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by Al Vinikour
After driving the all-new 2005 Subaru Legacy I can paraphrase a quotation from former President Theodore Roosevelt: “Walk softly and produce great vehicles.” Subaru is one of those companies that doesn’t thump its chest and search out cameras like some manufacturers. Rather, it lets its products do the talking, and when it comes to their fourth-generation all-wheel-drive Legacy, talk it does.
Totally redesigned for the ’05 model year, Legacy comes as a sedan or a wagon. It’s refreshing to hear a manufacturer refer to this as a “wagon” instead of calling it a “crossover,” “compact SUV” or some other euphemism that puts distance between some who perceive station wagons as dinosaurs. With the current fuel-price situation, a wagon connotes conservative versatility as opposed to a gas-guzzling behemoth. Besides, the Legacy is anything but the usual definition of a conservative station wagon.
Four and four
The Legacy comes in four trim levels – Legacy 2.5i, Legacy 2.5i Limited, 2.5 GT and 2.5 GT Limited. Non-GT vehicles come equipped with a SOHC 2.5-liter flat four engine that produces 168 horsepower and 166 pound-feet of torque. The GT models, however, come with a DOHC version of the same engine with an intercooled turbo, which pumps out 250 horsepower and 250 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are horizontally opposed (boxer) and sit deeper in the chassis to produce a lower center of gravity and improved handling. There’s not a thing wrong with the base engine…if you want to drive from here to there in comfort. However, if you want something that will make you look forward to driving from here to there, the turbo is for you.
I was afforded the opportunity to put the Legacy through its paces on a variety of straight roads, curvy and twisty mountain highways, various elevations and even some roads that were rain and snow-soaked. The Legacy barely noticed the difference.
2005 Subaru LegacyEnlarge Photo