Tuesday, September 24, 2013

15k: Sleeper Wagon: 2005 Subaru Legacy 2.5GT Wagon

The Subaru Legacy 2.5GT is often considered the adult's version of the Subaru STI, with which it shares a 2.5 liter flat-4 short block (with the exception of the STI's high compression domed pistons).  A smaller turbocharger brings plenty of low end boost, 5-spd manual and AWD add to the package, and subtle styling cues round out a great family wagon that is also fun on back roads.  Find this 2005 Subaru Legacy 2.5GT for sale by a dealer in Philadelphia, PA, bidding with no reserve on ebay near $5k with less than a day to go.

The 2.5GT used the larger 2.5 liter EJ255 boxer 4-cyl, good for 250 horsepower and considerably more  low end torque (and turbo response) than an early 2.0 liter powered Subaru Impreza WRX.  The Legacy is a slightly bigger car than the Impeza and much more subtle looking than the boy-racer STI.  Today the 2.5GT is a good competitor to a used Audi S4/S6 and while it doesn't have a premium brand badge, it makes up for that with reliability and speed.

This one looks in decent shape; red over black is a nice color combo. With 120k miles it would behoove the buyer to check on recent maintenance that should have been done (like the timing belt) but it could be a great buy. Most of the STI upgrade parts will work on this car too, if you're looking for a 300+hp AWD manual wagon.

See a better late model fast hauler? email us here: tips@dailyturimso.com

EdNote: Sorry about the post, edit, re-post on this one, the original ad disappeared, there was some discussion about a higher priced lefty coast black Legacy 2.5GT, an attempt to publish the feature...reverting to draft...more publishing...and finally confusion.


  1. Hah, I have 2 of these. Seriously. One 5 speed auto for the wife and a 5 speed M/T for me. Both wagons. They share the identical longblock with the STI. No domed vs flat top or dished pistons. Much discussion of this over on NASIOC / LGT.com. The difference is in the heads and turbo (and up-pipe). STI's use dual AVCS vs the LGT's single AVCS on the intake cam(s) only.

    IF you're looking into buying one of these, here are some things to watch out for:
    1. Ring lands (compression test)
    2. Burned valves (if low compression and not sure if rings or valves)
    3. 2nd gear (syncro and cog)
    4. Rear wheel bearings
    5. Timing belt service at 105k is a bastard.
    6. Turbo oil feed banjo bolt inline filter (screen) should be removed.
    7. Anally retentive Oil Change Intervals followed throughout the life of the car. Early on in their lifecycle the OCI was 7500 miles. Right up until they started having to replace engines at 36k because of the aforementioned turbo oil feed banjo bolt inline filter clogging, starving the turbo, and sending metal VF40 bearing shards throughout the engine.
    8. Intercooler End Tank separation.
    9. Stock dual mass flywheel doesn't really stand up to much punishment.
    10. LCA bushings.
    11. Improperly sealed (from the factory) gearbox extension housing.

    The boost gauge in this otherwise stock looking car is a HUGE red flag. Methinks this was flogged pretty heavily in its lifetime.

    If you're into MPG's, with an economy tune my M/T car will pull 29mpg at 65mph all day driving in the Poconos. My wife's A/T car will pull between 25 and 27mpg on the freeway cruise control at 70mph.

    Anyways, my M/T car is for sale for $9k.

    1. Thanks for the buyer's guide and for setting us straight on the pistons. Good point on the boost gauge; there are some curious stains on this car's back seat too.

      Maybe a result of passengers "losing control" during said flogging?

      Current bid is still below $6k with 3.5 hours left on the auction.

    2. Yeah this still looks like a good deal at that price. If it stays below $8k it'll be a good buy.

      For comparison I paid $11,900 3 years ago for the Wife's car (2 owner, stack of dealer maintenance records from new) with 97k miles. 2 years ago I purchased my car with an (allegedly) blown engine for $6k shipped. Engine was fine, just needed a coil pack and new plugs. Still driving it at 120k miles.

      The stains on the back seat are minor. It's the way that fabric handles water... you'd think Subaru would have at least known its demographic and done what Jeep does with its cloth seats in the Wrangler. Both of my LGT's have similar issues with cloth discoloration that can be solved with a simple steam clean / carpet shampoo. A few months ago I took a PT test in a downpour, hopped into the LGT and left an a$$ print in the driver's seat until I ran a rug doctor over it. If you have a kid... you know how kids leak all kinds of fluids from juice to milk to bodily. It might look bad, but rug doctor it, or even some resolve with a towel and some patience will get those stains out. Might take 2 or 3 passes but they will come out.

    3. Back in '07 my folks were going to move from Central California to outside Chicago. It's so hard finding these Legacy GT's. They ended up getting an '06 Sonata V6 GLS with the 16" wheels instead. They traded that for a much-improved (steering, suspension, interior) '09 Limited V6 back when they did the refresh. Considering these old Subaru's have an interior that meets or exceeds the top-end Sonata in '09, I'd trade the Sonata in a heart beat.

      It'd have to be the pre-refresh Legacy, since the styling front and rear was kinda ruined with those rear reflectors (I see cellulite) and the front end just isn't the same either.


Commenting Commandments:
I. Thou Shalt Not write anything your mother would not appreciate reading.
II. Thou Shalt Not post as anonymous unless you are posting from mobile and have technical issues. Use name/url when posting and pick something Urazmus B Jokin, Ben Dover. Sir Edmund Hillary Clint Eastwood...it don't matter. Just pick a nom de plume and stick with it.
III. Honor thy own links by using <a href ="http://www.linkgoeshere"> description of your link </a>
IV. Remember the formatting tricks <i>italics</i> and <b> bold </b>
V. Thou Shalt Not commit spam.