Just to feel the power shoot up eventually, I started off with the “I” mode on the three-spoke SI knob. It was pretty tame which made me glad that I didn’t settle for the 167 PS version of the car.
While what I expected was a totally sporty sedan, what I got was a sporty family sedan, equipped with most trims to please the sport enthusiast donning the cap of a family man. Besides the safety that surrounds the passengers, what was destined to surprise even the family man was the legroom at the back and the headroom too, which was good enough for an NBA player – class-leading among Japanese sedans and almost as spacious as its larger American rivals that still ride high on the proposition ‘big is beautiful’!
Handling was expected to be super-sharp thanks to the balance of power provided by the horizontally opposed Boxer engine and the legendary all-wheel drive that is the trademark of Subaru. It sure hugs the road when you step on it and I was literally taken aback by the G-force as I turned the knob to SI mode. A quick and steady burst of torque took me as far as I wanted to go on the highway before I was in competitive mode with the parallel traffic. As promised, lane changing and curves were razor-sharp, the all-wheel drive neutralizing the bit of over-steering or under steering on reasonably curvy roads.
Yet, it was when I descended sharply onto the highway from above the sweeping interchange, challenging the logical speed limit banking on the legacy of Subaru’s AWD, that I grudgingly remembered a similar maneuver carried out in the cockpit of an A4. Where it matters most, the Quattro technology seems to have an edge, after all, with the banking thrust displacing the passenger by fewer degrees in Audi’s comfortably secure cabin. While extraordinary curvatures at 50 miles wouldn’t be something you attempt every day, one thing that would leave you wishing for better refinement would be the Subaru speaker system, which seems to assume that a taste for turbo-charged baritones isn’t often complemented by an ear for music. Talking about refinement, the paneling trims reminded me of bicycle reflectors or tacky holograms done up in green and grey.
Back on the positive front, the Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT has a menacing ventilator gaping on top of its bonnet, doubling up as a cooling device for the engine. It’s sure to please those with a sporty bend of mind just as the SI and SI# modes would. The leather seats provide ample comfort though not in the same veins as a luxurious sport car would and the brushed steel finish and the driving mode selector do their bits to make the cockpit impressive enough. One should keep in mind that at AED 123,000, there is a good piece of automobile technology and driving pleasure, not to mention the long legacy of sporting enthusiasm, that come with this family-friendly sedan. That alone is still bound to make you stand out in the crowd, for being different.