Motors Review - Subaru Legacy 2.0i ES Nav

Subaru Legacy 2.0i ES Nav. CVT

Subaru Legacy 2.0i ES Nav. CVT - Credit: not Archant

Our motoring correspondent Syd Taylor tests the Subaru Legacy 2.0i ES Nav

Way back in the struggling 80s (yes, life was a struggle then as now) I was friendly with a mechanic who serviced ‘countrymen’s cars’ in a traditional garage by a Cumbrian lake. One sunny morning as I dropped in for a chat, I noticed an unfamiliar car on the ramp.

‘What’s that you’re servicing?’ I asked. He was a man of few words. ‘Subaru.’ he said. I could tell he liked the word. I gathered also, that this was a car that earned his full approval. As with most mechanics, anything that won his admiration just had to be jolly good.

That was my introduction to the marque. He told me then that this was a manufacturer that made eminently reliable 4x4 vehicles that unostentatiously rested on their laurels. It was almost as if owners wanted to keep the good news to themselves and that the manufacturer was complicit in their secret.

Fast forward to the ever radiant 21st Century and Subaru as a brand is like a superglue - ever binding its customers to the virtues it offers. On test today - the £24.095, 150 bhp, flat-four 2.0 petrol engined Legacy with ‘Lineatronic’ transmission that will take me to 120mph if I wish and will return a ‘not brilliant’ 35mpg overall. Here is a car that needs no fanfare, a traditional estate wedded to the latest in modern technology. Countryfolk will love it. Load-bearing artisans will scratch their beards sagaciously at their good sense in acquiring one. Trappers down from the mountains with a load of pelts will cut a swaggering dash behind the wheel. At the same time, more practical sorts will appreciate the virtues of a capacious car wrapped up in a sensibly dimensioned package which has 4x4 surefootedness, the better to cope with our bad winters and potholed roads.

If classic cruising is your style, this is not the car for you - but if comfort, reliability, good accommodation, together with all the usual estate car virtues, mean anything to you, this could be. It ticks so many boxes that your pen will run dry.

At the wheel one is immediately comfortable: dare I say cosseted in all the right places. Passengers too have lots of room and comfort. But better still, the Legacy is a constantly dependable ‘5-star safe’, cracking tool. No wonder Subaru give five years warranty.

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It’s easy and relaxing to drive, responsive and surefooted and there’s no hurdle one feels the Legacy couldn’t bound over like an athletic lamb: a wooly jumper with steel underpinnings.

As my mind goes back to that first encounter with Subaru all those years ago, I find myself nodding in approval at the apposite name this model bears - Legacy. So often is the word abused, but here, yes here, it rings out with authenticity.

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