The body of the Subaru Legacy has been completely redesigned for 2010.
In front, the Subaru badge of stars is ringed by a new chrome grille whose lower edge is squared off. Character lines arc from the grille and form power bulges on the hood and taper upward to the A-pillar. The profile is sleeker, even though it's 3.2 inches taller than before. The roofline is coupe-like, even with an increased greenhouse. The wider chassis spreads the front track by 2.7 inches and rear track by 3.3 inches, giving the Legacy a noticeably wider stance.
But the styling element that is most noticeable is the aggressive wheel arches and edged flares, enhanced by handsome alloy wheels. Subaru has always offered good-looking wheels, although they are followers in the edgy fender flare department; the Nissan Altima coming to mind as the first sedan to embrace this look, and now pretty much everyone is there. Interestingly, it was the 2006 Mitsubishi Endeavor SUV that started it all with its Geo-Mechanical look.
There's a short rear deck (deceptively covering the large trunk), with squared-off rear valances (smooth and not boxy), part of the standard aero package, giving an impression of size. However, even though the front overhang is less than before, the new Legacy still looks a bit odd in profile (when you study it), slightly platypus-like, with its long rounded nose.
On the 2.5GT, a prominent hood scoop sucks in air and tunnels it to the turbocharger intercooler. Along with the 18-inch wheels with wide-profile tires and twin-tip exhaust, it's clear that the GT means business.
New unseen engineering for 2010: The new rigid chassis contributes to the silence of the interior. It's a full reinforced cage of high-strength steel, heavier, although the new Legacy is still only 49 pounds heavier than before, thanks to weight-saving in other areas. There are also new fluid engine mounts, which add to the exceptional smoothness for a four-cylinder car.
For 2010, the Legacy features more room. More room. More room.
More head room, leg room, hip room, shoulder room, front and rear. Exception: less front leg room, which is a practical place to borrow some leg room for the rear, because there's still 43 inches in front, and now 37.8 inches in rear, an increase of 3.9 inches over the pre-2010 Legacy. Overall, there is an increase in passenger volume to 103 cubic feet (from 93.5 in the previous car).
We found the front bucket seats wonderfully comfortable. The rear seats, especially in perforated leather, fit as nicely as the fronts, with a new scalloped seatback that gives more knee room.
The trunk has been blown up to 14.7 cubic feet, large enough for four sets of golf clubs. Gas strut supports, no intrusion into trunk space: quality detail, for such an affordable midsize car. Typical for Subaru.
The new Legacy is very quiet inside (especially the six-cylinder), thanks to a number of things, such as framed door glass and double sealing of all four doors. The rear doors are 15 inches wider (with double beams providing more strength against impact), for easier entry and exit.
The interior materials are higher quality all around. The center console offers more space thanks to a new standard electric parking brake, which includes the Hill Holder system that now lasts until the car accelerates, not just a couple seconds. The four-gauge instrument panel is clean and stylish, with a multi-information display standard. The controls on the center stack are all well done. The electronically controlled HVAC system is all new, with powerful and quiet air conditioning and optional dual zone control. The three-spoke steering wheel isn't as handsome as the rest of the interior, although the optional leather wrap is nice. The ambient lighting for the console is pleasant. Visibility in all directions is good.
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