10 March 2022

Used Car Review – Subaru Legacy GT Wagon 2009

The fifth generation Legacy marked 20 years of development since it was launched back in 1989. The Legacy has long been a family favourite with its extra room and power, perfect for the occasional road trip.

used legacy 1
Subaru Legacy GT Wagon 2009
used legacy 2
Subaru Legacy GT Wagon 2009
used legacy 3
Subaru Legacy GT Wagon 2009
used legacy 4
Subaru Legacy GT Wagon 2009
used legacy 5
Subaru Legacy GT Wagon 2009
used legacy 6
Subaru Legacy GT Wagon 2009
used legacy 7
Subaru Legacy GT Wagon 2009

The fifth generation Legacy marked 20 years of development since it was launched back in 1989. The Legacy has long been a family favourite with its extra room and power, perfect for the occasional road trip. There are a lot of options both in the New Zealand market, both NZ new and used Japanese imports.

We recently had the privilege of reviewing a used Japanese import 2009 Subaru Legacy GT Wagon. This fifth-generation Legacy offers a comfortable passenger compartment and unique driving performance characteristics, thanks to the Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive (AWD) with the classic Horizontally-Opposed (BOXER) engine - still delivering that signature note all these years on.

Sports wagon

used legacy intext1

The 2009 Legacy retains its functionality along with its comfortable interior, not only providing a comfortable roomy space for passengers, but also that traditional Legacy sporty look. This is due to the increased length, width, and height from the previous model. In addition to the widened rear trunk/rear gate opening, the cargo capacity was also increased with this generation.

The model we reviewed featured 18-inch alloy wheels and a subdued body kit that added to the athletic flair. The rear also featured twin exhausts and a chrome garnish that linked the two rear light clusters neatly. There are also low-slung fog lights nestled low and far back, which are also garnished - you guessed it, in more chrome. To top it off is the wide low air-scoop on the bonnet, which directs cool air over the integrated intercooler.

used legacy intext2

The doors in this generation Legacy include attached sashes so the glass is no longer floating. Another change was to the rear door openings, this was improved to provide better accessibility to the rear seats.

The D-pillars were carried over from the previous model and look to be of a chunkier design, which makes it look more robust. Another smart touch is the chrome mouldings around the windows, which accentuate its smooth lines and add presence and a quality feel.

Sporty interior design

used legacy 7

The incorporation of the electronic parking brake eliminates the need for the hand brake lever, thus allowing a more spacious front passenger compartment. The concave shape of the front seat backs also provide ample legroom for rear passengers.

The seats are wide, and the cushions have been redesigned for better comfort and support. By increasing the amount of slide and lift of the driver’s seat, settings can be more finely tuned to better meet drivers’ needs.

The two-tone colour pallet of the interior is tasteful with an off-black colour dash and even some carbon fibre looks inserts. The high-quality interior touches express a luxurious yet sports like feel.

The centre console features two-cup holders arranged side-by-side, and the console box with arm rest and door pockets were enlarged to provide more inside storage space.

There are regular classic analogue gauges to monitor the vehicle and even a factory integrated gauge to monitor the boost, this is a great sporty touch and so much neater and favourable than aftermarket add on units.

Strong performance

The 2.5-litre DOHC turbo engine had significant design changes made to the turbocharger due to the adoption of the new engine cradle system. The performance was raised and the emissions lowered. Despite the improved emissions, it’s no slouch, delivering 195kW and 350Nm of torque, enough power to put a smile on most people’s dials. Consumption is 9.7L/100km and the CO2 output is 228g/km.

A new feature VDC (Vehicle Dynamics Control) is standard equipment for all models and the model we reviewed featured slip predictive control, which utilises the electronic power steering sensors to reduce slipping.

SI-DRIVE is also featured in all models. Three different modes are available (Intelligent, Sport and Sport Sharp) these are to suit three specific driving styles, and add flexibility to how the legacy performs, by altering the response of the engine and gearbox.


Interestingly Subaru said a fond farewell to the legendary Legacy in 2020, stating it would no longer be part of the Subaru line-up from 2021. Subaru of New Zealand's Managing Director Wallis Dumper recalled Legacy’s glory days when it was the country’s best-seller. “Whilst the Toyota Corolla was top of the new car sales overall, Legacy was New Zealand’s number one selling used vehicle thanks to the massive imports ratio.”

So, if you are looking for an adventurous sporty family wagon and used is your preferred option, it is hard to go past the fifth generation Subaru Legacy GT Wagon. There is so much space and value, and of course that inherent Japanese reliability. Not to mention that rock solid Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive system that lets you venture off the beaten track confidently, and the SI mode adds even more fun to the mix.

At a glance

Model and year

2009 Subaru Legacy GT Wagon



Date Tested



$11,995 + ORC


2.5-litre Turbo 



Fuel economy, CO2

9.7L/100km, 228g/km

Towing capacity

Unbraked 750KG, Braked 1800KG



Seating capacity


Luggage capacity/payload

526L (1660L Seats down)

Features include:

  • ABS (Antilock Brakes)
  • Airbag - Driver
  • Airbag - Passenger
  • Airbags - 1st Row Head
  • Airbags - 1st Row Side
  • Control - Electronic Stability 
  • Control - Traction
  • Camera(s) - Rear Vision

For more information on safety ratings visit rightcar.govt.nz

Choosing your next used car?

An AA Preferred Dealer is a Motor Vehicle Trader that is certified to meet our standards of quality. We recommend that anyone looking to buy a used car visits an AA Preferred Dealer. Our series of checks on used cars gives drivers peace of mind that the used car they’re interested in buying isn’t hiding any secrets.

Click here to find out more about our AA Preferred Dealer network.

If you don’t have an AA Preferred Dealer near you, find a used vehicle that has had an AA Appraisal. Cars that have had an AA Appraisal have received a 43-point mechanical check by the AA, which focuses on the mechanical and safety aspects of the car and gives an overall evaluation of the vehicle.

Click here to learn more about AA Appraisals.

Get total peace of mind with an AA Pre Purchase Inspection

When you buy a used car, you may have a number of questions about its condition and safety. An independent AA Pre Purchase Vehicle Inspection will give you complete peace of mind with a comprehensive 100+ point vehicle check by an experienced mechanic.

Click here for more information on AA Pre Purchase Inspections.

Thank you to AA Preferred Dealer Portage Cars for supplying us with the 2009 Subaru Legacy GT Wagon for review.

Find out more on how the AA can help you when buying a used car:

Vehicle experts you can trust

Previous review
Next review
Mazda CX-30 SP20 MHEV Blackout Edition 2022 Car Review
Read more
Ram 1500 Limited Night Edition 2022 Car Review
Read more