Subaru Legacy 3.0 Sport: PH Carpool

Name: Mike Packwood
Car: 2005 Subaru Legacy 3.0 Sport Tourer auto
Owned since: January 2017
Previously owned: 65 cars and bikes and counting! Highlights have been three daily driver TVR Chimaeras, a really nice old M3, and a Harley Road King.

Why I bought it:
"We fell into Subaru ownership after a disastrous episode with a C-Class Mercedes which was suffering from spontaneous - and as it turned out terminal - limp home mode disease. Eventually the garage took it back and as they're a Subaru specialist, sold us the Legacy. I'm not entirely sure what would have happened had they been a Dacia dealer!

What I wish I'd known:
"I wish I'd known how good they were years ago; it would have saved lots of bother. I also wish I'd known that you can't take the CD player out in isolation because it's now eaten six of my favourites. Hopefully the next owner will like New Order and E.L.O. when it eventually starts working again. I also wish I'd known that there's an even more powerful 'Spec B' manual version as I might have held on for one of those."

Things I love:
"It's a proper left-field car which I love. It has four pillarless doors, (always a good start in my book) and is a massively capable high speed tip visiting tool. After 97,000 miles it still feels really well screwed together, has super comfy heated seats, a lovely leathery interior and does a great job in family hauling mode. In six months it has cost not a penny in faults or maintenance and with its four-wheel drive handles as though it's on the proverbial rails.

"Also, in a coolish, stealthy, handsome and understated sort of way I think it looks ace, and you certainly won't see another on your way to Waitrose. It also has a 245hp 3.0-litre flat six engine which sounds glorious. Never mind that it's an automatic - take it to the redline and it sings! It's worth the only-three-and-a-half-Sheds money for the sound alone. I used to love the sound of my TVRs and this is up there; as well as that it serves as a constant reminder never to buy another diesel."

Things I hate:
"Not hate exactly, but boy does it like a drink! I've never seen a fuel figure that begins with a three! In fact, quite often, they start with a one. We knew this prior to purchase and when it all gets a bit much we leave it at home and take the MX-5, or even better, the Renault Kangoo van. If I had to use it every day we wouldn't have bought it in the first place."

"Nothing apart from petrol. It's cheaper to insure than the Merc that limped before and not too bad to tax. One year younger and it would have been over £500 or whatever the top band is and that would have been a show stopper. It's due a service and MoT in November. The rear end feels a bit 'floaty' so it may need some new dampers and the front brakes are on the way so there may well be a bit of expenditure coming up."

Where I've been:
"Just around and about South Wales and Herefordshire. Its favourite road is the A465 from Abergavenny to Hereford, which is also great on a bike if you've never tried it. It'll soon be off to Moto GP at Silverstone so you may see it there."

What next?
"Well considering that I once kept a Civic Type R for only three weeks it would be foolish of me to state here in writing that it's a keeper. But honestly, at this time, and because it's such a capable all-rounder, I can't see a reason to get rid. It isn't particularly a car that you look back at when you've parked up, but it's definitely got a grin inducing sound and for an old'n is pretty sprightly, and that will do nicely for now.

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Comments (61) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Lowtimer 14 Aug 2017

    I like the idea of these a lot but the fuel consumption really does seem heavy for no reason. My 530i Touring has abut the same power from a similar sized 3.0 normally aspirated six and does anything between 28 and 36 mph in normal use. Against that of course I don't get 4wd, which does attract me about these for an all-purpose load lugger.

  • JMF894 14 Aug 2017

    Always liked these. I'll take a manual spec b please. Except for the fuel costs that is...............................

  • Truckosaurus 14 Aug 2017

    Always fancied a Legacy estate.

    They seemed to have only made 'Outback' versions in more recent times. Does it just need a parts bin raid to fit 'normal' Legacy (or off-the-shelf lowered) suspension to an Outback or is it a bit different underneath?

  • smaybury 14 Aug 2017

    Treated myself a few months ago to a manual JDM 2.0 twinscroll Legacy wagon. Breathed on slightly to 300bhp @ 4,000rpm.

    Spent a while looking as I wanted the facelifted model with the 6spd box.

    Honestly, it's awesome. Very attractive (to my eyes) and nobody seems to know that there's anything special going on underneath the bonnet, until you press the fast pedal, at which point it becomes almost hilariously quick.

    You can drive it as gently as you want and it's very civilised, but if you stick it in S# mode it becomes a complete animal. Not too laggy, either: the delivery is really quite smooth (certainly compared to the kick in the back I got from the 2.5t in the Forester.)

    Here's mine (before I sold the Fozzer):

    Edited by smaybury on Monday 14th August 10:22

  • ohit 14 Aug 2017

    We have one too, for about a year now. Absolutely love it.

    Recently fitted 4 new Goodyear Eagle F1's and wheel alignment - made the rear feel really secure and planted.

    We run it daily and it does everything, but will have to go in 2 years as it's too old for London's ULEZ charge (from 2019) which tips it over into being too expensive to run.
    It could well be our last big engine'd car. All recent ideas are now pointing to a PHEV car next

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