Subaru does diesel: Subaru Legacy 2.0D SE Navplus

There’s something satisfying about buying a product from a brand that you know and trust – whether it’s a burger from McDonalds or the web browser that delivers information (think Google). As Subaru’s flagship car, the Legacy has been in production for nearly a quarter of a century, making it one of those reliable products that deliver on its promises.
The fifth generation Legacy Tourer, released in the UK three years ago, is reassuringly familiar and yet it has certain precise improvements (cabin room, luggage volume, edgier looks) that help it comfortably compete against the likes of the Ford Mondeo Estate and BMW 5 Series Touring in the mid-size family segment.

But perhaps the most interesting change for the Legacy 2.0D SE Navplus is of course the two-litre diesel engine, which the company created from scratch, and which is a conscious move away from Subaru’s traditional boxer engines, upon which it built a memorable motorsports heritage.

The diesel engine still has the ‘boxer’ layout, which hardly makes more thrum than the petrol variant – particularly on the motorway – and despite its six-speed manual transmission, economy is excellent. The low centre of gravity and Subaru-trademark damped suspension provide excellent grip, front-rear balance is very well apportioned and cornering is a cinch.

In terms of safety (this is a family car after all, although it will comfortably fit four adults on a long journey as well), there’s five-star Euro NCAP and Australian ANCAP ratings and a top safety award from the American IIHS. The year it was released it was named Japan’s safest car, and in terms of standard safety features you can rely on six airbags, stability control, an alarm, etched windows and locking wheel nuts to discourage thieves.

Economy, cabin space and comfort are bespoke in the Subaru Legacy 2.0D SE Navplus, and for families with an eye for running costs but who appreciate the ride quality (which is almost unmatched in this segment), you just can’t go wrong.

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