LOOKS . Futurific
Sticker . $20,624.
Power . 135 horsepower
0 to 60 . 10 to 11 sec.
Test Mileage . 23.3 mpg
Seating . 5
Trunk . 36.5 cubic feet
Parking . Anywhere
Check this one to blast the Subaru stereotype out of your mind once and for all. Once the purveyor of eccentric and underpowered oddballs, Subaru has quietly upgraded their line to stylish and remarkable niche vehicles. The new Legacy is the heart of this new line and offers a winning set of talents in an up to date ensemble.
The shape would fit in a sci-fi movie set in the not too distant future. Not far out, but not too mundane; interesting details and some real personality. The vibe keeps building on the inside. An attractive and well instrumented dash is fitted with quality switchgear and comfortable seats. Visibility is outstanding and a commanding view of the road provided. For those unwilling to cope with the bulk of a minivan and the suburban image, the small wagon format provides a workable capacity with less image degradation. A well detailed cabin, just a touch of stylistic flair and a tuneful 80 watt stereo complete the picture.
Head out for parts unknown, secure in the belief that the sophisticated and transparent All Wheel Drive system can master any adversity - rain, snow, slick surface or an occasional off road foray. While not as capable as a typical 4WD Explorer type in the boonies, the Legacy is not out of its element there and, the well-engineered Subaru AWD system is much better in real world driving. For people who drive predominantly on the pavement, but need to go exploring occasionally the Legacy makes a lot more sense.
AWD is the distinctive difference, but the Legacy is competitive on all other fronts. Great steering, smooth ride, a willing engine with a pleasing power curve, stable handling and strong brakes. If the going gets slick the Legacy runs at the head of the pack. If the big one hits, you'll have a ready escape vehicle.
Before you buy that clunky 4x4 or opt for the predictable Accord or Altima, check out the Legacy. It offers contemporary performance, outstanding AWD technology, excellent reliability and competitive value. We liked the '94 Legacy so much - Blondra bought one. The '95 is bigger, smoother, faster and actually cheaper. Can't touch that.