2004 Subaru Legacy

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Key Specs
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Overview
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Key Specs

of the 2004 Subaru Legacy. Base trim shown.

  • Body Type:
  • Combined MPG:
    24 Combined MPG
  • Engine:
    165-hp, 2.5-liter H-4 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain:
    All-wheel Drive
  • Transmission:
    5-speed manual w/OD
  • View more specs

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Easy to drive
  • Automatic-transmission performance
  • AWD operation
  • Solid construction
  • Frontal-offset crash-test rating

The Bad

  • No Low-range gearing
  • Minimal offroad capability

Notable Features of the 2004 Subaru Legacy

  • Sedan and wagon body styles
  • 165-hp, 2.5-liter six-cylinder
  • Manual or automatic
  • AWD
  • Available Outback versions

2004 Subaru Legacy Overview

By Cars.com Editors
Vehicle Overview
A new 2.5 GT model in Subaru’s larger Legacy series consolidated the previous GT and GT Limited for the 2003 model year. A new Sportshift feature for the automatic transmission allowed manual gear selection. A Special Edition package for the L sedan and wagon added some equipment from the 2.5 GT, including a power moonroof and 16-inch alloy wheels. All Legacy models earned a freshened appearance by receiving a new grille and front bumper/fascia.

The Legacy gets only minor enhancements for the 2004 model year. The main difference is a name change: the Legacy L Special Edition will now be called the Legacy L 35th Anniversary Edition.

Legacy models include the four-cylinder L sedan and wagon, the Legacy L 35th Anniversary Edition sedan and wagon, and the Legacy 2.5 GT sedan and wagon. Subaru also offers seven Outback variants of the Legacy that feature sport utility vehicle styling cues and a higher ground clearance.

Equipped with full-time all-wheel drive, the Legacy and its Outback sibling were last redesigned for 2000 and rank as Subaru’s most popular series. Most Legacy sales come from purchases of the wagon body styles — and notably from the SUV-like Outback. The Legacy and Outback are Subaru’s only domestically built models.

Exterior
Legacy sedans ride a 104.3-inch wheelbase and measure 184.4 inches long overall, versus a 187.4-inch length for wagons. The Legacy sedan is 55.7 inches tall, compared to a 58.3-inch height for an Outback s...
Vehicle Overview
A new 2.5 GT model in Subaru’s larger Legacy series consolidated the previous GT and GT Limited for the 2003 model year. A new Sportshift feature for the automatic transmission allowed manual gear selection. A Special Edition package for the L sedan and wagon added some equipment from the 2.5 GT, including a power moonroof and 16-inch alloy wheels. All Legacy models earned a freshened appearance by receiving a new grille and front bumper/fascia.

The Legacy gets only minor enhancements for the 2004 model year. The main difference is a name change: the Legacy L Special Edition will now be called the Legacy L 35th Anniversary Edition.

Legacy models include the four-cylinder L sedan and wagon, the Legacy L 35th Anniversary Edition sedan and wagon, and the Legacy 2.5 GT sedan and wagon. Subaru also offers seven Outback variants of the Legacy that feature sport utility vehicle styling cues and a higher ground clearance.

Equipped with full-time all-wheel drive, the Legacy and its Outback sibling were last redesigned for 2000 and rank as Subaru’s most popular series. Most Legacy sales come from purchases of the wagon body styles — and notably from the SUV-like Outback. The Legacy and Outback are Subaru’s only domestically built models.

Exterior
Legacy sedans ride a 104.3-inch wheelbase and measure 184.4 inches long overall, versus a 187.4-inch length for wagons. The Legacy sedan is 55.7 inches tall, compared to a 58.3-inch height for an Outback sedan, which has significantly greater ground clearance. The front fascia on the 2.5 GT integrates standard projector-beam fog lights. A sport-tuned suspension goes on the 2.5 GT, and five-spoke alloy wheels hold 16-inch tires.

Interior
Seating for five people in the Legacy is possible with its front buckets and three-place rear bench seat. All three rear positions have three-point seat belts. The Legacy’s rear seatback does not fold for additional cargo space, but there is a small pass-thru section into the trunk. Trunk capacity totals 12.4 cubic feet.

Air conditioning, cruise control, and power windows, locks and mirrors are standard even in the L sedan. The Anniversary Edition models get 16-inch alloy wheels, a sunroof, halogen fog lamps and a Momo-designed steering wheel. The 2.5 GT includes a power sunroof, an eight-way power driver’s seat, side-impact airbags, leather upholstery, heated mirrors, heated front seats and a six-CD player.

Under the Hood
A 2.5-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine sends 165 horsepower to a standard five-speed-manual or optional four-speed-automatic transmission. Every Subaru vehicle has all-wheel drive, but the 2.5 GT equipped with a Sportshift automatic transmission uses Variable Torque Distribution all-wheel drive.

Safety
Antilock brakes are standard. The 2.5 GT sedan has side-impact airbags to protect front-seat occupants.

Legacy Wagon
Other than the substitution of the wagon body at the rear, the Legacy wagon is nearly identical to the sedan models in the lineup. The wagon’s cargo volume is 34.3 cubic feet with the backseat up and 68.6 cubic feet with the seat folded down. Wagon versions may be equipped with a dual sunroof.

Driving Impressions
With its all-wheel-drive lineup, Subaru occupies a unique niche in the compact-car market. The Legacy promises sufficient interior space for a small family, and it is a competent sedan that offers more than just all-season traction. Four-cylinder performance is sufficiently strong, and a smooth-operating automatic transmission is another plus. The Legacy is stable on the highway and easy to drive.

 
Reported by Jim Flammang  for cars.com;
Posted on 11/5/03

Latest 2004 Legacy Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.0)
Performance
(3.7)
Interior Design
(4.0)
Comfort
(4.1)
Reliability
(4.0)
Value For The Money
(4.0)

What Drivers Are Saying

(4.0)

Good Handling and Reliable All-Weather Sedan

by DavidR from Pardeeville on July 22, 2018

The 2004 Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT (Gen 3) is a sensibly sized, well-designed, good handling and good performing all wheel drive sedan. I previously owned a 1996 Legacy 2.5 GT (Gen 2) that seemed a bit ... Read full review

(5.0)

Love my '04 Sue Legacy GT

by 80 yr old Opa from Kingston NY on October 9, 2017

Bought it new. 14 years of faithful service should say it all. Here in upstate NY boonies, it loves snow like my Huskies. Just bought 4 new snow tires, so plan on keeping it. I take care of it and it ... Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2004 Subaru Legacy currently has 8 recalls

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2004 Subaru Legacy has not been tested.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Legacy received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker