The blower motor in my WRX gave the impression to be getting louder by the day and, whereas including an insulation panel appeared to assist, I nonetheless wasn’t happy. The noise was intermittent, making it onerous to breed, although a tech working at my native supplier found a technical service bulletin and provided to switch it whereas the guarantee was nonetheless in impact.
So, I scheduled an appointment to drop the automotive off to switch the blower motor and carry out a technical service bulletin to resolve my squeaky clutch pedal points. As a result of they wanted time to get some additional elements in, I used to be instructed I’d be given a loaner for a number of days. I dropped the WRX off and anticipated to stroll out to a base Impreza, however was pleasantly shocked to be greeted by an opulent Legacy 2.5i Restricted.
The Legacy Restricted appeared an odd alternative for a loaner automotive, however the mixture of choices and ultimate value defined why it ended up in loaner service as a substitute of somebody’s driveway.
This particular automotive, priced at $32,359 due to the Restricted trim and two massive possibility packages, got here outfitted with the smaller 2.5-liter flat-four making solely 170 horsepower. This positions the automotive above the top-trim three.6R Restricted and plenty of rivals providing extra energy.
One of many first issues I observed strolling as much as the automotive was the massive 18-inch wheels and the tiny rotors hiding behind them. The entrance rotors are available in at 11.6 inches — the identical dimension you’ll discover on a 2000 Outback. Transferring previous the cosmetics, the brakes served their objective nicely in site visitors and the again roads close to my house. Nonetheless, it may need been a sensible alternative to mix the bigger 12.Four-inch brakes with the 18 inch wheel improve, only for presentation.
One of many first issues I did after leaping within the automotive was to pair my cellphone with the StarLink system and see the way it compares to my WRX. I used to be pleasantly shocked to see it join over Bluetooth nearly immediately; the touchscreen was far more responsive than what I used to be used to. Sound high quality was nice for my non-audiophile ears and the one factor it actually lacked — for me, anyway — was Apple CarPlay.
On the highway, the Legacy proved quiet and cozy, albeit very sluggish. The two.5-liter will get fairly a exercise making an attempt to maneuver nearly three,500 kilos of mass, although I believe the CVT ratios and tuning are principally accountable; older naturally aspirated Subarus I’ve owned appeared to carry out significantly better off the road. As soon as the automotive will get transferring, extra energy comes on-line and freeway driving and passing aren’t a problem.
The inside is nicely appointed with snug and supportive leather-based seats. The supplies are nicely fitted, however the prime of the sprint is constructed of a rubbery materials designed to make it smooth to the contact, however is generally helpful for gathering mud. Local weather controls and the middle console are nicely laid out. The inside door deal with appeared acquainted, and it needs to be — it’s the identical one Subaru utilized in my outdated 2000 Legacy.
A deliberate journey to Costco made for an important alternative to check out trunk area. The Legacy has 15 cubic toes of cargo quantity, 25 % greater than in my WRX; a fairly noticeable enchancment. We had been capable of match a full cart of Costco groceries within the trunk, included two 30-packs of water, a 24-pack of beer, and a big bundle of paper towels amongst different smaller gadgets.
A lot of my 5 days with the automotive was spent commuting, however gasoline financial system, regardless of principally freeway driving, was not nice. The most effective readout from the on-board show was about 31 miles per gallon — a bit wanting the mannequin’s 34 mpg freeway score. The precise common for my time with the automotive ended up at roughly 26 mpg, simply barely increased than what my WRX usually will get. My first intuition was to imagine I used to be being too heavy on the pedal. Nonetheless, the figures didn’t change a lot even with a lighter proper foot and better use of cruise management.
The $1,995 Choice Bundle 24 brings an upgraded Starlink System and provides the EyeSight driver help system, steering responsive fog lights, auto excessive beams, reverse computerized braking, and HID headlights. I used EyeSight fairly a bit over the past couple of days and was impressed with the response. The adaptive cruise labored nicely and Lane Maintain Help stored the automotive on a straight course with out bouncing between the painted traces. Auto excessive beams are all the time useful, although the HID headlight are very brilliant on their very own. I’m undecided who calls for steering responsive fog lights, as I didn’t discover their presence till after studying the choices record.
Outfitted in Restricted trim, the Legacy delivers loads of excessive factors, however the engine and CVT mixture drag it down an excessive amount of for me to contemplate shopping for one thing like this. It’s tremendous for the $22,000 base mannequin however, once you move the $30,000 mark, so many different different potentialities develop into accessible. It’s onerous to not think about one thing just like the Ford Fusion Sport, which boasts nearly double the facility for practically the identical value.