Our Fleet Test Drive: Subaru Legacy Sports Tourer - 1st Report
31 July 2008
Author: Tristan Young
 Six-disc CD stereo
A new engine from a manufacturer with no more than a limited fleet presence might not at first seem the best choice for an addition to our long-term test fleet.
However, this isn't any ordinary engine we're talking about.
This is Subaru's first diesel, and the lack of such an engine in the past is partly why the company has not been a bigger player in the fleet market.
Like Honda, Subaru thought it was better to design its own engine rather than buy one from another car maker.
The result is impressive. Subaru's 2.0-litre flat-four (two cylinders on either side, opposing each other) 'Boxer' diesel  produces 163PS and has a CO2 output of 154g/km in the estate Sports Tourer version we've picked. That's comfortably inside the 160g/km capital allowance figure and results in a 21% benefit-in-kind tax banding. For comparison, Volvo's 2.0-litre diesel in the V70 produces 136PS and sits a tax band higher. And, if you pick the more powerful 163PS 2.4D V70, then you're looking at a 26% BIK banding. Either way, the Subaru's quicker - 0-60mph takes 8.7secs against the V70's 9.4.
What's more, the Legacy Sports Tourer in the mid-range RE spec comes heaped with kit at the very attractive P11D price of £22,795. Standard equipment includes twin-zone climate control, cruise, leather, trip computer, heated front seats , powered driver's seat, powered mirrors, twin sunroof, six-disc CD stereo , six airbags and anti-skid control. All Subarus are four-wheel drive too.
So far, we've added just a couple of hundred miles to the 203 the car had at delivery and, as you'd expect at this stage, things are shaping up well.
I don't think I'll tire of watching the dials 'wake up' when you turn the ignition key, and the trip computer is reading 39.9mpg against to the official figure of 48.7mpg. That's impressive for a first tank.
As I reported in the short intro article last issue, the Legacy suits my needs perfectly, so it's going to be a while before any of my BusinessCar colleagues get their hands on it. But that won't stop it gaining mileage quickly - this weekend it's taking the family on a 600-mile round-trip north.