Bigger, Roomier are Themes for All-New 2010 Subaru Outback, Legacy

November 21, 2009/Steve Tackett

MOTOR MATTERS NEW ON WHEELS BY CONNIE KEANE

Subaru just announced it had a record-breaking October 2009 sales month. The automaker says its 41-percent gain year-over-year is largely due to the launch of the all-new 2010 Outback and all-new 2010 Legacy.
Sure, they’re going to boast about their all-new 2010 model year products, but the figures don’t lie. Both the Legacy sedan and Outback wagon had triple-digit sales increases compared to sales of October 2008. Subaru points to its steady goal of providing an all-around package that buyers can embrace: the safety and security of all-wheel drive capability; and products that are backed up by the esteemed “Top Safety Picks” from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety.
I recently drove the new 2010 Outback and Legacy models. The Legacy is an athletic sedan with an intuitive all-wheel drive system that stays out of the way of fun, sport driving — but is there when you need it.
The Outback meanwhile has grown substantially in size and is looking less like a station wagon and more like the Forester‘s Irish twin (siblings born fewer than 12 months apart). My point is that the distinction between the new Outback and the Forester seems to be blurring into a fuzzy area.
My recurring impression while driving the Outback was that it’s now much more SUV-like and is bordering into Forester territory.

2010 Subaru Outback 3.6R

Ironically, Forester’s October sales figures, while up 13 percent from one year ago, couldn’t keep pace with the debuting Outback’s 175 percent sales increase. Something with the 2010 Outback is resonating with buyers.
With a base price of $22,995, the tester’s 2.5-liter four-cylinder six-speed manual Outback delivers 170 horsepower and torque and returns fuel economy of 19/27 miles per gallon. It is the roomiest Outback model Subaru has ever built with a 7 percent interior volume increase, longer wheelbase, plus a fairly respectable off-road ground clearance of 8.7 inches.
The all-new Legacy sedan, too, is the roomiest ever that Subaru has built with an increased width for more interior space for passengers. The Legacy is offered in three performance levels, ranging from 170-hp, 256-hp and 265-horsepower engines. Big wheel arches and a shorter deck portray a revised sporty appearance for the 2010 Legacy.
I drove the 3.6-liter 6-cylinder mated to a five-speed automatic. Performance combined with comfort is Subaru‘s goal for its top trim model here. It is base priced at $24,995 and can tip the scales at near entry-level luxury pricing at almost $28,000 for the Limited version. Such a model will come with perforated ivory/black leather upholstery, 10-way power driver’s seat and 440-watt premium audio system.
All-wheel driver buyers who fashion sport-oriented driving are going to steer toward the GT version in the lineup. The Legacy 2.5GT is powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 265 horsepower and hauls with 258 lb.-ft. of torque. It is mated to a six-speed manual only, requires premium fuel and achieves the same fuel economy of the 3.6L six-cylinder of 18/25 mpg. The GT model has a price range of $27,995 to $29,995. — by Connie Keane, Motor Matters.

Legacy 3.6R Ltd

SPECIFICATIONS
2010 SUBARU OUTBACK 2.5i
VEHICLE TYPE_________________ 5-passenger AWD midsize wagon
BASE PRICE___________________ $22,995 (as tested: $23,690)
ENGINE TYPE__________________ SOHC 4-cylinder w/MPFI
DISPLACEMENT_________________ 2.5-liter
HORSEPOWER (net)_____________ 170 at 5600 rpm
TORQUE (lb.-ft.)_____________ 170 at 4000 rpm
TRANSMISSION_________________ 6-speed manual
WHEELBASE____________________ 107.9 in.
OVERALL LENGTH_______________ 188.2 in.
CURB WEIGHT__________________ 3,386 lbs.
FUEL CAPACITY________________ 18.5 gal.
EPA MILEAGE RATING___________ 19 mpg city, 27 mpg highway
Copyright, Motor Matters, 2009

SPECIFICATIONS
2010 SUBARU LEGACY 3.6R
VEHICLE TYPE_________________ 5-passenger AWD midsize sedan
BASE PRICE___________________ $24,995 (as tested: $25,690)
ENGINE TYPE__________________ DOHC 6-cylinder w/MPFI
DISPLACEMENT_________________ 3.6-liter
HORSEPOWER (net)_____________ 256 at 6000 rpm
TORQUE (lb.-ft.)_____________ 247 at 4400 rpm
TRANSMISSION_________________ 5-speed automatic
WHEELBASE____________________ 108.3 in.
OVERALL LENGTH_______________ 186.4 in.
CURB WEIGHT__________________ 3,481 lbs.
FUEL CAPACITY________________ 18.5 gal.
EPA MILEAGE RATING___________ 18 mpg city, 25 mpg highway
Copyright, Motor Matters, 2009

2010 Subaru Legacy 3.6R