The topline models we tested came with nav, leather, power driver's seat, moonroof, and 17-inch wheels fitted with Bridgestone Potenzas. The only thing that really took getting used to was the pushbutton start, a feature not offered in the States. After a few tries at caressing the right side of the steering column and dash like a loved one's shoulder and finding no button (it's on the left), we were on our way. The engine is somewhat noisy at idle, but that disappears once you get up to speed. Subaru has done an excellent job of isolating engine noise from the cabin, and despite some wind noise, it's still easy to chat with passengers without having to raise your voice. This turbodiesel is surprisingly smooth, with little turbo lag. It hums along at freeway speed at 2000 rpm and eats up mountain roads in third gear. The car's weight is still biased toward the front, but the vehicle is well balanced, stable, and sticks to the road. The new engine adds about 75 pounds to the Legacy and Outback.

Subaru has gone to great lengths to make this engine compact, an achievement that means the company can put this diesel in a wide variety of cars in the line. It would make perfect sense in the Forester, and perhaps the Impreza. However, when it comes to sales, the success of this engine in the U.S. is going to depend on the cost factor. Pricing hasn't yet been announced, not even for European markets, but this engine option could add $2000 or more to the bottom line for America.


2008 Subaru Legacy/Outback (Euro-Spec) 2.0D Boxer Diesel
Base Price N/A
Vehicle Layout Front engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door sedan/wagon
Engine 2.0L/148-hp/258-lb-ft turbodiesel DOHC 16-valve flat-4
Transmission 5-speed manual
Curb Weight 3200-3460 lb (mfr)
Wheelbase 105.1 in
Length x Width x Height 183.7-186.2 x 68.1-69.7 x 56.1-60.8 in
0-60 mph NA
EPA City/Hwy Econ 32.7-33.6/45.2-49.0 mpg (est)
CO2 Emissions 0.57-0.59 lb/mile (est)
On Sale In U.S. 2010