The new Subaru Legacy – which goes on sale in the UK this month – has been voted ‘Car of the Year Japan 2003-4’ by an overwhelming margin.
Aimed at the European sporting executive sector, the completely new Legacy beat such prestigious contenders as the Jaguar XJ, BMW 5 Series and Audi A3.
Rivals from Japanese manufacturers defeated by the Legacy’s overall appeal included the Mazda RX-8 and Honda Odyssey.
Even the second placed petrol-electric hybrid – the Toyota Prius – trailed the Legacy’s 368 score by 46 points.
The Legacy range of 2.0, 2.5 and 3.0 litre boxer-engined saloons and Sports Tourers has just gone on sale in the UK priced from £15,985 on-the-road for the 2.0i saloon.
Common throughout is a sophisticated symmetrical all-wheel drive (AWD) system and thoroughly revised steering and suspension for agile, interactive driving dynamics.
Most versions enjoy significant fuel economy and emissions improvements meaning drastic ‘Benefit-In-Kind’ tax reductions for company car drivers. For example the ‘BIK’ for the Legacy 2.0i Sports Tourer is now 20 per cent instead of 27 per cent.
Meanwhile, since its May launch in Japan, the new Legacy has exceeded all sales expectations.
Total sales up to October are 34,901 units with some months recording more than 10,000 registrations.
Commenting on the award, President and Chief Executive Officer of Fuji Heavy Industries, Kyoji Takenaka, said: "It is our greatest pleasure to receive this most prestigious award of ‘Car of the Year Japan’. We designed the Legacy to be unique and emotional to satisfy those who love cars and love the feel of driving performance all over the world."Published 18 November 2003