From June 2010 issue

List price when tested: £25,745
Kerbweight: 1659kg*
85% match: 1410kg
Max towing weight: 1700kg
Towball limit: 82kg
30-60mph: 13.2seconds
30-0mph: 11.1m
*Includes 75kg for the driver, and so differs from Subaru’s published kerbweight

WE’VE BEEN fans of Subaru’s first diesel engine since it arrived in the old-shape Legacy. However, the rest of the car was starting to show its age. Now the impressive engine finds its way into the new Legacy.

The most obvious improvement with the latest Legacy is the improved cabin space. Whereas the old car was short on legroom in the back compared with newer designs, the new generation gives little away to the likes of the Ford Mondeo. Two six-footers can now comfortably sit one behind the other.

Luggage space is also improved. Even with the back seats upright there’s 526 litres. Lower the seat backs (a quick and easy job) and that increases to 1677 litres.

A step forward

As a family car there’s no doubt the Legacy has taken a step forward, but as driver’s car the old model has the edge. The latest Legacy doesn’t feel quite as nimble.

However, we were happy with the Legacy’s performance as a towcar. It excelled in the lane-change test, changing direction quickly and staying oblivious to the caravan slipping and sliding behind it. In regular driving we had no qualms with the Subaru’s stability at speed.

The Legacy is one of few family estates to benefit from four-wheel drive, which helped the car cope with the hill start test. It’s a big plus if you tow all year round or regularly stay on grassy pitches.

In SE spec the Legacy is by no means cheap, although you do get a lot of equipment for your money. However, the Legacy does use more fuel than many of its two-wheel-drive rivals.

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

Verdict: 4/5 – A roomy family estate car with the benefit of four-wheel drive.

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