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Motoring: 2017 Subaru Legacy 2.5 Touring: Car of the Year?

Credit: NAUMAN FAROOQ

Though there are many positives to the 2017 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Touring, we don't think it deserves the name of Car of the Year.


Nauman Farooq | Interrobang | Sports | January 30th, 2017




Back in 2015, the Automotive Journalist Association of Canada (AJAC) awarded the Subaru Legacy with their Car of the Year crown.

That surprised many, not because Subaru doesn’t deserve to win, but because the Legacy model largely goes ignored these days.

Some could say that I’m guilty for not testing this new version of the Legacy earlier, to help spread the word on this Honda Accord and Toyota Camry competitor, but I’m not at fault. I had asked Subaru many times in the last two years to test the Legacy, but the previous PR officer at Subaru Canada was more interested in forwarding his resume to Porsche than to look after my request.

With a new person sitting in the PR chair at Subaru Canada, I sent a new request and got the car booked for two full weeks.

How did I get along with it on my extended test drive?

It was largely good, but not perfect by any means. Let’s address the complaints first. There really is little to write against this car, but given that I had this car during some cold weeks, I really wished it had a heated steering wheel. This feature is available on higher-end trims of the Legacy model, but my tester didn’t have it. That meant, warm gloves were needed, which caused an issue with operating the infotainment system, which is a touch-screen affair.

I also didn’t like how the trunk compartment is trimmed, it looked loose and ill fitted in some areas and that’s inexcusable on a new car.

Then there was its fuel economy. I averaged 10 litres per 100 kilometres during my test week, which is a lot for a vehicle that has a modest, 2.5-litre, flat-four cylinder engine that made just 175 horsepower. Though, it was cold during those two weeks, which can affect fuel economy. The fact that this tester also had a six-speed manual gearbox could also explain the thirst because I’d hold on to each gear a bit longer, to help the cars’ acceleration. This is no rocket ship, so it required a bit of effort to keep it moving along at an acceptable pace. If you slow down for a corner, and forget to shift down, you’d be crawling out of it at a snails pace; it only has 174 pounds per foot of torque, and that comes in at 4,000 revolutions per minute.

I wish the Legacy was still being offered with a turbocharged version of this 2.5-litre motor because those cars were fun to drive.

But what are the positives regarding this Legacy?

Like all Subaru’s I’ve ever come across, it handles really well, especially when the weather is being nasty. Thanks to symmetrical allwheel drive, the Legacy can handle anything Mother Nature throws its way.

On top of the handling, the ride quality is also good; it soaks up the bumps as if it steam rolls over road imperfections, as you drive along. Plus, the seats are comfortable and supportive, so if you spend a lot of time in your car, this would be ideal.

Speaking of comfort, it has lots of room in the cabin and not just for front seat passengers; even rear seat legroom is good.

Apart from that, the interior is well appointed, but nothing that’ll amaze you. Most other cars in this category have better infotainment systems and funkier dashboards, but where the Legacy lacks in style, it makes up for in durability; these cars do last forever.

On top of it all, it is even priced quite well, the 2017 Legacy is yours from just $23,495. A Touring model, like my tester, carries a base price of $26,595; given its size and all-wheel capability, that is pretty good value.

But, is it good enough to be awarded Car of the Year? It won’t make it on my list, but I can respect those who do think it deserves that accolade.
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