With full-time four-wheel-drive, and the smooth flat-four engine, it is easy to see why people are attracted to this vehicle. However, it has it's fair share of problems:
When we first got it, it had a terrible tendency to flood whenever we attempted to restart it after the engine had been turned off for a short period of time. On one occasion, it flooded so badly that the AA mechanic was unable to start it for us, and it had to be sent in to the dealer.
Often, oil seems to drain to the bottom of the cylinders overnight (particularly when it is cold), causing a little bit of smoking when it is started in the morning.
The clutch is cable operated and it seems to lack feeling compared to the hydraulic-controlled clutches that have existed in other cars that I have driven.
The gearbox generally feels smooth while driving but, on a couple of occasions when the car has been idle, the lever has completely jammed. In order to release it, it is necessary to turn off the engine and pump the clutch to free it.
The radio supplied was absolute rubbish. It packed up recently and I got it fixed, but I regret not taking the opportunity to replace it completely.
The engine generally responds favourably to throttle activity, but once it reaches about 4000rpm, there is not much more torque to be squeezed out of it. Passing manoeuvres are often unnecessarily drawn-out, and climbing steep hills will sometimes leave the vehicle heaving. However, these problems are likely to be less evident in the 2.0 and 2.2 litre models.
Not all is lost. The Legacy's steering is very responsive, and it corners with ease. The interior is welcoming, the car holds the road very well, and there is plenty of room for both passengers and luggage.
No doubt many Legacy owners will enjoy their cars, but if you're planning on buying one, I would suggest that you take it for a good long drive before you commit.