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Supacase's avatar

Any opinions or information on the Subaru Legacy?

Asked by Supacase (14533points) February 16th, 2010

We are looking at getting a new vehicle. Husband wants an SUV, I want a car (I will be driving it 90% of the time). We have semi-compromised on an Outback, but… what about the Subaru Legacy? I know the Outback has an outstanding reputation, but have not heard much about the Legacy.

I have researched all over the internet, but would like some personal opinions or info from people I “know.”

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11 Answers

dpworkin's avatar

Subaru cars have a very good reputation. According to Consumer Reports, the Legacy has a good reliability record, like the rest of the Subaru line. It does not, however, have the same type of off-road capability of the Outback or Forester, nor does it qualify as an SUV, not even a “crossover” or “mini” SUV.

MissAnthrope's avatar

I had a ‘93 Legacy wagon and it was the best, most reliable car I’ve ever owned. I had it for almost a decade and it was sooooo good to me. I loved that car. So easy and cheap to take care of. Got pretty good gas mileage, never had to worry about it not starting, and I got off pretty easy with mostly minor repairs over the years. Totally a great car if you don’t have lots of money to sink into gas, parts, or repairs.. general maintenance will get you very far with this car. Only problem I know of is the ‘93 engines sometimes leak oil.

I liked the first Subaru so much that I wanted a Subaru for my next car. This time, I got a ‘96 Legacy Outback. First off, some major design improvements between the two models (though I have the higher-end of the two non-luxury models), most notably the addition of all wheel drive and ABS. There are also some day-to-day usage improvements in the cabin, the car is also up higher, which I like. The only cons I can think of are lower gas mileage and a shocking price tag when you go to get your brakes changed ($200 per set?? You can buy sets online for $50ish to get around this somewhat).

As a sidenote, do they make just plain Legacies now? I think they may have translated the old Legacy line into the sportier Legacy Outback models.

jerv's avatar

I am not a fan of the newer Legacy, but that is more a matter of personal preference since the car itself is still good, just not my style.

I much prefer the older Legacy like my ‘94 LSi wagon (“Sue, the truck-aru”). Solid, reliable, tougher than nails, comfortable, and had more cargo capacity than the newer ones. I could put the rear seats down and lay comfortably in the back; not bad for someone 6’0”. I even hauled sofas in it!
Back then, 4WD and ABS were still optional, but the LSi was the top-of-the-line model so it had all the goodies. I never had a problem with it that couldn’t be expected of a car that age under harsh/unkind conditions; in fact, it tolerated treatment that would’ve killed any two lesser cars I’ve ever had.

The major downside was the fuel economy. It was rather heavy and 4WD added a few hundred pounds as well as a bit of driveline drag. That lead to an average of less than 24MPG in mostly highway driving.

TheJoker's avatar

Subaru & the Legacy are heavy on mechanical build quality…. these cars are built like tanks, but will probably outlive most tanks. In terms of design & fit’n’finish they are typically Japanese with some fairly shiney & cheap looking plastics (however, they may llok cheap but tend to be solid as a rock). All in all, a very good car with few drawbacks… & as with Subaru’s, the 4-wheel drive is excellent.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

What they said, it’s a good vehicle.

gailcalled's avatar

I own a Subaru Forester, which I bought for the AWD and safety features. I have a seriously dangerous long (.3 mile) driveway when it snows and freezes. The SUV enables me to get out whether I have been plowed or not. The mileage is not good, but that’s the only disadvantage. (Plus, Milo likes to sit on the roof and leave catprints.)

Before I bought it, I checked out all the cars parked at our local post office and up and down the block-long Main St. There were a preponderance of Subarus, equally divided between the Outback and the Forester.

Supacase's avatar

@MissAnthrope Yes, they make a Legacy that is just a car aside from the Legacy Outback wagon.

@dpworkin I don’t need any offroad capabilities or SUV qualities. I do want the AWD for bad weather road conditions, but that is all, which is why I think a Legacy might make more sense than another SUV-type Subaru.

Thanks for all of the input. I think I’m going to test drive one tomorrow.

jerv's avatar

AWD/4WD isn’t as much help in bad weather as many people seem to think, especially since many people overestimate it and figure that it makes them utterly invulnerable. It helps, but it doesn’t make you invincible.

However, the ABS (the best working ABS I’ve ever driven, I might add) has saved my ass more than once. As long as you don’t drive like a jackass, you’ll find that your new Subi will get you through even the worst storm.

Supacase's avatar

I realize AWD doesn’t make the weather irrelevant, but it does help if you drive carefully and aren’t foolish. I still wouldn’t even bother trying at all with ice. In fact, I’m always telling my husband pretty much what you said @jerv.

We have had several recent snowstorms (ugh) and there was a noticeable difference between driving my 2WD and my husband’s 4WD, especially on hills, which we have a lot of. This hasn’t made me suddenly want AWD, though. I wanted an Outback when we bought our last car but he wouldn’t go for it.

jerv's avatar

Personally, I would go for an STI if I had the money, but I think your tastes may differ from mine ;)

I grew up in New England, and the last time I drove there before moving West was at 2–3AM in the middle of a blinding snowstorm, following the ice storm of 2008 . I couldn’t see more than 30 feet ahead, the road was invisible with a couple of inches of dusty snow covering the ice, and here I was doing 40–45 in a Mazda 626 with bald tires. I made it safely, but I remember wishing that we had sold the Mazda first and kept the Subaru for our last month in NH. (It wasn’t worth the $120 to renew the registration, but the Mazda was still legal for another five months.)

filmfann's avatar

I drove my 82 Subaru Hatchback 225,000 miles before it was destroyed in a head on accident.
I miss that car, and would buy any Subaru again.

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