By on July 30, 2015

2015_Subaru_Legacy_ext_17

In my youth I was a vital, virile, male Manly Man. So manly that when I got a new ’86 GTI as my first “nice” car, I left off not only the automatic transmission but also the power steering. Mind you, it drove great — when it drove at all.

One night my parents tossed me the keys to drive them home from the restaurant. Mom’s whip was a mid-trim, 4-pot ’88 Camry. Yes, its limits were low, it was gutless, and it was tailored to bourgeois tastes with pastel upholstery here and fake stitching there. However, it was up front about its limitations, pridefully built, civilized in all its moves, and driving it was just so…easy. I one-fingered steered all the way home and made an earnest mental note.

Fifty VW defects later, I went Japanese and never looked back.

2015_Subaru_Legacy_ext_25This is the set of preconceptions I carried to the Avis counter the other day just before I walked away with the keys to a ’15 Subaru Legacy. My first impression of the car was, boy, boxy car in dull blue. My second was, hey, nice 18” alloys; this must be a high trim. And my third impression confirmed it. Upon opening the door, I encountered perforated — if rather anodyne — black leather, muted — if obviously fake — wood, and soft-touch surfaces everywhere I dash-stroked.

There were no badges inside or out, but I’ve subsequently deduced this example was the top-trim 2.0 Limited, albeit without the graduate-level nannies and navigation. It had the usual stuff to infuriate my Luddite self – the profusion of steering wheel buttons, the ersatz iPad above the console – but the buttons were at least logically arranged, and the HVAC was mercifully set free entirely from the gizmo prison. I heaved a sigh of relief and hit the road.

2015_Subaru_Legacy_int_28

The Legacy’s interior doesn’t say “premium,” but it exudes an integrity of build notably missing in, for one example, the embarrassing current-generation Camry. It’s not perfect; there are some odd angles and planes you’d only find in Nipponese iron, and the multi-adjustable driver’s seat only just sort of fits, with a head restraint that deserves its own restraining order. The stereo definitely has a subwoofer, though the treble was either dialed down or left out. The speedo is ringed in glowing blue as a fashion statement. There’s nothing all that fashionable about it anymore, but it’s also not executed via unevenly applied glops of cheapo blue paint like the previous-generation Fusion I once drove. This car was probably built in Indiana, but there’s nothing about it that needs to bow in inferiority to native Japanese workmanship. It reconfirms that American executives, not American workers, are the problem with American cars.

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The Legacy feels smaller and niftier in tight spaces than its size implies. Once underway, the chassis feels tight, body motions are firm but controlled, and the steering is firm and accurate — although electric-numb. Once I went into a decreasing-radius entrance ramp a little hot. The car stuck admirably while giving the driver no clue how it was doing so, which was the desired result but rather unsettling in concept. Whenever I buried the loud pedal, it wasn’t all that loud or coarse, just CVT-annoying like a distant motorboat. It wasn’t all that fast, either.

2015_Subaru_Legacy_ext_09

Over the road, I distinctly recall the 4-pot Legacy I took out a decade ago for an (almost literal) spin around the block. That car engaged me on pea gravel at 10 mph. This new one didn’t, at any speed. It just did whatever I asked. It tracked true on a wet and windy highway, went easy on its driver, effortlessly swallowed far more people and cargo than I could throw at it, and felt, at least by today’s pound-shaving standards, sturdy and untaxed by all of it.

After I turned in the Legacy, I looked up its road test in that tree-pulp car magazine. They said Subaru had resolved this generation to return the Legacy to its roots. Did they? I think not. Instead, they did something just as noble: Far better than their parent company has bothered to do in recent years, they returned to Toyota’s.

If “love makes a Subaru a Subaru,” it’s not the hot and dirty kind I used to experience with my tempestuous GTI bitch. It’s the kind you feel for the sheepdog who fetches your slippers for you every day of its life. Would I own one? If I got a fantastic deal, and if it had the Six, and I were short of funds for something more fun, mayhaps. But would I recommend one? To the right non-car-person friend, heartily. And I’ll bet they’d thank me for it the next 15 years.

Photography provided by the manufacturer.

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66 Comments on “2015 Subaru Legacy Rental Car Review...”


  • avatar
    cgjeep

    If you recommended it they would thank you for 8 years, not 15. At the 8 year mark it will eat various cv joints and a head gasket.

    • 0 avatar
      mcarr

      Sooner than 8 years for the head gasket. At least, that’s been the experience of my Subaru loving friends.

      • 0 avatar
        AlphaMaleMechanic

        People who buy cars that they cannot afford the maintenance on are alway the first to complain. If you can’t afford to maintain a car, or don’t know how to do it yourself you should be driving a Kia or a Hyundai. Something with a long warranty and doesnt cost anything. Didn’t any of your fathers teach you mechanics or better yet… didn’t your Mommy teach you how to read the Owners Manual for the maintenance schedule. You call yourselves men… lol

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Head gasket troubles seem to be over with the FA/FB engine family.

      CV joints, yes. That’s just an expected cost of Subaru ownership.

    • 0 avatar

      New 2.5 engine design in 2011. Apparently the head gasket monster has been contained.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    Sorry about your VW experience. I had an ’87 GTI, drove it for five years with no significant issues. I did bend a couple of those super soft rims on potholes and had to replace them.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I had an ’81 Rabbit, and while it was reliable, LOTS of little stuff went wrong. Exterior door handles would break off, window cranks would break a few times a year (I ended up buying five from the dealer just to avoid the trip), and the A/C condensation would all end up on the passenger side footwell due to a clogged hose that couldn’t be unclogged.

      I traded it on a Civic, which ran flawlessly for about 90,000 miles.

      There’s a reason VW has the rep it does.

  • avatar
    Boxofrain

    2.0 litre engine? I thought these had either a 2.5 litre 4 cylinder or a 3.6 6 cylinder.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    Thank you for the review, it was very well written.

    “It tracked true on a wet and windy highway, went easy on its driver, effortlessly swallowed far more people and cargo than I could throw at it, and felt, at least by today’s pound-shaving standards, sturdy and untaxed by all of it.”

    This is precisely what I’m looking for in my next car. What’s the word on observed fuel economy?

    • 0 avatar
      ThirdOwner

      Go on Fuelly and see real life data points from multiple owners, in multiple parts of the continent. Low 30s seems to be attainable for this generation.

      No wonder they are selling. Honest, reasonably priced cars. Subaru, the new Volvo.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      “It tracked true on a wet and windy highway, went easy on its driver, effortlessly swallowed far more people and cargo than I could throw at it, and felt, at least by today’s pound-shaving standards, sturdy and untaxed by all of it.”

      This is more or less true of the lion’s share of the midsize sedan class. Other than AWD, there isn’t much unique about the Legacy.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        I think you’re right, the 2012 Camry SE I drive with some regularity is a pleasure on long highway trips, only let down by less than perfect seats (they’re not bad either). My coworker’s 2014 Malibu is also very good at being a nice and heavy solid car to quietly burn up highway miles in.

      • 0 avatar
        Tosh

        The boxer engine makes it unique, so unique that I consider it to be ‘exotic’ and thus OFF my list.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Those boxer engines are loud as well, and have less accessible bits than other engines. I also find the styling of this Legacy incredibly boring, sort of “old Hyundai” in appearance.

          @gtem – You don’t want the H6 version, as it’s such a poor and thirsty H6 (of course dating back to 92 in the SVX). And if you get a 4-cylinder, the back looks like THIS.

          http://s1.cdn.autoevolution.com/images/news/gallery/subaru-announces-2015-legacy-us-pricing_10.jpg

          Which is unacceptable. Reeks of their laziness and cost cutting. Look at that POS panel down there covering the non-exhaust.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    I’m so over Subbie.

    Owned one in the 90’s and it was the second worst vehicle I’ve ever owned. The 98 Trans Sport Montana takes that award. It lived at the dealer and at just 44K miles – we were done.

    Wife came with an optionless ’06 Forrester. I have no idea how she found a stripper like this on a lot. It is my understanding that this is the most reliable Subbie you could buy in that year. Basic transport with a non-turbo 2.5 under the hood.

    Since I’ve known her:

    Rear drums brake seals completely failed
    CV boot monster
    Full steering rack after catastrophic failure, yes the system was properly flushed on mechanics reco as part of service
    Oil cooler lines and rings failure
    It eats cornering lamp bulbs for breakfast

    Every normal maintainence item seems to be 1.3X more than everything else.

    We just finished a $3200 cashectomy – it has a scant 96K miles. That $3200 does include among other things on the 6 page long invoice the timing belt, water pump and tensioner while it was ripped apart, as 105K miles isn’t far away.

    We are done at 140K or next major repair.

    The 2015 service loaner we had has panel gaps that make an 89 Buick look well constructed, and a ridiculous cheap interior. The gas filler door must be left over NASA parts from the shuttle program, I had no idea you could make metal that thin. I think the paint is actually thicker than the metal. She loathed the non-existent rear visibility – however the 06 Forrester is like driving a greenhouse in comparison to anything these days.

    It was weird to drive, the tranny and shift points were just…weird. I checked multiple times if the parking brake was on when driving.

    Meh – Subbies legendary quality is that – a legend.

    • 0 avatar
      Advance_92

      My parents had some catastrophic failure on their 06 non-turbo Forester right away. The dealer said something about the wrong pistons an rebuilt it as a bored out thing somewhere between 2.5 and 2.6L. Being an old Honda guy Dad revs the nuts off it but it’s been dead reliable ever since. Another friend of mine just started to have gasket leaks on her 06 non turbo Impreza.

      Of course none of this applies if you have a 2.0 turbo; if you survived the manual boost controller craze of 2001 it’ll pretty much last forever, or at least until fender rust starts.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        If the head gasket goes – the Subbie goes. If I were driving it I would nurse it along with the bad head gasket until death.

        Did I tell you the time I drove a 98 Pontiac Trans Sport Montana with a bad head gasket for 11 months and 12,000 miles? I even learned how to “burp” the coolant system of the exhaust gasses jammed it with the engine was hot without 3rd degree steam burns and coolant exploding everywhere – I got REAL good at it.

        Hey, alumaseal, a hole drilled in the thermostat so the gas bubbles could circulation and avoid bumper-to-bumper traffic (good luck on that in Seattle).

        But because my wife drives it, she shouldn’t have to and won’t put up with this kind of nonsense.

        We have fingers crossed we get 3 years – she drives about 8K to 9K miles a year. If we can amortize this $3,200 repair trip over 3 years, that’s a $1,000 a year, which is cheaper than even the cheapest come on lease from VAG on a Jetta.

    • 0 avatar
      ClutchCarGo

      I’ve owned 2 Subaru wagons in my time, and I had more problems (real, leave you stranded kinds of problems) with them than with any other car I’ve owned.

      • 0 avatar
        omer333

        So what you guys are saying is if I’m not happy my Dodge Dart essentially gave up the ghost, I should not look at getting a late-model 2.5 litre Impreza in regular or RS trim?

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      The CV boots are expected… the rest of that is really bad luck.

      TrueDelta and Consumer Reports both like the Forester. LTQI, not as much; it shows the cars are better than average until about 90K and then worse than average.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      What about your 90’s Subaru?

      I only test drove a late 90’s-early 2000s Subaru Outback wagon, seemed logically thought out but nothing really noteworthy about it.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        The 95′ Outback with the DOHC 2.5L flat four kicked off the modern era of Subaru engines with leaky headgaskets. These blew out the worst way, leaving people stranded. The next 99-04 cars still suffered from the same issues with their SOHC variant of the 2.5, but the leaks were oftentimes external: the cars can leak oil or coolant outside the engine but as long as things are kept topped up the repair can be delayed and budgeted for. 05-09 cars with the yet again revised 2.5L also suffer the same issues. It is claimed that with the new “FB” engine series the headgasket stuff is finally resolved but we’ll only truly know in 7 years or so. The new engines are in the middle of a oil consumption scandal, apparently it’s enough of an issue for a class action lawsuit?

        CV boots go out earlier on subies due to the location of the exhaust headers in their flat-four layout. They pass right by the CV boot without any sort of extra heat shields and over time the boot gets brittle from the heat and cracks.

        Why Subarus tend to loose wheel bearings sooner than many other cars I have no idea. Could be in their supplier quality, could be something specific to how they engineer and tune their suspensions and what sort of extra loads there might be. Korean cars used to have wheel bearing issues, the problem there was definitely the quality of South Korean wheel bearings. Even respected American brand Timken started to outsource and I know from semi-direct experience (my mechanic brother and his buddies) that Timken branded South Korean manufactured wheel bearings just don’t last. Maybe another 40k miles and they’re toast.

        • 0 avatar
          Ryoku75

          I think Subaru cheapens out on wheel bearings, they don’t spec them up enough to cope with their AWD systems.

          The Outback I tried out was a third gen ’98-’03, didn’t handle notably well and the ride was rough, all the while being a little low for any serious off-roading.

          The smaller 2.0 boxer was less prone to eating headgaskets, but that didn’t stop Subbies rust issues, CV boot eating, delicate sheet metal, and as you said bearings.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            You’re probably thinking of the EA22, the SOHC 2.2L motor in lower end legacy sedans and wagons from the early 90s until 99. A 300k mile workhorse of a motor.

            My friend bought a 04 Legacy wagon after reading a bit too much reddit I think, ended up buying one without having me pre-inspect it for him. Turns out it was originally a MA car, that had some serious rust issues that were patched up and the car resprayed. I actually like the interior in that generation of Subie and it handled pretty nicely, very planted. But you’re right, the ride is fairly stiff and the car in general is pretty noisy (engine, transmission whine, road noise).

          • 0 avatar
            Ryoku75

            Right, that 2.2s a solid workhorse, dunno about the cars that they powered.

            Based on my research most subbie fans don’t like those Outback years, you basically got a Legacy that got worse mpg and handled a bit sloppy from the tall suspension and tires.

            Basically, you had todays CUV

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            The problem with the 2.2 was two-fold in my mind. You got neither of:

            a) Power.
            b) Fuel economy.

            A little tiny lightweight Impreza wagon running a 2.2 should get better than 19mpg in town. It just should.

    • 0 avatar
      chiefmonkey

      Feel the same about Subaru: thoroughly mediocre vehicles. Subaru’s presumption is that people will overlook or forgive multiple shortcomings if a vehicle is inexpensive to lease or acquire and has standard AWD.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    I will admit that I have not recently taken a Subie out for a test drive. But in the past, I have always had Subaru on my shopping list. Not so much anymore, I agree with the author that Subaru has gone full Toyota on us. Never go full Toyota.

    In any event, while the newest WRX and BRZ are interesting bits, gone are the WRX hatchback I so desired. Gone is the legacy GT with its all wheel drive manual transmission turbo charged goodness. Gone is the Legacy wagon which has gone all SUV on us.

    I respect Subaru and the vehicles it currently makes, but no longer desire them (with one WRX exception)

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    They sell a 2.0 there? Odd, we only get the 2.5 and a 3.5 six.

    The 2.5 is kinda slow as it is… 0-60 in 9.5… that’s barely acceptable in 2015 but then it sounds like throwing more power at a chassis that seems to be under the sway of electronic devices and electric steering etc. is just going to make a dull driving experience… faster?

    Not a bad looking car but it seems all the driving flavor has leeched out of these Subarus.

  • avatar
    Rday

    I have owned many vw’sh, the 70 vw convertible was the best and the most fun to drive. the 73 was terrible with no power at all. owned a camper bus, rabbit diesel and another diesel. they were not up to par. switched to toyotas and never looked back. Looked at subaru but the maintenance schedule was way too costly and the engine looked rudimentary. Love toyota and will stick with them except for my ram promaster. Hate to think how the caravan power train will hold up in this vehicle.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    “…but it exudes an integrity of build notably missing in, for one example, the embarrassing current-generation Camry.”

    That changed in the 2015 refresh. I’d say the Camry is now at parity with the Accord.

    Unless I needed that AWD, I see no reason to opt for the Legacy over a Camry SE or Accord.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      That’s what I figured as well. I really need to get out and try a 2015. 2012-2014 Camries had some issues with the center stack: cheap HVAC knobs with no weight to them, and creaky dash-to-console trim pieces with terrible gaps. Very un-Toyota, glad to see them take care of that.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        The refresh was a substantial improvement to my eyes. No fake-stitched plastic tack-on panels flanking the center stack, far less faux aluminum, the weird chunky shifter surround bezel is gone, the door panels are nicer, the HVAC knobs look and feel far better. The center stack and console have a cohesive design now that doesn’t look like the designer panicked and penned it 30 minutes before a deadline he forgot he had.

        It may not impress a Fusion owner, but an Accord owner can no longer scoff, especially since Honda still can’t seem to properly align the glovebox door in that model.

  • avatar
    Dan

    Toyotafication has been good to Subaru. Bland is making a lot more customers happy than weird did.

    It’s just a shame that that Toyotafication hasn’t extended to the powertrains. They’re dogs to drive, the old ones ate head gaskets, the new ones drink oil, they all have two banks worth of O2 sensors and the flat configuration positions the headers to cook the front CV boots and makes it harder to get at the plugs.

  • avatar
    legacygt

    +1 on the comment regarding the Legacy of a decade ago. I had a GT Limited Wagon with a manual that was absolutely fantastic. Had to replace it when my family grew and the guy who bought it to replace is 3 Series traveled 200 miles by train to test drive and then again to pick it up. A great car. The prior generation really lost its way. Part of it has to do with the Outback. The Outback used to be a modified Legacy but now it’s the other way around. Even worse, the Outback has grown to true CUV proportions which makes the transformation back to mid-sized sedan less than graceful. Still, the current generation of Legacy and Outback are an improvement. Not as good as the ’05-’09 cars but they’re going after a different market now and the sales numbers show they made the right call. These cars are honest, safe, reliable and somehow deliver fantastic mileage for the large cars that they are. Of course they are slow and have awkward styling.

  • avatar
    stars9texashockey

    And just like Toyota, you can rent one. There’s the problem.

  • avatar
    FAHRVERGNUGEN

    I will keep my ’05 sport-shift GTL wagon until all the hair falls off my shoulder blades.

    Or 140x miles. Whichever happens first.

  • avatar
    KrohmDohm

    Tom wondering what your issues are with the 2015 Camry build quality. I bought one in May and love it so far. There is some cheaper plastics in tucked away spots but all cars are guilty of that these days.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Pretty sure that’s a 2.5.

    In any case, Subarus really haven’t changed much, except that the weird option combos have gone away. Their virtues and vices have been the same for over 20 years.

    Good things you get with Subaru: competent AWD systems, durability, good pricing, good packaging, good ergonomics and visibility.

    Bad things you get with Subaru: expensive-ish and pretty frequent maintenance, indifferent material quality inside and out, seats apparently designed for 5’2″ drivers, poor infotainment options.

    Their historically poor fuel economy has improved with the new generation of boxer engines and the CVT.

  • avatar
    Cabriolet

    Just had to add that i had the same 1986 VW GTI No power steering and no automatic. The car was great 185,000 miles with very little trouble. The car was put down about 6 years ago with the original starter motor & alternator. Other then a new clutch at 125,000 miles, struts and a new radiator at 150,000 miles the car was bullet proof. My kids learned to drive on this car and beat the hell out of it. My wife on the other hand purchased a 1986 Subaru Brat that took the prize for the biggest piece of junk on the road. The day i dumped that car i spend 2 hours in church praying i never go thru that again. Everything went on that car and Subaru warranty is not worth the paper it is written on.Just try and get something fixed under warranty. Subaru will tell you to pound sand. I know now what is known as Subaru tough love. My running buddy has an 2006 Subaru and went thru all the normal Subaru Ills. Second set of drive shafts, leaking head gaskets (The little pills from the dealer did not work) and now various electrical problems. I am happy their sales are working out but with the new oil issue i think they will be having some problems down the road. I wish future owners the best of luck been there and do not want to be there again.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      I had an 87 GTi and it was the BEST CAR EVER! No automatic, no power steering, AC DELETE, BADGE DELETE, interior DELETE. Popping it into 2nd made it feel like a real racing car!

      Oh wait theres a car review here?

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    “Subaru had resolved this generation to return the Legacy to its roots.”

    So it’ll leak water in the cab and rust out in the back in 5 years? Seems like a step backwards

    They should make it look like a ’87 Acura Legend while they’re at it, like the original Legacy.

  • avatar
    vtnoah

    I’ve owned several Subies in my day. 97 Impreza Hatch, 98 Legacy GT, 08 Impreza Hatch, and now a 2011 Forester. They’ve been the most reliable cars I’ve ever owned and are perfect for rural VT where I live. Granted, prior to owning them I went through a few SAABs and VW’s so my opinion on “Reliable” may be a bit skewed.

  • avatar
    Fordson

    I think this piece, and its comments, mark an all-time high in the “I owned a 199X Belchfire Landau, and it sucked/was great, and so I know that a new Belchfire Landau will be EXACTLY THE SAME, so I’m getting a new one/would never own one again” syndrome.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      You should visit carsurvey.org sometime, find a negative review, and witness the 46 responses all saying the same thing.

      “I’m 19 and I own a ’92 Belchfire Landaue, I know its weird for a younger guy like me to praise an old peoples car but I’m just weird like that. Its a shame that Gasburn motors quit making them, its the last of the American sedan. Gasburn made them from 1979 and kept to it to 2009, a true testament to American engineering while those Imports had to constantly redesign their cars”.

    • 0 avatar
      bullnuke

      Any post labeled “Subaru” on TTAC is bound to elicit passionate negative responses. This is a rule, a “given” as it were. “Head gaskets!”, “CV joint boots!”, “Rusted out sh*t boxes!”, “Birkenstocks” ad nauseam. Then some of the same folks wax eloquently about noisy and rusting Mazdas that no one seems to want to purchase, VW’s with bad transmissions and fuel pumps, FCA’s with many issues as well as other makes while making excuses for the current crop of their rolling (or, in some cases, non-rolling) fine examples of enthusiast vehicles. Fun to watch.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        That’s actually a fairly accurate representation of the typical “lay of the land” as mechanics see it. Ask most non-make specific mechanics (guys that work on everything) what car to buy if you just want the least trouble possible in terms of reliability and almost invariably they will say “buy a Honda or Toyota.”

  • avatar
    stuki

    So, basically an Audi for those who don’t pimp?

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      It an Audi for people who want AWD but LOVE the Chevy Cruise’s styling.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        It’s a Volvo for people who can’t quite hack Volvo pricing.

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          It’s a Volvo for people who’ve heard a service writer say “angle gear.”

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Is that a breakable thing on an XC70 which puts them at a BHPH or on CL?

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            Probably. If you hear mechanical noises from an XC70, run the other way. An ex-gf of mine had one briefly. It was condemned for underbody rust at about the age of 6. I think there was probably still a rust warranty in effect, but I wasn’t there when the Volvo dealer condemned it and she was out something in the teens of thousands of dollars. Based on internet research, I thought it was going to be the angle gear that was making the noise, but it turned out to be that everything under the car was rusted badly.

  • avatar
    Steve Biro

    All I can say is, there are no guarantees with any brand of car. There are always horror stories. I can only go by my own experience. The 2016 Forester that I just bought is my third Subaru. The others being a 2001 Impreza and a 2010 Impreza Outback Sport, both with manual transmissions and the 2.5-liter non-turbo engine.

    I’ve never suffered head gasket failures or any oil-use issues. The 2001 was noisy and tinny but worked fine. The 2010 was much better but plastic-on-plastic squeaks could be heard in cold weather from the point where the A pillars met the dashboard. Still, no gasket or oil issues and no major problems.

    Now that I’m getting older and my wife and I often swap out cars, the new non-turbo, base Forester has a CVT, which doesn’t bother me the way I thought it might. In fact, it’s kind of interesting. Still, it’s a newer technology, so who knows? But it is heartening to know that a search of the Internet doesn’t seem to reveal stories of Subaru CVT failures the way one hears about Nissans or other brands with Jatco CVTs.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    The Legacy’s biggest problem is also its reason for existence: The Outback. They’re similarly priced and I would be at least half of customers who come in the showroom to look at a Legacy leave with an Outback. They are both practical-minded cars and the Outback simply has more utility.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Also this. The Outback is better value for money than this sedan.

      • 0 avatar
        tonycd

        “The Outback is better value for money than this sedan.”

        Gracious no, Corey, I’d never agree with this. You can make a solid argument for the Outback over the Legacy, but value isn’t it. The two cars are basically identical except for 3 things:

        1) The Legacy is a sedan and the Outback is a wagon.
        2) The Outback is jacked up about 3 inches on its suspension, which improves the ground clearance and ruins the ride quality.
        3) The Outback, identically equipped, costs thousands more.

        If there’s a value story there, it doesn’t favor the Outback.

        • 0 avatar
          hotdog453

          Value isn’t just “what it costs”, but “what you get”. The Outback is a damn big vehicle, basically an SUV. The Legacy is a sedan. That 3k price difference gets you a lot “more” vehicle.

          I love Subarus, with a passion; owned WRXes for years. I have zero interest in a Legacy; it’s just a big, slow, ugly sedan. The Outback, though, is allowed to be big and ugly and slow; it has ground clearance, and size, and a wagon-hatch.

          So yeah, that 3k price difference is “something”, but when it comes time to write a check every month, I’m guessing a lot of people lean towards the Outback, given how few Legacies and how MANY damn Outbacks I see.

          • 0 avatar
            tonycd

            “Value isn’t just ‘what it costs’, but ‘what you get’.”
            Yep, there we agree 100%.

            “The Outback is a damn big vehicle, basically an SUV. The Legacy is a sedan.”
            Agreed on the second part, considering my previous post said: “1) The Legacy is a sedan and the Outback is a wagon.” But on the first part about the Outback being so damn big, not so fast:

            Legacy: 189″L x 72″W x 59″H, wheelbase 108.3″

            Outback: 190″L x 72″W x 66″H, wheelbaee 108.1″

            In other words, the two cars are the exact same damn platform, and the Legacy is a wagon while the Outback is a sedan.

            As I said before, and as we agree, “You can make a solid argument for the Outback over the Legacy.” That argument is if you need the cargo capacity of a wagon or the ground clearance of a jacked-up suspension, more than you need a lower price and a better ride/handling compromise. But that is not a “value” argument, unless you’re expanding the word “value” to the point of utter meaninglessness by saying “if I’d personally choose to pay more for its attributes, then it has more ‘value’ TO ME.”

            This is the second different thread in which I’ve seen people smugly assert they’re the only ones who comprehend the self-evident truth that if SUVs sell better, therefore they objectively are better. What’s evident to me is that the American educational system isn’t what it used to be at teaching deductive reasoning.

  • avatar
    hotdog453

    Here in Columbus, Ohio, Subaru town USA, Legacies are damn rare. Outback and Forresters have to outsell them 10:1


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