Subaru's lasting Legacy

Iain Dooley checks out Subaru's practical and dependable Legacy Sports Tourer estate.Engines - For much of its life the Legacy wagon was a petrol-only proposition - with the choice of 2.

Iain Dooley checks out Subaru's practical and dependable Legacy Sports Tourer estate.

Engines - For much of its life the Legacy wagon was a petrol-only proposition - with the choice of 2.0 and 2.5-litre four-cylinder boxer engines and a 3.0-litre V6 - and very good it was too. The last few years saw the release of an impressive 2.0-litre diesel version - they're still rare and likely to be expensive, though.


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Exterior - With its unmistakable looks, the Legacy estate isn't a car you will miss in a busy car park. It might not be flash by modern standards but it is distinctive.

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Interior - Built to serve a purpose, the Legacy's interior might lack the sparkle of some European rivals but it's durable and hard-wearing. The cabin is spacious, while the load area is vast.

Driving - With its permanent all-wheel drive, the Legacy should please keen drivers. It's also a great all-weather car for when grip is low. The gutsy petrol engines could be more economical but there's no shortage of power. The more recent 2.0-litre diesel unit is a pleasant surprise.

Ownership - Customer satisfaction is high among Subaru owners, and with good levels of reliability and durability it's easy to see why. Not exactly a large car, the Legacy is easy to drive and affordable to own.

What to look for - Although a tough car, pay close attention to parking dents and kerbed wheels - the latter could lead to damage to the four-wheel drive system. A full history is essential for such a new car, while a test-drive is vital to show up any faults large or small.

Model history - 2003, Subaru launches its latest generation Legacy in saloon and Sports Tourer form. The latter offers a spacious and versatile interior, while both offer permanent all-wheel drive. Originally petrol-only, the range was later boosted by a 150hp diesel engine option.

Reasons to buy - solid build, durable interior, spacious load bay, all-wheel drive, diesel engine.

Reasons to beware - thirsty petrol models, diesel variant new and not cheap, conservative looks.

Pick of the range - Legacy Sports Tourer 2.5i SE.

What to pay - 2003 53 �5,850; 2004 04 �6,425; 2004 54 �6,650; 2005 05 �7,250. Figures relate to showroom prices for cars in A1 condition.

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