Congrats to our New President Anguss!!
Remember to like us on Facebook!! -

Author Topic: Super Wagon Review!! Legacy GT-B VS Legnum VR4 VS Stagea RS4  (Read 5351 times)


  • RB26DETT
  • *****
  • Posts: 1172
    • View Profile
This was posted on the vr4 forums and thought the Stagea owners might like to read it and a say...

Quote from: Soren;751305
Spoiler alert, Legnum wins. Sorry guys, I haven't been active here, or on the site I mod for,, but I finally posted this there, and thought I would share here.  A touch of background, I've been a Subie fanboy for a while now.  In Canada, we live 15 years in the past, because of our import laws.. so we are currently waiting for fall 98 models to come out! :D  I had the following cars:
96 Nissan Stagea RS Four V, Automatic
96 Subaru Legacy GT-B, Standard
97 Mitsubishi Legnum VR-4 Type S (Auto) and these are my jumbled thoughts about all three for those who would care haha!

Both the Legacy and Legnum utilize the same bulb, which are relatively inexpensive, however produce a good light amount, the bulbs in the Stagea are a much more expensive bulb, and the light pattern does not seem as useful/bright as the others, although it does spread nice. Foglights are integrated in the Stagea, which isn’t as nice or functional.
The Legnum seems to me to have the brightest, and most useful main lights, both for high-beam and low.  Foglights are a different story however, Subaru edges out the Mits because of the clever turn-lights. Both the Mits and Subaru seem about the same amount of brightness for fogs, but the Subaru turn-lights engage when the signal is turned on, and a shaft of light illuminates on the side of the signal engaged. This is a really great feature, and should be on more vehicles. On the highway, at night, there can be no mistaking the intentions of an overtaker.  Bright light shines on the left side of the road as the overtaking car signals and pulls out.  Very useful, and a nice safety feature.  The Stagea fogs are middling, just as the headlights, and being that they are integrated into the headlights, adjustment is not really as flexible.

No winner here, just a loser: Stagea.

   The Subaru utilizes a 2.0L 4 cylinder boxer engine, and sequential twin-turbo system. Revs up to 7500 rpm, and produces 280 hp.  The gearing is such that 0-60k/ph is dispatched very quickly in first gear. Sequential turbo setup gives you a primary turbo, which is fairly small, and really does not lag much, but also doesn’t give you that massive turbo “kick” that you would have in the WRX/STi models. The secondary turbo is a neat little trick though, the sacrifice is in the middle of the RPM range, when the pressure to the primary turbo begins to be diverted, and pressure pathing changes to utilize both turbos.  Once the lag begins to wane, and the second turbo kicks in, a nice power boost comes on all the way to redline. This complex system can mean a bit of learning and experience required to keep on the power. I’ve heard from some guys that the car really lacks balls, but these guys are also the guys that are afraid to go over 5000 or 6000 rpm.  This car just begs to be revved, and you must, if you want to stay in the power, or shift into the next gear without hitting the “dead zone” of turbo switchover.
Working on the Subaru engine bay is pretty easy, and it looks exactly like what you’d find in the Impreza WRX variants, the parts are easy to get, and the only difficulty you will have is in finding parts for  the sequential turbo system, as it was never offered in North America or Europe.  Issues I’ve faced with my Legacy GT-B in 25,000 km are coilpacks, which are a direct replacement for the 05 WRX/STi ones, with no “Coilpack Conversion” antics required, and as per the previous 94 Legacy RS Twin Turbo sedan I had, the oil pickup line from the secondary turbo cracked, and had to be replaced.  This is not a difficult job.  MAF and leaky valve covers could be expected to be an issue, as they are an issue on most early Subarus over time.
   The Mitsubishi is a 2.5 L 6 cylinder vee engine with a twin turbo, redline at 7000 rpm, and produces 260hp. I’ve really only had limited experience with this engine, and suspect that reliability could be an issue, as could working on it, it fills the engine bay up pretty good.
Nissan’s Stagea is the RB25DET, 2.5L inline 6 cylinder engine producing 235hp. Redline is at 7000 rpm. This engine is taken from the skyline GTS-T, but is detuned here, and running only around 7 pounds of boost.

These three engines all feel somewhat different.  I’d suspect that the Stagea has the most potential here, and is likely the easiest to get hp out of.  I’d read that a simple 20.00 boost controller will take you up to the levels of an R33 Skyline power quite effectively, and we’ve all heard the stories of the tenability of the RB engines.  It feels beefy and under used when you drive it.  The Subaru feels hungry, like it’s giving you everything, and it feels very tight, scrappy.  You are driving Mickey Ward here, I don’t really know how much potential you’ve got here, but it feels quite capable.  Same story with the Mits, it is very smooth overall, and the low down torque is quite nice.

Potential – Stagea
Out of the box - Legnum

Not a tonne to comment on the suspension, the Stagea RS Four, and the Legnum VR-4 both come with a strut brace, if you are into that type of thing haha!  The Stagea is the softest, and more a highway cruise feeling ride in a straight line.  The Legnum is inbetween, softer than the Subie, but not as bleh as the Stagea.  The Legacy is very tight, nice and firm, without being uncomfortable.  All of these cars are bigger, and so cornering feels a little like riding a whale, the Nissan, of course is most like this.  The Subaru is least floppy

Winner – Legacy

Interior gauges

The Mitsubishi Legnum has very sharp looking gauges and needles, AYC lights up in various levels of use, the gears are displayed as the automatic shifts through them (or you do in tiptronic mode) and overall looks very crisp.  Nissan and Subaru are both fairly  standard looking, and unexiting, but functional, a nice feature of note on the Subaru is the diagram of the vehicle, showing which doors are open (and hatch).

Winner - Legnum


All three of these cars have some cool tricks.  The Subaru as mentioned already has the boss turning or ditch lights, and some really nice fogs, it also has a cigarette lighter in the back hatch area, heated or defrosting mirrors, and wipers.  
The Legnum has Traction Control that you can turn off if desired (yes, desired in the winter for sliding :D), a Sunglass holder in the console, heated wiper (Greg’s does at least!)  Legnum has the Active Yaw Control also, which is really cool, effectively putting more power to the outside wheels in a corner.. neat bit of kit!  The Automatic in the Legnum really is good too, and tiptronic if you feel the need to shift!
Stagea has some brilliant rear seats that are reclinable, and the seats fold 60/40 with the pull of a lever. Rear hatch cigarette lighter, and the rear hatch auto closes (once the door is close to being closed)  Stagea hood stays open using gas filled struts, the other two cars use an arm that you put in place.

Winner: Tough to call.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2013, 12:59:50 AM by Bender »


  • RB26DETT
  • *****
  • Posts: 1172
    • View Profile
Super Wagon Review!! Legacy GT-B VS Legnum VR4 VS Stagea RS4
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2013, 12:42:56 AM »
Part 2


All three models have a keyless entry system. The Subaru and Mitsubishi are one button affairs, and the Nissan is a two button deal (lock and unlock).  I’ve replaced batteries on all three, and the Nissan is the only one that you could consider a really usable feature.  The Stagea will unlock from 20-25 feet away consistently.  It will not lock if all doors are not closed, and it does not beep when you lock or unlock, so even though you’ve locked it, if you didn’t hear the door locks actuate, you may not know for certain.  The Subaru works fairly well once you know how to operate it, and has a different beep for lock and unlock.  It is the nicest looking key, but this system really only works from 2 – 7 feet away.  The Mitsubishi key is not quite as unsightly as the Nissan one, but does not consistently work, and does not give a tone when it has.  You can listen for door lock actuation, but as soon as there is environmental noise, you will be guessing.  No beeps, no “real” functionality.
A side note, the Legacy key is used to program the Subaru doors to your own 4 digit “code”.  If you’ve chosen 4197 for example, you approach the vehicle, lift the door handle 4 times, and wait for a beep.  Once you get the beep, proceed with the other three digits, and all the doors will unlock.  This is a killer feature!  Saved my wife’s butt a few times! :D

Winner – Nissan
Special mention – Subaru, for the door code unlock trick

The steering wheel is reasonable enough for all three cars, but I would choose the Legnum, personally I think it’s the most sexy.  The Subie one is pretty utilitarian, and the Nissan one is fat!
Winner: Mitsubishi

Funny little detail this, but usually comes in quite handy.  All three vehicles have some interesting features with the cupholders.  The Nissan’s front cupholder is very cool. Depress a small button, and two cupholders fly out and to the side on an angle.  You can fit a coke can, or perhaps a coffee mug in these.  Medium double double.
Legacy’s cupholder is hidden also, and quite nice looking, press a small button and a tray comes out, these again are smallish, and will hold about the same size cups.
The Legnum’s is the most interesting though, as it is only a little stopper tab that pops up in the center console pocket.  It will hold larger drinks for sure.. not sure how big though.
The Legacy has no rear cupholders, but the Stagea and Legnum have them.  On the Stagea, you get a tray style that pops out from the back of the center console, holding two drinks, and on the Legnum, the top of the center console flips back, and a plastic “cage” slips up to hold the drinks.  I’m not sure how I feel about that one, I’m pretty sure the drinks wouldn’t stay there!

No clear winner, but I like the functionality of the Legnum ones best in front, and the Stagea ones best in rear (and the looks of the Stagea one in the front!)

Heating controls

All three wagons have similar LCD digital heating controls, with auto functionality, and outside temperature readout, Personal favourite is the Legnum, I think it looks the best as it is a nice and bright readout of green on black, with a diagram of air path.  Stagea looks the worst in my opinion with an old looking calculator green LCD, that tells you not much, and is slim and long (compared to the relatively rectangular screens of the other two)  All three function great and Auto is very useful on all three wagooons.

Winner Legnum

Seats plus features

Hmm. Seats are a very personal choice.  I found all three to be reasonable and comfortable, but in different ways.
Legacy seats are fairly wide, and hold you well.  They are fairly firm and made of a nice cloth, with a real nice suede trim (bolsters and back). The rear seats are comfy, and you will have the most room in the back with a Legacy.  The back is kind of blah, just some straight seats, but it does get a fold down armrest, and 60/40 split.  To fold the seats flat, you must move the front seats forward, flip the bench forward to the front seats, and then fold the backs down, forcing them.  Then you may move the front seats back, but not all the way.  Makes a nice flat area though.
Legnum seats are softer than the Subaru, but still nice and firm (and my favourite for plushness and feeling).   The position of the fronts is great, I can actually stretch out my left leg fully in the Legnum.  Lots of empty space up there.. there are bolsters, but not as sharp/abrupt as the Legacy.  The fabric is a nice short carpety comfortable fabric, and does not have a wild pattern that looks dated (like the stagea) The front seats have a moulded plastic backing which is great if you have kids.  There is a reasonable amount of room back there.  The back has adequate room, but not as much as the subie.  Rear seats are the best on the Legnum, as they have that bucket/cupping type feel, not extreme, but more than a flat bench and back (like Subaru and Nissan)  Legnum is a pretty standard affair of pull knob up, drop seatback flat.
The Nissan seats are much more of the big and flat style.  Soft, fluffy fabric on the sides, but not much shape.  Hunters’ Leather looked incredible on his Stagea though.  I’d pick that for sure.. looked great.  I wouldn’t want leather from either of the other manufacturers though.  The back seats in the stagea are really upright and uncomfortable, but I discovered after a year of ownership, that you can recline them.  That is a REALLY pimp feature, and they get a touch more comfortable, I was unable to fully recline to see how they feel, because I had a built in box for amp/changer and dvd navi in there.  The main trick with the Stagea is the pull handles to drop the seats flat.  It is fantastic.  Open the hatch, pull handle on side windows, and each side will drop (corresponding to the side of the handle you pulled)

Winner – tough call – I’d go Legnum, but I’d love features of the Stagea, and fabric of the Subaru.

Interior quality/fabrics
Hmm, well again, personality dependant – I like the Subaru Suede and pattern of soft fabric in the Legacy the best, the somewhat crazy pattern of the seemingly harsh and maybe water resistant cloth in the center of the Stagea seats doesn’t do anything for me, but the outer soft fabric (carpet? Suede? Faux Suede?) is quite nice.  Legnum fabrics are nice, not much to mention there I guess.

« Last Edit: May 26, 2013, 12:58:34 AM by Bender »


  • RB26DETT
  • *****
  • Posts: 1172
    • View Profile
Super Wagon Review!! Legacy GT-B VS Legnum VR4 VS Stagea RS4
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2013, 12:55:27 AM »
Part 3


This is a great example of how different, yet the same these three cars are, and it completely comes down to preference.
The Subaru has two, a sunroof in the front that tilts, and a moonroof that opens all the way, over the back seat.  It opens into the vehicle.  Subaru’s is the loudest!  You have to be careful at what settings you have them open as well, because you will quickly find at speed, that you get weird pressure fluctuation, and it can be loud!
Stagea has two as well, but they both open!  They seem smaller than the Legacy ones.  The rear seat one can be controlled by  the passengers in the rear, which is nice, and you get a lockout button as the driver (to curtail those pesky kids!) The front one tilts, and then opens outside the car, and the rear one slides inside the roof, just like the Subaru.  Very quiet operation and not much wind noise.  A friend actually was with me when picking up the Stagea, and opened the rear sunroof on the highway.  I didn’t even notice until he started yelling from outside the car!  He’d popped right out!
The Legnum is an entirely different affair. Only one sunroof, but it’s HUGE! It reaches to the middle of the back seat!  Sucks right into the roof, and is nice and quiet.  Tilts also.

Winner – Legnum – personal preference.

Hmm, they all seem pretty similar in size, the exterior of the Stagea seems bigger, the interior of the Subaru seems much bigger than the other two.  As far as weight goes, I believe the Legnum and Legacy to be similar, the Stagea to be much more piggish
No winner

Back seats

This one is a strange one, because you would expect the Stagea to be ginormous inside.  No.  The seats in the back of the Stagea have the least legroom.  I’m 6’4” and can easily fit inside the Legacy back seat, when the front is positioned all the way back.  I can also fit in the Legnum under the same circumstances with a touch more effort, but the Stagea is impossible. All three have a drop down armrest, 60/40 split, and reasonably comfy seats.  The Stagea does redeem itself with reclining backs though, and again, 60/40, but it’s small back there comparatively speaking.  I’d say the Legnum is the most comfortable.  A note for those with small children, the Legacy seatbelts are awesome, the buckle in the seat, is actually recessed into the seat, which means that carseats are easy to fit, and safe feeling when strapped in.  The Stagea is not great for this, as the buckles are on a belt that is too long to get good tension in a carseat when out of the seat, and too short to recess the buckle into the carseat itself

Winner for space – Legacy
Winner for overall comfort – Legnum
Special mention for pimp reclining seats – Stagea

Cargo covers/dog stuff

In my Legnum and Legacy, I had cargo covers, didn’t have one in the Stagea, but I’m not sure if you could get one.  The Legacy as well as the Stagea has nice tie down buckles that you can attach a cargo net to, the Legacy also has a dog “cage”.  I think it’s a pet barrier, actually, that you can pull to the ceiling, and lock in place.  Nice feature.

Winner Legacy

Trunk space

They all seem pretty similar, but the Stagea has to take this one.  Better angle for cargo on back window, and tonnes of room in the whale’s mouth!

Winner: Stagea

Drive thoughts

A Note, I had Auto for the Nissan and Mits, and Standard for the Legacy.
All three perform very well, the Legacy feels really composed, and balanced, as does the Mits. The Legacy feels very low, and quite stiff in corners.  Suspension never feels too stiff for a touring car though, it is a very nice feel.  The engine feels a touch weak though, and I think that is due to the setup of the turbos.  Don’t get me wrong, it is a fast car, it just doesn’t feel that way, and has a way of feeling underpowered.  I believe Hunter commented this previously.  The Legnum feels like a rabid animal that you are on the back of, just scrambling, scrambling.  It hooks up unbelievably, and just pulls.  The AYC works even at acceleration, and it is a comfortable ride, but more harsh than the Legacy.  In the corners, I found the Legnum to be a little squishy in the back end.  It may be that I need new bushings, struts, or other suspension components, but I believe it to be due to the AYC.  The Stagea has this same squishy feeling.  Something like the back end wants to dance around a bit, and isn’t super planted.  I have read about this with the ATESSA system, and it seems to be somewhat similar in the Mits.  The stagea feels like a whale.  Nice and comfy on the long straights, not confident in the corners, even though it always handled what I did with it, it always feels just so heavy and like maybe you’d lose it.  Acceleration out of a corner feels really nice with the stagea though.
A note about the transmissions of these three.  The Subaru stick feels weak, you feel like you could bend it if you shift too hard.  Never let me down, but unsatisfying.  Nissans’ auto system leaves much to be desired.  Felt like the Auto on my X90 Toyota a bit.  Push the pedal down.. wait.. kicks down a gear.. wait JOLT okay.. now we’ pullin’.  The Mits auto is amazing.  You can choose to shift, if you desire, but it’s so smooth, you don’t notice it shifting.  I’ve tried this with many people in my car, to get them to tell me when a gear shifts, and I’m in 5th, they still think they are waiting for the first one.  So smooth, and quick too.  I’ve run some shifts on my own for a while, but the auto is just so damn good on this one.  It’s completely changed my opinion on auto.  Amazing.
Winner: Legnum


Well, I’ve gone over some of this above.  I’d believe the Legacy and Legnum to be very comparable.  I think the Subaru is faster on paper, but the Legnum feels faster.  The stagea feels much slower than these two, and can’t corner like them.  All in all, I think the Subaru probably just edges out the Legnum, only because of corner squishyness.  Taking AYC into account though… it gets a lot closer.  I’ll still give it to the pleadian company.
Winner: Subaru Legacy

4WD system
First off, the Subaru is hands down the best.  No messing about, just super confident in the snow.  The Legnum is quite good, I found the only issue was a bit of over-slide to the sides, but that could have been my winter tires possibly.  The Stagea was downright scary on Hakka RSi’s, the rear end wanted to twist up often, and it had a diff lock button, but all that did was make the front end not want to turn in (understeer).  

Clear Winner – Subaru
Clear Loser – Stagea

Gas Mileage

This one is easy.  Subaru Legacy GT-B will get you similar mileage to the WRX, slightly better perhaps.  Expect a little worse on the highway than 10L to 100 Km.  The Legnum is better than this by a great deal on the highway, very close to 10L/100km, but in the city, the mileage suffers for whatever reason (maybe cause it’s much more fun to drive! :D) The stagea, however.. Whoo boy.  Mileage sucks there.  It’s a 60 or 70 L tank.  If you get 350 out of her, it’s pretty good.  That’s about what the skyline guys get out of the RB25’s too, I’m sure you could do a little better, but it’s a ***, no matter how you slice it, or drive.

Winner: Legnum
« Last Edit: May 26, 2013, 12:56:43 AM by Bender »


  • RB26DETT
  • *****
  • Posts: 1172
    • View Profile
Super Wagon Review!! Legacy GT-B VS Legnum VR4 VS Stagea RS4
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2013, 01:06:35 AM »
Last part


Final Thoughts

Well, I begun writing this a year ago I think, I no longer have the Stagea, or the Legacy, but am still enjoying the Legnum, even though it’s developed a noisy tensioner, and the wobbly brake disc on the front has gotten worse, and I now get some noise under acceleration from the warped disc.  It’s hard for me to remember some of the points of the other two cars, so if you have questions, or disagree with what I’ve got here, feel free to put in some comments.

What should you buy.  Well, they are all good cars, in their own way, I’ve learned that you have to connect with your car, just because it seems neat, or the numbers look good on paper, doesn’t mean it’s going to be your trusty car.  Here are some short guidelines based on what I see in these cars.

Stagea – Buy this if you like a high quality feel in your car.  No way to put this nicely, it outclasses the other two.  The Subaru by a huge margin.  It looks really different, and has some cool features.  I’d say this is the most ballin car of the three.  Don’t buy this if you don’t like to fill up!  This would be the car of the three that would be worth modifying too.  I wouldn’t buy either one of the others for that purpose.  Not much I feel like you can do to a Legnum. And you are never going to make good power out of a boxer engine (not RB power anyhow)  Mine was quite reliable, but heavy on the brake wear.  Oil changes not as easy as a Subaru, but plug changes are wayyy easier.

Legacy – buy this if you are a hardcore Subaru fanboy (like I’ve been!)  This is a reliable car, and easy to work on.  Cheap as chips too, and stealthy.  It’s not going to really be a looker ever, but out of the box, the performance is pretty good, and the handling is great.  The 4WD system seemed to be the best in it too.  Don’t buy this if you want a solid feeling car with a nice interior. Stagea or Legnum will suit you better.  Don’t expect it to feel too fast either, even though it is.

Legnum – my personal favourite by a huge margin – the main issue I have with this car is how dense the engine bay is, and the thought of Mitsubishi reliablilty.  I can say I haven’t had issues with it yet, but it scares me to think if you do! :D  This car is all around great.  May not have the best toys and features, but has a nice look, stealthy enough, but different enough, and feels very fast!  Gas mileage is quite good as well, and sounds great.  The huge moonroof is a very nice feature too, as it makes the car feel very big.

For me, hands down, the Legnum takes it.  No doubt, I wouldn't rush to ever have a Legacy again, or a Stagea, but I would get another Legnum.