June 4, 2009
2008 Subaru Legacy 2.5GT (top); 2007 Subaru Legacy 2.5GT wagon (middle); 2007 Subaru Outback 3.0R Premier Edition. Click image to enlarge
Manufacturer’s web site
Review and photos by Chris Chase (Outback photos by Greg Wilson)
The fourth-generation Subaru Legacy reached showrooms in North America in 2004, going on sale as a 2005 model. The car proved that Subaru was very serious about moving out of the mainstream family sedan segment, where it had never been able to gain much market share, into the premium midsize market.
Offered, as always, in sedan and wagon form, the 2005 Legacy wore much sleeker styling inside and out, a look that worked well for the car’s intended purpose: attracting shoppers thinking about brands like Audi and Volvo.
In the Legacy, power came from a pair of 2.5-litre, horizontally-opposed four-cylinder engines. A normally-aspirated version made 168 horsepower, while a turbocharged motor based on that used in the WRX STi generated 250 hp.
A five-speed manual transmission was the base choice in most models, while a four-speed automatic was the option (though certain trim levels were offered only with the automatic).
The Outback, the crossover model based on the Legacy, was also new in 2005. It used the same four-cylinder engines that the Legacy did, but also got an available six-cylinder engine that made the same 250 horsepower as the turbocharged engine. The Outback was offered with the same five-speed manual and four-speed automatic transmissions as the Legacy, but was also offered with a five-speed automatic in turbocharged and six-cylinder models.
In 2006, the non-turbo four-cylinder got a power boost, raising output to 175 hp for both Legacy and Outback models.
For 2007, Subaru Canada changed up standard feature content to create a lower-priced version of the 2.5i model, and two more 2.5i models – the Touring and Limited – were added. Turbocharged 2.5GT (2.5XT for the Outback) models were the first to use Subaru’s “Subaru Intelligent Drive” (SI-Drive), a driver-selectable engine response control system. Also new was the 2.5GT Spec.B, based on the 2.5GT but with a six-speed manual transmission and suspension bits borrowed from the WRX STi.