From Towcar Awards 2008

List price: £24,395 (when tested)
Kerbweight: 1640kg
85% Match: 1394kg
Max towing weight: 1700kg
Towball limit: 82kg

IT MIGHT LOOK almost identical to the Subaru Outback, but the Legacy Sports Tourer is different in some telling ways.

For starters, there’s a more conventional ride height. This might not be great if traversing rough ground, but it lowers the Subaru’s centre of gravity and helps the Sports Tourer corner better than the Outback. It still rides comfortably, but with a better control of body movement than the taller model.

Hassle-free hill-starts

That helped the Legacy put in a sharper performance through the lane-change test, although it wasn’t in the same league as the Ford Mondeos. Plenty of bite from the handbrake and the traction of four-wheel drive made for hassle-free hill-starts, wet or dry.

The boot swallowed every bit of luggage apart from the Aquaroll, but the absence of a spare wheel suitable for towing chipped away at the Legacy’s practicality score.

It was also confusing to see a 50mph towing speed limit recommended in the Subaru’s manual when the legal maximum is 60mph.

A recent price rise means that, although the Legacy is well equipped, it looks a little pricey compared with a Skoda Octavia Scout. Good economy will help keep running costs low, though.

We say

Towing: 4/5
Solo: 4/5
Practicality: 3/5
Buying & owning: 4/5

Verdict: 4/5. A fine all-weather towcar, although it’s not cheap.

Braking 30-0mph