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Old 01-15-2019, 02:28 PM   #1
DexteRS
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Default Legacy Performance and it's Competition?

Hi Subaru people,

I used to be deeply invested in Subaru, but I've been feeling disenfranchised as I'm looking for my next car at the age of 30. As a previous owner of an 08 2.5i, i'm looking for a step up in quality, both on the interior, ride quality, and noise, but also want a fun car.

I wish Legacy would fit (ideally slightly used) but I've just found subaru's cvt to be pretty disappointing, the handling is notoriously disconnected and steering is numb, and the materials in the console and in the car just seem to be cheaper everywhere than competitors. I also am not a fan of the laggy infotainment(but this was based on a 2014 so maybe that is improved?).

So, I'm looking for NASIOC type people's suggestions in this space. I still want to consider a legacy GT or 3.6R, but they're extremely rare in the used market, and there's not anything i can do about the poor steering feel and cvt.

Ultimately, are there recommended competitors i should look at? Can i get a legacy 2.5i and mod it effectively with better power and handling? (i know my 08 2.5i offered little for enhancement other than handling, but i'm not familiar with the newer engines capability)

Just feeling a little lost. German cars seem too expensive to maintain and they seem to be the only ones doing it right. I'm curious what Subaru minded people lean towards in this space. I just don't think Subaru is getting the legacy in the right space for this segment.

Edit: I should mention, so far the best i've found is the Infiniti Q50 3.0T AWD. It appears i might be able to get one near my $22,000 pricepoint, great power and features for the money. But the drive by wire(completely disconnected steering), and the horribly outdated infotainment are the major issues, as well as reliability reports and the fact that I'm pushing on my budget a little too hard I think.
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Last edited by DexteRS; 01-15-2019 at 02:41 PM.
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Old 01-15-2019, 02:33 PM   #2
Hondaslayer
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What is your price point?


Have you consider leasing an Alfa Giulia?
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Old 01-15-2019, 02:37 PM   #3
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What is your price point?


Have you consider leasing an Alfa Giulia?
I've always been a buyer, and the Giulia is honestly the ideal car, but my price point is around $22,000, so even the 2017s are just slightly out of my budget.
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Old 01-15-2019, 03:05 PM   #4
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$22k should get you a 1 year old Legacy Limited. It's what we paid for our 1 year old one over the summer. If you're basing your impressions on an 08 Legacy, you might as well base them on an 81 Toyota Starlet. Having owned an 08 Legacy GT Limited as well as an 08 Outback base and now we have a 17 Legacy Limited, they are quite good. If you want small car, nimble handling, then you should be looking at a smaller car. Overall, Limited versions of all subarus are quieter, feel much more solid and seem better put together than permiums and base models (I've owned limiteds in Outback, Legacy, WRX and crosstrek and premiums in Outback, impreza and base outback).

If you're looking for a mod monster, a Legacy isn't for you. Stick with a WRX or STi or some other brand. I tend to buy a car and just drive it.
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Old 01-15-2019, 03:16 PM   #5
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Mazda 6 or Mazda 3.

Mazdas have very good steering feel and handling even in their CUVs like the CX-5.

If you are looking for a great handling sedan, Mazda is where you should be looking if you don't want to get a WRX or STI Limited
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Old 01-15-2019, 03:29 PM   #6
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$22k should get you a 1 year old Legacy Limited. It's what we paid for our 1 year old one over the summer. If you're basing your impressions on an 08 Legacy, you might as well base them on an 81 Toyota Starlet. Having owned an 08 Legacy GT Limited as well as an 08 Outback base and now we have a 17 Legacy Limited, they are quite good. If you want small car, nimble handling, then you should be looking at a smaller car. Overall, Limited versions of all subarus are quieter, feel much more solid and seem better put together than permiums and base models (I've owned limiteds in Outback, Legacy, WRX and crosstrek and premiums in Outback, impreza and base outback).

If you're looking for a mod monster, a Legacy isn't for you. Stick with a WRX or STi or some other brand. I tend to buy a car and just drive it.
Hi Jack! Thanks for your input. I agree 22k gets me into a new limited legacy fairly easily, but only the 2.5i. I am looking for an increase in size, and it's not that I WANT to mod it, but the new 2.5i is just too slow for me, combined with the disconnected steering and a slow cvt, I'm just not seeing the heart the Subaru once had put into this design. These feel like they're designed to sell to the masses. So, I was considering some modding to bring it up to par. The WRX is a little small and the latest designs have yet to grow on me, but even more so, these damn cars don't depreciate and they're just not in my price range :/.

When sitting in the 2019 Legacy at the auto show, materials and layout just wasn't quite as nice as say, the Kia Optima, Nissan Maxima, or any VW, and even further from your entry level luxury sedans.

Subaru feels like it is literally making the 2011 Mediocrity as their new legacy line, and it bums me out.
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Old 01-15-2019, 03:31 PM   #7
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Mazda 6 or Mazda 3.

Mazdas have very good steering feel and handling even in their CUVs like the CX-5.

If you are looking for a great handling sedan, Mazda is where you should be looking if you don't want to get a WRX or STI Limited
I may have to look harder at these, but my issues with Mazda is the lack of AWD, and no real power even in the Mazda 6. It does seem that they have the driving dynamics down and make it fun enough even without the raw power though. But I would like to find an AWD Turbo Mazda 6... AKA what the Legacy should be
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Old 01-15-2019, 04:37 PM   #8
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I had to drive a borrowed CX-5 (2013 model, Grand Touring trim) for 8 months between my wife totaling my BRZ and me taking delivery of my WRX. So I got to know that little CUV pretty well.

Low on power? Yup, but as with the BRZ, if you drive it fast that doesn't matter. What impressed me was the handling.

So if that little CUV can handle very nimbly, I'd imagine so can the 6. Sure its down on power, but the curve is surprising. We had to have a loaner for a while while the CX-5 was getting new rotors, and were handed a 6. I could have sworn it had a turbo, but it was just NA 4.

Mazda's skyactive is pretty darn good.

So, test drive a sport model Mazda 6 (so you can get the 6MT), and I think you'll be surprised at how enjoyable it is.

Or wait for the 2019 3's and 6's to drop. IIRC, they're getting Skyactive X. So power delivery should be even further improved.
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Old 01-15-2019, 05:06 PM   #9
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A lot depends on your type of driving.
Modding almost any year NA Legacy is expensive, I know, I have modded my 98.

While I am down in power for "stop light wars", I am more into crusing or backroads where managing energy (good handling, knowing how to drive, slow to get going but never slow much after......) is my goal as well as pulling a long 1200lb trailer is good.

I do fine on big highways.
I do fairly well on back roads.
I don't need premium gas.
I surprise peeps here and there when needed.......

I would love my car but in an 05 GT wagon, also silver, but I give up some low end my 98 has.
I think the 05 LGT was last year with a 5MT. I love the body style though......almost as much as my own.
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Old 01-16-2019, 12:18 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Charlie-III View Post
A lot depends on your type of driving.
Modding almost any year NA Legacy is expensive, I know, I have modded my 98.

While I am down in power for "stop light wars", I am more into crusing or backroads where managing energy (good handling, knowing how to drive, slow to get going but never slow much after......) is my goal as well as pulling a long 1200lb trailer is good.

I do fine on big highways.
I do fairly well on back roads.
I don't need premium gas.
I surprise peeps here and there when needed.......

I would love my car but in an 05 GT wagon, also silver, but I give up some low end my 98 has.
I think the 05 LGT was last year with a 5MT. I love the body style though......almost as much as my own.
Yeah, once you learn to drive and love to drive a good NA car, stoplight wars have zero appeal. It's all about the handling, baby.

My BRZ taught me how to drive. Once I get going with the WRX, that boost gauge is usually reading vacuum but I'm flying down the backroads, dabbing throttle where necessary, but mostly covering clutch to downshift in lieu of braking to bleed off speed where necessary, and keeping eyes fixed on conditions ahead with two hands gripped to the wheel.

Driving any car fast is less about lead content in one's right foot than about conservation of the car's momentum (and keeping it conserved along a desired vector).

The CX-5 could handle like that, just with higher CG. It's what so seriously impressed me. A little mini SUV that could carve corners? Amazing and scary at the same time, and it was NA, not a turbo model.
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Old 01-16-2019, 01:39 PM   #11
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Yeah, once you learn to drive and love to drive a good NA car, stoplight wars have zero appeal. It's all about the handling, baby.

My BRZ taught me how to drive. Once I get going with the WRX, that boost gauge is usually reading vacuum but I'm flying down the backroads, dabbing throttle where necessary, but mostly covering clutch to downshift in lieu of braking to bleed off speed where necessary, and keeping eyes fixed on conditions ahead with two hands gripped to the wheel.

Driving any car fast is less about lead content in one's right foot than about conservation of the car's momentum (and keeping it conserved along a desired vector).

The CX-5 could handle like that, just with higher CG. It's what so seriously impressed me. A little mini SUV that could carve corners? Amazing and scary at the same time, and it was NA, not a turbo model.
I'm not really too interested in stop light wars, I'm not an aggressive driver by any means and usually trying to get a high score on my mpg meter. But I want power when I need it/want it, the 2.5i legacy is sluggish at best. I'm not a fan of needing an airstrip to get up to highway speeds. So it's not that I plan on racing around, but would like the power to be there. the 3.6R and legacy gt are even just so-so in power, but it's enough at least. Just wish the whole package was there
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Old 01-16-2019, 01:44 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DexteRS View Post
I'm not really too interested in stop light wars, I'm not an aggressive driver by any means and usually trying to get a high score on my mpg meter. But I want power when I need it/want it, the 2.5i legacy is sluggish at best. I'm not a fan of needing an airstrip to get up to highway speeds. So it's not that I plan on racing around, but would like the power to be there. the 3.6R and legacy gt are even just so-so in power, but it's enough at least. Just wish the whole package was there
I hear you. Still, look at the Mazdas. Our Outback 2.5i is sluggish but competent. The 2013 CX-5 was actually peppy. Not like a WRX, mind you, but still peppy. And even as an AT, it was fast on the manual gear changes.

See if you can't find a good condition used Mazdaspeed 6.

I'm mainly suggesting mazda because others are already giving you good ideas on Subarus.
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Old 01-16-2019, 02:12 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DexteRS View Post
I'm not really too interested in stop light wars, I'm not an aggressive driver by any means and usually trying to get a high score on my mpg meter. But I want power when I need it/want it, the 2.5i legacy is sluggish at best. I'm not a fan of needing an airstrip to get up to highway speeds. So it's not that I plan on racing around, but would like the power to be there. the 3.6R and legacy gt are even just so-so in power, but it's enough at least. Just wish the whole package was there
Having been born into '60's English sports cars, once up to speed, keep the momentum.
None of my parents cars would win most "stop light wars", but they handled. Thus keep the momentum up, go have fun.
This is when most were on bias ply tires, later radials.
I learned on 4 wheel drums, 2 tons (US) and bias plies.
You learn a lot FAST......

Most any NA Subaru is expensive to mod for power. I can't get ANY tuner for my ECU (late 90's, MAF based), but I have modded for power.
I am a road racer, thus, once up to speed.....nut behind the wheel first, tires second, then suspension......
Period.
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Old 01-17-2019, 01:46 AM   #14
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Try to find a 2010-2014 Legacy 3.6r with the 5 speed auto. I own a 2011 and have had a blast with it for over 20k miles. I also own a highly modified 08 wrx, and I have to say that the legacy is WAY nicer and quicker in stock form. The 5 speed unit has paddle shifting and it works really well in my experience.
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Old 01-17-2019, 04:07 AM   #15
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I have both the legacy 2.5i and the new mazda6 signature, and I can tell you that the new mazda6 is fast. It has 250hp and 310tq, it is no slouch. It also decimates the interior of the legacy. The one thing that the legacy has is that it feels like an unbeatable tank in the rain and feels invincible, but it is so unbearably slow, seriously. I still love it though, but if you want speed and handling, buy Mazda or the new accord.
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Old 01-17-2019, 09:56 AM   #16
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I have both the legacy 2.5i and the new mazda6 signature, and I can tell you that the new mazda6 is fast. It has 250hp and 310tq, it is no slouch. It also decimates the interior of the legacy. The one thing that the legacy has is that it feels like an unbeatable tank in the rain and feels invincible, but it is so unbearably slow, seriously. I still love it though, but if you want speed and handling, buy Mazda or the new accord.
Even the non-turbo Mazda6 is quick. It's not fast, but it's like Honda with v-tech, but more subtle in application. Skyactiv done well will seriously make you think your NA mazda has to either be a 6 cylinder or have some kind of small turbo boosting the 4cyl power.

It felt a lot like my BRZ's engine did, but just in a heavier sedan body, and my BRZ was tuned probably to around 180 whp (30hp increase over stock, with most of the gains in the area under the curve rather than peak hp) as a hip shoot guesstimate.
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Old 01-17-2019, 01:46 PM   #17
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Keep looking for a 3.6, a clean low mileage one. At that price point there is really no where else to go IMO.
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Old 01-17-2019, 02:05 PM   #18
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. Overall, Limited versions of all subarus are quieter, feel much more solid and seem better put together than permiums and base models (I've owned limiteds in Outback, Legacy, WRX and crosstrek and premiums in Outback, impreza and base outback).
That's an utter nonsense in general and with respect to 4th generation Legacy in particular. I had both limited and "unlimited" 05 LGTs at the same time, and absolutely the only difference was leather and moonroof. If anything, the limited with the creaky moonroof cover felt less solid.

Do you really think they put extra sound deadening in Limiteds and schedule "base" and "premium" models for Friday afternoon shifts?

Reminds of the stupid discussions how magic dust was used during assembly of the "more limited" version of Legacy aka "Spec.B"...
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Old 01-17-2019, 02:10 PM   #19
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I do remember reading something different on the limited suspensions, not sure. I can tell you (owned 5 subs) that I like the limited feel in the leather seats over the cloth. The seat did feel very different.
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Old 01-17-2019, 07:37 PM   #20
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I have a 2005 Legacy GT Wagon, 5MT. 92k miles.

Blown turbo, so it may be for sale. I can't decide if I should take the opportunity to start modding, because no way am I going to spend the $ for an OEM part. Might as well start modding. (never modded anything on this car yet)

OR

Sell it for $??? and keep the Challenger RT?
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Old 01-17-2019, 10:23 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Brego View Post
I have a 2005 Legacy GT Wagon, 5MT. 92k miles.

Blown turbo, so it may be for sale. I can't decide if I should take the opportunity to start modding, because no way am I going to spend the $ for an OEM part. Might as well start modding. (never modded anything on this car yet)

OR

Sell it for $??? and keep the Challenger RT?
We can't tell, where do you live? AWD may be better if dealing with snow or dirt.
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Old 01-17-2019, 11:32 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Brego View Post
I have a 2005 Legacy GT Wagon, 5MT. 92k miles.

Blown turbo, so it may be for sale. I can't decide if I should take the opportunity to start modding, because no way am I going to spend the $ for an OEM part. Might as well start modding. (never modded anything on this car yet)

OR

Sell it for $??? and keep the Challenger RT?
Blown turbo in many cases means the engine is gone, or will be gone soon. If you're not prepared for that, sell. Join legacygt.com if you're not already there, a lot more info specific to that platform.
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Old 01-19-2019, 01:01 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by ThinWRX View Post
Try to find a 2010-2014 Legacy 3.6r with the 5 speed auto. I own a 2011 and have had a blast with it for over 20k miles. I also own a highly modified 08 wrx, and I have to say that the legacy is WAY nicer and quicker in stock form. The 5 speed unit has paddle shifting and it works really well in my experience.
This isn't a bad idea honestly, I don't love the looks of it but maybe some subtle exterior mods can help with that. Then put a better stereo in it for apple car play? Part of the problem with used GTs/3.6r is that they are so rare

Mazda 6- no awd
Hyundai Turbo- no awd
Kia Optima Turbo - no awd
Honda Accord- no awd
Nissan Maxima/altima- no awd
I can't stand ford, chevy, etc. any american cars for that matter.

Manufacturers have limited the selection for me by quite a bit if I want AWD. So along with maybe an older 3.6R if i can find one, i've moved up to 2016 Infiniti q50 3.0T, 2014 mercedes e series 4matic, 2015 bmw 328i xdrive. But with these luxury lines i have to make sure i can do the work myself or they quickly become out of my price range on the cost to own side of things.
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Old 01-19-2019, 01:28 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unclemat View Post
That's an utter nonsense in general and with respect to 4th generation Legacy in particular. I had both limited and "unlimited" 05 LGTs at the same time, and absolutely the only difference was leather and moonroof. If anything, the limited with the creaky moonroof cover felt less solid.

Do you really think they put extra sound deadening in Limiteds and schedule "base" and "premium" models for Friday afternoon shifts?

Reminds of the stupid discussions how magic dust was used during assembly of the "more limited" version of Legacy aka "Spec.B"...
I'm not saying they do any specific thing. Just my observations, owning 5 limited versions and 3 non-limited cars. Night and day.
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