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AF 02-23-2005 07:23 PM

Drove the Legacy GT LTd, Both Automatic and manual transmissions !!!
I went to the dealer and test drove the Subaru Legacy Ltd Gt in both a stick and an Automatic.

The Automatic:
I had no intentions of driving an Automatic but hey they gave me the keys to go for a ride alone so how could I say no ... I was surprised by how great the Automatic was, the car was very fast, I actually timed it 0-60 and got 6.6 seconds. The transmission in sport mode revs out really nicely and I had a ball with it. the car felt great in the curves, the seat was really comfortable and the car is a downright bargain ... this car just felt like a ton of fun ... I was loving it.

The Manual:

Test drove 2 manuals at 2 different dealers. First impression was wow this car is fast and responsive ... very tight solid feel and just a real fun car. The clutch was decent though a little long and the shifting was good. I had a nice 10 minute test drive.

Dealer #2 (same as the automatic dealer) gave me the keys to their MT and I had time alone so I took the car for a nice ride. Here is the deal, when shifting aggressively I find the transmission is not quite up to the task. It doesn't like to be thrown into gear quickly and as I shifted some more, the throws are felt kinda long & notchy ... my only other complaint was the armrest does not allow you to rest your elbow on it while shifting unless the armrest extension option might solve this ... the manual feels quicker off the line and the turbo seems to kick in more immediately. This car for some reason reminds me of my sisters Dodge Shelby charger when she had one back in the 80's or even when I have driven passat's in the past. It is the long throw and the clutch ... it just doesn't flow when driven aggressively. Otherwise when driven under normal to slightly aggressive it is a great car to drive and lots of fun

I gotta tell you I don't know which transmission to go with ... a part of me wants the MT but after getting back into the RX8 which has one of the best transmissons with short throws that snicks away shifts, it has me thinking I'm not going to enjoy the manual as much.

If the transmission smoothens out after time I might go for the manual. My other big concern is with resale of the manual ... many people want an automatic when buying used sedans and I got killed on the resale on the 330i

RSPDiver 02-23-2005 08:21 PM

There is a factory STi SSK available for the Legacy. Not sure if you tested one or not, but that should be better, if not much less notchy.

racerdave 02-24-2005 07:09 AM

The STi kit is definitely shorter. There is also one called a "kartboy" ( and Cobb tuning has one too.

The STi kit has a factory warranty, as it's a dealer-installed option. I've driven a STi-equipped car (first one I ever test drove), and my car does not have it. If you can drive one, do so.

I think the STi kit is shorter, a tad notchier and more positive. I liked it, but not enough to spring for it.

YMMV. :)

I'd also agree that the powerband and the MT are very well suited to one another. In everyday driving, I rarely find myself far off the boost, and the midrange of this car is excellent. And I should know that because I've been a good boy during break-in and kept to the 4k, 1000-mile limit... for the most part. ;) So the midrange is all I've seen yet.

Nick325xiT 5spd 02-24-2005 07:13 AM

At least that tranny doesn't break, unlike the standard WRX variant.

racerdave 02-24-2005 08:37 AM


Originally Posted by Nick325xiT 5spd
At least that tranny doesn't break, unlike the standard WRX variant.

They've reportedly strengthened the case significantly, which was the cause of WRX trans failures... case flex, which would lead to misalignment and breakage. The Forester XT I believe has the same case and it's been stout.

Desertnate 02-24-2005 10:37 AM

I loved the Legacy GT wagon, and should my beloved E46 meet an untimely demise I would be at the Subaru dealership tomorrow.

I don't drive nearly as agressively as some here, but I found the LGT a hoot to drive. The ride wasn't as firm and controled as my SP equipped car, but it was plenty stiff enough to be VERY entertaining.

I was only able to drive an auto, but ran it in "manual" mode the whole test drive. The tranny was very responsive and shifted quickly. I found it very easy to drive for long periods of time in this mode as apposed to a BMW Step which I found downright furstrating.

indyzhp 02-24-2005 11:43 AM

I was very seriously looking at getting a Legacy GT Limited. It almost stole my heart from the BMW, but since I've wanted a BMW forever and didn't have much experience with Subaru's, I finally got my BMW.

I don't know if you've visited the site yet, but is a pretty good site for info and discussions on both the wagon and sedan versions of the legacy.

There was also some speculation that the '06 might come out this summer with more color options and HID headlights, maybe NAV too.

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