The fifth generation Legacy has undergone a complete restyling for 2010 and our Azurite Blue Pearl 2.5 GT features a bold new design that features a larger one bar grill and a set of Subaru’s new hawk eye headlamps. On the outside, aside from the larger 18 inch wheels, the only thing that gives away the GT as a performance model is the functional hood scoop feeding fresh air across the turbocharged Legacy’s intercooler. The 2.5 GT wears the same bulging fenders as the rest of the lineup as well as their signature side skirts that jut out more than down, giving the Legacy a very wide and stable stance. The 2010 Legacy is a nod at the future of automobile design with its sweptback windshield and short trunk overhang that is more aerodynamic than the traditional three box shape.
Subaru considers their products to be premium automobiles, and it shows on the inside. Our Limited trim Legacy came with a very attractive leather wrapped steering wheel as well as supple seats and a dash adorned with sophisticated wood trim that carries over into the door cards. The 2010 Legacy has been completely redesigned in the interest of a roomier interior and the new car is the most spacious and luxurious Subaru sedan to date. Being the sportiest member of the Legacy lineup, the 2.5 GT is powered by a turbocharged version of Subaru’s 2.5 Liter flat four making 265 HP mated to a six speed manual gearbox and is good for a 0 to 60 MPH sprint of only 5.9 seconds.
Legacy fans will be glad to know that Subaru is taking the car road racing in the Japanese Super GT series as a GT300 race car competitor, and once you have a look at the flared four door, you will never look at the new Legacy the same way again. Starting a just under $30,000 our Limited model benefited from a $3,000 power moonroof and navigation system that brought our 2.5 GT’s asking price up to $34,146; not a bad price to pay for so much all wheel drive machine.
Continued after the jump.
Subaru has completely redesigned the Legacy for 2010. The new car features a striking front end featuring a pair of the new hawk eye headlamps that incorporate all the auxiliary lights into a streamlined housing that swoops back into where the hood meets up with the front fenders. This adds an aggressive touch to the previous generation’s playful lights, just like where the 2009 model had round cutouts in the front bumper, the new Legacy features a set of sharp vertical creases making the mid size sedan look like it means business, just like the new functional hood scoop that is exclusive to the 2.5 GT in order to feed fresh air onto the turbocharged flat four’s top mount intercooler.
Aside from the boldly outlined front grill it is nice to see that Subaru has brought back bulging fenders for the 2010 model year. Just like the Quattro automaker Audi, almost all of Subaru’s running gear is placed ahead of the front axle because of their commitment to the Symmetrical All Wheel Drive system; the downside is that this layout has traditionally forced both automakers to produce vehicles with very long overhangs. Subaru solved this problem by using a series of boxer engines that by their nature are shorter than a traditional V or inline unit mounted longitudinally. One of the biggest changes for 2010 is that the Legacy’s wheelbase has been stretched in order to give occupants a bigger back seat, but this has also made the front end of the Legacy look visually shorter. Speaking of those rear seat passengers Subaru has also redesigned the doors so that they now feature window frames and make for a larger opening in the interest of easing occupants’ entry into the premium mid size sedan.
Out back the Legacy looks a bit larger thanks to the large wraparound taillights and much curvier rear end. Unlike last years model that had a bit of an aerofoil shaped into the rear deck lid design, the 2.5 GT’s trunk was shaped using only obtuse angles which makes it not only look larger but adds valuable storage space underneath. The round theme works well with the new Legacy, especially from a rear ¾ view with the four door’s bold fenders housing a set of 15 spoke 18 inch alloys and wider side skirts make the car look even more planted.
The Legacy 2.5 GT is the sportiest member of the new car lineup and because it features the top of the line Limited trim it is also one of the most luxurious aside from being the roomiest Legacy ever. Our GT’s interior came wrapped in Warm Ivory Leather and featured attractive wood trim to break up the two tone theme on the dash and doors as well as few high tech convenience features like dual zone climate control and a 9 speaker Harman-Kardon sound system complete with a large navigation screen that will play DVDs when you are in park.
Then there are the few select silver trim items that add a modern sleek feel to the interior; for instance the leather wrapped multifunction steering wheel is made to look even more aerodynamic thanks to the three painted pieces that connect the comfortable rim to the airbag/horn cover, the center stack and shifter are another example of the 21st century finish. However it is the horizontal wood trim that wraps around the mid section of the interior that was the Legacy’s most upscale touch, going a long way towards separating the larger luxury sedan from the entry level Impreza’s metallic swooshes.
While Subaru does offer one of the best touch screen navigation units in any new car being sold today, the audio and climate controls are teaming on becoming a bit more complicated than they need to be, but after all that is what luxury car buyers looking for, a smooth streamlined center stack devoid of the traditional large round dials. Other electronic creature comforts include heated power adjustable driver’s seat and one touch window that will open and close at the touch of a button to make our Legacy Limited a very well finished sport sedan that is on par with most luxury cars, and even fooled a few of our friends along the way.
Our Azurite Blue Pearl 2010 Legacy 2.5 GT uses Subaru’s familiar 2.5 Liter turbocharged flat four making 265 HP and 258 lb-ft of torque and is shifted with a six speed manual gearbox, the combination is good for a 0 to 60 MPH time of 5.9 seconds while returning an estimated 18 MPG in the city and as much as 25 MPG on the highway. Despite being down two cylinders from our previous 3.6 R Legacy , the addition of a turbocharger more than makes up for the difference in displacement while taking a few pounds off the front axle at the same time. Despite its boosted nature our Legacy Limited makes you want to sit back and relax thanks to the comfortable ride. However there is enough grunt under the hood scoop to inspire confidence behind the wheel despite the luxury of knowing that you won’t ever be forced to use it.
Like all of Subaru’s rally inspired machines, the Legacy 2.5 GT features the Japanese automaker’s Symmetrical All Wheel Drive providing the new Legacy with loads of grip and is enough to make you think that you are behind the wheel of a much more compact sports car. The drive train is so good that despite our best efforts, the boosted boxer engine won’t ever push the Legacy to a point past the capabilities of its all wheel drive system; however with the shifter in your right hand and your left foot dancing between the brake and the clutch, it sure was fun to try.
Why to Buy:
If you want a car that looks great and drives even better, offering a host of creature comforts and the most spacious interior in a Legacy to date, the 2.5 GT is model that you should give some serious thought about test driving, the combination of an all wheel drive turbocharged drive train and a six speed manual transmission is enough to make any new car shopper walk off the lot with a grin that stretches from ear to ear.
Not to mention that a well equipped Legacy, like our Limited model will set you back a rather reasonable $34,146. The car starts out at $29,995 and then adds a $2,995 option package that includes a power moonroof, navigation system with iPod hook up, Bluetooth and a back up camera as well as a $461 Sirius satellite radio kit. Not bad for an extremely plush all wheel drive experience.
Why not to Buy:
If you would rather trade off speed for relaxation, the Subaru Legacy 3.6 R with its larger 3.6 Liter flat six offers approximately the same amount of power and a CVT, Subaru ensures that you will be able to ride comfortably inside of their flagship model for closer to $30,000. If a bargain is what you are after the leather clad 2.5i Limited is your best value for the money. The 2010 Subaru Legacy has an option to suit all consumers price points, starting at $19,995 for the entry level model and goes all the way up to $30,995 for a fully loaded 3.6 R like ours. If Subaru just isn’t for you, consider a few other premium sporty Japanese sedans like the Mazda 6 and Nissan Altima as well as the upscale VW Passat from Germany.
Top Speed Final Verdict
We absolutely loved the Legacy 2.5 GT especially because of it’s hood scoop. The Limited trim level brought the interior up to a luxurious level complete with amenities like navigation, Bluetooth and satellite radio; while the turbocharged flat four under the hood and the six speed manual provided tons of fun when we wanted to go quickly and the big back seat allowed us to bring all of our friends along for the ride.
"The Only Mainstream Midsize Sedan That Can Call Itself a ’Sport Sedan’...Bottom line is that while the styling may put you off, the performance will more than mitigate it, making this the ultimate stealth sedan."-Motor Trend
"Subaru is finally taking its all-wheel-drive message into the mid-size sedan mainstream, and it’s done so almost flawlessly with the 2010 Legacy."-Yahoo
"Powerful engine, sporty handling, smooth ride, classy interior."-Edmunds