"For an AWD sport sedan, the Legacy GT Spec.B cannot be beat. The closest competitors based on features and performance are the Audi A4 2.0T and the BMW 330xi. After loading these cars up with packages like heated seats, navigation, sports package, etc. you'll find a considerable price difference between these cars and the Legacy. Both cars would run for $40k to $45k with the same options as the Legacy. The Legacy would then still outperform these cars, although marginally, while sporting a superior AWD system and a 5 star safety rating. The drivetrain and powertrain in the Legacy are veterain systems that are well understood by Subaru from both the Impreza platform and from their rally car heritage (the 6-speed manual transmission is a derivative of that used in Subaru's rally cars). With that in mind you can expect virtually no major problems with these systems as the miles pile on. Many people tend to also compare the Spec.B to the standard Legacy GT which can run several thousand dollars cheaper. Here are a few of the reasons to choose (or not to choose) the Spec.B over the standard Legacy 2.5GT:
GPS Navigation included in base price
6-speed manual transmission
18-in. alloy wheels
Max. Performance Summer Tires (RE050a)
Alluminum suspension components to shed weight
Full leather with Alcantara inserts
Some other small features for the Legacy in general:
Dual climate control
Heated side mirros and windshield wipers for those icy mornings
Turn signals on side mirrors for added safety
Dual fold down rear seats
Built-in child safety seat belt system
F/R side airbags
All in all, the Legacy sports many features that may be overlooked by some consumers upon a first look. It may seem overpriced by some of its Japanese car maker counterparts but I feel that Subaru's quality is superior. It may also seem that Subaru could't possible make a car that could rival the renowned automakers Audi and BMW, but I would beg to differ.
Now for the real world aspects:
I drive with my foot to the floor (not literally, but I drive quite agressively) and I get 20mpg combined hwy city with mostly city driving. I recently drove accross Texas while cruising at 90mph (according to the speedometer) and achieved a fuel economy of about 24 mpg. The most common repair is a wheel bearing replacement and the occassional turbo replacement but this is generally caused by lack of maintenance on the owners part (not receiving frequent enough oil changes). The car generally exhibits slight understeer under hard cornering unless the driver applies hard throttle in which oversteer can be induced, but this can generally only occur in 1st gear -- obviously this will depend on road conditions. The car usually has moderate body roll considering its otherwise sporty nature. It is known to "squat" and "dive" under hard acceleration and decceleration, respectively. This should be expected, however, given the output of the turbocharged engine. The car has decent pickup between 2k and 3k rpm but the turbo doesn't build boost until around 3k rpm which when the torque builds rapidly. Overall, it has a number of great features and is an addictively fun car for a 4 door sedan."
Cons: "hard seats, no power up hills, loud road noise"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I have owned this car for almost 2 years. It is perfect for commuting and zipping around town. It IS NOT a good road trip vehicle. It's cramped and the seats are hard. It has a lot of road noise on the highway and it just doesn't have the horsepower to get you up hills and to pass slow drivers.
The airbag light has been on for a while with no explanation. Aside from that I have never had an issue with it in two years. Knock on wood :)
I'd say, if you can get it for a reasonable price--buy it for a commuter if you can afford the fuel. For a midsize car it only gets about 21-24 MPG which isn't great but I attribute that to the AWD. It does amazing in snow and around town. Fits nicely in small compact parking spaces but doesn't feel so small that it's unsafe. Has 5 star crash ratings too."
Pros: "Great excelleration for 4cyl. Great in snow."
Cons: "Anti lock brakes in snow are terrible. Drives well in snow but doesnt stop well"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Bought car used with 16000 miles and drove for work. 66000 miles in 2.5 years. Overall happy with performance. No major problems until I completed 80000 mile warranty. 81000 miles the head gasket went bad. Was told they corrected the problem in 2004-2005. Not so sure. Subaru was nice enough to fix for me for free. Still an unnecessary headache. Still overall happy with excelleration and quality. Would buy another subaru....."
Pros: "Everything is a pro....great car and fun to drive."
Cons: "More upfront room but not bad."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Bought this 2009 Legacy with 8000 miles (at a great price). I am used to SUV's but with gas the way it is I downsized and I am so happy I did. The car is great in rain (can't wait for snow). Great features and fast!!!Total sleeper... I love letting people think that they have the edge and then just blow them away. Most fun car I ever had (next to my old jeep). Would buy another right now if I had the cash."
"I had this car for 2 years I have put 53000 mile on it not 1 problem not even a single light bulb. I use Mobil 1 and change every 8000 miles and average 29 MPG I will get 32 MPG straight highway at 65-70 outstanding in the snow even with stock tires if fact I still have the original factory tires on it the will go at least another 20-25K We just had our # 4 kid so I will be looking to get somthing a little bigger sad to see it go ..I hope this helps and good luck"