2004 Subaru Legacy L 35th Anniversary 2.5 California Spec from North America


A reliable soundly built sports sedan


No mechanical issues or warning signs.

No pings, rattles, or squeaks.

At 30mph the automatic tranny doesn't know which gear to use. It will opt for a higher gear and go to 1500 rpm, or stay at lower gear and rev around 2200.

General Comments:

Ride is firm and offers loads of grip. I'd even go as far as calling it sporty. Steering is tight, well balanced, and you always feel in control.

It's quick off the line, but only because of the AWD. 40-60mph acceleration is quite slow, but it easily cruises at 80mph and asks for more. I blame the automatic tranny for the slow acceleration. It could really use a 5 speed, since 80mph has the engine revving at 3000rpm.

Averages 28mpg with 75% highway driving at superlegal speeds. I'm banking it can do 30+ mpg given the right setup.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th July, 2010

8th Jul 2010, 13:05

Actually, a 5-speed manual transmission would probably INCREASE highway RPM's. Automatics (at least today's automatics) tend to keep the engine at a lower RPM on the highway than manuals. For example, my car has a 5-speed manual transmission, and at 80 MPH, the engine turns at about 3600 RPM in top gear. I had my car in for service not to long ago. I was given a loaner car identical to my car except it had an automatic transmission. At 80 MPH, the automatic was only turning about 2700 RPM. The reason for this? Today's automatics have very high overdrive ratios.

16th Sep 2012, 00:47

Not so much... we own a stick Focus and an automatic Focus.. and they both have the same overdrive ratio. Um we are at 2400 RPM at 60mph... it depends on the car.

18th Aug 2015, 07:17

I never got more than 21 US MPG from my 04 L auto. Running 95% highway at 70 mph.

My description would be a gutless wonder, with the terrible depressing bland grey cloth seats that are unbearably hard after three hours. Brakes that work, but just barely, and a push button gas pedal with 0-60 mph in 11 seconds.

AWD is great in snow & ice to get going, but doesn't help you stop or turn.

At 70 mph I had the stereo turned all the way up to just barely hear it.

Replaced it with my Marauder and almost drove off the road after three years of a gutless push button gas pedal. I bought mine new and dumped it after three years. I don't miss it, not even in our Canadian winters.