Would I Buy Another? My Life with the Fuji Pig

December 24, 2013 at 3:24 pm

I just recently I received the title to my 2008 Subaru Legacy GT; it’s car I bought brand new on September 7, 2008 from Clay Subaru. It’s first car I bought brand new and I’m also proud to say I paid it off a few months early.

After five years of Leggy ownership I ask myself the question would I buy another? Leggy ownership has been an experience of highs and lows with the highs putting a big smile on my face and the lows putting me into tears. Let’s reflect on the good and bad so far.

The thing I love the most about the Leggy is that it’s the can do anything car, the three things that allow for this are size, power and all wheel drive. I can hoon it in all seasons, throw camera gear in it and take it to important meetings and it’s never out of place. It’s the WRX for those of us who have grown up, maybe settled down a little but still desire Subaru performance.

On the subject of performance, the Leggy offers perfect performance for the daily driver with 240 horsepower on tap with three levels of throttle response; sport being the happy medium of power and not hitting hyperdrive every time you step on the loud pedal. A solid performer stock, I’ve added a Cobb catback exhaust, Cobb sport springs and Ralitek front and rear sways. The Cobb catback offers a perfect level of sound and adds a few extra horses. The sport springs have diminished the hideous stock wheel gap and the sways have improved the understeery nature of the car.

Add this all up and it’s a car I always enjoy driving no matter the situation, sure there are cars more involving or analogue but for the me the Leggy GT checks all the buttons.

Now comes the bad, it was a thirty thousand dollar car new and that doesn’t include navigation and there’s no option of cloth seats. In addition, the car came with infamous Bridgestone RE92 tires, the tires referred many GT owners as “joykillers”. Due to the fact it has a turbo it’s pricer to service than a normal Subaru and if you get your service done at a dealership prepare to pay an arm for an oil change and rotation and throw in a leg or two when it’s time for a major service such as the 60K.

Reliability wise the car has been quirky, in the early days there was a water leak in the front passenger side, the radio had to be replaced and during cold weather months the car would almost stall out at stop lights and throw codes for misfires. The biggest disaster was in March of 2013 when the turbo decided to eat itself due to oil starvation; it sounded as if someone was putting metal into a wood chipper. Thankfully, due to a somewhat friendly relationship with the Service Manager of Planet Subaru and the fact that all of the car’s major services had been done there, Subaru of America decided to cover the cost of my just out of warranty car and replace the shortblock. The kindness of SOA saved me either ten thousand dollars or the cost of a new car. The Leggy spent a little over a month at Planet Subaru getting a new shortblock.

The turbo eating itself is something fairly common in the Subaru world with cause thought to be the Banjo bolt (a theory which the Planet Subaru Service Manager claims is “an urban legend”. Since I took return of the car in late April, things have been fine, however there will always be a fear in the back of my mind as what will be the next thing to go (The car has 93K miles) or when will the turbo lurch itself again? Recently the fuel lines had to be replaced to the cost of $1,200. Thanks Planet Subaru

Would I buy it again? I’m not sure, the pleasure of driving the car I’m not sure is above the stress and money I’ve dumped into it to keep it straight. Would I buy a new Legacy today? Not at all; many consider my 08 Legacy GT to be the end of an era in which the Legacy was a unique sport sedan and isn’t what it is today, an all wheel drive Toyota Camry. If I had to pull the trigger today my shortlist would include Cooper Clubman, GTI, and AWD Buick Turbos.