Used 2007 Subaru Legacy
- Sharp interior design with high-quality materials, thrilling turbo engine, standard all-wheel drive, sharp handling, comfortable highway ride, outstanding crash test scores.
- Smallish backseat, limited availability of stability control and navigation, GT Limited with options can be pricey.
Edmunds' Expert Review
An excellent sport sedan or wagon that offers a lot of car for the money. Whether you're an enthusiast in need of four doors or a safety-conscious parent in need of some fun, the 2007 Subaru Legacy is worth a try.
The Legacy is the oldest nameplate in the Subaru lineup. This might make one inclined to think it's Subaru's most successful model, but in reality it's often been living in the shadow of its Outback offspring and the highly praised Impreza WRX. Previous versions of the Subaru Legacy, though popular with people desiring a car with all-weather capability, were often passed over in favor of more mainstream choices like the Honda Accord or Toyota Camry.
Thankfully, Subaru gave buyers more reasons to consider its midsize sedan and wagon when the car received a full redesign a couple of years ago. As a result, the 2007 Subaru Legacy is stylish, powerful and fun to drive, and all-wheel drive remains standard across the line. Legacy GT models feature a modified version of the Impreza WRX's 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder boxer engine rated at 243 horsepower and 241 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. Turbocharged versions especially have plenty of power and rival many V6s in terms of refinement and power delivery. They also have a new feature for 2007: SI-Drive (Subaru Intelligent Drive). "It's like having three engines in one," says Subaru. Marketing-speak translated, SI-Drive is a bit of software that alters the engine's throttle sensitivity and responsiveness depending on which of its three modes (Intelligent, Sport and Sport Sharp) the driver selects. On automatic-equipped GT models, it also affects the transmission's shift points. Alas, our experience has shown that SI-Drive offers minimal benefit to the driver. The economy-oriented Intelligent mode blunts performance too dramatically to be of much use, and we expect most drivers will switch the console dial to Sport Sharp and leave it there. (Unfortunately, this is the only mode that can't be set as the default upon startup.)
On the road, Subaru's midsize car has always been known for its fine handling. 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 cockpit, which has one of the best-looking designs in this price range, not to mention high-quality materials.
Overall, the current Subaru Legacy is the best yet. We're fond of its energetic personality and all-wheel-drive capability, and we feel it's a good choice for somebody desiring an affordable midsize sport sedan or wagon. However, the 2007 Subaru Legacy is still somewhat of an alternative choice; its smallish backseat and limited availability of certain desirable features are significant drawbacks. If you find that it's not to your liking but you still want something alternative to the usual suspects, you might want to consider vehicles like the Acura TSX, Mazda 6 or Volkswagen Passat.
2007 Subaru Legacy configurations
An all-wheel-drive midsize car, the 2007 Subaru Legacy comes in sedan and wagon versions, each of which is available in a variety of trim levels. Both body styles come in 2.5i, 2.5i Special Edition, 2.5i Limited and 2.5 GT Limited trim levels, while only the sedan is available in 2.5 GT spec.B trim.
The base 2.5i comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, air-conditioning, a six-speaker MP3/WMA-capable CD stereo with an auxiliary input jack, a trip computer and full power accessories. The 2.5i Special Edition adds dual moonroofs (the sedan gets a single large moonroof) and a power driver seat. The 2.5i Limited includes heated exterior mirrors, a windshield wiper de-icer, leather upholstery, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control and an upgraded audio system with an in-dash CD changer. Upgrade to the 2.5 GT Limited and you get a turbocharged engine, a limited-slip rear differential, larger brakes, quicker steering, bolstered sport seats, a three-spoke Momo steering wheel and electroluminescent gauges. The 2.5 GT spec.B sedan features an upgraded Torsen limited-slip differential, a sport suspension with Bilstein dampers, 18-inch alloys with performance tires, a navigation system, ground effects and alloy pedal covers. The nav system is optional on the GT Limited sedan.
Performance & mpg
Two engines power the Subaru Legacy. All 2.5i models get a normally aspirated 2.5-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder that makes 175 hp and 169 pound-feet of torque. The GT Limited and GT spec.B models get a turbocharged 2.5-liter flat four that makes an impressive 243 hp and 241 lb-ft of torque. Like all Subarus sold in the U.S., the Legacy is all-wheel drive. Legacy 2.5i models are equipped with either a five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic. GT buyers typically have the choice of the five-speed manual or a five-speed auto. The spec.B has an exclusive six-speed manual transmission. Note that Subaru Legacy wagons take the automatic transmission only, except on the base 2.5i trim level.
Standard safety equipment includes antilock disc brakes, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and whiplash-reducing front headrests. Stability control is a new feature for 2007, but it's only installed on the spec.B sedan and GT Limited sedans equipped with both an automatic transmission and a nav system. The IIHS gave the current Subaru Legacy its Gold Award (its highest honor) after the car earned "Good" ratings for its performance frontal-offset and side-impact crash tests, and for its head restraints' ability to prevent whiplash in rear-end crashes. The NHTSA rates the Legacy very high as well; the vehicle has a perfect five-star rating for both frontal and side-impact crash protection.
Equipped with the base 2.5-liter engine, the 2007 Subaru Legacy provides adequate acceleration and polished road manners that you're sure to like whether your commute is all highway or includes a few twists and turns. If you can swing it, though, the upgrade to the turbocharged Legacy GT Limited or spec.B is well worth it, as the car is quick and entertaining to exercise on a back road, especially when equipped with one of the manual transmissions. Hard-core enthusiasts will note that the Legacy exhibits a bit too much body roll to be considered a bona fide sport sedan (or wagon), but the trade-off is a forgiving highway ride, even on the Bilstein-equipped spec.B. Steering is light, precise and high in feedback with all Legacys.
Inside, we can't help but like the Subaru Legacy's 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 and spec.B models. 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. Kids should fit with no problem, though. Legacy sedans have an 11.4-cubic-foot trunk with a ski pass-through and fold-down rear seats. The wagon has folding seats and 66 cubic feet of maximum cargo capacity.
Most helpful consumer reviews
Features & Specs
More About This Model
We know what you're thinking. You're thinking you're either delusional, or you just saw this car here a few months ago. Well, yes and no. What you witnessed in March of this year was our pitting of a Mazdaspeed 6 against a 2006 Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT spec.B in a battle for dominance among force-fed, four-pawed, affordable sport sedans. Illuminating your spectacles here, however, are the 2007 Legacy 2.5 GT Limited and spec.B. You'll have to squint to see the differences.
To refresh your memory, 2006 was the first year the U.S. received the range-topping spec.B, which was essentially a loaded Legacy 2.5 GT fitted with Bilstein dampers, special interior trimmings and a nameplate indicating it is one of 500 spec.B models. It didn't win our comparison test, but redeemed itself partially with strong acceleration and a stealthy countenance. Although 2007 brings only modest changes to the Legacy 2.5 GT brothers, it would be premature to chalk them up entirely to déjà vu.
All in the family
After driving the 2007 Legacy 2.5 GT Limited and spec.B models back-to-back through the gorgeous hills near Montreal, a few things become immediately evident. The spec.B's Bilsteins, 1-inch-larger wheels, and stiffer-sidewall summer tires better communicate the road surface and more effectively limit body roll in transitional movements, with very little compromise to ride quality. In comparison to the more buttoned-down composure of the spec.B, the Limited's body motions are exaggerated and steering response is dulled. It's not quite floaty, but noticeably more vague.
Neither car inspires the maniacal speed cravings of Subaru's own WRX STI or Mitsubishi's Lancer Evolution, partly because the Legacy lacks the bedrock chassis stiffness of those flyers. Over pavement cracks, quivers of protest through the Legacy's chassis suggest to the driver that it would prefer the intensity level be dialed back a few notches.
Brakes carry over unchanged from last year, with both models carrying twin-piston calipers and 12.3-inch rotors up front and single-piston calipers on 11.3-inch rotors out back. Pedal effort of these binders was reassuringly firm, though our driving stint precluded evaluation of fade resistance.
On the freeway the spec.B is also the more relaxed freeway cruiser of the two, turning fewer revs at speed courtesy of tires with a larger rolling diameter, a taller final-drive ratio (now 3.9 instead of 4.11) and a new six-speed transmission. This reworked version of the WRX STI's gearbox is standard equipment in spec.B models, and is much slicker than the five-speed (now found only in Limiteds), as if the six-speeder's guts were dipped in vegetable shortening. It's very probable the taller gearing in spec.B models will help fuel economy, though EPA testing hasn't been concluded yet.
Spec.B models received the brunt of the attention this year, also receiving a new Torsen rear differential. For the first time, the 2007 spec.B becomes a regular production model. Let's recap: The Limited, which was never really limited, remains so, and although last year's non-Limited version was limited, it isn't anymore.
My finger is on the button
Also new for 2007 is a drive-mode feature called SI-DRIVE in Subaru-speak (not to be confused with BMW's infernal iDrive). Standard on all Legacy 2.5 GT models, SI-DRIVE manifests itself as a console knob with which the driver can select from one of three pre-programmed engine maps — called Intelligent, Sport and Sport Sharp modes. Each mode is intended to impart a different driving character through alterations of throttle response and boost levels of the 2.5-liter turbo flat-four engine (and revisions to the shift strategy of autobox-equipped Limited models).
Fiddling with the SI-DRIVE knob during our driving stint confirmed a noticeable difference in drivability among the three modes. Intelligent mode, which Subaru reckons will improve real-world fuel economy by about 10 percent, took the legs out from under the car when squirting around in traffic.
We figure any fuel savings garnered in Intelligent mode will be the result of simply taking fewer chances in traffic — the reduced boost and too-soft throttle response make it more likely to be caught with its pants down. Alas, fuel economy in steady-state driving (as on a freeway) is unaffected since SI-DRIVE only enters the picture when the driver rolls into the throttle to stir the boxer engine.
Commendably smooth, one mill powers all 2.5 GT variants, generating 243 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 241 pound-feet of torque at 3,600 rpm with a characteristic muted chuffle. Don't fret over the apparent drop in power and torque compared to 2006 models — it is an illusion caused by revisions to the SAE's testing protocol. In reality the engine is identical to last year's 250-hp rating. The full helping of power and torque are available in Sport and Sport Sharp modes, while Intelligent mode knocks about 20 percent off those values.
To be frank, SI-DRIVE appears to be the answer to a question no one asked. Sport Sharp mode is all that's really needed — with solid midrange torque, passing power is a flex of the ankle away, and it's never too abrupt or jumpy. Too bad, then, that of the three modes Sport Sharp is the only one that cannot be selected as the default upon startup. We predict that drivers will play with SI-DRIVE for a day or two, then pick one mode and stick with it. It won't be Intelligent mode.
Short of eight-tracks and reel-to-reels, the 2.5 GT variants will play virtually any music medium in your library — they all come standard with an MP3- and WMA-ready six-CD changer, an auxiliary jack for MP3 players or iPods and XM Satellite Radio capability. It's the Leatherman of car audio. A new 60/40-split-folding rear seat retains a center pass-through for more versatility and, exclusive to spec.B models, new blue Alcantara surfaces cover the seats and door panels. This synthetic suede looks and feels great, and the overall impression in the cabin is one of content and competence, if not full-frontal luxury.
It's getting hot in here
Subaru's WRX and STI models enjoy a very narrow niche, whereas the Legacy plays in a crowded room — the Audi A4 2.0T quattro, BMW 325xi, and Mazdaspeed 6 all offer all-wheel drive while the Acura TL, Cadillac CTS and Lexus IS 250 act as peripheral competition.
The Legacy 2.5 GT spec.B ranks right near the front in sheer thrust, and is comprehensively equipped. It's a compelling package, but considering that the 2006 spec.B's base price was five bucks shy of $34 grand without destination charges, pricing of the 2007 spec.B will be critical. On top of that, we suspect that the drivetrain upgrades for 2007 won't come for free. Keep your spectacles turned to these pixels.
Used 2007 Subaru Legacy Overview
The Used 2007 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 Special Edition 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl 5M), 2.5 GT Limited 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 5A), 2.5 GT Limited 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 5M), 2.5i Limited 4dr Wagon AWD (2.5L 4cyl 4A), 2.5 GT spec.B 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6M), 2.5i 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl 4A), 2.5 GT Limited 4dr Sedan AWD w/Navi (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 5A), 2.5 GT Limited 4dr Wagon AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 5A), 2.5i 4dr Wagon AWD (2.5L 4cyl 5M), and 2.5i 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl 5M).
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Should I lease or buy a 2007 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.