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2000 Subaru Legacy Sedan

4dr GT Manual

Starting at | Starting at 21 MPG City - 28 MPG Highway

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  • $22,795 original MSRP
Printable Version

2000 Subaru Legacy Sedan

Printable Version

2000 Subaru Legacy Sedan


2000 Subaru Legacy

Source: New Car Test Drive

by John Rettie

Re-engineered for improved performance, refinement and safety.

Base Price $18,395
As Tested $24,790

Subaru has made a name for itself as a manufacturer of tough cars with a permanent all-wheel-drive system that makes them safer for highway use and great for light-duty off-road use. The company has introduced an all-new, third-generation line-up of Legacy sedans and wagons for model-year 2000.

Among them is a new Legacy GT that offers handling capable of competing with many European sporty sedans. The Subaru Legacy GT might not have the aura of a BMW or Audi, but it is likely to turn more heads than many of the other compact sedans on the market.

Model Lineup

The 2000 Legacy lineup consists of three sedan and three station wagon models. (Although it is still based on the Legacy, the Outback is now being sold as a separate model line.)

Legacy sedan models include the: $19,195 L, $22,795 GT and $24,295 GT Limited. Legacy wagons: $18,395 Brighton, $19,895 L and $23,695 GT. (You'll need to add the $495 destination charge to those prices.)

There is little difference in the specifications of these models. All are powered by Subaru's 2.5-liter four-cylinder boxer engine, which produces 165 horsepower. (The 2.2-liter engine is no longer available with the new Legacy models.)

A five-speed manual transmission is standard; a four-speed electronically controlled automatic is optional for $800.

Legacy L models are well equipped, with anti-lock brakes, air conditioning, power windows, mirrors and locks, and AM/FM/cassette.

GT models add a sport-tuned suspension, bigger wheels and tires, slightly different gear ratios, a limited-slip rear differential, sporty cloth and other trim. GT Limited models get side-impact airbags, leather upholstery and a CD player. We drove the Legacy GT Limited.


Subaru's designers have come up with an attractive new design that lets it look at home among its European competitors. From behind, it's possible to mistake this model for a BMW 3 Series.

A high trunk line lends a distinctive look, aids aerodynamics and increases cargo capacity. The profile tapers down from rear to front. A low hoodline gives the car a wedge-shaped stance. The cabin is relatively long with decent-sized doors and a fairly low belt line. All the door windows are pillarless, which is quite unusual in a four-door sedan and gives the car the sporty look of a coupe. Simple cladding along the middle of the doors and along the sills adds character to the lines of the car. The front of the car features a big grille and large headlights that fit flush with the bodywork.

The new Legacy is slightly longer and wider than the previous model.

Station wagons are the most popular Legacy models sold in the U.S. However, as with many modern station wagons, there is little difference between the sedan and station wagon variations other than capacity and looks. This is certainly true with the Legacy for 2000.

Interior Features

The interior of the Legacy has been substantially redesigned for 2000 with a much tighter cockpit environment for the driver. The positive aspect of this design is that switches and controls are all within easy reach of the driver, so stretching is not necessary. The disadvantage is that there is not a lot of knee room for drivers with short legs. Ironically, tall drivers might find the cockpit environment a little less cramped, as their right knee will be farther back.

There are four round gauges in the instrument pod: a large tachometer and speedometer along with a smaller fuel gauge and water temperature gauge. They are well shaded, which makes them easy to read in all lighting conditions. The dash is covered in a nice black and gray plastic trim with a heavy grain finish. The Limited model has imitation wood paneling as well.

The climate and radio controls fall to hand conveniently in the center. The Limited models we drove included a six-CD player with the changer built into the dashboard. The sound system worked well, as did the climate control.

Apart from the slightly cramped cockpit feel for some drivers there was plenty of leg- and headroom in the front. Rear-seat passengers will be pleasantly surprised by the Legacy's generous legroom, which is better than many cars in its class. Headroom in the rear is adequate for those shorter than 6 feet tall. The moonroof, which is standard on high-line models, takes away about 1 inch of headroom.

There is a pass-through hole from the trunk behind the armrest in the center of the back seat but the rear seats do not fold down.

Driving Impressions

The first thing one notices about the Legacy GT is its handling. No, it's not like a stiff sports car with a go-kart character that rattles your bones. Instead it has a refined smooth feeling of sure-footedness. It comes from a combination of suspension design, all-wheel-drive and a low center of gravity aided by the horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine. Subaru and Porsche are the only two companies with this type of engine layout on the market.

The all-wheel-drive system ensures that the power is distributed to all four wheels. This makes the car easier to control on dry pavement and is especially helpful when the road surface is slippery. Unlike part-time four-wheel-drive systems designed for off-road use, Subaru's system adds little weight, and the all-important viscous coupling unit is no larger than a grapefruit. This effectively replaces the hefty transfer case you'll find in a truck or SUV.

The four-cylinder engine produces 165 horsepower, which is good for this size of car. More important, the engine generates good low-end torque, which is the force that propels you away from intersections and up steep grades. Subaru's engine is more powerful than the four-cylinder engines in the Audi A4, Honda Accord and Toyota Camry -- and those are bigger cars. (The A4, Accord and Camry are available with optional six-cylinder engines, which Subaru does not currently offer.)

The manual transmission is smooth and pleasant to use. As in all four-cylinder cars it helps get the most out of the engine. Acceleration performance suffers somewhat with the optional automatic. With its new notched-gate pattern, you need to make sure you don't select third gear instead of drive.

In regular driving on smooth dry roads it is all but impossible to tell the Legacy has all-wheel-drive. It is transparent to the driver, which is as it should be. The steering feels nice and precise and there is no torque steer when accelerating hard.

Overall the Legacy GT offers a driving experience that is a cut above that of numerous cars in its segment. It still doesn't quite offer the excitement of many European competitors but it's closer than most similar sized cars from domestic or Japanese manufacturers.

Final Word

If you live in an area of the country with weather conditions that include snow or lots of rain -- and you enjoy driving -- then take a test drive in the Subaru Legacy. Whether you're a professional rally driver or not, you'll find you can travel more safely in bad conditions with Subaru's all-wheel drive than in cars that are front- or rear-wheel drive.

There are really no disadvantages to driving an all-wheel-drive Subaru, so even for those of you who live in areas of the country that enjoy nice weather all year round the Legacy is still worthy of a look. With its stylish new design it's good enough to take you in style to the opera in the evening and safely transport you down a dusty lane the next day to a campsite.

© New Car Test Drive, Inc.

Printable Version

2000 Subaru Legacy Sedan

Safety Ratings help

What do the Safety Ratings mean?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) performs independent crash testing of new vehicles and then assigns them a score based on their performance. The overall crash test rating is based on how a vehicle performs in the following tests:

Driver Crash Grade:

Measures the chance of a serious injury to a crash test dummy that is placed in a driver's seat and driven into a fixed barrier at 35 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less chance of injury.

Passenger Crash Grade:

Similar to the driver crash grade, only now the focus is on the passenger.

Rollover Resistance:

Simulates an emergency lane change to measure the likelihood of a vehicle rolling over. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less risk of rollover.

Side Impact Crash Test - Front:

Focuses on the front side of a vehicle. It simulates crashes that can occur in intersections by striking a 3,015-pound weight against the side of a vehicle at 38.5 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 5 percent or less chance of injury.

Side Impact Crash Test - Rear:

Similar to the front side impact test only now the focus is on the rear passenger.

Driver Crash Grade

No consumer rating

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Passenger Crash Grade

No consumer rating

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Side Impact Crash Test - Front n/a
Side Impact Crash Test - Rear n/a

Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Child Safety Locks Std

Road Visibility

Daytime Running Lights Std
Fog Lamps Std
Electrochromic Rearview Mirror Opt
Intermittent Wipers Std
Printable Version

2000 Subaru Legacy Sedan

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Basic 3 Years/36,000 Miles
Drivetrain 5 Years/60,000 Miles
Corrosion 5 Years/Unlimited Miles
Roadside Assistance 3 Years/36,000 Miles

Subaru Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

84 months or 100,000 mile powertrain (whichever comes first) from original warranty start. Many upgrade options available.
Age/Mileage Eligibility Current model year or preceding 5 yrs/80,000 miles
Lease Term Certified Yes
Point Inspection 152
Return/Exchange Program No
Roadside Assistance Yes
Special Financing Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible No

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

2000 Subaru Legacy Sedan

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