Last month, I intended to test drive a Buick Regal Turbo, but after a walk around the used-car lot, I discovered this little gem on the used car lot. It’s a 2006 Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT Limited, and I’ve been seriously considering one for after I graduate next spring. Faced with the opportunity, I decided to postpone driving the Buick and take this LGT for a drive instead.
Back in 2005, when this car was launched, Subaru was in the midst of expanding its turbocharged offerings from merely the Impreza WRX/STi and the Baja. The Legacy was new that year, so Subaru introduced a turbo version of it, the GT. It came with the WRX’s engine, but with the power bumped up to 250bhp, a standard five-speed manual, and a well-equipped interior. The Limited added leather seats, a moonroof, and heated front seats, welcome additions to an already tasty package.
The exterior was fairly clean (despite the ungainly bug shield fitted to the hood), and it only had one owner, who treated it pretty well–the interior was worn, but undamaged, the seats felt firm and supportive, and everything worked as it was supposed to. The Legacy sat surprisingly low to the ground–I’ve been driving a Camry lately, and this felt much more driver-focused by comparison. The chassis is well-balanced, with little body lean and a firm, but not painful, ride. Snow isn’t much of a problem for Subarus, so I can’t see an issue with having this car in the winter.
The turbocharged EJ25 flat-four engine pulls the Legacy with more than enough authority. The SportShift transmission, while no DCT, seems well-matched to the engine in normal driving, and in manual mode, the car pulls strongly, with a small amount of turbo lag. The only major fault I found with it were the brakes, which felt spongy and a bit worn out. That said, I pulled from 20 to 60 in second gear, and I heard no strange noises, felt nothing abnormal–this car has guts.
It’s a comfortable cruiser, with a turbocharged engine, which is a gift that just keeps on giving. The dealer wanted far too much for the car (nearly 18 grand is just too much for a 2006 LGT with 68K miles on it, even one as good as this), but that said, I was really, really impressed with this little sedan. After I graduate, I’ll be actively looking for a manual version of this car–if the car itself is this good with an automatic, a clutch pedal and a five-on-the-floor can only improve it.