2006 Subaru Legacy Wagon Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Subaru Legacy Wagon


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Subaru Legacy Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.5 L Flat 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 175 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 20/27 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2006 Subaru Legacy

  • A tight chassis, a turbocharged engine and a slick cockpit have transformed the 2006 Subaru Legacy into a serious driver's car. Whether you're an enthusiast in need of four doors or a safety-conscious parent in need of some fun, this Subaru car is worth a try.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Don't have to pay extra for all-wheel drive, generous standard equipment list, top-notch build and materials quality, excellent power in GT models, great highway ride, sharp handling.

  • Cons

    No stability control, smaller backseat than most competitors, navigation system available only on sedan, can't get a manual gearbox on GT wagon.

  • What's New for 2006

    Subaru is building on last year's successful redesign of the Legacy by making a few additional improvements for 2006. For instance,…

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (7 total reviews)

Everything i expected and more.

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Vehicle: 2006 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Limited 4dr Wagon AWD (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

This is my third Subaru because, they're reliable, safe, versatile and somewhat fun to drive. In the winter, I just love strolling past numerous cars & SUVs that can't handle slippery roads. The Limited edition is fun on exit ramps at 55 mph. Those tires stick like glue. Accelerate instead of braking and see how fast you can go. The car will go faster in the corners than you're willing to go. Oh yeah, I love the side curtain air bags being there, just in case. 30 mpg Hwy in summer time, about 27 mpg hwy in winter. The wagon is bigger than friends mini SUVs, fits a lot of stuff. 116K so far, no big problems. Do your own brake jobs, their easy to do and cheap, $55 for all 4 wheels.

2006 2.5i limited edition legacy

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Vehicle: 2006 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Limited 4dr Wagon AWD (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

Great family wagon. Very efficient for all wheel drive (30MPGhighway - and even slightly higher at times). Prior to this car we owned a '98 Outback, and an '89 Justy before that. Please bring back the weather radio. We miss that from the Outback! The cockpit is very sporty - but my and my wife's leg runs into the handbrake. It needs to be moved out of the way.

Just a review

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Vehicle: 2006 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Limited 4dr Wagon AWD (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

With the chunky Toyo Garit HT winter snows this car handled very well in most of what a harsh Canadian winter could throw at it. A pleasure to drive in the summer as well with the huge moon roof open. Tight handling - great.

Lovin it so far

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Vehicle: 2006 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Limited 4dr Wagon AWD (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

Looks and feels like a European sport wagon, but with Japanese reliability. I cross shopped the Mazda 6 and used BMW 3-series wagons. This was the best value in the bunch. The BMW was a little smoother and a little tighter on the road, but not by much. And it cost $10k more new. This car was the value point. I considered a GT, but did the math and it has a life cycle cost of about $10,000 more over the life of the vehicle. I don't need the extra power that much. Others might, it's a personal thing I guess. After about two weeks and one road trip I got nuthin but smiles. Handles great, feels good.

First impressions 06 2.5i wagon

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Vehicle: 2006 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Limited 4dr Wagon AWD (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

I've had it for a week or so now and taken one road trip. I cross-shopped against a Mazda 06 and a used BMW 3 series (I could get an 02 for around the same price). Compared to the BMW it wasn't quite as nice and the engine wasn't quite as smooth, but it was surprisingly close. Throw in the difference in cost and the Subaru was the value point. I also considered the GT. With the lower mileage, the higher purchase price and the need for premium fuel and the softer tires, the GT cost an additional $10k over the life of the vehicle. May be worth it for some, but not me. I've found the handling great. Acceleration was adequate, but not fantastic. I love the interior. A fun to drive car.

Feeling good

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Vehicle: 2006 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Limited 4dr Wagon AWD (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

The interior is nicely detailed and very modern - the interior and exterior look like Subaru has tired cloning an Audi A4 wagon with some success. Best gas mileage so far is only 28 mpg on the highway - should improve with more miles on it. The non-turbo engine is much better than the older ones (my '95 Legacy is slower and less sporty) - certainly more than adequate for normal driving. The auto heat system is baffling and some things are missing that are in the competition (VSC, 5 or 6 speed auto, telescoping steering, auto up windows, integrated key fob). But the AWD trumps everything else - remarkable handling and control under any condition. Impressive crash test results from IIHS!

Gas Mileage


  • 20
  • cty
  • 27
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Full 2006 Subaru Legacy Review

What's New for 2006

Subaru is building on last year's successful redesign of the Legacy by making a few additional improvements for 2006. For instance, Legacys with normally aspirated engines feature a new variable valve lift system that slightly improves horsepower and torque, while a new DVD-based navigation system has been made available on selected trim levels. The trim levels themselves have also changed slightly. The budget-performance 2.5 GT trim has been discontinued, leaving buyers to ante up for the pricier GT Limited. There's a new Spec B version of the GT Limited sedan with a firmer suspension and 18-inch wheels. Also note that GT wagons are no longer available with a manual gearbox. Base Legacy 2.5i sedans and wagons have bigger wheels, stronger brakes, an air filtration system and an engine immobilizer as standard equipment this year.


Known primarily as the wagon that spawned the Outback, the Legacy is the oldest nameplate in the Subaru lineup, dating back to 1990. In recent years, it has been living in the shadow of its armored-wagon offspring. Starved for power and features, the 2000-2004 Subaru Legacy wagon was what you bought if you couldn't afford one of VW's expensive Passat 4Motion wagons, and/or you wouldn't be caught dead in a Taurus. The sedan, meanwhile, offered a winter-friendly alternative to the Accord and Camry, but had little else to distinguish it in the cutthroat family sedan segment.

Happily, Subaru gave buyers more reasons to consider its midsize sedan and wagon for 2005: The redesigned Legacy slimmed down, powered up and slipped into some more stylish threads. Some of the biggest news is under the hood, as GT models feature a modified version of the WRX STi's 2.5-liter turbocharged engine rated for 250 horsepower and 250 lb-ft of torque. Although the continued absence of six-cylinder power in the Subaru Legacy might seem like a blow, rest assured that you won't miss it.

The turbo four responds with the heart and refinement of a much larger steed. Meanwhile, power delivery rivals V6 engines for smoothness, and the engine is quiet at cruising speeds. For buyers on a tighter budget, Subaru continues to offer a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder. Horsepower maxes out at 175. All Legacys lost roughly 100 pounds in the redesign, thanks to the increased use of lighter, stronger materials like aluminum. Additionally, engineers fiddled with the gearing to improve the shift response of the automatic transmission. It's still a little slow on the draw but much better than before. All-wheel drive remains a staple of the 2006 Legacy lineup, but this is no longer a vehicle that will appeal only to those living in cold climates.

Subaru's midsize car has always been known for its fine handling, but this time around the company wanted it behave to like a sporty entry-luxury car. Accordingly, both the sedan and wagon ride beautifully on the highway, while providing a high level of entertainment on twisty back roads. Style and luxury were never within the previous Legacy's grasp, but no apologies need be made for the new cockpits, which are some of the best-looking designs in this price range. They don't break any new ground in styling, but one can't help but like the symmetrical dash design, convincing faux aluminum trim, electroluminescent gauges and three-spoke Momo steering wheel in the GT Limited model. Materials quality is excellent -- you could buy a Legacy and feel like you got a VW. Everything about the way the 2006 Subaru Legacy looks, feels and drives is so much more cohesive and satisfying than before. Don't buy an Acura TSX or Mazda 6 without trying this Subaru first.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The Subaru Legacy is available as a sedan or wagon in one of the following trim levels: 2.5i, 2.5i Special Edition, 2.5i Limited Edition, 2.5 GT Limited and 2.5 GT Limited Spec B. The 2.5i comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, a six-speaker CD stereo, cruise control, a trip computer and keyless entry. The 2.5i Special Edition adds dual moonroofs (the sedan gets a single large moonroof) and a power driver seat. The 2.5i Limited Edition includes heated leather seats, automatic climate control and a CD changer. Upgrade to the 2.5 GT Limited and you get a turbocharged engine, a functional hood scoop, sport seats, a Momo steering wheel and electroluminescent gauges. The 2.5 GT Limited Spec B sedan features a sport suspension with Bilstein shocks, 18-inch alloys, a navigation system, ground effects and alloy pedal covers.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2.5i models are powered by a 2.5-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine. It's been updated for 2006 with new valvetrain technology and now produces 175 hp and 169 lb-ft of torque. The Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT Limited features a 2.5-liter turbocharged engine rated for 250 hp and 250 lb-ft of torque. Either engine can be equipped with a five-speed manual transmission. The 2.5i is eligible for a four-speed automatic while the GT gets a five-speed auto; both come with an automanual mode. Note that the 2.5i Limited and 2.5 GT Limited wagon come with automatics only. All-wheel drive is standard across the board.


All Subaru Legacy models have four-wheel antilock disc brakes with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution. Stability control is, unfortunately, not available. Front side-impact airbags and full-length side curtain airbags are standard on all models. The front-seat head restraints feature dynamic whiplash protection. Both frontal-offset and side-impact crash tests by the IIHS returned a rating of "Good," its highest. The NHTSA gave the Legacy a perfect five-star score for frontal occupant protection in head-on crashes.

Interior Design and Special Features

Inside the cabin of the Subaru Legacy, one can't help but like the clean dash design and the convincing faux aluminum trim, not to mention the red-and-white gauges and three-spoke Momo steering wheel in the GT Limited model. Build and materials quality is excellent. While the backseat is comfortable for two passengers, shoulder room and legroom are still pretty tight for this class. Legacy sedans have an 11.4-cubic-foot trunk with a ski pass-through. The wagon has folding seats and 66 cubic feet of cargo capacity.

Driving Impressions

The 2006 Subaru Legacy offers a superb blend of ride comfort and handling acuity. The GT is easily as much fun as the TSX or Mazda 6, and with the confidence of all four wheels putting power to the pavement, this Subaru car is a satisfying substitute for the pricier Audi A4. The base engine provides adequate acceleration, but serious drivers will want to go for the turbo motor and its vast reserves of power -- trust us, you won't miss having a V6.

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