Introduced in April 2009 at the New York International Auto Show and available at dealerships later this summer, the 2010 Legacy makes advances as the intelligently engineered, thoughtfully equipped, and dynamic-driving mid-size sedan from Subaru.
In the all-new Legacy, Subaru offers a range of models to suit the various needs of sedan owners. Legacy models range from efficient to all-out performance vehicles -- all with contemporary technology and modern convenience features.
The new Legacy appears more aggressive -- recalling its four generations of performance heritage in rally and road racing. Contributing to its aggressive look are its headlights, upswept character line along the sides, pronounced wheel arches, and aerodynamic side ground effects. These styling cues also emphasize the Legacy sedan's larger size.
How much larger? Exterior dimensions show wheelbase, height, and width to be greater -- each by more than three inches. Track dimensions are wider, too -- 2.7 inches in front and 3.3 inches in back -- contributing to improved handling characteristics.
The increased exterior size results in greater interior dimensions. Passenger volume and trunk cargo area have grown by 9 and 29 percent, respectively. (Find a select dimensions on the comparison chart below.)
All this was accomplished with little increase in curb weight (63 pounds maximum per model). Credit intelligent engineering and the increased use of lightweight, high-strength steel.
In addition, the 2010 Legacy body benefits from improved isolation from road noise, increased window and door sealing, upgraded engine mounting, and other initiatives. These resulted in lower interior noise and vibration -- giving the new Legacy a quieter, more comfortable ride.
Mechanical features familiar to Subaru drivers include the 2.5-liter four-cylinder SUBARU BOXER engine -- both non-turbocharged and turbocharged with intercooling and Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (AWD). However, many mechanical changes and upgrades for 2010 impact the Legacy drivetrain. These are just a few.
Available on 2.5i models, Lineartronic CVT operates smoothly and efficiently. Instead of gears, CVT utilizes a pair of pulleys and a metal link belt to transfer power through an infinite range of ratios. The system saves fuel (23 mpg city/31 mpg highway1), enhances acceleration, and contributes to passenger comfort. (Read more on CVT in this issue.)
All Legacy models with manual transmissions have six speeds. The lightweight, cable-actuated, six-speed manual adds a fun-to-drive factor, plus its revised gearing contributes to fuel efficiency.
A number of revisions contribute to the horsepower increase from 243 to 265:
- The turbocharger was relocated next to the exhaust manifold for quicker response
- The intercooler core was increased 25 percent
- New Electronic Throttle Control
- Dual Active Valve Control System intake- and exhaust-valve timing replaces AVCS (See Winter 2005 Drive for more on AVCS.)
- New exhaust system design
The 3.6L is the same engine that powers the Tribeca. Using regular fuel, it develops 256 horsepower and 247 lb-ft of torque.
Introduced on Legacy in 2008, this second-generation five-speed automatic is almost 10 pounds lighter than the one it replaces. One of its features is automatic throttle "blipping" when downshifting using SPORTSHIFT2 -- automatically matching engine speed with road speed. Downshift control logic is improved for 2010. (See Fall 2007 Drive for more information.)