Subaru Legacy GT was the first ever Review on drivemeonline.com. More than 20 months later, much remains the same and that includes the season’s price. However, there is a remarkable uplift inside the cabin.
UPSIDE: Great value in the sports sedan segment, All wheel drive, Sport mode driving, Class-leading spaciousness
FLIPSIDE: Firm ride quality, No navigation or rear view camera, Driver’s position compromised, Audi’s Quattro is sharper
Straight lines rather than curves mark the character of the Subaru Legacy GT. But for the sideline skirting and a mild suggestion of a haunch and a dual exhaust that completes the sporty rear, everything else is pretty straightforward and actually makes the sedan look even larger. 4730 mm long, the Subaru Legacy GT actually occupied less of my parking lot than the new longer Volkswagen Passat (4896mm) or the new Honda Accord (4861 mm) that has shed 60mm of its length, or even the Toyota Camry at 4805 mm.
In character the Subaru Legacy GT is more European than Japanese – right to its choice of the fuelling side. But the front grille and the headlights together form an ensemble that is more contemporary in character giving it a right to claim premeditated design, perhaps the only sign of it in the entire car that otherwise follows more of a boxy design among modern sedans.
Cabin and Controls
The Subaru Legacy GT cabin is elegant and sporty in carbon black with premium looking leather keeping with the modern sports lineage. Even the hard plastics have been kept good looking. The Brushed aluminium sort of finish on the dashboard is different, but comes across at best as a good effort to exude class – with carbon effect strips inserts in between.
Ergonomics of the cabin is impressive with its thoughtfulness. While the glove box storage isn’t much the cabin systematically makes up with a sunglass slot, a little rubber padded niche under the AC console that is perfect to keep things that could otherwise just roll away, and yet another lidded space between the display screen and the AC controls, deep enough to extend almost into the engine box!
What stands out in this ergonomically designed cabin and the driver-oriented ride is the positioning of the steering – perhaps designed with taller Americans in mind where the Subaru is popular. It’s like a game on the see-saw. When you get your leg reaching out it’s too close for your arms. When your arm holds right, you’ll have to season your legs in traction pulley. Finally, after a bit of yoga, a man of reasonable size will attain his position after which he will be entitled to experience one of the most exhilarating drives in the affordable sedans category.
The Subaru Legacy GT is at once an exhilarating as well as a mortifying experience. In its self-sufficient cabin, it reminds you that anything more than a 4” screen is a superfluous accessory; that blindspot monitors are today’s fad and what you actually need are supportive B-pillars and a fairly wide glasshouse design. There is no navigation in the dash, the Bluetooth control is a bit layered – which are shortcomings agreed, because these are sort of a given at least in the top-of-the-line versions of a mid-size sedan. But too much of driver info like a G-meter is again a frill that feeds the fancy of sport enthusiasts rather than sporty drivers!
The latter will rather get busy listening with pleasure to how sweetly does the power transfer to the four wheels via the symmetrical all-wheel drive of the Subaru Legacy GT and how smoothly does the car respond to the torque made systematically available across a wide mid-range. They will soak up their thrills from how quickly the car responds to the urge of the driver to race ahead, or stop or turnaround for that matter.
Well, it does have a sunroof, an automatic tailgate button, dual zone cooling, cruise control and a very heartening audio experience. Even amidst these, all that matters in a Subaru GT is its drive, and so it that absolutely flawless?
Rarely do you find a car in the world of turbo-charged sedans that renders its turbo lag almost imperceptible. In the Subaru Legacy GT, the power kicks in – all 350 Nm of it – early in the cycle and lingers long enough for you to hold a long passing maneuver. Again, to put things in perspective, the price-wise comparable sports variants of class-leading sedans, the Passat CC 2.0L Turbo serves up 210 bhp while the 3.5L Accord V6 makes a maximum of 276 hp and 339 Nm of torque. While the S mode ammunition itself in a Subaru Legacy GT is beyond what most mid-size sedans can hope for, more is readily available with the S# mode.
Well, it is a mechanical contraption after all, and cannot be perfect. The steering of the Subaru Legacy GT is at times too sensitive, the dampers and suspension are firm and not comfort-tuned but then, I heard no passenger complain. In fact, on the contrary, the surprising spaciousness and supportive comfort of the seats impressed every passenger that I chauffered around.
The steering of the Subaru Legacy GT is somewhat sporty in its firm and taut character while the gearshifts are rather fluent. It feels nice to experience the car shift in character with the turn of the drive mode knob – from Intelligent to Sport to Sport Plus.
Subaru Symmetrical AWD Vs Audi Quattro
The handling is admirable and precise in corners and roundabouts but there are two things that differentiate the Subaru’s transmission from an Audi Quattro. It is a sharper thin line in an Audi Quattro and also the steering is a little more ‘giving’ in the Legacy GT. The largish, heavy car also makes the weight occasionally felt in the body lean on sharp curves. But none of this stops you from enjoying the Subaru Legacy GT drive, that remains one of the best this sort of money can buy, or even if your threw in a few dollars more.
As I bring you this review, the time is ripe for buying a Subaru with a price slash and service package. A Subaru GT at AED 122,000 is too much temptation to handle even for those who would otherwise have settled for the Subaru 2.0 L at AED 99,000.
The essential Subary Legacy GT
Subaru Legacy GT is a segment by itself, holding fort somewhere between the Germans and the regular Japs. Yes, the steering occasionally shows a bit of overzealousness, but that is easily overlooked in such a willing car. But then, who would have thought that a car could actually maintain so much of road connect yet offer such a mellifluous ride? In that, the Subaru Legacy GT ride stands apart distinctively for the passenger and the driver.
Drive Courtesy: Al Khoory Automobiles