The fourth-generation Legacy is the first production Subaru to show the influence of legendary designer Andreas Zapatinas.The fourth-generation Legacy was recently launched in South Africa and it is the first production Subaru to show the influence of legendary designer Andreas Zapatinas.


The new car is generally regarded as a significant step forward in the styling stakes - the front end displaying some visual aggression with uniquely styled headlamps and a recognisable Subaru grille. The svelte body tapers gently, and in the case of the saloons, ends with a decidedly high tail, giving it a strong wedge profile at the rear, which is dominated by a very visible rear light clusters on both the saloon and wagon.


The vehicles are imported fully-built from Fuji Heavy Industries of Japan and there are six models available ; the manual and automatic versions of the 2,5 litre sedan and wagon, and the executive-spec turbocharged GT in both body styles.


According to Subaru, the Legacy's torsional rigidity has been considerably improved - compared to the earlier model, it is now 14 per cent more rigid, while the wheelbase has been increased by 20mm.


The Legacy is fitted with 17-inch alloys, front fog lights, dual-stage front airbags, driver's seat height and lumbar adjustment and climate control. It also features cruise control and a multifunction computer as well as, in the case of the wagons, roof rails and a luggage cover. All models feature dual chromed tail pipes and ABS with electronic brake force distribution combined with a vacuum booster design is standard.


The turbocharged two-litre GT - equipped with an automatic Sportshift transmission - produces 180 kW at 6 400 r/min and the saloon is capable of accelerating from zero to 100 km/h in 7,6 seconds and top 242 km/h, the manufacturer claims. The 2,5-litre SOHC engine delivers 121 kW at 5 600r/min and 223 N.m of torque at 4 000 r/min.


"The advent of the mid-sized sedan will appeal to prospective Subaru purchasers who previously did not want to own an SUV but found the Impreza 2,0 GX too small. The second segment consists of people who place styling and looks high on their priority list, said Subaru SA executive director, Teresita van Gaalen.


A perk for Legacy buyers will be the almost 12 per cent discount through the Subaru owner reward programme consisting of the All-Wheel Drive Maintenance Plan, Roadside Emergency Assistance and Legal and Map Assistance, the company said.


The 63 000 km/three-year maintenance plan can also be extended to 250 000km/five years.