Subaru Legacy/Outback (2006): first official pictures

Published: 19 September 2006

The lowdown

Subaru is making over its Legacy saloon and Outback wagon for the 2007 model year. A subtle facelift, upgraded cabin, retuned suspension and three-mode 3.0-litre flat six – with sport, economy and normal options – are the big changes. The 2.0-, 2.5- and 3.0-litre range will cost from £17,995, with the cars coming on stream in the next few weeks.

Smarter engine

It’s the drivetrain that marks the biggest change to the ’07 range. Dubbed SI-Drive (Subaru Intelligent Drive) and standard on all 3.0-litre models, the new Legacy offers a choice of three settings to suit the driver’s mood. It adjusts throttle response and gearshift points depending on conditions. ‘Intelligent’ mode appeases the economy conscious by feathering power and optimising fuel consumption of the 242bhp six-cylinder engine. For those in a hurry however, the sport modes offer quicker kickdown and holds onto the revs for longer. SI-Drive is available with both the manual and six-speed auto, with the latter now operated by wheel-mounted paddles. The 3.0-litre boxer six is also revised to provide more of the 219lb ft of torque at lower revs. As before, the Spec B saloon is the flagship, with a top speed of 151mph and a 0-60 mph time of 6.5sec.

Makeover and chassis mods

The Legacy gets new front wings, while both the saloon and Outback have a different grille. New bumpers, revised lamps and extra chrome complete the exterior tweaks. Subaru claims this Legacy is stiffer, sharper and more refined. Thanks to reinforced A-pillars and door sills, steering and handling precision are claimed to have improved. The Outback has softer front and rear dampers to boost comfort. At long last, a brake assist system is fitted to the Legacy and Outback. The mechanical brake support system monitors the pressure applied by the driver and increases the force if an imminent collision is suspected.

In the cabin

There are more subtle tweaks inside, such as the faux aluminium strips on the dash. The equipment level is generous, though, with dual-zone climate control, cruise, six airbags, MOMO wheel and six CD changer all featuring on the base 2.0. Outback models now have a reversible cargo floor, with a waterproofed mat for when you need to carry mucky stuff.