1999 Subaru Legacy SUS Limited

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From the June 1998 difficulty of Automotive and Driver.

Aha! We knew it. The AMC Eagle was forward of its time. Exactly 19 years forward, it appears. The Eagle line of four-wheel-drive coupes, sedans, and wagons, which we praised loudly for his or her peerless mix of on- and off-road trip and dealing with, preceded the sport-ute increase by roughly a decade.

At the moment, virtually each automaker is both comfortably seated on the SUV bandwagon or prepared for quick boarding. Many are exploring new niches with automobiles just like the high-lux Lincoln Navigator, the butch Mazda MPV All-­Sport minivan, the jacked-up Subaru Outback wagon, the Jeep Jeepster off-road coupe idea, and the difficult-to-cate­gorize Suzuki X-90.

Now Subaru has retraced AMC’s steps into the sport-utility-sedan subsegment with its new Legacy Sport Utility Sedan. The SUS is a loaded 2.5-liter Legacy GT sporting the Crocodile Dundee line of Out­again outerwear. The ensemble features a hood scoop, a decklid spoiler, two-tone paint with a stone-guard coating, and bush­whacking bumpers adorned with Paris-­Dakar fog lights up entrance and a sewer-pipe exhaust in again. Huge 15-inch aluminum wheels are shod with high-profile 205/70-series Michelin XW4 tires. These tires and a barely raised suspension give the SUS 7.3 inches of floor clearance to associate with the off-roader appears to be like (shallow strategy and departure angles nonetheless prohibit Subarus to gentle path working, nonetheless). And, in fact, the Legacy Sport Utility Sedan, like all Subarus, options full-time four-wheel drive.

Outdoorsy touches adorn the inside, too, like a weather-band radio; break up, folding rear seatbacks to accommodate skis and different gear; and heating for the entrance seats, the surface mirrors, the backlight, and the windshield space the place the wipers park. The bottom Legacy SUS begins at $23,890. We opted for the Restricted model, which comes with leather-based, a glass sunroof, a CD participant, and different niceties for $26,090.

1999 subaru legacy sus limited interior

Jim FrenakAutomotive and Driver

Proper there, lots of you’ll say, “Whoa, for that cash I might get an Audi A4 1.8T Quattro!” In reality, you might get one (with fewer options), and in contrast to the Subaru, it could be out there with a handbook transmission. It could even dash to 60 mph and thru the quarter-mile 0.6 second extra rapidly than the SUS’s 9.0- and 16.9-second instances.

However the enjoyable available on the helm of the Subaru is of a unique kind. You trip excessive within the saddle, commanding a view down via the windshields of vehicles out entrance. Pavement pocks and gravel washboards that may trigger the sports-sedan driver to cringe are taken easily in stride by the SUS’s tall tire sidewalls and long-travel suspension. Driving to work, we discovered ourselves looking for out the less-traveled gravel routes. On a number of events we even flew our Subie over some huge humps and had been impressed by how softly and silently the suspension behaved on takeoff and touchdown. The Audi A4 isn’t ideally suited to such responsibility.

This acclimation to rally-style working does not compromise the SUS ‘s on-road conduct a lot. It clings to dry tarmac with 0.79 g of grip—0.01 g higher than the Audi—and it stops on a 183-foot-long dime from 70 mph (the A4 stops seven toes shorter). The physique leans extra in turns, and the tires appear to take their set after the sus­pension has settled in a quick sweeper, however this Sport Utility Sedan—like its Outback and Forester siblings—is extra enjoyable to drive than another variation on the sport-utility theme. Humorous, that sounds rather a lot just like the reward we heaped on the unique Eagle.

The SUS, just like the Eagle sedan, appears to be like much less snug in off-road garb than its wagon sibling does. Maybe for that reason, Subaru solely expects to promote 3600 SUSs per 12 months (that is about what number of sedans Eagle bought yearly within the early ’80s), and most takers are anticipated to dwell the place it snows (as did most Eagle pilots). All Legacy Sport Utility Sedans will probably be in-built Lafayette, Indiana—179 miles southeast of the Eagle’s Kenosha, Wis­consin, birthplace.

With so many clearly placing sim­ilarities to the AMC Eagle, we’re delay by Subaru’s unjust declare that the Legacy SUS is “the world’s first sport-utility sedan.” We would be indignant, however we’re nonetheless smiling from our rip-roarin’, rut-runnin’ trip in to work this morning.

Specs

Specs

1999 Subaru Legacy SUS Restricted

Automobile Kind: front-engine, 4-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan

PRICE

Base/As Examined: $26,090/$26,164

ENGINE

DOHC 16-valve flat-4, aluminum block and heads, Subaru engine-control system with port gasoline injection

Displacement: 150 in3, 2457 cm3

Energy (SAE internet): 165 hp @ 5600 rpm

Torque (SAE internet): 162 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm

TRANSMISSION

4-speed automated with lockup torque converter

DIMENSIONS

Wheelbase: 103.5 in

Size: 182.5 in

Curb Weight: 3160 lb

C/D TEST RESULTS

60 mph: 9.0 sec

1/4-Mile: 16.9 sec @ 81 mph

100 mph: 27.8 sec

Rolling Begin, 5–60 mph: 9.4 sec

High Pace (gov ltd): 110 mph

Braking, 70–0 mph: 183 ft

Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.79 g

C/D FUEL ECONOMY

Noticed: 21 mpg

EPA FUEL ECONOMY

Metropolis: 21 mpg

C/D TESTING EXPLAINED

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