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2008 Subaru Legacy Sports Tourer 2.0D RE

Feb 2009 - Second Report (12,000 miles)

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2008 Subaru Legacy Sports Tourer 2.0D RE 2008 Subaru Legacy Sports Tourer 2.0D RE 2008 Subaru Legacy Sports Tourer 2.0D RE 2008 Subaru Legacy Sports Tourer 2.0D RE

Well I’ve been peddling the Subaru for 6 months now, racked up 12k miles and I’ve averaged a pair of mud-flaps every 4k miles, in fact I’ve used more flaps than litres of oil!

I do love this car - it’s different, handsome, classless and it does what I’d hoped it would when I spent my own hard earned cash on it last June and moved away from the normal premium brands. I’ve still not got over the lack of audio controls on the steering wheel, and to irk me even more they are now standard across the range. But it made me smile when the salesman at Golden’s said, "we thought of you when the ’09 model was announced with the controls, we all turned to each other and said Mr H isn’t going to like that".

I wish it had a six speed ’box as the engine does need it and, frustratingly, is fitted to the new Forester Diesel, surely the "Sports Tourer" needs it more? I would also like the stiffer suspension, currently fitted to the 30R B-spec, mine’s just a little too soft - it rides smoothly but I want a little more bite.

Now the miles are racking up (faster than expected) the engine has really started to give it’s best. Subaru tell me the ECU learns your driving style and adjusts fuelling, etc... to match. At idle after a run this manifests itself in a strange ritual of rising and falling revs and a little clunk when it’s finished - if you watch the engine belts, the movable tensioner moves up and down and the clunk is it settling back into position - strange, but nice to know it’s adapting.

How has this changed the performance? Well now, at 3000 rpm, it gets a real kick, the nose rises and forward progress is quicker than ever. Even with the cross country drive to work each day, and the spirited driving style that these roads are tackled with, it still results in an average of 38mpg. A good motorway run drops this to 48mpg and over the 12k it’s averaged 41 - I am told the "Driving Miss Daisy" brigade are getting 50mpg average!

More importantly is the way it makes progress on roads that are invariably covered in agricultural by-products - it is simply stunning as the Legacy just grips and goes, it inspires confidence and makes you wonder how others cope. We’ve had two snowy days when the roads became clogged with slipping and sliding cars, I just steered round them and made steady, safe progress - and this is on performance orientated Bridgestone Potenzas! I have been caught out a couple of times on dry tarmac as the Laws of Physics are not there to be broken and the friction coefficient still applies, it’s just that when it does stop gripping it’s much easier to sort out with 4 wheel drive.

The traction control / stability programme doesn’t like fast getaways from one of the local diesel and coal-dust coated, broken tarmac-ed crossroads on the way to work, which results in an alarming bogging down as the spinning wheels are automatically braked. So now I switch the control off temporarily and the car positively explodes across the junction where the old Audi used to scrabble slowly, struggling to maintain forward progress - how I do love 4 wheel drive!

Oil consumption has been low, with just 2ltrs added before the first service, which was carried out by R.N.Golden Ltd of Huddersfield. The car went in filthy and came out sparkling, with a modest bill of £183. It’s a good place to visit, Golden’s, a modern dealership but with good old fashioned values of great service and a warm welcome so different from the clinical "on message" dealerships that seem to be the norm these days. They had to replace a grumbling wheel bearing under warranty but apart from that it was just oil and flaps - let me explain; the car came fitted with Subaru mud flaps but they proved to be a little brittle, with the offside rear snapping on an uphill hairpin bend 4-up in the middle of some spirited driving. Golden’s agreed to swap them (plus a few quid) for the lower profile ones normally fitted to the 30B. I decided to keep them black as I couldn’t see the point in painting them in case they went the same way. The fronts soon went as well, snapping in the cold after a modest yump. This time I browsed the web and found some profiled flaps for the Legacy and at £19 were a lot less than the OE ones. With my record I thought it best to go this route. These flaps were secured with the original fixing holes and have survived the cold, speed bumps and are doing a good job of saving the bodywork from the mud and grit thrown up by the front wheels.

The tyres are wearing a little quick and the edges are going fastest but I guess you can’t have your cake and eat it and, as my fellow DA-ers say, "it’s only rent on happiness", so I will continue to drive spiritedly and exploit this car’s grip.

I visited a very smart country house hotel the other week and the car park was filled with Audis, Beemers, Mercs, Range Rovers, etc... I parked the Subaru up and as I looked back I smiled to myself, it really stood out, not because it was flash but because it was different - and that felt good.


Jul 08 - First Report (500 miles)...More

Feb 10 - Third Report (30,000 miles)...More

Oct 11 - Final Report (67,500 miles)...More

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