Subaru Legacy - Peter Leech
Anyone any experience of Subaru Legacy - reliability, cost of service/spares, fuel consumption, towing etc? HJ recommends but various other web sites give some cause for concern. Any info and experience gratefully received
Re: Subaru Legacy - David W
These cars are very well regarded in the horse/farming community. Parts and service can be expensive but they will go for miles with a good history.

Shame they never made a diesel.

The Car by Car breakdown on this site fits in with the experience of my contacts.

Re: Subaru Legacy - John Regin
I bought a new Legacy 2.5 GX Lux Estate (manual, which I?m told is pretty rare) in July this year.

Obviously I can?t tell you anything about long-term reliability, but I can bore everyone to death with my experiences so far. (You have been warned ? go to next thread now if not interested!)

Ignore the claims that you can?t get a discount on a Legacy - I got 10% without even trying.

This is the best car I?ve ever owned, although thinking back over the junk I?ve owned that?s no recommendation!

It?s smooth, quiet & comfortable. I guess the smoothness is inherent with the flat 4 engine. I could find no faults with the car on delivery and there have so far been absolutely no problems with it (except for the alarm ? see below). This has been a major improvement over other cars I?ve owned where the returns to get silly faults fixed under warranty by the dealer have got seriously monotonous. It also means that so far not having a local dealer (25 miles in wrong direction!) has been irrelevant.

The dealer is really good. In fact all the dealers I contacted seem to try really hard. It?s nice to be invited on Clay Pigeon Shooting / Test Drive / Off Road days after you?ve brought the car.

When looking for a new car, this one was selected for 2 main reasons, the reputation for reliability and most importantly (due to bitter experience) because it was the least likely to produce ?projectile vomit? down my neck from the nipper in the back seat. So far he has not even felt queasy in it. Also tested Passat (awful ride he was sick in 3 minutes!), Laguna (nice, but too many gimmicks, been bitten by one before), Mondeo (rep?s car!), Octavia (ride even worse for nipper than Passat, but hardly surprising when you realise it?s Passat sized but has Golf wheelbase).

The dealer gave me a sheet listing service prices, which were actually cheaper (by around 20%) than my previous car (Laguna), although the interval is 7,500 miles instead of 10,000 for the Laguna (If I can find it I can send you the figures). That's probably got more to do with respective dealers hourly rates than anything else. I also like the fact that the service schedule includes changing fluids (brake fluid, coolant, diff, gearbox, etc.) at much more frequent intervals than previous cars. They also do an annual "body service" (£100).

I don?t use it for towing, but I?ve watched a 3.0 Outback (Legacy with extra ground clearance) pull a double horse box out of a field, with no apparent difficulty, after a diesel (old 4 cyl?) Disco gave up.

Economy - I get (always brim tank and record mileage) 27.0 mpg average in normal use and 32mpg on a run, which I think is pretty good.

Performance although hardly electrifying (156 bhp for 2.5 litres is nothing special), is as RR used to say adequate. Even though it?s AWD it will leave any 2.0 rep-mobile for dead without trying. Seems to have plenty of torque as well. Tried Optimax, although it was noticeably even smoother there was no other discernable difference, so not worth the extra.

There are no electronic gimmicks, such as trip computers, rain sensing wipers, auto headlights etc., on the car, which I like (less to go wrong).

I especially like all the nice touches on the car. There is a heated element where the windscreen wipers park, so it?s no problem if they freeze to the screen (strangley the same doesn't apply to rear wiper!). The diagonal centre rear belt stows in the roof when not in use. When you turn off the ignition the lights go off, so you can?t leave them on and flatten the battery (there is a parking light). The steering wheel only adjusts up-down, but as it?s in exactly the right place for me lack of reach adjustment is irrelevant. The central locking is nearly silent. It has a passenger airbag and the glove box is still big enough to hold the handbook! The ignition switch has a fluorescent light around it to make it easy to find. The frameless door glass seems odd at first but no problems so far.

One oddity (to me) is that if you turn off the rear windows to stop the kids playing with them it also disables the front passenger window. When you turn on the air-con on RH drive models the system defaults to re-circ, while on LH drive it defaults to take the air from outside ? presumably this is for the convenience of Japanese drivers in the Tokyo rush hour?

What Car slagged the car for having a noisy rear suspension - ??? ? I can?t make mine make any noise whatsoever. They also said it didn?t have a height adjustable seat, it actually has an independently height adjustable front and rear seat squab so if you can?t get that at a comfortable position see an osteopath! I?m 6?2? and my head is 1? clear of the roof which is a massive improvement on any other recent car I?ve tried and it has dual sun roofs! Mind you What Car also gave 3 different depreciation figures for the car in the same issue, so I?ve never given much credit to what they say since. The heated mirrors clear any amount of condensation fast.

Things I?m not so keen on. The brakes don?t seem to have much ?bite?, but they work fine. The steering is too light. There is too much body roll. This means that you don?t push the handling to hard until you?re used to it, though I?ve noticed (by the speedo) that I tend to corner rather faster than my old car now! I?ve never managed (but I don?t try!) to get it to a point where I thought it would ?let go?. Headlights could be brighter.

All I?ve brought so far is an oil filter (£2.50 cheaper than Laguna). Rubber mats were £14.00 a set, fitted rubber tray for boot £35.00, cargo net £35.00 which I think is pretty reasonable for branded bits.

The only issue I had is with the alarm. Beware that Subaru import cars and then wait to sell them. I ordered a car with a factory fit alarm. It arrived with a Cobra after market alarm (the dealer compensated me satisfactorily). It was also a different colour to that ordered (Subaru seem to change colours frequently) however the new colour was much nicer than the old so that wasn?t an issue.

However the alarm is a pain, you have to wait for the interior lights and ignition switch illumination to dim out before you can set the alarm. Still waiting to see if this can be resolved.

If you?ve managed to stick with this till now, you?ll have guessed that I?m a convert, but Subaru do seem to have a tremendous brand loyalty. I hope they?ll produce a 3.0 H6 Legacy manual as that will be my next car (future fuel crises permitting!). My dealer claims that they?re going to put a twin turbo H6 in the Imprezza next year, wonder if that?s true?
Re: Subaru Legacy - David W
Congrats John on getting a nice car, you're right about brand loyalty with them. Also about the best/most useful "real life" car review that's been posted.

Re: Subaru Legacy - John Regin
Found the servicing costs sheet:-

1000 7500 15000 22500 30000 37500 45000 52500 60000 67500 75000
47.02 96.72 170.73 96.72 392.50 96.72 170.73 96.72 612.09 96.72 170.73

"Body" Service £133.15

All including parts & VAT. Be interesting to see if its true?!

A few other points - the last "note" was done in a rush at work!

Manual models have a "hillholder" clutch, so on a hill you don't need the handbrake. However (you only do it once!) if you release the clutch the hillholder releases and the car rolls back!

The air intake is very high up, one dealer "near" me is Peugeot & Subaru, claimed they had 25 pugs with wrecked engines during last years floods but no Scoobies. I would guess though that their sales of Pugs are much higher than Subarus.

When I bought the car met 3 BMW owners changing to Legacy's because they perceived the Subaru to have similar quality to a BMW but nowadays is rather less common. So maybe should compare the running costs against a 3 / 5 Series Touring?

The boot is plenty big enough for me, out of the cars I tried it also had the best legroom in the back - major consideration with growing kids. Would like the drivers seat to got back another notch though.
Re: Subaru Legacy - KB
If everyone here told their mates to tell their mates ......etc - to write to Subaru asking for a diesel, perhaps, just perhaps.......
Re: Subaru Legacy - Ian L
Dear Peter,

I ran a Subaru Outback 2.5L in country Australia for almost 3 years.....the best car I ever had and very popular on our dirt
and rough sealed roads. The Oz model is a slightly different spec
engine and suspension and includes CC Aircon as standard (essential when it is 45degC in the shade). I would have nothing but praise for the car, wonderful handling even when loaded up and pushed to the extremes on gravel roads. We drove ours all over the east coast from Tasmania to Cooktown on the Cape York
peninsula, covering 6000Km in 2 weeks on one memorable trip (2000km on dirt road) with never a breakdown, stiff back or any travel sickness.

In summary a very safe, comfortable car.

Some points to mention, it is almost as big as a Volvo V70 (check the looks smaller!), fuel consumption was up to 35mpg on long fast runs, more like 25mgp on short runs, the flat four engine required regular oil doesnt like oil sludge.

The latest model shape (99 onwards) is a big improvement over older models.

By the way, Subaru used to do an oil burner (at least in Oz) but dropped it in the 80s.

I wish I could have brought my car back to the UK...miss it like mad but the SVA test, insurance on a non-standard import and cost of petrol made the cost prohibitive. So I sold it for 65% of its original cost of 17k UKPounds......much cheaper new in Oz than hear in the UK. Also second hand cars in Oz keep their value.
Re: Subaru Legacy - Simon Saxton

I seriously considered a Legacy & was going to have an LPG conversion fitted to offset fuel consumption but local salesmen were pathetic & general attitudes were such that it left me without sufficient confidence, I bought a 3 cornered star German machine...having read the above by John I realise that I should have persevered! Excellent review thank you.If only the motoring scribes could match it.

Value my car