From my childhood I have fond memories of my late father’s Hillman Minx Estate and that is the main reason that ‘load luggers’ still hold dear to my heart. And also explains why our family car is an estate or Tourer as these versions are now called. Space and utility were my father’s main requirements of the Hillman and he worked it hard. After 13 years of use and abuse, it was time to sell-on and remarkably he had a few willing buyers!
So spending time in the Legacy Tourer was not an unusual experience – but this is no ordinary car, as it exudes on-road presence thanks to a bold front-end design and an increase in overall dimensions than its predecessor: The present Tourer is wider (by 50mm), taller (by 65mm) and longer (by 55mm). Occupants have more room and improved comfort levels. For example, front headroom has risen by 21mm over the previous model, and legroom for rear-seat passengers increases by 99mm, aided by an 80mm increase in wheelbase.
Key to the Legacy’s sustained appeal over the years has been the practicality it offers buyers, and the latest incarnation is no different. Boasting a generous 526 litres of stowage capacity with the 60/40 split rear seats in place, the new model offers an additional 67 litres over its older sibling. Fold the rear seat flat, and a cavernous 1,677-litre cargo opens up. The cabin is also longer, wider and taller and the interior also demonstrates lessons learned in Subaru’s latest ‘packaging innovation’ research programme.
Larger seats are fitted to make best-use of the increased space around each occupant. The space between the front seats has increased by 30 mm and the between the front and rear seats is increased by 62 mm. The rear seat backrest is split 60/40 and folds flat to offer the best people/cargo carrying versatility. With the rear seats upright, cargo capacity is increased by 67 litres to 526 litres.
Larger rear doors result in improved access to the rear seats, and detailed attention to the window shapes and pillar layouts ensures a greater feeling of ‘openness’ for the rear seat occupants in the New Legacy Tourer.
While the width and height of the luggage bay were increased, the depth of the lip between the rear bumper and cargo was reduced slightly to ensure it is easier for users to load and unload heavy items when lifting them into the interior. The tailgate, which is 33mm wider and 45mm taller than before for easier access. The designers also paid attention to create generously sized, easy-to-use storage space for smaller items – with capacity increased by 39 litres over the previous model.
A larger glovebox will accept 31 CDs, while the new double-decker centre console, which can accommodate 22 CDs, incorporates a 12V power supply and AUX audio input socket.
Two cup-holders are provided alongside the centre console, while a 500 ml plastic bottle can be stored in all door pockets. A 50 mm thick box of tissues can also be accommodated in the front door pockets. A central overhead console is provided for storage of sunglasses and small items. In March 2008, Subaru introduced the ‘Boxer Diesel’, the world’s first horizontally-opposed diesel engine for volume-produced passenger cars. The 1,998 cc diesel produces a maximum output of 150 PS and maximum torque of 350 Nm between 1,800 and 2,400 rpm. This powertrain is one of the best around.
Major controls in the New Legacy Sports Tourer are laid out to minimise both the intrusion into the driver’s line of sight and the time the driver’s hands are away from the steering wheel. Minor controls and switches are positioned to optimise ease-of-use.
All models marketed by Subaru Ireland come with the reassurance of a three year or 160,000 kilometres warranty, plus twelve year anti-corrosion cover and three year paintwork warranty.
This is in addition to three year’s membership of Subaru Assist – a comprehensive home and roadside repair and recovery package throughout Ireland and Europe administered by Mapfre Asistencia.