The Car Next Door: 2007 Subaru Legacy Wagon 2.5 GT


As the first feature of The Car Next Door, I shall start with my recent purchase, a 2007 Subaru Legacy Wagon 2.5 GT.

This car is a huge departure compared to what I have driven in the past.  My high school car was a 1998 Toyota Corolla.  It did the job perfectly.  It had great gas mileage.  It put up with my learning curve as a driver.  It carried my friends to concerts.

After the Corolla, I went after cars that I really wanted out of high school, Toyota MR2s.  I owned three total; a 1991 model, naturally aspirated, a 1993 model naturally aspirated, and a 2001 Spyder.  All of them were fun to drive.  Ironically, the most reliable of the four cars I had owned to that point was the 1993 model.  I bought it with 167,000 miles on the clock.  It had service receipts and I trusted that the work was done well.  It never let me down.

So, why a wagon?  I wasn’t looking for a wagon, but I do like them.  Sedans are commonplace, and wagons round out the shape of a car with an extra edge of practicality.  Sport-utility vehicles dominate the road, but secret performance is found in a proper station wagon.

See, there’s a 2.5 liter boxer, four-cylinder engine under the hood.  It’s turbocharged.  When I’m sitting at idle, I’m not wasting as much gas.  Think that doesn’t matter?  BMW and Porsche are incorporating cylinder deactivation at complete stops.

I’ll settle with my four-cylinder.  After all, I’ve got 243 horsepower.

Then, there’s the gas mileage.  Yes, it’s listed at 19 city, 25 highway.  While that’s not great, it’s comparable to a modern Acura RDX.  The difference is, I’m carrying less chassis weight altogether by several hundred pounds.  It has a curb weight just over 3,500 lbs.

It’ll feel faster.

Since Subaru has such a rich aftermarket, I may just purchase an aftermarket ECU and map it to better fuel economy.  I may lose some horsepower, but the extra handful of miles per gallon will be worth it.

I’ve got speed.  I’ve got decent gas mileage.  What are the best parts?

I have a moon roof.  This won’t make me miss my convertible or Mr2 T-Tops so much.  It opens up over two-and-a-half feet of airspace.  Sweet.  Fortunately, the car still has loads of chassis rigidity, something all of my previous cars have lacked with T-Tops and a convertible roof.

Finally, I have all-wheel drive.  Mid-engine cars are fun and challenging.  This time around, I just wanted all-weather traction.

I’m so happy about it, I went to the Subaru owners website, just to get a Subaru badge that says my interests, that the car is my first Subaru, and it has over 100,000 miles.

It was a steal deal for me.  It’s also everything I want for now, until I find the next car that gets my attention.