Subaru Legacy (2003-2009)

If ever there was a brand struggling to achieve any kind of identity, it's Subaru. Renowned for its reliability but little else, this Japanese company has suffered from a lack of awareness ever since it arrived here in the Seventies. Despite (or perhaps because of) this, the Legacy is well worth a look as it's fast, well-equipped, well-built and fitted with four-wheel drive as standard. But running costs can be very high, so make sure you can really afford one before buying.

Key Dates

10/03: A heavily revised Legacy is introduced, although it shares some components with the previous model. There are 2.0 and 2.5-litre (4-cyl) editions plus a 3.0 flat-six.

9/04: The 241bhp 3.0R Spec B arrives.

8/05: The 2.0 now has 162bhp (previously 135bhp) and the ultra-sporty 3.0 R Spec B is now available as an auto.

10/06: A facelift brings revised nose and tail, plus suspension and standard equipment changes.

2/08: At last there's a diesel option - a 148bhp 2.0 unit.

5/08: LPG Legacys join the range; there's a 148bhp 2.0 or a 171bhp 2.5.

Subaru Legacy (2003-2009) Checklist

  • The Legacy is generally very reliable, but when parts are needed they can be pretty costly; so get a quote for any repairs before committing to buying.
  • Servicing is also very costly; ask your local dealer what they're going to charge you for maintenance before you commit to purchase.
  • To top it off, petrol-powered Legacys (which is most of them) are thirsty; if you cover a high mileage, the fuel bills could prove crippling.

We Like

  • Reliability
  • Equipment
  • 4WD security

We Don't Like

  • Few diesels
  • Cheap-looking interior
  • Firm ride