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2008 Subaru Legacy Sports Tourer 2.0D RE

Feb 2010 - Third Report (30,000 miles)

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2008 Subaru Legacy Sports Tourer 2.0D RE

I’ve driven it through snow, brilliant sunshine and everything in between. "Is it any good?" you want to know... 30k miles, on my third set of tyres, 2nd clutch, flywheel and front wheel bearing. Well it’s fair to say that the gloss of new car ownership has worn off and I can start to see the minuses as well as the pluses.

Moans first: Why the hell can’t Subaru make a key transmitter that works? You have to be standing on top of the car before it works and even then it doesn’t always unlock / lock. The Audi worked from 250m, the Swift works from 50m, so why the Legacy is so poor is a mystery; It needs a six speed box as the gap between 2nd and 3rd is too big; The interior needs more storage; The climate control temp gauge is a little inaccurate and the temperature fluctuates too much; There is no gas strut on the bonnet; The oil filler is set too low, so it’s easy to spill when filling.

Why a new clutch? From day one it’s never enjoyed going backwards and city driving has been difficult with progress measured in jerky, lumpy increments. My excellent local agent, Goldens, only took 5 minutes into the test drive to confirm that all was not well. It was booked in and the clutch and fly wheel replaced under warranty - now it’s smooth and progressive in all situations with no nasty smells when backing up. The wheel bearing was also replaced as it had started to get a little rumbly - you notice this in a car as quiet as the Legacy.

Why do I still love it? I love its stunning grip in all conditions; The good ride quality over the shocking roads of South & West Yorkshire; The light that the huge sun roof lets flood in to the cabin; The great seats that you can set to toast your ass on a cold morning but offer enough support when getting enthusiastic in the corners; The boot is large and the luggage nets are very clever, helping to keep your shopping as well located as your toasted bottom; I still like its "what is it?" looks, its understated presence that helps make it so hard to pigeon hole.

Fuel consumption has settled at around 38mpg, the dealer was shocked at how low it was - they have some customers averaging 50mpg! (I wouldn’t want to get stuck behind them.) I was surprised it was as high as 38 because it gets pushed hard most days and the route to work is all cross country. On a motorway run it will show 48mpg even 4up and loaded, which to me shows the gearing is all wrong for the engine when in classic Subaru territory - the rural landscape. It needs an extra ratio to smooth out the cross country progress, you often find yourself revving the nuts off it or bogging down mid corner. Yes you can carry more speed into a corner but I am not keen on that approach on unsighted roads.

Oil consumption at 1-2ltrs every 12k miles is about half that of the Audi. The weather is now turning again with a decided wintery feel, the roads covered in an emulsion of leaf mulch, diesel and mud from tractors involved in late harvested cabbages and the Scoobie is in its element. It’s so sure footed and reassuring, pulling out from a greasy junction is a doddle, although sometimes the traction control can get a bit crossed up if you use too much right foot. You can drive it like Peta Solberg on a special stage but to me the real advantage is the grip it gives you in everyday conditions, making it one of safest cars around - never thought I’d recommend a car based on that criteria but I have to say I believe it’s a car for all seasons.


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

Feb 09 - Second Report (12,000 miles)...More

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

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