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First drive: Subaru's first diesel

  • Diesel engine tested in Legacy
  • Available in Sports Tourer and Outback
  • On sale now from Β£19,995
Words ByWill Nightingale

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Subaru has slotted the companys first ever diesel engine into the Legacy Sports Tourer and Outback and it's a gem.

In fact, youd 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 wont fit quite as much in the boot, but youll be driving something a lot more exclusive.

Smooth operator

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 doesnt suddenly kick in, though; instead, theres 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.

Prices

The diesel-equipped Sports Tourer costs Β£19,995, while the Outback is Β£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 youre 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.