Tested: 2011 Subaru Legacy 2.5i equipped with Sport Package and
6-speed Manual Transmission
Competition in its class: Infiniti G Sedan, Chevrolet Malibu, Audi A4, Mazda 6
How much? MSRP $27, 995
Grandpa Car = over-sized, slow, no bells and whistles, and includes U-lock System (you know, where YOU lock the doors and YOU roll down the windows?)
This Subaru Legacy, my friends, is FAAAAAR from a Grandpa Car.
Power, performance, style, and comfort all in one neatly wrapped, sharp little package.
was a little
since I had the car in the winter and we were, conveniently,
expecting a rather large dumping of snow, and not to mention the fact
that I haven't driven stick in months and was pretty sure I'd be a
So what's so special about this car?
Subaru has further enhanced the 2011 Legacy to now come standard with some awesome features which would be considerable upgrades on vehicles by other manufacturers; stuff like:
- folding side-view mirrors
- Convenience Package which includes a voice-activated Bluetooth® system for hands-free calling and cell phone connectivity
- 10-way power driver's seat
- 16-inch aluminum alloy rims, and
- stainless steel exhaust tip
The Legacy 2.5i Sport model, which I reviewed, included heated seats and mirrors, but! I couldn't find the axillary input for a cell phone/mp3 player. Then after I returned the car I started thinking about it, and researched a little to find that they actually have stowed them within the centre console. Great for charging your items and storing them out of plain sight.
Okay so it's loaded, but is it fast?
The 6-speed manual transmission took a little for me to get used to. I've only ever driven 5-speeds, so the frequency of shifting is different, but once I got the hang of that I was fine. It was the reverse that tripped me up. I literally sat in the car for 10 minutes looking, and trying before I was successfully able to get the car moving backwards.
(Call me a woman driver, blonde, whatever. I can take it. It confused a couple people, so there.)
The trick is to LIFT the stick before moving it all the way to the right and back.
This car offers performance. With a cool 170-horsepower, the pick up was quick and smooth. Merging on the highway was a breeze, tight corners (or highway on ramps) were maneuvered confidently and comfortable in part by Subaru's symmetrical all-wheel drive. All their manual transmission vehicles are equipped with the Continuous AWD system which allows for power to be distributed 50/50 front to rear. Slippage in either set of wheels will be compensated by sending more power to the opposite set of wheels.
Looks and power, but is it safe?
The Legacy has been named the Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. It includes airbags at the critical impact zones: driver, passenger, and side curtain. Legacy models are equipped with the Subaru Advanced Frontal Airbag System which is a dual-stage-deployment feature for driver and passenger. The passenger side also incorporates an occupant detection module which determines the force at which the airbag shall be deployed depending on the weight of the occupant (adult or infant/child) or if there is one at all.
Not to mention there's also automatic headlights (my FAVOURITE, we have them in both our cars) and 4-wheel ABS breaks, as well as car seat LATCH anchors and thee-point seat belts at all three positions in the back seat.
Unfortunately, due to the timing of this test drive, my kids didn't take a ride and therefore I have no witty 5-year-old commentary to share. But overall, the backseat was roomy with lots of knee room (which is always my problem with back seats) (and I'm not being dirty, I swear) (stop looking at me like that).
I was/am in love with this car.
It's large enough to
accommodate a family of four and
all most of our
baggage. It's peppy and fun to drive while still incorporates the
many top-of-the-line safety features as standard.
If you're interested in seeing a few more shots I've taken of the Subaru Legacy, head on over to my flickr page! :)