NEW FOR 2008:

– Revised styling with new front and rear bumpers, headlights, taillights, grille and mirrors
– SI-Drive engine management system standard on GT models
– New five-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and blipping control on GT models
– Horsepower and torque rating change for 2.5i
– Revised interior styling including new wheel and dash
– 2.5i Limited only available in sedan configuration

For 2008, the Legacy receives a mild facelift, with revised styling and a new transmission on GT models. The SI-Drive engine management system, which allows the driver to select one of three modes to optimize sporty or fuel-efficient driving, is now offered on all GT models, whereas it was previously only used in the spec.B. While the U.S. loses the Legacy wagon model, its popularity in Canada means it’s still part of the line-up here.

The Legacy is available with two 2.5-litre horizontally-opposed four-cylinder engines: a naturally-aspirated one in the 2.5i, and a turbocharged and intercooled model in the GT models, including the spec.B. The 2.5i models use a five-speed manual or optional four-speed automatic, while GT models use a five-speed manual or optional five-speed automatic. The spec.B uses a six-speed manual transmission only. All feature Subaru’s symmetrical all-wheel drive, which means that the components are located symmetrically along the vehicle’s axis for better balance.

Features on the 2.5i sedan and wagon include 16-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary jack, cruise control, tilt and telescopic wheel, power windows, heated mirrors, variable intermittent washers, power locks with keyless entry, six-way manual driver’s seat, and 40/20/40 split folding rear seat. The wagon includes low-profile roof rails, 60/40 split folding rear seat, spoiler and rear washer/wiper.

The 2.5i Touring models add 17-inch alloy wheels, power sunroof, heated front seats, windshield wiper de-icer, power-adjustable driver’s seat and, on the wagon, a retractable cargo cover.

The 2.5i Limited, available only as a sedan with automatic transmission, adds 17-inch alloy wheels, power sunroof, stability and traction control, heated leather seats, power-adjustable driver’s seat, six-CD/MP3 stereo, woodgrain trim, dual-zone automatic climate control, fog lamps and windshield wiper de-icer.

The GT sedan and wagon build on the 2.5i features with 17-inch alloy wheels, heated leather seats, six-CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary jack, power sunroof, and woodgrain trim. Sedan models with automatic transmission add stability and traction control.

The spec.B, available only as a sedan, adds 18-inch alloy wheels, sport-tuned suspension, Torsen limited-slip rear differential, stability and traction control, anti-theft security system, DVD-based navigation system, heated leather sport seats with two-position driver’s side memory, and power sunroof.

Nicely sized and a pleasure to drive, the Legacy streamlines its looks for 2008, and thankfully retains a wagon that U.S. drivers can no longer order. The naturally-aspirated 2.5-litre engine works very well, the turbocharged GT is a spirited ride, and while the spec.B is a bit pricey, its sticky tires and six-speed shifting make it a real contender in the sport sedan category.

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