2006 Subaru Legacy Review

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Pros & Cons

  • 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.
  • No stability control, smaller backseat than most competitors, navigation system available only on sedan, can't get a manual gearbox on GT wagon.
List Price
$4,550

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Edmunds' Expert Review

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.

Vehicle overview

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.

2006 Subaru Legacy models

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.

2006 Highlights

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.

Performance & mpg

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.

Safety

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.

Driving

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.

Interior

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.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2006 Subaru Legacy.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

A "poorman's Porsche" 4 wheel wagon?
Multisport transport,11/29/2010
4 years and 75,400 miles and it's still a blast to drive. Very reliable except wheel bearing issues on both the front and rear passenger side wheels. Extended warranty actually paid off. (Had a costly transmission fiasco with prior Volvo all wheel Cross Country) Broke even this time. Combines practicality and style, costs less than an Honda Accord, handles better than VW Passat and offers the all wheel drive of an Audi A4 wagon which costs $15,000 more. I bought a Harley Davidson Nightrod with the savings. The long wagon roof line and additional interior space provides versatility for carrying gear for family vacations and outdoor adventures. Decent MPG range of 23 town & 30 on highway.
Reliability & a Great Driver Too!
Ed,10/23/2006
I'm 44 & a driving enthusiast. I've owned many brands of cars. This Legacy combines the reliability & quality of a good Japanese brand with the driving feel of a European car. I traded in my VW Jetta and Audi A6 for this car and have never looked back. I was tired of the repair bills and inconvenience of the "down time", but thought I would miss the driving feel of those brands. Not so! The AWD makes the handling of this car very neutral, and the suspension soaks up bumps while remaining responsive. The steering has good feel and it's not too over-assisted. The normally aspirated engine revs easily and has plenty of power for daily driving & the 5 speed makes good use of it while adding fun.
Some good & Lotsa bad
ohassen,02/26/2013
Bought my Legacy w/85k mi on it less than a year ago. If you're looking to buy one, this is what you need to know: The GOOD: AWD offers great stability and makes the car fun to drive, good in snow but won't help you brake better in snow. THE BAD: The AWD system is delicate, no more than 2/32" difference in tire tread depth. Which means if you have 1 bad tire, you'll need to get 4 new tires as I have already done. I've had recurring Alignment issues as did others. I've had Tire Air leaking issues, as did others. Engine hesitation/misfire seems to be normal even when bought new. Gas mileage is not impressive. Used to get 25-27. Now I get 20-24 since the misfire issue got worse. Never again!!
Just a really well built car
TW,12/04/2010
Bought new in 2006, just hit 60,000 miles. Still love the car. It's been reliable, drives well, good interior size. It really is a perfect sports sedan. 4 adults can fit comfortably, the interior is simple but well put together. The car offers a very good power & handling. It's just an absolute joy to drive. I love how small it is on the outside, yet you do not feel cramped inside at all, especially compared against IS250, CTS..etc.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2006 Subaru Legacy features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2006 Subaru Legacy

Used 2006 Subaru Legacy Overview

The Used 2006 Subaru Legacy is offered in the following submodels: Legacy Sedan, Legacy Wagon. Available styles include 2.5i Special Edition 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl 4A), 2.5i Limited 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl 4A), 2.5i Special Edition 4dr Wagon AWD (2.5L 4cyl 4A), 2.5i Limited 4dr Wagon AWD (2.5L 4cyl 4A), 2.5i Special Edition 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl 5M), 2.5i Special Edition 4dr Wagon AWD (2.5L 4cyl 5M), 2.5 GT spec.B 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 5M), 2.5 GT Limited 4dr Sedan AWD w/Black Int. (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 5A), 2.5i 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl 5M), 2.5 GT Limited 4dr Sedan AWD w/Ivory Int. (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 5M), 2.5i 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl 4A), 2.5 GT Limited 4dr Sedan AWD w/Black Int. (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 5M), 2.5 GT Ltd 4dr Sedan AWD w/Navi, Black Int. (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 5A), 2.5i 4dr Wagon AWD (2.5L 4cyl 4A), 2.5 GT Limited 4dr Wagon AWD w/Ivory Int. (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 5A), 2.5 GT Limited 4dr Sedan AWD w/Ivory Int. (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 5A), 2.5 GT Limited 4dr Wagon AWD w/Black Int. (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 5A), 2.5i 4dr Wagon AWD (2.5L 4cyl 5M), and 2.5 GT Ltd 4dr Sedan AWD w/Navi, Ivory Int. (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 5A).

What's a good price on a Used 2006 Subaru Legacy?

Price comparisons for Used 2006 Subaru Legacy trim styles:

  • The Used 2006 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Special Edition is priced between $4,550 and$4,550 with odometer readings between 106539 and106539 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2006 Subaru Legacies are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2006 Subaru Legacy for sale near. There are currently 1 used and CPO 2006 Legacies listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $4,550 and mileage as low as 106539 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2006 Subaru Legacy.

Can't find a used 2006 Subaru Legacys you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Subaru Legacy for sale - 8 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $11,580.

Find a used Subaru for sale - 5 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $17,278.

Find a used certified pre-owned Subaru Legacy for sale - 9 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $22,830.

Find a used certified pre-owned Subaru for sale - 4 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $14,184.

Should I lease or buy a 2006 Subaru Legacy?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Subaru lease specials
Check out Subaru Legacy lease specials