Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5

All models are powered by what are known as ‘boxer’ or ‘flat’ engines (due to the cylinders lying flat in two banks opposite each other), which is unusual. The advantage of this set-up is its low centre of gravity which benefits the handling, but you’ll also notice a rather distinctive burbling engine note. That’s the technical bit over, what you need to know is there are four engines choose between on the saloon.

The 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine is the entry-level model and has 165bhp (although this was lowered to 150bhp in 2008 but with an increase in pulling power) with a 0-62mph time of around 12 seconds. The 2.5-litre originally had 165bhp but was uprated in 2007 to 173bhp with a 0-62mph time of less than 11 seconds. Top of the range is the six-cylinder 3.0-litre with 245bhp which delivers rapid performance – 0-62mph comes up in just 6.5 seconds with the manual gearbox but economy is poor at just 23mpg.

An automatic version is also available. In 2008 a diesel engine was launched and the 2.0-litre unit with 150bhp is impressive. It’s pleasing to drive and shares many of the same characteristics as the petrol engines, but returns far better fuel economy – 50mpg is possible. It’s quick too, with a 0-62mph time of 8.3 seconds.

The flat shaped engines sit low in the body, keeping the centre of gravity down and helping stability through the bends. Permanent four-wheel-drive also adds security and grip in slippery situations. These two factors give the Legacy a very reassuring feel, with it responding quickly to steering inputs. The 3.0R Spec B has an even sportier suspension set-up and as a result feels the lumps more, making this model better for enthusiastic drivers than those who like a forgiving ride.