I REMEMBER doing a cross country trip in sleet and snow when I was trying out the Subaru Legacy Tourer a few years ago and it was fantastic.
It kept me going when others were sliding and floundering and did so easily and safely. It's also one of the most reliable cars you can buy.
The last model available here was the Tourer estate, which could be bought new until 2013. The saloon went out of production in 2010.
It's a much more subtle and relaxed car to drive than the tarmac-chewing Impreza Turbo but still has superb handling and road holding helped by permanent four wheel drive.
Even with thatfour wheel drive, many are cheaper than rivals'two wheel drivemodels, yet they also hold value over time, so good cheap ones are quite hard to find.
Petrol engines are 147bhp 2.0-litre and 164bhp 2.5-litre ‘boxer' flat fours, but the pick of the bunch for most of us would be the excellent 147bhp 2.0-litre diesel.
This offers the same kind of performance as the petrol models, but with vastly increased economy.
However, it was not available with the automatic gearbox available for both of the petrols.
Some might call it a ‘lifestyle' estate, but I remember getting three children and all the gubbins for a week's holiday into one without too much of a problem - although the rearward view was somewhat compromised.
The light easy clutch compliments a slick changing gearbox and the brakes are well up to holding everything in check.
The ride is very good over all surfaces and the refinement is also good, with little wind or road noise - except on tar and chipping surfaces like every other car.