We quote the following directly from the 2010 Driver Car of the Year article.
The Subaru Legacy/Outback is the 2010 Driver Car of the Year.
The stunning new range of sedans, wagons and crossover vehicles has been judged the best new car launched in 2009 by our panel of judges, according to a strict set of criteria and thorough evaluation over the course of the year.
The Subaru excelled in every area of judging, with the panel considering engineering/build, equipment/value, active safety, environmental responsibility and driving dynamics.
The Driver award is for the entire Legacy/Outback range rather than a single model. And what a comprehensive range it is. From mainstream 2.5-litre four-cylider sedans and wagons, to the luxury 3.6-litre sedan, to the turbocharged GT performance models and finally the Outback crossover wagon, not one of the variants in the new range disappoints.
The Legacy/Outback remains a unique buying proposition in every segment in which it competes, and has stayed true to Subaru core values: idiosynchratic styling, a driver-focused chassis and horizontally-opposed 'boxer' engines with full-time all wheel drive right acorss the range. It represents the highest levels of driver enjoyment and safety.
So it's still special, both on paper and on the road. But the considerable advances made by Subaru in areas of quality, refinement and especially fuel economy also captured the attention of our judges.
The four-cylinder engines are particularly worthy of mention. The 2.5-litre petrol unity has been revised and retuned, with power delivery more focused on mid-range torque.The Lineartronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) fitted to the automatic versions is impressive; it performs seamlessly, even for the enthusiast driver, and endows Legacy with the best fuel economy in its class.
The 'boxer diesel' 2.0-litre powerplant, added to the ranger proper for the first time in 2009 and available in both Legacy and Outback, is even more impressive. Arguably the finest four-cylinder diesel in the world, it combines the potential for extreme thrift (the Australian Design Rules mandated fuel economy figure for the sedan is just 5.9-litres per 100km) with a massive amount of torque and unique aural character.
And performance-minded buyers have the choice of the rapid GT turbochared models, or the more relaxed 3.6-ltire 'boxer six' - the latter in both the Legacy sedan and flagship Outback wagon.
The Driver Car of the Year award is open to all new models launched in the calendar year, providing the are fitted as standard with stability control and side impact airbags, and available through a distributor-backed dealer network nationwide. The judging panel selects a shortlist of five, which are then re-evaluated and ranked according to the five criteria above. Points are awarded according to the rankings to the rankings in each category, to a maximum of 100 per car for each judge.
The Legacy/Outback was a clear winner in the 2010 Driver Car of the Year Award, with 240 points from a total possible score of 300 from the three judges.