Monday, November 2, 2015

Used Car Review - Subaru Legacy (2010-2015)

Myk Belmonte's treat for the second day of November, this executive car which you can have for less.

2010-2015 Subaru Legacy

Americans love mid-size sedans, in which every manufacturer had to place their bet in which is a crowded market. In fact, the Toyota Camry still sells well since taking the title as the best selling passenger car (overall, the Chevrolet Silverado and Ford F-Series sells more) in 1997 while the Honda Accord got to snatch the title for just one year, in 2001. With the exception of Mitsubishi and Suzuki who had given up the mid-size sedan market among the Japanese makes, competitors from other brands stayed strong for mostly 20 years plus, and Subaru was one of them.

Since it's 1989 launch, the Legacy had undergone six generations with numerous changes. The fifth generation model that we will be reviewing was first previewed as a concept car in commemoration of its 20th anniversary. Production started in May at the Indiana plant while Japanese sales commenced the same month, together with the related Subaru Outback. A CVT transmission was introduced here, while the wagon body was the last for the nameplate as it was ditched for the next generation.

Locally, this was the second time the Legacy was sold with a sedan and wagon body back to back. Motor Image Pilipinas brought in the fifth gen alongisde the Outback in 2009 as a 2010 model, which utilized a 2.5 turbo engine underneath paired to a 5-speed automatic. The wagon was first discontinued in November 2014 with the entire line-up replaced by the sixth generation the following year.

Value and Costs
This Subaru can be obtained for as low as P800,000 while later models flirt around the P1M range, give or take the condition. This is a good choice for those who want more driving presence and power through a turbo powerplant while having a more premium image that can keep with the various Bimmers and Benzes of the same time.

Compared with its Japanese peers, maintenance costs are on the upper scale due to the presence of a turbo and an all wheel drive system. Make sure to check any electronics especially it is loaded with them, just like any vehicle in this segment. Lastly, inspect if the turbo works fine; if it got shot, replacing it will cost you more.

Exterior and Interior
Outside, it may look somewhat ordinary when compared to most contemporaries but some flanks give resemblance to several German sedans. Twin exhaust pipes come standard, giving the vehicle a more sporty stance. Overall, it is a standout in a sea of bland competitors while having a European flair. Before we leave this paragraph, the frame-less windows were dropped, ending a Subaru tradition.

Unlike rivals from Deutschland, rear space is habitable while overall quality is topnotch. Panels are of the faux carbon fiber and aluminum variety that contemplate the numerous cabin storage spread throughout the vehicle. An electronic parking brake comes standard, unlike the conventional that others offer.

No V6 engine option yet, rather a EJ25 2.5 4-cylinder displacing 261hp at 5,600rpm and 350Nm at 2,400-5,200rpm. One unique trait is that a turbocharger comes standard, hence the broad torque curve. Enter the powerzone at 2,500 and up with boost coming at 2,700rpm while full blast plays at the 4,000rpm range. Do take note the engine is shared with the Forester XT and Impreza WRX of the same period.

Driving Impressions
Despite being redesigned, the core competence still remains. It still has the fun to drive characteristic complemented with a switch (Sport gives you more fun while Sport Sharp is hardcore) that controls the way you want it. We invite you to have fun behind the wheel but do it carefully.

A redesign may be a make or break for a vehicle. Subaru sticked to its guns, by improving the vehicle further while retaining things that made the Legacy known for. If you value space and presence while retaining sports car driving, then this is the pick. While a new model is available, the fifth generation won't disappoint you, we promise you that.

The Good:
  • Drives like a sports car
  • Now affordable
  • Standard turbo engine
The Bad:
  • Somewhat expensive to maintain
  • Not so good fuel consumption
  • Good luck when the turbo fails
The Pick: 2.5 GT

Engine: 2,457cc EJ25 I4 turbocharged gasoline
Power: 261hp @ 5,600rpm
Torque: 350Nm @ 2,400-5,200rpm
Fuel Consumption: 5-7km/L (city), 10-12km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Suspension: Front McPherson strut, rear double wishbone

Price (New): P2,000,000
Price (Now): P800,000-P1,300,000
Rivals: Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, Mazda 6, Mitsubishi Galant, Nissan Teana, Toyota Camry (sedan); Volvo V50 (wagon)
On Sale: 2010-2015

Subaru Greenhills - (02) 727-3687

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