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2010 Subaru Legacy Review

MPG-o-Matic 2010 Subaru Legacy Review Summary: The 2010 Subaru Legacy offers a trio of legendary Boxer engine choices along with Subaru’s renown Symmetrical all-wheel-drive (AWD). The Legacy is an excellent alternative for folks that need the safety and security of AWD to deal with adverse weather conditions, but have no desire to drive a SUV or crossover. Legacy drivers in search of more gusto will likely opt for the 2.5-liter turbo four or 3.6-liter six.



The all-wheel-drive 2010 Subaru Legacy Sedan is available with three engine options: a 2.5-liter horizontally-opposed Boxer four-cylinder engine – either turbocharged and naturally aspirated, and a 3.6-liter horizontally-opposed Boxer six. We tested a Lineartronic CVT automatic-equipped 2.5i Premium sedan with the naturally-aspirated 2.5-liter Boxer, producing 170 HP and 170 foot pounds of torque.

The official fuel economy estimates for the 2010 Legacy 2.5i Premium are 22 city / 29 highway with the manual and 23 / 31 with the Lineartronic CVT automatic.

We traveled over 500 miles in our 2.5-liter CVT-equipped Azurite Blue Pearl sedan review unit and inched past the official mileage estimates, scoring an average of 32.7 MPG on the Interstate highway and 27.8 MPG combined in changeable spring weather, with temperatures ranging from the mid-forties through the mid-eighties.

Interstate highway testing temperatures were in the low-fifties The test vehicle was equipped with the standard 16-inch eight-spoke alloy wheels, clad with 205/60 R16 91V all-season tires, and was delivered with less than 1000 miles on the odometer. We’d expect mileage to improve a bit as the engine is run through its break-in cycle.

Interstate Mileage Testing:

  • Cruise control set to 68 MPH, A/C off, windows up: 31.8 MPG
  • Cruise control off, target speed 60-72 MPH, A/C off, windows up: 33.6 MPG

While the 2.5-liter engine provides an adequate level of performance on regular unleaded gasoline, sport-oriented Legacy owners will likely opt for the turbo 2.5-liter Boxer four or naturally-aspirated 3.6-liter Boxer six. The 2010 Legacy 2.5i Premium weighs in at 3,275 pounds for the manual and 3,384 pounds for the CVT.

Highway driving range is generous. All 2010 Subaru Legacy models are fitted with an 18.5 gallon fuel tank. (While both naturally aspirated engines run on 87 octane regular unleaded fuel, the turbocharged four requires 93 octane premium unleaded.)

The Legacy provide two ways to keep track of real-time fuel efficiency: a cool old-school analog gauge and a digital display. The center-mounted digital display also provides two average fuel consumption counters, along with range to empty. (As always, we recommend using a real time MPG gauge to encourage a light-footed driving style.)

Ride and handling are solid. Like all Subaru models sold in the United States, the Legacy is only available with Subaru’s Symmetrical all-wheel-drive. Manual transmission-equipped cars use Continuous AWD with a viscous-coupling locking center differential, while CVT-equipped cars use Active AWD with an electronically managed continuously variable hydraulic transfer clutch.

The CVT automatic provides a six-speed manual-shift mode, with control over gear changes via paddle shifters.

All 2010 Subaru Legacy models are equipped with four-wheel power-assisted disc brakes with electronic brake-force distribution, 4-channel/4-sensor ABS, and Brake Assist.

The Legacy’s cabin is comfortable, cleanly designed and driver-focused.

The leather-wrapped steering wheel provides a full set of controls. The driver’s seat features 10-way power adjustability, with excellent two-way power lumbar support.

Our test unit was equipped with Option Package Nine bundle, which includes:

  • All-Weather-Package (heated front seats, windshield wiper de-icer, and heated side mirrors)
  • 440-watt nine-speaker harmon/kardon premium audio system with wireless Bluetooth phone capability.
  • Power moonroof

An audio input jack is standard. USB iPod support is optional (although our test unit was not equipped with the USB option). There’s a twelve-volt outlet inside the center console and another at the base of the dash.

Passengers won’t whine about getting in the back seat. The Legacy is a comfortable sedan. Rear seat headroom is reasonable at 37.5 inches.

The Legacy’s trunk provides 14.7 cubic feet of cargo area with the 60/40 rear seats up and sufficient room to haul larger items when the rear seats are folded down.

All-in-all, the 2010 Subaru Legacy is a solid choice for folks in the market for an AWD sedan and an excellent alternative to an AWD SUV or crossover in harsh climates. While current fuel economy numbers are good for AWD, we’re looking forward to the introduction of Subaru’s clean diesel engines in future model years, with a significant bump in both torque (50%) and fuel economy (30%) over the current gasoline-powered models.

Parts Content Information
US/Canadian Parts Content: 55%
Major Sources of Foreign Parts Content: Japan – 35%
Final Assembly Point: Lafayette, IN
Country of Origin:
Engine – Japan
Transmission – Japan

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