Weidel on Wheels: Legacy sedan keeps customers coming back

Mid-size sedan offers plenty of options and performance
By: Jeffrey Weidel
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It had been awhile since getting behind the wheel of a Subaru Legacy. While never a vehicle that has folks salivating at the opportunity to drive, the Legacy really is a very sweet ride and has much to offer. It’s been just over two decades since Subaru began manufacturing the Legacy in the United States. This well-made sedan certainly helped brand the Subaru name. The Legacy has been a popular choice among car shoppers who want a sedan capable of performing in the winter months in climates where snow and rugged weather conditions exists. All Subaru models feature all-wheel drive. While that feature alone won’t save one in the snow, put on a good set of winterized tires and you’re mostly good to go in the Legacy. Content with the product for five straight years, Subaru made virtually no changes before going with a fairly sizeable redesign in 2010. Only a few very minor changes were made for the attractive 2011 Legacy, a mid-size family sedan that was test driven here for a week. Although no journeys into the snow were taken, the Legacy motored around in some rainy, miserable weather and was tested on some steep grades, in tight holiday traffic, and some open freeway situations. There were no problems with the Legacy’s performance — it handles itself quite well in that department. The Legacy limited model has a 3.6-liter, V-6 engine with 256 horsepower. It goes a very respectable 0 to 60 mph in 7.1 seconds. Go with the turbo-charged model and it’s quite a bit quicker (5.8 seconds), while the base Legacy is very moderate — a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine with 170 horsepower. There are plenty of choices with the Legacy, thanks to three engines and seven trims. The Limited, which has a sticker price of $28,295 and gets 18 to 25 miles per gallon, is very sporty and fun to drive. The ride is smooth and the handling secure, so no real worries in the Legacy. The interior has a sophisticated look, but note that there is a fair amount of hard plastic, which isn’t unusual for a sedan in this price range. The seating is comfortable and there is plenty of room, especially in the back seat where Subaru addressed the previous head and legroom with last year’s redesign. The trunk is long and can store quite a few items. __________ 2011 Subaru Legacy Limited Price: $28,295 Power: 3.6-liter, V-6 engine with 256 horsepower Mileage estimate:18 mpg city; 25 mpg highway Standard features include: All-wheel drive; heated front seats; 10-way driver seat, four-way power passenger seat; dual-zone automatic climate control; automatic headlights; tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel; 60/40-split-folding rear seat; 440-watt Harman Kardon stereo system, CD player, auxiliary audio jack, Bluetooth; traction control; brake assist