the first design/engineering tie up between the two brands, and I think it worked out quite well.

      • 0 avatar
        PenguinBoy

        @grzydj – I realise my tastes may not be exactly mainstream – I actually bought a wagon with a stick – but I have no complaints about the space in the old Legacy.

        The things I think Subaru should have changed are:
        -Seats are not really long haul comfortable.
        -Interior trim looks kind of low rent.
        -Engine power and refinement could use a bump.
        -Mechanical durability below average as the car ages.

        Things they should have left alone:
        -Size was about right for me, excellent space utilization with the wagon.
        -Visibility is excellent, unlike most modern vehicles.
        -AWD system is superb, right up there with Quadra Drive Jeeps and Audi Quattros, Centre diff FTW!!
        -Nice steering feel.
        -Available with a manual gearbox.

        I drove a new Outback with a CVT. It would be a deal breaker for me, and unfortunately the 6MT is only available in certain lower trim levels. The larger vehicle doesn’t seem as “direct” feeling, even if the weight is only up slightly. I honestly can’t see why someone would buy an Outback over (for example) a Ford Edge – you would have to put up with “slip & grip” AWD, but you would gain a more powerful and refined powertrain otherwise.

        I can’t see myself buying *any* crossover. I ~might~ consider an Imprezza hatch, but that’s just a little too small, the interior and seats still look sub par, it could use a bit more power, and a 5MT seems kind of dated on a new car. None of these objections on their own are deal breakers, but collectively they’re enough to keep me away for now.

        Agreed on the BRZ. It certainly looks nice, at least on paper, and I’m glad they are making it!

    • 0 avatar
      srogers

      I doubt that anyone ever bought a Subaru because they thought it looked good. (Excepting the SVX). Subaru buyers don’t/shouldn’t have much for expectations in the appearance category.

      • 0 avatar
        Rental Man

        2005-2010 with the 2007-2010 Headlights is still a good design

      • 0 avatar
        PaulVincent

        Wrong. I really did like the looks of my 2008 STI. What I did not like was the mpg.

      • 0 avatar
        Ubermensch

        Disagree. My 4th Gen Legacy Wagon is very attractive. Of course the 4th Gen legacy is an aberration and pretty much every Subaru before and since has been strange, quirky, or just plain ugly looking.

      • 0 avatar
        gottacook

        We own an ’03 Legacy wagon (5-speed) and I think the third-gen Legacy looks nearly as good as the fourth-gen, especially the ’03 and ’04, most of which were built and sold as “special edition” packages like ours, with sunroof, leather steering wheel and shift knob, and, on the outside, fog lamps, alloy wheels and body-color rub strips/mirrors/door handles – in other words, they resembled the 2000-2002 2.5GT sedans and wagons (which weren’t turbos then) except for the body extension below the door sills, which was curvier in all the GTs of that generation.

    • 0 avatar
      gslippy

      I was thinking of the head gaskets, too.

      A blown head gasket on one of these engines makes the vehicle nearly throwaway at 130k miles, something that happened to my nephew shortly after he bought a used one. He had to take a bath in a trade, since the repair would have cost as much as he paid for the car.

      The “inexpensive, and built to stay that way” tagline no longer applies to Subaru.

      • 0 avatar
        grzydj

        Pfft. You can change the headgaskets with the engine still in the car. It’s unfortunate that this happened to your nephew, but an independent repair shop, or a buddy who knows how to turn a wrench can fix the gaskets on these quite easily. I should know, I’ve done a few myself!

      • 0 avatar
        DJTragicMike

        This issue is blown out of proportion. It is often seen on highly modded cars with bigger turbos but no engine work. The answer is to just not do that. And if it does, the repair isn’t that bad.

      • 0 avatar
        nickoo

        @dj

        The head gasket issue wasn’t blown out of proportion at all. Living in Subaru country, I would say that from my estimation, 1 in 4 2.5L NA subarus is going to have head gasket issues when it hits 100k miles. The 2.5 liter NA motor is an open deck block design because it’s cheaper to manufacture as the castings can be re-used. The free floating cylinder wall vibration combined with a poor factory head gasket, combined with no dealer re-torque on the heads after a few thousand miles, combined with boxer heads that don’t drain fluids as quickly as a V-6 motor, potentially saturating the gasket for longer periods of time, leads to real head gasket issues. Subaru refused to acknowledge this known problem for years. The turbo engines and the H6s use closed deck blocks, which severely mitigated the head gasket issues. The older subaru boxers were as fine as works of art, and highly sought after for ultralight plane hobbyists, when the 2.5 interference motor came out, it was all down hill.

      • 0 avatar
        nickoo

        @dj

        The head gasket issue wasn’t blown out of proportion at all. Living in Subaru country, I would say that from my estimation, 1/4 subarus is going to have head gasket issues when it hits 100k miles. The 2.5 liter NA motor is an open deck block design because it’s cheaper to manufacture as the castings can be re-used. The free floating cylinder wall vibration combined with a poor factory head gasket, combined with no dealer re-torque on the heads after a few thousand miles, leads to real head gasket issues. Subaru refused to acknowledge the known problem for years. The turbo engines and the H6s use closed deck blocks, which severely mitigated the head gasket issues.

      • 0 avatar
        PenguinBoy

        To make matters worse, when they ~did~ acknowledge the problem their “fix” was to insist that an additive be added to the coolant!

        We had this additive, and changed coolant per the manual’s recommendations, but still did head gaskets before 160,000 km (100 k miles).

      • 0 avatar
        DJTragicMike

        Fair enough, I thought you were talking about the turbo motors.

  • avatar
    DJTragicMike

    Subaru is WAY down in the horsepower and mpg wars. The GT offers terrible gas mileage and unimpressive hp gains over the NA motors. Compared to rival makers, it is a crap option. Enthusiasts didn’t buy. Only subaru fanboys would consider the 5th gen legacy GT and as other have noted, it isn’t popular with them to begin with.

    I say all this as someone who recently sold my STI and bought a 2008 legacy GT spec B. So yes, I am one of those fan boys. Honestly, I bought it for the transmission, which I loved in the STI, and the potential for much better power with some cheap modifications. And I really like the 4th gen proportions. If the newer 335i or G37 sedans were cheaper, I would have gotten one of those instead.

    This is the end of the line for Subaru as a maker of sport sedans, if the 5th gen wasn’t the end already.

  • avatar
    mcarr

    You’d think they could’ve found a few more horsepower in the 2.5. GM’s 2.5 will be what, 190? And Hyundai is getting 200 hp with their 2.4. Neither of those figures are shockingly high either, so it just makes Subaru’s (and Mazda’s) entry’s more pedestrian.

  • avatar
    vvk

    No wonder, the MSRP is $32k! Who do they think they are, BMW?

  • avatar
    icemilkcoffee

    Are they going to put the new engine into the existing body, or will the 2013 be a new body?
    The FB engine seems to get great mileage on the EPA test, but mediocre mileage out in the real world, as many 2012 Impreza owners are reporting.

  • avatar
    340-4

    Sad, but I can’t say that I’m surprised. The dealers I’ve spoken too while car shopping refused to even stock one.

    Funny, they seem to be not stocking the 6 cyl. model either. Cheap interior aside, I did find one to drive and enjoyed it.

    I suspect the 6 cyl. is on the way out too.

    Plus, $32-36k for a Subaru?

    • 0 avatar
      Ubermensch

      You do know that the average price of a car is $30K right? I don’t think $32K is too much to ask for an AWD mid-sized car. Subaru moved on from the Justy and Brat decades ago.

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        What exactly is an average car? Who buys one?

        32K for a frumpy sedan from a zero prestige brand doesn’t fly.

      • 0 avatar
        Ubermensch

        I speced out a Legacy 3.6R with every option and it was $32,340. An Accord EX-L V6 loaded is $32,600. A Camry XLE V6 loaded is $33,150. $32k+ for frumpy sedans from zero prestige brands is par for the course. At least with the Subaru you can get AWD for the same price as the FWD competition. I’m no fan of the new Legacy/Outback, but it is a pretty good value.

        As you your question of what is an average car and who buys one, just look at what is on the road around you.

  • avatar
    wmba

    Yup, Subaru screwed the pooch on the 5th gen Legacy GT. I could see it coming and got a new 2008 model four years ago that looks half-decent and has the automatic. The lack of an auto since 2010, which accounted for perhaps 80% of the older model sales, was only a North American market phenomenon for the newer GT. Everywhere else, the auto was available, so my assumption is that it would have hurt CAFE numbers too much. Also, a visit to Legacy GT.com will show that there are perhaps 19 2012 GTs left anywhere in the US, total production being only in the hundreds for the year. And not much fun to drive, what with the Subaru split case tranny. Hello rubber, cable and grating shift linkage – yuck.

    The new FB engine seems okay in the Forester, but it’s louder than the old EJ probably due to the chain drive to the cams, and offers no particular advantage I can see other than easier assembly at the factory. The new 84 mm bore size of the 2 liter allows for a very easy copy of the combustion chamber design from the BRZ type FA motor with its 86 mm bore, which Toyota came up with anyway. So direct injection will no doubt feature soon to bump the unit up a few hp. The 2.0 liter is undersquare, the 2.5 is still oversquare (94 x 90 mm) and probably different enough than the FA for Subaru to screw up the DI heads all by themselves – hint: hire the Toyota engine lab again, guys.

    The open deck design of the cylinders of the old SOHC EJ unit is no different from everyone else’s open deck design. If you want to make a die-cast alloy block, then it’s the only easy way to go. Everyone does it. The head gasket design itself was the problem, well that and piston scuffing and stuck rings in 1999 through 2004 engines. Not a pretty sight to visit a Subie shop in that time period, with engines lying around all over the place in various stages of disassembly. The stuck rings signaled their distress by turning the engines into oil drinkers before calling it quits.

    The DOHC turbo EJ engines are semi-closed block, which means they have a bit of metal here and there stabilizing the cylinder bores by connecting to the outer block. That and the better head gasket on the turbos seem to have avoided any particular problems. However, people who boosted their engines beyond belief can run into cracked pistons at the first ring-land, the only surprise being that a lot of engines have survived “tunes” from incompetents anyway. If you’re chasing knock, well goodbye pistons.

    Now that Subaru has had its eyes opened by Toyota in regards to cylinder head and piston crown design, there also appears to be waffling as to whether the new FB engine (Subie’s own) or the FA from the BRZ/Toyota 86 will become the turbo engine in the next WRX. It’ll likely only be 1.6 liter anyway and have a short stroke. If they do make a 2 liter version, then maybe a hot Legacy will appear in a couple of years, but not in the US due to CAFE. Oh well, only the 2005 to 2009 GTs were decent anyway in North America, while hot Legacies have been around for over 15 years elsewhere.

    The latest Legacies are big ugly marshmallow puffs to me. They tower over my car, and the 2013 update shows the usual Subaru progression of naff styling piled on over already great-horned toad-like features. When I drove (pedaled the CVT) my pal’s 2011, I was totally underwhelmed by the interior as well. Good lord, what were they thinking?

    Here’s the final nightmare — if Subaru had styled the new BRZ, can you imagine what it could have looked like? I can and in my imagination a 1967 Saab Sonnett would look like a Ferrari by comparison.

    Hey Subaru, wake up! Unfortunately, I think it’s too late. Here’s the way I tell — look at sales of Subaru in the UK over the last three years. They have died, whereas before, they were sort of cheap surrogate Land Rovers for the country set. Only 2634 sales for all of 2011, compared to 3900 the year before. No appeal at all even with the diesel available. They’ll die here next unless someone wakes up.

    • 0 avatar
      gottacook

      “look at sales of Subaru in the UK over the last three years. […] They’ll die here next unless someone wakes up.” I wouldn’t have thought the two markets are similar at all, much less similar enough to say that what happens in the UK market is in danger of happening here. Moreover, in the USA the larger Subarus are produced domestically, and (fortunately or not, depending on your point of view) sometimes they’re being purchased by loyal Subaru owners of many years’ standing, who are glad to have the chance to move up to the extra-large size. Not me, though – I’ll never give up my frameless-glass cars.

  • avatar
    Patrickj

    Wow, and people think that TTAC hates GM with a passion?

    GM has some actual fanboys here, for whom the company can do no wrong.

    Subaru seems to have none, just a few owners who drive them despite their limitations.


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