First drive: Subaru's first diesel
In fact, you’d be forgiven for thinking Subaru has been building diesels for years.
If you look at the figures, the Sports Tourer is more powerful, economical and eco-friendly than the estate versions of the Ford Mondeo or Volkswagen Passat.
Okay, so you won’t fit quite as much in the boot, but you’ll be driving something a lot more exclusive.
The engine is refined and powerful: 0-60mph takes just 8.5sec in the Sports Tourer and 8.8sec in the Outback off-road version.
The propulsion doesn’t suddenly kick in, though; instead, there’s an even spread of power similar to that of a petrol engine.
A six-speed gearbox would improve things even further, but buyers will have to make do with the five gears on offer for now.
Keep the noise down
Engine and road noise are impressively low, too. So low, in fact, that the official moving sound levels suggest that the Legacy is quieter than a Rolls-Royce Phantom, although the frameless side windows generate a fair amount of wind noise.
The ride and handling are also excellent, especially in the Sports Tourer.
The diesel-equipped Sports Tourer costs £19,995, while the Outback is £21,495.
That's good value when you consider that both models are well-kitted: cruise control, dual-zone climate control, six airbags, folding door mirrors and a CD player all come as standard.
So are they worth a look?
Yes, as long as you’re buying with the knowledge that a Mondeo or the new Mazda 6 would offer more for less money, especially when you factor in the likely discounts.
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