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Albuquerque Journal, N.M., Ken Walston column: Subaru's Legacy GT an all-weather performer
[October 11, 2008]

Albuquerque Journal, N.M., Ken Walston column: Subaru's Legacy GT an all-weather performer


(Albuquerque Journal (NM) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Oct. 11--Subaru's most mainstream sedan, the Legacy, competes in the heart of the American automotive market.

To attract attention against the likes of Toyota's topselling Camry, Honda's Accord and Nissan's Altima -- not to overlook myriad American offerings such as Ford's Fusion and Chevrolet's Malibu -- a small company such as Subaru needs to offer something out of the ordinary. For the Legacy, that would be its standard all-wheel drive.

Like all Subarus, the Legacy features the allweather advantages of four-wheel traction. Folks who live in snow country love their Subarus -- just take a look at a ski resort parking lot. But all-wheel drive isn't necessarily just for foul weather. There also are inherent advantages in handling and grip on dry pavement, which plays nicely into the idea of a performance car. And given years-long successes in rally racing, performance is something Subaru knows a bit about.

Subaru also knows a bit about turbocharging. For the Legacy GT, Subaru borrowed the turbo flat-four from its compact punk sibling, the WRX, and plunked it into the bigger sedan.


With 243 eager horsepower, the GT has plenty of punch -- once the revs climb above 2,000 rpm. The power comes on progressively but there's a noticeable lag until the turbo spins up. Then acceleration is quite lively.

The GT is a sprightly handler through the curvy bits. It always feels firmly planted on the tarmac and body roll is minimal. Steering is sharp and communicative, with just the right amount of effort for maximum control.

With its long suspension travel, the GT delivers a supple, comfortable ride on most surfaces, more in the European mode than Japanese.

The Legacy boasts a handsome, modern cabin, nicely finished with highquality materials and very comfortable bucket seats up front. Rear room is a bit tight compared with its competitors, but perfectly adequate for two.

Electroluminescent gauges are brightly lit and easily read; climate and audio controls are well-placed and intuitive.

With its attractive, sporty styling and perky performance, the Legacy GT presents an attractive alternative to more familyoriented sedans. And its all-weather capability is a definite plus.

Subarus have always been a little different, out of the mainstream. The Legacy GT is proof that different can be good. Very good.

2009 Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT Limited

BASE PRICE: $30,395

PRICE AS TESTED: $31,060 (incl. delivery fees)

VEHICLE TYPE: Four-door, five-passenger midsize sedan

POWERTRAIN:

2.5-liter, DOHC turbocharged "boxer" fourcylinder; fivespeed automatic transmission; fulltime all-wheel drive; 243 horsepower; 241 lb.-ft. torque CURB WEIGHT: 3,415 pounds WHEELBASE/LENGTH: 105.1"/185.0" EPA FUEL RATING: 18 mpg city/24 highway

To see more of the Albuquerque Journal, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.abqjournal.com.

Copyright (c) 2008, Albuquerque Journal, N.M.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.
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