The flagship car of the anti-smog movement
The price of (nearly) emission-free transportation
In order to achieve its "Partial Zero Emission Vehicle" status, this green Legacy relies on exclusive technologies. Obviously, someone has to pay for that.
The list includes a unique exhaust system featuring a larger and finer mesh of catalyst-lined passageways within the catalytic converter, fuel injectors that close tighter to prevent evaporative emissions from fuel leakage, a charcoal canister in the air intake to absorb evaporative hydrocarbon emissions, and a reprogrammed ECU making exhaust gasses hotter and therefore helping the catalytic converter heat up sooner.
Now tell me: do you find all of this sexy? I don’t think so. To make a stronger selling point, Subaru also equipped the Legacy PZEV with a standard continuously-variable transmission called Lineartronic, which reportedly improves fuel economy by 13 percent over the manual transmission.
Adding the CVT to the base 2.5i model would cost you an extra $1,200, putting you halfway to the PZEV’s starting price.
But wait, there’s more: the eco-minded Legacy adds stylish 16-inch alloy wheels (lighter than the standard steel wheels) and a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support. Combined with the tilt-telescopic steering wheel, you won’t have any problems finding an excellent driving position.
As big as a Camry
As for the rest of the package, the PZEV is a Legacy through and through, meaning a midsize sedan with an interior as roomy as the Toyota Camry’s and Honda Accord’s. And unlike the latter, the modern dashboard looks clean and uncluttered.
The CVT even features manual shift capability with paddle shifters on the steering wheel. This way, you can make the most of the 170 horsepower at your disposal. By the way, neither the Camry nor the Accord offers a manual mode with their automatic transmissions.
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