Digestible Collectible: 2005 Subaru Legacy 2.5GT Limited

Chris Tonn
by Chris Tonn
digestible collectible 2005 subaru legacy 2 5gt limited

Two out of four ain’t bad, I guess.

The perfect vehicle, as proclaimed by auto journalists and web commenters alike, is a brown diesel manual wagon. Here, however, the rally-legend Subaru turbo flat-four is a better choice for a hot daddymobile than a nasty oilburner. The low-key blue paint won’t turn heads at the PTA, but will be near invisible to over-zealous traffic enforcement.

The Subaru Legacy 2.5GT wagon, in other words, is an Impreza WRX STI for grownups.

This 2005 Legacy wagon has the relatively rare five-speed manual, again cementing the rally roots of this quick family truckster. This one could use a little detailing as the rear tint is badly marked up and the finish on the steering wheel isn’t the best. But, for under $9,000, this looks to be a great buy.

It’s not as collectible as the Legacy Spec B, but that was never available here as a wagon.

I keep seeing a black Legacy 2.5GT on my commute and it never fails to catch my eye. Moderately lowered with big dark wheels and dark tint, it idles with that distinctive Subaru burble. The wife would kill me were I to dump the minivan for something smaller, but my daily drive could use a bit more fun.

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  • DeadWeight DeadWeight on Oct 07, 2015

    "The perfect vehicle, as proclaimed by auto journalists and web commenters alike, is a brown diesel manual wagon." Your criteria is WEAK. 10 Holy/Wholly Attributes of "the perfect vehicle," codified: 1) Rear wheel drive (or light AWD system, sending no more than 18% of power to front wheels) 2) Diesel (turbocharging a diesel, unlike a petrol motor, is not only fine, but the only way to fly) 3) Manual transmission with hydraulic foot operated clutch & 5 or 6 speed gear lever 4) Durable yet supple whale peni foreskin leather interior trim* (or PeniTex per 30-mile fetch; see below) 5) Mocha and/or dark’caramel brown exterior paint option 6) 0-60 time of less than 7.5 seconds/top speed of 150 mph @ 48mpg 7) Starting MSRP of $12,998 with fully equipped model maxing out @ $16,339, including destination 8) Factory standard bumper-to-bumper warranty that is 12 years/120,000 miles 9) Only station wagon or true hatchback configuration 10) Actual center console mounted, non-electronic hand brake

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    • Maymar Maymar on Oct 07, 2015

      Should come from the factory used - only suckers buy new.

  • Wmba Wmba on Oct 07, 2015

    Well, I own a 2008 LGT, bought it new and have been very happy with it. It has had the driver's-side wheel bearings replaced, as expected, and a cross-threaded auto-trans cooling line finally gave up. Only 65,000 miles, and every service religiously performed. It works great and uses no oil. I went in to order a '16 STI, and was offered a mere $7K in trade-in. So, I left, because as far as I'm concerned I'm driving the best $7K car I know of. And that's 75 cent weenie Canuck bucks, folks. Just returned from a trip out west where my brother and I test drove a new Mercedes C Class and the BMW 428i. He drives a 2009 G37xS. Neither he nor I see much need to change after driving these latest German cars. Over two weeks away, and my old beast started right up, and sorry, that flat-four doesn't have the usual four cylinder noise when being revved, it's much smoother. And still goes like hell. Some things are worth hanging on to until inevitable old age finally gets them.

    • Gtem Gtem on Oct 07, 2015

      "only 65k miles" Well then the fun is only about to start! Sorry, but a wheel bearing at 65k miles is Hyundai circa-2000 tier. I do wonder why Subaru in particular is afflicted by this issue, is it something inherent to the suspension/knuckle/wheel design? Is their supplier South Korean? In my limited experience, it's water getting past the seal and introducing grit and rust that kills them. I lost a wheel bearing on my '98 MPV at 160k miles when I nailed a particularly awful pothole (blew out the shock, ruined a ball joint, broke a sway bar end link). That's the only time I've had issues with them, even on older vehicles.

  • Midenginebias Midenginebias on Oct 08, 2015

    I currently own an 07 Legacy Wagon GT with a slush box. Right now, it has 163k miles on the clock. I bought it with 143k on the clock with a thick pack of service records. I took a bit of a hit to clear the initial check engine light, but I bought the car at a steal price, so I felt okay with it. I ended up having to remap the ECU just to clear the CEL. I am concerned it won't pass smog. I took it canyon driving with the slush box and wasn't impressed. I've been spoiled by 3 MR2s in the past (91, 93, 01) and even my prior Corollas out of HS shifted better and more crisply. I'm only holding onto the car because of expected El Nino weather. Otherwise, the Hawk pads, .75" lift front, 1.25" lift rear but with H&R lowering springs give near OEM ride height but more composure over higher speed turns, dive, and squat. The most disappointing thing outside of the slushbox is the gas mileage. When it's in "Intelligent" mode, I average 20-21. With Sport mode, it's 18-19. I do drive spiritedly, but admittedly, was completely spoiled by my N/A Mr2s. I used to wring those out and still average 25-27mpg.

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    • Midenginebias Midenginebias on Oct 09, 2015

      @FAHRVERGNUGEN With Intelligent mode on and 70mph driving, I average 24-25mpg. The gas mileage did drop a bit when I added tires with more grip, but I would still prefer the 5-speed manual. I have already changed the transmission fluid in the automatic as a precaution. Diff fluids are next. Right now I drive in Sport mode. I can’t deal with Intelligent mode. I’ll take the 2mpg trade off for some half-decent throttle response and less lag. But, lightweight mid-engine cars with quick steering racks have a way of spoiling the driving experience for all other cars.

  • Midenginebias Midenginebias on Oct 09, 2015

    With Intelligent mode on and 70mph driving, I average 24-25mpg. The gas mileage did drop a bit when I added tires with more grip, but I would still prefer the 5-speed manual. I have already changed the transmission fluid in the automatic as a precaution. Diff fluids are next. Right now I drive in Sport mode. I can't deal with Intelligent mode. I'll take the 2mpg trade off for some half-decent throttle response and less lag. But, lightweight mid-engine cars with quick steering racks have a way of spoiling the driving experience for all other cars.

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