This Legacy X-thing is new for Subaru New Zealand but not new for the brand globally.
Base price: $54,990
Powertrain and performance: 2.5-litre petrol four, 127kW/235Nm, continuously variable transmission, full-time four-wheel drive, Combined economy 7.9 litres per 100km.
Vital statistics: 4745mm long, 1505mm high, luggage capacity 475 litres, fuel tank 65 litres, 18-inch alloy wheels on 225/45 tyres.
We like: Unique in the segment, chassis by people who care, well-equipped.
We don’t like: Transmission as acquired taste, feels old-fashioned inside.
How it rates: 8/10
WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?
Who says that high-riding crossover vehicles have to be wagons? Not Subaru, which continues to dabble with X-brand versions of its Legacy sedan, which have an extra 50mm of ground clearance (total 200mm). Back in 2012 we saw the Legacy 3.6X, which was very exclusive (just 20 imported) and very expensive, with a pricetag of $67,990. But now there’s a 2.5X as part of the range proper and it’s a lot more sensibly priced, at $54,990.
This Legacy X-thing is new for Subaru New Zealand but not new for the brand globally. For years, it has produced Outback versions of the Legacy sedan (which the X ostensibly is) for markets that prefer three-box body shapes, such as America. It’s not so strange. Honest.
WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?
Look past the high ride height and the 2.5X is mechanically identical to the standard Legacy. The 2.5-litre engine is strong and while continuously variable transmission (sorry, Subaru Lineartronic Transmission) remains an acquired taste, this is arguably the best one on the market: it responds well to the throttle and avoids the over-revving so common to this type of transmission. As with all Legacy models bar the European-specification diesel, the 2.5X has Subaru’s excellent EyeSight active system, It uses twin cameras mounted in the windscreen to provide anti-collision functions, lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control.
The big question is whether an extra 50mm and a higher centre of gravity has an adverse effect on the Legacy’s handling. As with Outback, we’d say no: there’s more body roll but more chassis compliance is not necessarily a bad thing. The 2.5X flows along winding roads quite nicely and speaking from experience of the 3.6X during Subaru’s launch programme, we can also say that it has pretty decent off-road ability… within reason. It’ll certainly go anywhere your average soft-road wagon can go.
IS IT EASY TO LIVE WITH?
The Legacy is now the oldest model in Subaru’s mainstream range. That’s certainly evident as you look around the cabin architecture, which looks dated and is full of awkward shapes and untidy detail. That’s not to say the 2.5X is short on standard equipment. It’s fully loaded and Subaru has made an effort to bring Legacy up to date with stuff like a large touch screen in the centre console to handle Bluetooth, audio and sat-nav functions.
So it’s not pretty but it all works well, and the Legacy’s medium-to-large dimensions make it a brilliant family car – sedan or wagon.
SHOULD I BUY ONE?
Given that there’s an equivalent low-riding Legacy, the 2.5 Premium, for $5000 less, you’d have to really love the oddball nature of the 2.5X to buy one. Or really have the need to take your pseudo-luxury sedan into the rough. Yes, the 2.5X is weird – despite what we said at the start of this story. Likeable for it, but weird. Enjoy.
- Air conditioning: Dual climate
- Audio: CD, iPod compatible
- Automatic lights/wipers: No
- Blind spot warning: No
- Bluetooth: Yes
- Cruise control: Yes adaptive
- Driver footrest: Yes
- Gas discharge headlights: Bi-xenon
- Head-up display: No
- Heated/ventilated seats: Yes/No
- Keyless entry/start: Yes/Yes
- Lane guidance: Yes
- Leather upholstery: Yes
- Parking radar: Yes with camera
- Power boot or tailgate: No
- Power seat adjustment/memory: Yes/Yes
- Rear ventilation outlets: Yes/Yes
- Remote audio controls: Yes
- Satellite navigation: Yes
- Seat height adjustment: Yes
- Self-parking technology: No
- Split/folding rear seats: 60/40
- Steering reach adjustment: Yes
- Stop-start: No
- Trip computer: Yes
Find a Subaru Legacy HERE