2010 Subaru Legacy 2.5GT vs 2010 Ford Fusion Sport AWD

For the Fusion Sport, Ford follows a rather conventional method of adding capability. There's a larger, 3.5-liter V-6 upfront, which makes 263-hp (compared with the base V-6's 240-hp), plus firmer dampers and thicker antiroll bars. The resulting Fusion certainly feels quicker than lesser, 3.0-liter V-6 models, but even with the optional all-wheel drive, which brings the curb-weight up to a hefty 3800 pounds, it remains soft around the edges, and primarily focused on coddling the driver. Steering is a bit slow and suffers at times from artificial-feeling feedback.

Subaru, on the other hand, manages to slip a few of quirks into the 2.5GT that make it drive like more than a nice afterthought. For starters, there's a turbocharged, 2.5-liter boxer engine that makes 265-hp, just as in the WRX. We wondered at first why Subaru still bothers with an entirely different engine for its top dog when the slightly cheaper, six-cylinder Legacy 3.6R is for all intents and purposes just as powerful. The turbocharger's urgent whine and sportscar-like midrange thrust provided a more than satisfactory answer. Subaru further asserts that it means business by backing up the four-cylinder with a six-speed manual. It would be unusual enough for Subaru to offer a stick-shift in anything other than a base mid-size sedan - almost no one else does these days - but the GT goes a step further and isn't even available with an automatic. It's not the best gearbox, with long, somewhat balky throws, but we'll gladly take it over the Fusion's ho-hum six-speed slushbox, which has neither shift paddles nor a manual mode. The smaller displacement engine also contributes to the Subaru's noticeable handling advantage, as the four-cylinder Legacy weighs about 350 pounds less than the Fusion. Lest we overstate matters, it's worth noting that the 2.5GT receives no suspension improvements over the comfort-oriented 3.6R and, like the Fusion, exhibits more body roll than we'd like. It also does a poorer job absorbing road imperfections than the Fusion.

The Fusion Sport AWD and Legacy 2.5GT are both worth a second look in their crowded segment. If your main qualifications are comfort and refinement, the Ford deserves a slight edge. But if you're like us, and want a dose of feistiness to go along with a roomy back seat, than we'd recommend the 2.5T, which, despite its larger and more practical exterior, remains a family-man's WRX.

We'll be honest though: we think both automakers can do better. Ford has a twin-turbocharged, 365-hp Ecoboost engine and a team of SVT engineers who just finished souping up the Mustang and F-150. Subaru has a whole raft of WRX performance parts and a talented tuning team of its own. So, how about it, guys? When can we look forward to comparing the Ford Fusion SHO and Subaru Legacy STI?

What!!!!???? What does a stupid Microsoft gimmick do for essential value of automobiles??? It's just one of stupid toys. Horizontal all aluminum engine with symmetric Awd is a jewel. Don't dare compare it with a stretched out econo-box. There is soul in Subaru.
Uhmmm, perhaps you should check your work. You've posted some of the photos twice. Hence no shots of the cars interiors, which it would seem logical to show since you do make comparisons between them.
Looked hard at both (Fusion Sport AWD and the Legacy H6). The Ford has the edge with the Sync system, better bluetooth/ipod integration especially with the Nav system. Reviewer is mistaken, the Ford 6 speed auto does have a manual mode. Styling is a personal thing, but the new Legacy, side profile, does not work for me. The standard interior in the Fusion Sport is all black, garish red/blue is an option.

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