Parkers overall rating: 3 out of 5 3.0

There are three engines available: one diesel and two petrol.

Diesel engines

The 148bhp 2.0-litre D is best suited to the Legacy Tourer. It's not the quickest diesel estate you can buy - 0-62mph comes in 9.6 seconds and it has a top speed of 120mph - but it is easy to live with and offers up to 46mpg plus an unbraked towing weight of 750kg.

The 2.0-litre engine isn’t perfect though: it lacks the low-end punch that its competitors’ diesels offer in abundance, but to make up for this lack of go and extra gear-changing, the Subaru’s diesel revs freer and feels more enthusiastic.

In 2012 a revised version of the diesel engine was introduced, improving CO2 emissions to less than 160g/km across all diesel variants and down to 149g/km for the 'S' derivative. Fuel economy improved to a 49.6mpg average.

Petrol engines

If you prefer petrol power, meanwhile, there was just one choice from launch: the 167bhp 2.5-litre that is only available with the firm’s Lineartronic auto gearbox. An automatic is not offered with the diesel.

Despite being more powerful than the diesel, the 2.5-litre petrol is actually slower, taking 10.3 seconds to complete the 0-62mph dash. In its defence, the 2.5 engine does go some way to make up for its lack of go by being smoother and quieter than the diesel.

The Lineartronic auto gearbox will split opinion. Instead of a conventional automatic gearbox it is a CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission.) It offers smooth progress most of the time, but gets very busy under hard acceleration when it seems to holds onto revs– a typical CVT trait. At least it is far smoother in operation than the notchy manual gearbox the diesel is plagued with.

A smaller 2.0-litre petrol engine joined the range with the introduction of the ES Nav trim in 2011. This produces 148bhp and is offered with either a six-speed manual gearbox or the Lineartronic CVT auto transmission.

Subaru Legacy performance figures for the 2.0-litre petrol engine are a top speed of 120 mph and 0-62mph in 9.8 seconds with the manual gearbox.

The Legacy comes standard with two versions of Subaru’s famed all-wheel drive - one version with a centrally mounted limited-slip differential and one without. Thankfully it’s the most popular 2.0-litre diesel model that boasts the more complex version, making it far more adept at juggling grip levels front and rear to help you ease out of even the muddiest car parks.

The 2.5-litre version, meanwhile, can only rely on its electronics to curb wheelspin in slippery conditions.

On the road, in more everyday motoring, the Legacy seems to have lost some of the old car’s sparkle. It is still competent but, surprisingly, seems to have gained more body roll while feeling noticeably nose heavy when pushing on.

All models come equipped with VDC (Vehicle Dynamics Control), the firm’s version of ESP anti-skid control.