2010 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Limited
2010 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Limited. Click image to enlarge

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2010 Subaru Legacy

Ottawa, Ontario – If you’re a serious music fan, you undoubtedly believe that a number of your favourite artists and bands have “sold out,” and abandoned their desire to remain unique in exchange for mainstream success, which usually translates into more record sales, more money and more fame.

The car industry, I suppose, is more about the business of making money than even the most corporate of music acts, and a car company that refuses to sell out is far more likely to wind up out of business than a musician who avoids working with a big record company.

The 2010 Legacy could be considered Subaru’s act of selling out, then, as the company attempts to move its mid-size model into the mainstream. For the price, the Legacy has traditionally been too small to match the family car benchmark and not quite refined enough to gain any ground against the entry-luxury brands to which it aspires to compete with.

2010 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Limited
2010 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Limited. Click image to enlarge

On paper, this 2010 Legacy is everything it needs to be to gain showroom success in the lucrative mid-size car class. Its increased size finally gives the Legacy the boost in interior space it has needed for some time; this car feels a whole size class larger than the car it replaces, mostly because it is: the old car was officially classified a compact based on its interior volume.

If there’s an area in which a Subaru loyalist might accuse their former favourite car company of selling out, it’d be for dropping the station wagon body style; now, the only way to get the Legacy as a wagon is to choose the Outback crossover, whose taller ride height and minor cosmetic differences – and higher starting price – are all that differentiate it from the Legacy sedan.

Small as it was, the old Legacy was appealing in that from the driver’s seat, the car’s tight dimensions gave it a sense of having been built around the driver, and, for the driver. That sensation is gone in the new car, which feels larger in every direction, and that translates into a more comfortable car for everyone involved. This is particularly true in the rear seat, where legroom is much improved. I wasn’t crazy about the rear seat cushions, as they seem to hit my back the wrong way, but your mileage may vary.

2010 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Limited
2010 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Limited
2010 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Limited. Click image to enlarge

The basic Legacy 2.5i gets a manually-adjustable six-way driver’s seat; my 2.5i Limited tester had the 10-way power-adjustable seat that’s standard in all other trims. The Limited provides a power front passenger seat, too; this can be had in Limited and higher Legacy trims.

The 415-litre trunk is about average for the mid-size class, and is augmented by rear seats that split-fold almost flat to reveal a large opening to the passenger compartment.

The new dash works well enough, but it’s not as slick-looking as that in the Tribeca, or even the Impreza. The placement of the Bluetooth interface is a curious piece, its blocky buttons placed smack in the middle of the centre stack, instead of in the steering wheel as in most cars. Strange touches are the backlighting for these controls, which doesn’t dim with the rest of the instrument panel lights, and the tack-on microphone on top of the steering column, with a wire running back into the dash. The whole system looks like an afterthought, particularly considering my tester’s $31,995 price-tag.

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