New Car Review
1995 SUBARU LEGACY L WAGON
by: BILL RUSS
SEE ALSO:Subaru Buyer's Guide
There's more to the 1995 Subaru Legacy Wagon than a new body and platform. Subaru also has reduced pricing for all-wheel-drive models and a has new marketing program designed to make the latest version of the Legacy both aesthetically and financially more attractive.
The Legacy was first introduced in 1989 and currently represents about 60 percent of Suburaus' sales volume. All Legacy's sold in the U.S. are now assembled here at Subaru's modern facility in Lafayette, Indiana. Starting in mid-1995 Subaru will open a new engine assembly plant there that will turn out its 2.2 liter, horizontally opposed 4-cylinder engines. This will further increase the made-in- USA content to qualify the Legacy as a domestic vehicle.
Subaru sells safety! Part of Subaru's new pricing strategy includes lowering the price of the Active Safety Group. This package consists of AWD (all-wheel-drive), 4-wheel disc brakes, ABS (anti-lock brakes) and cruise control at a price that is 50 percent less than it was last year. Rather than try to be the vehicle for everyone, Subaru is targeting Legacy for specific geographical areas and occupations where the benefits of all-wheel-drive are widely accepted and required. However Subaru does not plan to exclude potential customers in other occupations or other geographical areas from the benefits of Active Safety and other positive attributes of the Legacy .
APPEARANCE: Subaru used to design its products for substance rather than style. While its coupes, sedans and wagons were loaded with practical features they didn't turn too many heads as they paraded down the road. However in the nineties Subaru has developed into a clean, quiet and stylish automotive product, with the Legacy AWD wagon being one of the more notable examples. Its smooth lines are slightly rounded, there's a handy roof rack on top, plus integrated bumpers in front and back, frameless side windows, large body colored side mirrors and black trim around all windows.
COMFORT: Even though the Legacy L AWD is the mid-range model in the wagon lineup, it is still very well equipped with convenience items that make travelling a pleasure. The front bucket seats are supportive and manually adjustable, while the rear ones are split 40/60, or can be folded almost flat when more cargo area is needed. Analog gages are mounted on the recessed instrument panel, as are the controls for the very efficient climate control layout and the sensitive and compact AM/FM/CD/cassette sound system. A roller-shade type cover protects items stored behind the back seats, while dual cup holders are hidden in the dash. The powered door windows are frameless, but the improved weather stripping practically eliminates wind noise. Other convenience items of note include power locks and mirrors, tilt steering wheel, cruise control and flash-to-pass headlight switch. The interior is roomy with excellent seating room for all.
SAFETY: Safety is Subaru's middle name. Long known for its active safety devices such as AWD, ABS and all-wheel disc brakes, Subaru uses many passive systems too. Among the passive safety items are dual front air bags, height adjustable front seat belts, a rigid body structure, front and rear crumple zones, and a side body protection system.
ROADABILITY: One of the advantages of full-time all-wheel dive (AWD) is better and more predictable handling in all kinds of weather, road and traffic conditions. On a part of our test ride we encountered light snow and slush on an area of twisty mountain roads and the new Legacy behaved impeccably. Contributing to its excellent road manners are speed-sensitive power steering, anti-lock disc brakes, Goodyear all-season Eagle Touring tires and independent suspension.. New weather stripping, soundproofing and close fit insure a quiet ride.
PERFORMANCE: Subaru uses its unique horizontally-opposed, four-cylinder, four-valve per cylinder, single overhead cam, multi-port, distributorless ignition engine in the Legacy.. This time- proven 2.2 liter engine now develops 135 horsepower and 140 lb/ft of torque, and produces sufficient power for all but the most drastic of driving situations. An electronically-controlled automatic transmission smoothly moves up and down through the gear ranges to deliver the proper amount of power as needed to all wheels.
CONCLUSION: In today's competitive and segmented automotive market Subaru has decided to position itself as the premier marketer of all-wheel passenger cars and station wagons in the U.S. Safety, quality and dependability are the cornerstones of Subaru's marketing image.
1995 SUBARU LEGACY L WAGON
Base Price $ 16,955 Price As Tested $ 20,624 Engine Type H-4, sohc - 16v, smpfi Engine Size 2.2 liter/135 cid Horsepower 135 @ 5400 Torque (ft/lbs) 140 @ 4400 Wheelbase/Length 103"/184" Transmission 4-speed EC automatic w/od Curb Weight 3120 Pounds per Horsepower 23 Fuel Capacity 16 Fuel Requirement Unleaded regular (87 octane) Tires Bridgestone SF411 P185/70R14 all-season Brakes anti-lock standard vented disc/disc Drive Train front engine, full time all-wheel drive PERFORMANCE EPA Economy - miles per gallon, city/highway/observed 22/28/23.4 0 to 60 mph 11.9 sec 1/4 mi (E.T.) 17.8 sec Coefficient of drag (cd) .34