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Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT spec.B

rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
edited March 2014 in Subaru
Drove a new 2008 spec.B today. While certainly a very desirable ride, I came away with somewhat mixed feelings.

Maybe it's because I'm so used to my '06 WRX Limited wagon, but I was not that impressed with the power. Granted it was a brand new vehicle, and I didn't want to abuse it, but it just seemed a bit sluggish to me. Also, I love the "tossability" of my WRX, and I didn't get that same feeling with the spec.B—even with it's upgrade suspension. Again I didn't really press the vehicle, but even so I expected more of a "fun" feeling while driving. Might it be a tad too refined?

The 6-speed tranny is really geared tall. From my limited time with the car, I would say that 6th gear is for 60 mph and above. At 60 the tach was reading ~ 2,100 rpm in 6th gear. So for any quick bursts of speed, dropping 2 or 3 gears is the way to go, as there's virtually no power available at 60 mph in 6th gear.

Also, this car needs a gear indicator read-out on the tach, like the SportShift 5EAT (and the Acura TSX 6-speed!). It's very easy to forget what gear you're in with a close-ratio 6-speed. Heck, my 5-speed WRX also needs one, as it's not unusual to find myself cruising in 4th and thinking that I'm in 5th gear! With a 6-speed, this will be even worse.

The last negative is that it has an annoying up-shift light.

On the positive side, it's much more refined and quieter than my WRX, which I expected. The front seat was also very comfortable, again more so than my WRX's front seat. The standard NAVI will take some getting used to, so I can't really comment on that, other than to say I wish it had live traffic read-outs.

The rear seat was reasonable in terms of comfort and space, again much better than my WRX, but again to be expected. The trunk was also very roomy.

I would like to spend more time in another one (without the salesman riding shotgun). I did play with the SI Drive, but not enough to get a real real sense about it.

My wish list for this car:

• 3.0 H-6 turbo with ~ 300 hp.
• Gear indicator in tach
• Bluetooth capability
• Real-time traffic for NAVI
• MyGiG-like HD for storing music



  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Nice writeup up Bob. One of the reasons I didn't opt for the 08 Spec. B v. the used 05 LGT Wagon that I'm getting was for about $14k more I wasn't getting a whole lot more. The best thing for me would have been the 6MT but for $14k I could put one in the LGT w/o issue.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I miss the black/blue seats from the 2007. I would actually look for a leftover 07 for that reason alone.
  • blk900tblk900t Posts: 2
    I actually went in today to test drive the STi, but of course were sold or not available to test drive. I was referred to the Legacy and I was thinking inferior, but what the hey...Holy Cow. I drove this car('08) and I want one. I had the opposite reaction to you.
    I was that thoroughly impressed with the Spec B.

    On a side note, the cars currently in our stable are a BMW 3 (selling), Forester XT auto, MR2, etc. So I know a good handling car when I drive one. And this car was capable, and share the same positive review as mkaresh on

    Granted I don't have a car that goes to 0-60 in anything under 6 sec's, but this seemed very fast to me, with plenty of power on tap in any gear. I got up to 4300 RPM as the car was brand new. I had no problem with long gears or anything. The car feels nimble, the only gripe is a semi soft suspension, but nothing Cobb can't take care of, even in the engine dept.

    I was dissapointed at first to see the missing blue seats, but the gray grew on me and looked classy, as well as the updated exterior, the minor details sealed the deal for me in the looks dept., note to auto designers - details DO matter. The paint was beautiful as well in the gray.

    The car was a blast too drive and was a perfect mix or refined and sporty. The seats were very comfortable and I really like the low cowl and low dashboard. I hate high dashboards and high doors ala Audi's, etc.

    Anyways, I came away very impressed, it was an easy to drive car, sure it could use more power and stiffer handling, but that can be cured by aftermarket. Way to go Subaru! A+++
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    As I said, I would like to spend more time in it to either confirm or deny my initial reaction.

    I never said the car handled poorly. I just said it didn't seem to have the "tossability" of my WRX. I'm sure the same could be said of a Mini vs. a BMW 3; both excellent handling cars, but I bet the Mini is more fun on a country road. That's sort of what I'm suggesting. Again, with more seat time with a spec.B, I could change my mind. I'm sure the same could also be said of a BMW 3 vs. a BMW 5; both excellent handing cars, but the 3 will likely be more fun.

  • Well guys i got an 08 spec b. Have it since may 4th. What a car it is too. Traded in my 05 ob xt ltd for it. My wife has an 07 Forester XT so I'm very familiar with Subarus and the turbos to boot. This car is a much better handler than the others. Its faster,has better braking and a silky smooth clutch and shifter. My other subbies where all autos (had 6 altogether). Love the memory seats a must have with 2 people of different heights driving. The alcantara seats are a big improvement over the leather in the 05 ob and the 07 forester. It has better sound insulation too,very quiet car. Great stereo and the navi is a very nice feature to have in the dash than on the dash. Have almost 2000 miles on it and put in mobile one at 200 miles. have done that with every car I've owed in the last 20 years. I'm getting about 22-24 mpg 50/50 city/highway commute sometimes going 80mph. I hope the car holds up as good as my 05 Forester XT that my son too over when my wife got her 07 forester. He has 98,000 miles on it now and other than brakes at 40,000 and 80,000 the car never had anything go wrong. solid as the day we took it home from the dealer brand new.
  • rallyfanrallyfan Posts: 36
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Congratulations, you must be the first here on Edmunds with that particular model. I'm a bit envious. ;)
  • fizxmanfizxman Posts: 1
    Traded in my 03 Mazda 6s 5-speed for my Spec B. My boy has enjoyed his Legacy GT for over a year now and convinced me to test drive the Legacy. Wow! This car is just as good at carving corners, but far more sure-footed in every day driving. Acceleration and performance exceed my old '92 Dodge Stealth RT-Turbo, but much more poised and comfortable on the road. I love the understated black and blue suede interior, and wonderful charcoal metallic with the 10-spoke wheels -- Tuxedo cool. James Bond could roll up in this car!
    I don't turn heads all the time with my style, but I definitely take their breath away with SpecB performance. I love not being a cop-magnet. (A big "thank you" to all the WRX drivers out there...)
    I got a good deal on the '07, too. :shades:

    Step 1: Drive the car.
    Step 2: Gulp hard, write check.
    Step 3: Smile every time you turn the key and fire it up!

    Gene Grim
  • caaroncaaron Posts: 3
    I have an 07 Legacy GT, and recently had the dealer install the performance pack consisting of new mufflers, air intake and heat shield. The extra power is great. The problem is the air intake makes a terrible grinding noise at moderate acceleration. The noise changes to a more normal sounding one at more heavy acceleration. It is really an awful awful noise. Is this normal? I don't really trust the dealer at this point to tell me the truth, so any advice would be greatly appreciated.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Check if anything is loose, perhaps have someone rev the engine slowly while you're under the hood, searching for the source of noise.

    An intake kit often removes a silencer to increase power, so there is some trade-off. Grinding does not sound normal, though.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I'll check it out for you as my friend actually designed it. I may get it for my 05 LGT as well.

  • caaroncaaron Posts: 3
    That would be great. It adds significant power but the noise is awful. I'm wondering if they installed the intake correctly.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Shoot me an e-mail directly and I'll get some info for yah.

This discussion has been closed.