Legacy Tourer 2.5i SE Lineartronic
a Subaru so the full-time all-wheel
drive is expected. However, the
fifth-generation Legacy Tourer does
come with something new
SUBARU'S LATEST LEGACY TOURER has ushered in a handsome new
body that clothes significantly increased dimensions: longer, wider and taller
than the previous model, it also features an 80mm longer wheelbase designed
to increase comfort for all occupants. As well as fresh styling, the new five-door
Legacy Tourer estate has a completely re-engineered all-steel structure that
has earned it a five-star EuroNCAP crash safety rating.
Just one powerplant is offered for each fuel type: both flat-four 'Boxer' engines.
For diesel fans there's a 148bhp 2.0-litre turbodiesel that can only be had
with a six-speed manual transmission while the petrol unit is a naturally-aspirated
165bhp 2.5-litre mated to Subaru's all-new 'Lineartronic' auto 'box.
Lineartronic uses a continuously variable transmission-type unit that enables
the engine to operate continuously at the most efficient part of its rev-range
and that, from the driver's seat, feels just like a normal automatic. Shifts
are seriously 'creamy', which is to say very smooth indeed. And quick, too:
the 'gear' change time in manual mode is just 90 milliseconds. Electronics provide
six gear 'steps' and the driver can select the next gear sequentially (going
up or down the gears) by using the paddles attached to the horizontal spokes
of the steering wheel left for down; right for up.
The 2.5 SE comes comprehensively equipped so much so that that
the only factory-fitted option is a special paint finish. Standard-fit kit includes
black leather upholstery, cruise control, dual-zone, fully automatic air-conditioning
to keep you cool in summer and heated front seats to warm in winter, 10-way
powered driver's seat with memory, multi-function three-spoke leather-rim steering
wheel, electric folding, heated door mirrors with LED indicators, premium audio
system with RDS/MP3-compatible 6-CD tuner and six speakers (including two tweeters)
plus voice activation for making 'phone calls and operating the audio along
with a full array of front, front-side and curtain airbags.
And there's more: Bluetooth hands-free system, auto lights and wipers, on-board
computer, power headlamp washers, UV protected front, side and rear glass, front
and rear electric windows (with auto up/down function on the driver's door),
a powered glass tilt 'n' slide sunroof, aluminium foot pedals, carbon fibre-effect
trim, smart 15-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels and, of course, the full-time all-wheel
drive system. That's a lot of kit in anyone's book.
core appeal stretching all the way back over five generations
of Legacy estates has been Subaru's customary all-wheel drive
and the estate's fitness for purpose. As such it has enjoyed a strong following
from those who live and work in the country where practicality and reliability
is not much good without all-wheel drive capability for those times of the year
when the going really does get tough.
The interior manages
to be smart and simple
at the same time
not such an easy thing
and fit and finish
The interior manages to be smart and simple at the same time not
such an easy thing to achieve and fit and finish is fine; the
four dials are clear, 'outlined' in aluminium rings and are illuminated constantly
to improve visibility and while the dials appear white with the ignition off,
they turn light blue with the ignition on. Lineartronic models have a compact
gear selector as well as steering column-mounted paddle-shifters for sequential
manual control of the gearbox.
The new Legacy Tourer's cabin is longer, wider and taller than that of its predecessor
and there's impressive amounts of space. Up front you'll find large, wide seats
with perforated centre panels that are very comfortable and provide good support,
particularly around the shoulders and under the knee. The driver is well indulged
with multi-way power seat adjustment (including lumbar support). The front passenger
has to make do with four-way manual adjustment.
While enjoying excellent views out, rear passengers can relax in wide seats
that can be reclined through a 20-degree range (seven stepped settings); as
well as genuinely plentiful head and elbow room, masses of leg room and long
seat cushions, these offer limousine-like lounging. There's ample space for
a third 'piggy in the middle' rear passenger but he/she doesn't have the luxury
of an individually-shaped seat even so, it's unexpectedly pleasant
sitting there. If just two are riding in the back, they can make good use of
the wide folding centre armrest with twin cup-holders.
Thanks to the more compact new rear suspension, the cargo bay's capacity has
gone up by 67 litres to 526 litres with the rear seats upright. Loading/unloading
is hassle-free, helped by the squared-off load-bay's low floor. The voluminous
526-litre boot is more than adequate. However, release the one-touch catches
just inside the tailgate and the backrests fold flat in one simple operation,
freeing up a significant 1,677 litres of load space.
will have no bearing whatsoever on your cargo but will be of critical importance
to you and your passengers, is the ride comfort. Thanks to the new all-independent
suspension layout, the Legacy serves up a cushioning ride quality
but not so soft (Bilstein dampers are also fitted) as to prevent the Tourer
pressing-on when the need arises. Courtesy of the grippy all-wheel drive and
the ESP system, the handling is always reassuringly foolproof, as indeed you'd
expect from anything badged 'Subaru'. The Tourer is also very stable cruising
the motorway at speed.
to the new all-
layout, the Legacy
serves up a cushioning
Appreciated features include the cabin refinement at speed, the non-distracting
one-shot sunroof operation and the electronic handbrake controlled by a switch
on the fascia that automatically releases when the accelerator pedal is pushed
just so long as the doors are closed and the driver's seatbelt is fastened.
On the subject of brakes, the pedal is nicely firm with virtually no 'dead'
travel and, with discs at each corner, stops the Tourer in its tracks. The new
braking system also introduces a 'Hill-Hold' function if you're
stopped on a slope of 5% or more this holds the car on the brakes for one second
after the you remove your foot from the brake; long enough to move it to the
accelerator without rolling back.
Indian summer or Arctic winter, in this Subaru you'll always be aware of the
unrelenting and balanced grip from the permanent four-wheel drive that, at all
times, sends power to the wheels with the most grip. During normal everyday
driving the torque distribution which achieves the best fuel economy is used.
In addition to the full-time all-wheel drive there's a Vehicle Dynamics Control
stability system, Traction Control, ABS, EBD and EBA braking systems.
The 2.5-litre horizontally-opposed Boxer engine beneath the Tourer's new bonnet
is smooth and responsive and on the open road has plenty of torque. Top speed
for the auto is 120mph with a 0-62mph time of 10.3 seconds. Officially the combined
cycle fuel economy is 33.6mpg and during our week's test drive we came close
achieving 29.7mpg in mixed real-world driving conditions.
It's a very likeable estate, this new Legacy Tourer. And with permanent all-wheel
drive, real comfort and impressive carrying space, the highly-specced Tourer
is sure to please most people most of the time. MotorBar
Subaru Legacy Tourer 2.5i SE Lineartronic | £25,955
Maximum speed: 120mph | 0-62mph: 10.3 seconds | Overall test MPG: 29.7mpg
Power: 165bhp | Torque: 169lb ft | CO2 196g/km