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2010 Subaru Legacy: Redesign puts sedan in the fast lane

Posted on 05 August 2010 by LeslieM

By Ric Green & Joe Castello

Over the past few years I have become a big fan of Subaru’s for their engines performance, all-wheel drive and handling.  But the looks were always polarizing. Now comes the redesigned 2010 Subaru Legacy and I feel its appearance has changed for the better. I am sure the new skin will attract more drivers to the midsize sedan.

Subaru has always ventured outside the box.  Their standard all-wheel drive vehicles all sport horizontally opposed “boxer” engines. From their off-road wagons to their turbo compacts that sport gigantic hood scoops and rear wings they have thumbed their nose at traditional designs. But with its all-new fifth-generation Legacy Subaru has a sedan has traditional looks balanced with competitive performance, passenger volume, and fuel economy.

At first glance, there’s no mistaking that the new 2010 Subaru Legacy is larger and more substantial. Compared to the ’09 model, the 2010 Legacy is just 1.4 inches longer, but it’s nearly four inches wider, three inches taller, and has a wheelbase that’s been stretched by more than three inches.

If it weren’t for the badge on the car, you would not know this is a Subaru. With flared fenders, prominent rocker panel side skirts and raked side profile, it has a more aggressive and sporty personality than the outgoing model.

Legacy continues the transformation with a revamped interior that sports a classy look with a good mix of satin and brushed aluminum accents on all black background. Drivers of various sizes will find the space more than adequate, thanks to long adjustment ranges for both seats. But the real change is in the rear as the backseat gains 4 inches of legroom.

The 2010 Subaru Legacy has a model for every south Floridian.  Whether your main concern is performance, safety or appearance, there is a Legacy to match.

The all-new, larger Subaru Legacy sedan is priced at $19,995 for the 2.5i. The base model is equipped with a tilt-and-telescope steering wheel, electronic parking brake, auto headlights, and remote keyless entry.

The 2.5i Premium will have a starting price of $20,995 with the manual transmission. It ads a power driver’s seat, automatic side windows, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and 16-inch alloy wheels.

The 2.5i Limited with the standard CVT has a starting price of $24,995. Additional features include a manual-override feature for the transmission with paddle shifters, leather seats, 17-inch wheels, and the all-weather package.

Fitted with a 256-hp six-cylinder engine, the 3.6R model will start at $24,995, the 3.6R Premium at $25,995, and 3.6R Limited at $27,995.

Then there are the editions I would want to own.  The Legacy 2.5GT Premium ($27,995) and Limited ($29,995) models are powered by a 265-hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine with a six-speed manual transmission. The Limited version adds in the harman/kardon audio system, plus leather interior and power front passenger seat. And as it should be, there is no automatic transmission available with the turbo.

I have become a big fan of Subaru over the years.  Maybe it is my passion for performance cars, because I always feel I am driving something special when I am behind the wheel of a Subaru.

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Subaru Outback’s redesign is right for the sunshine or rain

Posted on 27 May 2010 by LeslieM

By Ric Green & Joe Castello

When I heard they had redesigned the Subaru Outback for 2010, I was like “WHY?”   I was happy with the 2009 and its predecessor.  It was comfortable, all-weather and beach or everglades ready, able to haul all the fishing gear or golf clubs four South Floridians could pack for an afternoon of sunshine.

But changes were made for 2010 and the Outback just keeps getting better. In fact, Motor Trend has named it Sport Utility of the Year and Popular Mechanics has named it their Most Versatile Car for 2010.

First off there is more room in the back. The previous model’s smaller doors had put a strain on the comfort of anybody that didn’t call “shotgun.” By extending the wheelbase 2.8 inches, the rear doors got longer adding an extra 3.9 inches of leg room.

Although the new Outback is 0.8 inch shorter in overall length, a height gain of 4.1 inches contributes to the increase in interior space of several cubic feet, most of it in the rear seat. Cargo space with the rear seats in place is up only 0.8 cubic foot, but when you fold the 60/40 split rear seat backs, nearly six more cubic feet are realized. The change from a multilink rear suspension to a control-arm system allows for a better layout of the cargo hold.

Subaru’s 2010 All-Wheel-Drive (AWD) crossover also got an extra dose of the stuff made its predecessor popular with the active-lifestyle market.

Visually, the 2010 Outback got a makeover that included redesigned sheet metal and lights.  Its shorter length and taller profile coupled with a 2.0-inch bump in width and its segment-leading 8.7 inches of ground clearance, gives it a more aggressive stance.

Under the hood the Outback has two choices of engines and three types of transmission, trim level, and AWD. The base engine is the 2.5i, an SOHC four-cylinder powerplant with 170 hp and 170 lb-ft of torque.  It can be mated to a six-speed manual or the Lineartronic CVT which comes with paddle shifters that create a virtual six-speed transmission, with shifts taking a tenth of a second.

The 3.6-liter DOHC is a boxer special that benefits from being expanded by six-tenths of a liter over the current Outback engine. The numbers jump to 256 hp and 247 lb-ft – with 225 lb-ft available from 2,000 rpm. It comes fitted to a five-speed automatic transmission.

The 2.5i can be mated to the six-speed manual and the Lineartronic CVT, while the 3.6 makes do with the five-speed auto. The CVT also comes with paddle shifters that create a virtual six-speed transmission, with shifts taking a tenth of a second.

The 2.5i manual comes in at $22,995, $23,995 if you go for the CVT, plus $694 destination. That’s thousands less than most of the competition Subaru has identified.  Step up to the base 3.6 and you’re in for $27,995. The tip top 3.6 Limited starts at $30,995, a $1,000 drop from the current, smaller-engined Outback 3.0 Limited, to $33,995 fully dressed.

Subaru has built its reputation on doing things differently and yet it works out as the right way to do things. The Outback has already established itself as the wagon of choice in the Northeast, Northwest and Rockies, and I think the folks in Florida will follow this lead thanks to the redesign. It  is easy to see why the 2010 Subaru Outback is an excellent vehicle.

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