2010 Subaru Legacy 3.6R
2010 Subaru Legacy 3.6R. Click image to enlarge

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2010 Subaru Legacy

St. John’s, Newfoundland – Unlike most car companies in Canada, Subaru sales over the past year have been strong and growing. What is the company doing right? “We’ve asked ourselves that, too,” says Ted Lalka, Subaru Canada’s Vice President, Product Planning and Marketing. “We’ve concluded that it comes down to having the right product.”

The “product” Mr. Lalka is talking about is lead by the popular Forester crossover and Impreza compact sedan and hatch, the latest versions of which have struck a resounding chord with Canadian consumers. But did you know Subaru also makes a midsize sedan?

Okay, the question’s a bit facetious, but the Legacy sedan has lagged behind its competition for years, despite having standard all-wheel drive (AWD) and a range of desirable standard features. Even Subaru executives admit that for most consumers, Legacy is not even on their list.

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

Subaru expects this to change with introduction of the new-for-2010 Legacy, which represents the fifth generation for this model. The strategy is simple: lower the price — the well equipped base Legacy 2.5i is now $23,995 — and increase the vehicle’s size and features. In the parlance of car manufacturers, this represents a “repositioning” of the Legacy, so that it fits more obviously within the crowded competitive set from Japanese, Korean, European and North American brands. Notably, the Legacy Wagon has been discontinued.

All Legacy models come with all-wheel drive, Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) and traction control, and a ring shaped reinforcement frame safety structure (Legacy in-house test results suggest top results based on the U.S. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration standards). Anti-lock brakes with Brake Assist are also standard on all models, as is a new electronic parking brake.

Four engine choices are offered in four trim levels with two major packages. Three of the engine choices are versions of the 2.5-litre “flat-four” or “boxer” horizontally opposed engine that Subaru has used for several years, and one is a 3.6-litre “flat-six.”

2010 Subaru Legacy PZEV
2010 Subaru Legacy PZEV. Click image to enlarge

The standard 2.5-litre engine carries over from 2009, but its 170 horsepower and 170 lb-ft of torque are available at lower engine speeds than last year (5,600 and 4,000, both down by 400 rpm). The PZEV version of this engine (Partial Zero Emissions Engine) makes the same power, but meets the stringent California PZEV emissions standard. Fuel consumption with automatic transmission is 9.2/6.5 L/100 km, city/highway (manual transmission is 10.6/7.4), and regular fuel is specified.

The third version of the four-cylinder engine is turbocharged, which significantly raises horsepower to 265 at 5,600 rpm while generating 258 lb-ft of torque at 2,000-5,200 rpm. Fuel consumption is 11.5/8.0 L/100 km, city/highway, and premium fuel is required.

The 3.6-litre six-cylinder engine (also used in the Subaru Tribeca), is new for Legacy this year. Its output is 256 hp at 6,000 rpm and 247 lb-ft torque 4,400 rpm, while fuel consumption is 11.8/8.2 L/100km, city/highway. This engine uses regular grade fuel.

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