Our Fleet Test Drive: Subaru Legacy Sports Tourer - Final Report
20 February 2009
Author: Tristan Young
|P11D price:|| £22,795|
|Key rival:|| Volvo V70|
Last year Subaru finally arrived in fleet with its first diesel, a Legacy powered by a 150PS 2.0-litre engine made by the manufacturer.
We decided to take one on test, and as the miles have clocked up we've been increasingly impressed, with the possible highlight of the car's six months on our fleet coming in the last couple of weeks.
Ever since the Legacy's first service at 12,000 miles, which took place with superb efficiency at Subaru dealer Waldenway in Kent, I'd been convinced the car was returning better fuel figures, and my suspicion was backed up not only by the trip computer jumping from 40-ish mpg to nearer 50mpg for my regular cruise-control commute, but by the actual fuel figures too (see diagram).
Anecdotally, we've heard of this happening to other diesels, not just Subarus, but this is the first hard, and welcome, evidence of the phenomenon.
Although our overall fuel figure of 38.6mpg isn't that impressive, the last seven fills saw 42.3mpg, which would be a more representative and long-term figure if you were running the Legacy, say, for a 60,000-mile contract.
But as with all cars it's how you drive that makes the real difference. On the final tank I decided to do a fuel-miser run and got bang-on 50mpg. Not bad for a large four-wheel drive estate car.
That all-wheel drive is the other aspect of the Legacy that has come to the fore recently because when the snows fell across England it enabled me to complete the nursery run and other trips, while other drivers didn't dare venture onto the roads. Admittedly, I heeded Highways Agency advice and didn't travel on the M25 to the office, but aside from that, life carried on as normal thanks to the Subaru.
It didn't take extreme weather to realise the potential of the Legacy estate, though, because the 459-litre boot  and easy-fold seats were put to good use on lots of occasions, for work and pleasure.
We were also impressed by the comfort levels and standard kit including heated, powered seats, cruise control and trip computer .
The only items we added were an aux socket, to connect an iPod, and rear parking sensors . Both were appreciated and deemed worth the respective £70 and £150 cost.
It wasn't all good news, however, and some negative points also came to the fore at the end of the car's six months with us. For example, the grit-caused grinding suspension noise returned only six weeks after it was first fixed, and the car was handed back to Subaru with the problem as there wasn't time for us to get it solved before collection.
The second biggest issue was the car's super-secure alarm and immobiliser. The key seemed to have a range measured in centimeters rather than meters and the immobiliser cut in if you didn't start the car within seconds. But if that's all we have to complain about, Subaru is clearly doing a lot right.
|Subaru Legacy Sports Tourer |
2.0D RE estate manual
|Claimed combined |
|Model price range||£18,995-£30,705|
|CO2 (tax) ||154g/km (21%)|
|BIK 20/40% per month||£80/£160|
|Boot space (min/max)||459/1650 litres|
|Why we’re running it||To test Subaru’s |
first ever diesel
|Positive||Space, grip, comfort|
|Negative||Suspension problem, |