This Legacy discards some of the visual lineage shared by the four previous generations of Subaru estate. The bodywork at the windows’ bottom edge has, for 20 years, scored a flat line from the A-pillars right through to the body’s rear edge, which itself has previously featured blackened D-pillars to give an impression of a floating roof and enhance a sense of length and elegance.
But these elements have been banished from this fifth-generation car, and similarly we are slightly sorry to see the abandonment of frameless windows.
Instead, there’s something ‘me too’ and somehow less sophisticated about the lines of the latest Legacy, whose D-pillars are now body coloured and curve around the rear window line like myriad other estates, and whose wheel arches are marked by prominent bulges in the fashion of the Mazda 6 and Ford Mondeo. The Legacy is still far from being an inelegant car, but we’re unconvinced that it stands out as it once did.
The large, flat area below the Legacy’s beltline is meant to look stable and fuss-free, endowing the car with a sense of solidity. SE models get 18in wheels as standard. base models get 16in wheels that leave the arches looking malnourished.
Subaru has consulted the new car design cliché book for headlight inspiration. They’re extended and show off the internal components — supposedly to demonstrate a hi-tech feel.
Like the wheel arches, the fussier top half of the car is meant to contrast with the bulky lower half. Chrome surrounds on the windows convey a more premium feel, certainly.