At The Wheel
2005 Subaru Legacy GT Limited Sedan
The four door that doesn't bore.
by Frederick J. Staab CruiseControlRadio.Com
You have seen the used car newspaper ads: “Must-sell, getting married,” “For sale, baby on the way.” They are the printed good-byes to owner’s performance cars, necessitated by life-changing events. Then comes the gut check – that new four-door sedan headed for residency in your driveway will sport a 0 to 60 time north of 10 seconds and all the excitement of a sandwich on stale white bread. Is your only choice is to surrender into the driving mediocrity, swapping family practically for performance?
Our test car’s powerful turbo four cylinder connected up to five-speed manual that is capable of converting even the most diehard automatic fan to the world of driver-controlled shifting. Clutch feel and take-up was smooth with just the right amount of resistance.
If you are driving a Subaru, it’s got all-wheel drive (AWD). In the case of the 2005 Legacy, it comes in the form of a symmetrical AWD with 45 percent of power directed to the front axle and 55 percent to the rear. GT models get an exclusive viscous-type limited-slip rear differential. I found the system completely eradicated; any torque-induced pull in the steering felt directly connected to the transmission and engine. There was no sloppiness or rubber-band bounciness that is sometimes the side effect of AWD systems on other vehicles.
Subaru AWD excellence should not come as a surprise to anyone, since the company built its reputation on vehicles where all four wheels get with the program. During the 1990s, Subaru owned the all-wheel-drive car business, marketing to teachers and nurses and other professionals who wanted get to work on snowy or inclement days but did not want to drive a full-size 4x4 pickup or SUV year round.
Today, the automotive landscape has changed. Other manufactures offer AWD systems in sedans and wagons with plenty more models on the way. The Ford Five Hundred and Freestyle and the Dodge Magnum are three examples.
Since AWD sedans are no longer unique to the Subaru lineup, the company finds itself at a crossroads. Part of the solution is to take the product more upscale with the targets drawn on the likes of BMW and Audi. The fruits of this plan are readily apparent on the inside of the Legacy. Dash pad and panel fit were razor thin. Silver titanium accents and trims are darker in color, making them seem more high end, and the sporty instruments get electroluminescent illumination, a feature normally found in more expensive sedans.
Don’t despair if your family is growing and that two seater just does not make sense anymore. If you can’t bring yourself to drive a minivan, you can buy a quality, no-compromise AWD sporty five-speed sedan with room for the family. For just over $29,000, you can feel responsible, practical and even invigorated every time you hit the accelerator.
LINKS : www.subaru.com Manufacturers site
www.swrt.com Subaru World Rally Team
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