Down-to-Earth Subaru Unveils 2008 Outback, Legacy

This is a pretty exciting week for auto aficianodos, what with all the cool new concept vehicles being rolled out at the Detroit Auto Show (officially the North America International Auto Show). But in amongst all the futuristic, shoot-for-the-moon, run-on-anything-but-oil concept vehicles that are getting all the buzz and headlines this week are a great many real-world, down-to-earth vehicles that are being shown for the first time. And here’s the really interesting point — these are cars we’ll actually be able to drive. Case in point: The 2008 Subaru Outback and Legacy sedan, which debuted earlier this week in Detroit and which will be in showrooms this summer.

The 2008 Outback and Legacy received a minor redesign, the key point of which is a new grille with a single crossbar and the Subaru logo smack dab in the middle of the grille opening. This gives the front ends an aeronautical look, Subaru says, and is a nod to the company’s aeronautical heritage. The Legacy also received new headlights and taillights, as well as front and rear bumper fascias, for a sportier appearance, while the Outback went for a more rugged look with a new front fascia and a redesigned hood and fenders.

Inside, the instrument panels were also redesigned, interior fabrics were updated, and a telescopic steering column and integrated ignition key/remote entry unit were added to the list of standard features for the vehicles. A choice of XM or Sirius satellite radio capability will also be part of the package for 2008, as will symmetrical all-wheel drive, which is standard across the Subaru line.

Okay, we admit none of this is earth shattering. But for years Subaru has built solid, dependable, relatively good-looking automobiles that travel well in all weather (including Maine winters) and seem to go forever (my 1995 Subaru Legacy wagon has nearly 150,000 miles on it and is still going strong, with nary a problem in sight). No, they’re not hybrids, they’re not high-profile cars, they don’t have groundbreaking features nor run on sunshine or air. They’re just plain ol’ real-world cars for real-world drivers, and I wouldn’t mind having one of the new Subarus in my garage.

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