logo.jpg

Model
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


I’ve
long equated the Subaru Legacy as a “Grandpa Car”, simply
for the fact that my grandpa has always had one. For as long as I can
remember there has always been a Subaru Legacy in my grandpa’s
driveway; not the same one, mind you, he would, and continues, to get
a new one every couple of years.

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?)


I
think I owe grandpa an apology. He obviously has more style than I
thought. In fact, the next time I’m down there for a visit, I may
just have to take his ride for a spin.

car.jpg

This
Subaru Legacy, my friends, is FAAAAAR from a Grandpa Car.


Power,
performance, style, and comfort all in one neatly wrapped, sharp
little package.

I
was a little
terrified
worried
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
little rusty.

Off
the start, as I suspected, I was a little rusty. It’s tricky to get used to the clutch – which it
is with any manual transmission – but once I got into second gear (a couple times), it
was smooth sailing from there.

So
what’s so special about this car?

This
manual transmission didn’t include your typical pull-up emergency
brake stick, no ma’am. There’s an electronic parking brake and for
those who may not be entirely comfortable with hills there is the
driver-selectable “Hill
Holder” system
(which
is also included on other Subaru models). Basically, this feature
prevents the car from rolling backwards while the clutch is engaged,
and you’re on a hill, of course.


 
 
 
 
powercontrols.jpg.jpg
 


 
 
 

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.

stickshift.jpg

(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.


headlamp.jpg

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! :)  

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    OMG. heated mirrors?!?!? That’s awesome!

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