The all new 2010 Legacy is a drastic change from the
2009. Its exterior styling is sportier looking, the interior is more luxury oriented, its almost an entirely new car. Is this new car going to appeal to traditional Subaru buyers?
For 2010 the Legacy looks more aggressive and sporty. The headlights are angled more, the character lines create a more muscular look, along with bigger wheel arches. The Legacy has a more modern, mainstream, Japanese appearance. It will be more competitive in the midsize sedan segment, but its aggressive styling wouldnt look at home in a forest carrying mountain bikes like the old Legacy did.
While the exterior doesnt give thoughts of the usual Subaru activities of hiking and kayaking, the interior gives impressions of a more mainstream midsize sedan at home in mall parking lots. Comfortably designed for the driver and passenger with easy to use controls, soft cream leather seats, and class leading passenger space. Steering wheel controls are standard on the 2.5i Limited are well laid out and easy for the driver to use. Subarus shortcomings in quality with their use of hard plastic, flimsy door panels, and cheap wood trim left me disappointed, while the previous generation Legacy excelled in quality.
Subaru has used its new Lineartronic CVT transmission in the new Legacy. It provides a very smooth drive with gearshifts that are as smooth as a hot knife through butter. The paddle shifters are possibly the easiest Ive ever used for manual shifting and coupled with the CVT provide a smooth ride. The base 2.5 liter engine feels very underpowered. Subarus have been known to have a tighter suspension and this Legacy is completely different. The drive feels more like an everyday sedan focused more on driver comfort than a Subaru has ever been. Everyday driving is more polished and tranquilizing than the previous generation Legacy. I took the Legacy through some winding country roads where Subarus usually shine, and was very surprised. Clumsiness and body roll plagued the Legacy like an old woman without her walker. The 2.5 liter 170 hp engine made the Legacy feel underpowered and heavy. The other two optional 256 or 265 hp engines would make the Legacy feel more capable for everyday driving. Even with Subarus all wheel drive system it felt as though it lacked Subarus willingness to go off road, instead focusing on a smooth and comfortable drive for those city folk.
The redesigned Legacy is a Subaru aimed more towards a mainstream market. Its comfortable ride and cabin make for a pleasing highway and city drive. Aggressive styling coupled with its soft ride may scare away some loyal Subaru owners and attract a different buyer. The Legacy lacks what makes Subaru a Subaru. It has evolved into a mainstream car, one that wont be found driving through dirt trails or going on camping trips, instead will be at home on highways and city streets.