The Subaru Legacy is a mid-size car built by Japanese automobile manufacturer Subaru since 1989. Part of the original design goals for the Legacy model was to provide Subaru a vehicle in which they could compete in the lucrative North American midsize market against competitors Honda Accord, Toyota Camry and Nissan Altima. Higher performance variants of the Legacy are offered as competitive alternatives to compact executive cars such as the Audi A4, Alfa Romeo 159 and BMW 3 Series. The Legacy also serves as Subaru’s flagship car.
In 1996, a variant of the Legacy with heightened suspension called the Legacy Outback was introduced to compete in the burgeoning sport-utility vehicle class and proved to be a sales success for Subaru. The Outback line was split into its own model in 2000, known as the Subaru Outback.
It is unique in its class for offering all wheel drive as a standard feature, and Subaru’s traditional boxer engine. The Legacy bears the name Liberty in Australia out of deference to Legacy Australia, a veterans’ assistance organization. As of 2008, 3.6 million Legacies have been built since its 1989 introduction
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Subaru has been in over drive with improvements being made to the Legacy. For the 2012 version, Subaru has fitted it with an exclusive six-speed manual transmission (the 2012 had a five-speed) and a new limited-slip rear differential. In addition, a new turbocharger and various other engine upgrades in spec.B and GT Limited models allow them to meet LEV 2 emissions standards, and the peak horsepower rating is revised to 243. The turbo Legacys also pick up an SI-Drive feature that allows the driver to adjust engine responsiveness, a tire-pressure monitor and new instrumentation.
The Legacy is the oldest nameplate in the Subaru lineup. This might make one inclined to think it’s Subaru’s most successful model, but in reality it’s often been living in the shadow of its Outback offspring and the highly praised Impreza WRX. Previous versions of the Subaru Legacy, though popular with people desiring a car with all-weather capability, were often passed over in favor of more mainstream choices like the Honda Accord or Toyota Camry.
Thankfully, Subaru gave buyers more reasons to consider its midsize sedan and wagon when the car received a full redesign a couple of years ago. As a result, the 2007 Subaru Legacy is stylish, powerful and fun to drive, and all-wheel drive remains standard across the line. Legacy GT models feature a modified version of the Impreza WRX’s 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder boxer engine rated at 243 horsepower and 241 lb-ft of torque.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
An all-wheel-drive midsize car, the 2007 Subaru Legacy comes in sedan and wagon versions, each of which is available in a variety of trim levels. Both body styles come in 2.5i, 2.5i Special Edition, 2.5i Limited and 2.5 GT Limited trim levels, while only the sedan is available in 2.5 GT spec.B trim.
The base 2.5i comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, air-conditioning, a six-speaker MP3/WMA-capable CD stereo with an auxiliary input jack, a trip computer and full power accessories. The 2.5i Special Edition adds dual moonroofs (the sedan gets a single large moonroof) and a power driver seat. The 2.5i Limited includes heated exterior mirrors, a windshield wiper de-icer, leather upholstery, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control and an upgraded audio system with an in-dash CD changer.
Powertrains and Performance
Two engines power the Subaru Legacy. All 2.5i models get a normally aspirated 2.5-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder that makes 175 hp and 169 pound-feet of torque. The GT Limited and GT spec.B models get a turbocharged 2.5-liter flat four that makes an impressive 243 hp and 241 lb-ft of torque.
Like all Subarus sold in the U.S., the Legacy is all-wheel drive. Legacy 2.5i models are equipped with either a five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic. GT buyers typically have the choice of the five-speed manual or a five-speed auto. The spec.B has an exclusive six-speed manual transmission. Note that Subaru Legacy wagons take the automatic transmission only, except on the base 2.5i trim level.
Standard safety equipment includes antilock disc brakes, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and whiplash-reducing front headrests. Stability control is a new feature for 2007, but it’s only installed on the spec.B sedan and GT Limited sedans equipped with both an automatic transmission and a nav system.
Interior Design and Special Features
Inside, we can’t help but like the Subaru Legacy’s clean dash design and the convincing faux aluminum trim, not to mention the red-and-white gauges and three-spoke Momo steering wheel in the GT Limited and spec.B models. Build and materials quality is excellent. While the backseat is comfortable for two passengers, shoulder room and legroom are still pretty tight for this class. Kids should fit with no problem, though. Legacy sedans have an 11.4-cubic-foot trunk with a ski pass-through and fold-down rear seats. The wagon has folding seats and 66 cubic feet of maximum cargo capacity.
Equipped with the base 2.5-liter engine, the 2007 Subaru Legacy provides adequate acceleration and polished road manners that you’re sure to like whether your commute is all highway or includes a few twists and turns. If you can swing it, though, the upgrade to the turbocharged Legacy GT Limited or spec.B is well worth it, as the car is quick and entertaining to exercise on a back road, especially when equipped with one of the manual transmissions.
Hard-core enthusiasts will note that the Legacy exhibits a bit too much body roll to be considered a bona fide sport sedan (or wagon), but the trade-off is a forgiving highway ride, even on the Bilstein-equipped spec.B. Steering is light, precise and high in feedback with all Legacys.
The Subaru legacy is a head turner, has the right specs for a fast, reliable, comfortable and safe car. This and the other models of Subaru Legacy can be purchased on www.carfromjapan.com