THE RIDE: Four-door, five-passenger 2010 Subaru Legacy 3.6R midsize family sedan
DOWN THE ROAD: Redesigned for 2010, the standard all-wheel-drive sedan is wider, taller and touts a longer wheelbase than its predecessor. The all-new 3.6-liter horizontally opposed boxer-6 engine, which replaces the previous 3.0 liters, is more powerful, as well as brisk and agile.
TECH & PERFORMANCE: The fifth-generation Legacy pumps out 256 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 247 pounds-feet of torque at 4400 rpm. It is mated to a five-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters on the three-spoke tilt/telescopic steering wheel. Guiding the sedan to its destination is a variable-power assist rack-and-pinion steering system. Handling the rigors and obstacles on the road with confidence and tremendous liveliness are front MacPherson-type struts, lower L-arms, coil springs and stabilizer bar. The rear suspension system is an all-new double wishbone with sub frame.
LOOK & FEEL: The Legacy sports an even more vertical grille with the traditional but prominent winged badge, hawk-eye four-beam halogen headlights, body-colored door handles and mirrors, and dual chrome exhaust tips. The interior is comfortable but sporty with a short silver-painted shifter decked in black inlay, and a strip of wood on the dashboard and doors. The fuel usage (MPG) gauge on the four-dial instrument panel will be useful for drivers with a lead foot. Also noteworthy are standard 10-way power driver and front passenger seats, overhead console, driver information center, 60/40 split rear seat and chrome door handles.
SAFETY FIRST: Standard features include dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag for both rows, four-wheel antilock brakes with Electronic Brake Distribution and Brake Assist, Vehicle Dynamic Control, three-point front seatbelts with pretensioners, tire-pressure monitoring system and daytime running lights.
OUT THE DOOR: $24,995, plus tax, tag, delivery and destination charges.
BY THE NUMBERS: Tires, 225/50R17; wheelbase, 108.3 inches; length, 186.4 inches; weight, 3,481 pounds; fuel capacity, 18.5 gallons; city, 18 mpg; highway, 25 mpg; Web site, www.subaru.com
WHY DIG IT: A forceful engine, top-notch cabin and standard all-wheel drive make the Legacy a wise pick for any potential sedan buyer.