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Old 03-31-2009, 09:44 AM   #1
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Default Edmunds Preview: 2010 Subaru Legacy

What is it?
2010 Subaru Legacy

What's special about it?
First off, the 2010 Subaru Legacy that will be unveiled to the public at the 2009 New York Auto Show will not be available as a station wagon any more.

So all 23 of you out there who are fans of the Legacy GT wagon can go ahead and stop reading now.

For the remaining red-blooded, midsize-sedan-buying Americans out there, Subaru is tailoring its new sedan to you more than it ever has before. This is largely a good thing, unless you're a fanatical Subaru owner already.

Like an increasing number of Americans, the 2010 Legacy is bigger than it's ever been. The company reckoned that the outgoing model's modest interior room was cramping its sales potential. So — boom — the wheelbase of the new model is 3.2 inches longer than the old one. This move adds just a bit less than 4 inches of rear-seat legroom. The Legacy is also 3.2 inches taller and 3.6 inches wider than the outgoing model. All this means that the rear seat now feels as roomy as those in the Legacy's primary competitors from Asia and America.

Add to the list of quite un-Subaru-like aspects of the 2010 model some side windows that actually have frames. OK, the company has been heading in that direction with other models. But the Legacy is the last Subaru to have this quintessential Subaru wind noise generator. Also, through some new wider-set engine mounts and a full front subframe, Subaru anticipates that the 2010 Legacy will have better vibration control at idle. This will deprive longtime Subaru owners of the pee-shiver that has historically gone reverberating through the Legacy at stoplights. In fact, Subaru believes that the new Legacy's NVH control will be on par with the Toyota Camry. The outgoing model, they believe, was roughly on par with the Nissan Altima.

The 2010 Legacy will offer horizontally opposed engines, manual transmissions and standard all-wheel drive, so not all the Subaru-ness has been drained out of the new model.

Three engines are on offer. The 2.5-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder makes 170 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque. These are the same figures as the outgoing car's base engine, but the peaks are achieved at slightly lower rpm. This motor can be mated to a newly designed six-speed manual transmission or an all-new continuously variable transmission (CVT). The CVT is an attempt to grab a little extra fuel economy for the base car. And the company estimates the 2.5/CVT combination will get 23 mpg city/30 mpg highway. We'll reserve judgment on the CVT until we drive it, but we haven't liked many CVTs. So equipped, the Legacy should get to 60 mph in 10.1 seconds.

The turbocharged version of the Legacy is called the GT, and it can almost knock that 0-60-mph time in half. The GT will come only with the six-speed manual and should sprint to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds or less. Compared to last year's GT, the 2010's motor makes 22 hp more, for a total of 265 hp. This increase is thanks to a larger turbocharger with more boost, a larger-capacity intercooler and a lower-density catalyst. The engine should also be more responsive thanks to the relocation of the turbo, which is now mounted beneath the engine nearer the exhaust manifold. Subaru says the turbo's response time is 30 percent quicker. The GT rides on 18-inch Bridgestone Potenza RE050A summer tires in place of the 16- and 17-inch all-season Bridgestones on the other models.

The six-cylinder version of the Legacy also gets a boost. In place of the 3.0-liter horizontally opposed six, the 2010 Legacy will offer a 3.6-liter six that raps out 11 hp more and 32 lb-ft torque more than the 3.0-liter motor. Still, this output lags behind the ratings of the Legacy's V6-powered competitors. On the upside, Subaru's six-cylinder no longer requires premium fuel. Like last year's model, the 2010 six-cylinder comes with a five-speed automatic only. Subaru estimates the 3.6R model will get to 60 mph in 7.8 seconds — about a second behind its quickest direct competitors. Of course, the Subaru Legacy is the only model in the midsize, midprice game to offer all-wheel drive as standard on all versions. Want speed? Learn to shift for yourself and buy the GT.

The Legacy will go on sale late this summer for a price that Subaru doesn't yet want to talk about. The company's implication, though, is that the base model will start below the current base price of $21,295. "We're going to be a lot more aggressive on this car," they tell us.

Inside Line says: A company could do worse than introducing a midsize sedan that's bigger (though not much heavier), more powerful (in most cases) and potentially cheaper.







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Old 03-31-2009, 09:46 AM   #2
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They need a full on STI model of this car!
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Old 03-31-2009, 10:32 AM   #3
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that thing looks good.
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Old 03-31-2009, 10:33 AM   #4
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Looks like a Lexus from the outside.
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Old 03-31-2009, 10:36 AM   #5
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I'm sorry, but
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