Subaru pulls from the high-tech and luxury shelves for its updated mid-size sedan

The current sixth-generation Subaru Legacy dropped at the Chicago Auto Show back in 2014, and this year, the four-door is poised for a substantial update in The Windy City. To help build up some hype prior to the big sheet pull next week, Subaru just released a shadowy teaser image of the new Legacy’s interior.

My, What Big Screens You Have

Subaru Teases 2020 Legacy Interior Before Chicago Debut
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This latest update marks the 2020 model year for the Subaru Legacy nameplate, and it’s once again offered as a comfortable, capable, yet affordable mid-size sedan. However, in this segment, more luxury and technology go a long way, and as such, the Legacy is due for some big updates in the cabin.

Previewed in the above teaser image, Subaru is showing off the new model’s center console and dash.

The most obvious feature to jump out at us is the enormous touchscreen on the center console, which is now mounted in a portrait orientation, rather than the outgoing model’s comparably small landscape-oriented touchscreen.

Like before, the new model’s touchscreen is set with a number of tiles, including options for:

  • the map
  • the radio
  • media inputs
  • car info
  • phone functions
  • app selection
  • Subaru Starlink (infotainment platform)
  • MySubaru

It’s unclear whether or not this big new screen will be standard or optional equipment, but odds are it’ll be optional. For reference, the current model’s optional touchscreen is an 8.0-inch unit, while the standard touchscreen is a 6.5-incher.

What’s more, the new dash and center console look to place a greater emphasis on digital inputs over hard buttons, and generally speaking, there’s a greater emphasis on technology features overall as well. For example, lower in the touchscreen, we see digital buttons and sliders for the climate control, heated seats, and ventilated seats.

Subaru Teases 2020 Legacy Interior Before Chicago Debut
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The teaser image also shows off the upholstery on the dash, center console, and steering wheel, plus the hide used for the shifter boot.

The shifter itself looks new too, and now takes a more streamlined and integrated design approach that continues down from the center console. Next to the shifter, we spy a spot for both USB and auxiliary media inputs.

We’d also expect a full breadth of driver’s assists included as both standard and optional equipment on the 2020 Subaru Legacy. Features like a blind spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert, lane change assist, automatic braking, high-beam assist, and reverse automatic braking all make sense here, and we’d expect many of these to migrate from the optional packages list into the standard equipment list.

What’s more, Subaru will likely include its attention monitor system, which is designed to make sure you aren’t distracted or too tired to drive by tracking your eye movement. That bulge on top of the center console is probably part of that system.

2015 - 2017 Subaru Legacy High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Note: current Subaru Legacy pictured here.

Outside, we aren’t expecting a whole lot with regard to the exterior styling upgrades. Up front, headlight housings with C-shaped daytime running lights will once again make their appearance, while in the corners, 17-inch wheels will comes as standard, with 18-inch units offered as optional equipment. Full LED lighting will also probably be optional.

Under the hood, look for a few minor updates to the same 2.5-liter flat-four-cylinder found in the current Legacy.

A CVT will once again route power to a standard all-wheel drive drivetrain, a staple of the Six-Star brand.

It’s also possible Subaru will replace the flat six-cylinder in the Legacy 3.6R trim level with the turbo 2.4-liter four-cylinder plucked from the Ascent, which makes 260 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque when mounted in the SUV.

For reference, the current Legacy produces 175 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque when equipped with the standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder, and 256 horsepower and 247 pound-feet of torque with the optional 3.6-liter six-cylinder. A CVT is standard across the board.

2015 - 2017 Subaru Legacy Drivetrain
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Note: current Subaru Legacy pictured here.

As for fuel returns, the four-cylinder gives up 34 mpg on the highway and 25 mpg in town, while the six-cylinder returns 28 mpg and 20 mpg respectively. Modest bumps are expected across the board here.

Further upgrades will be added under the skin, as the 2020 Legacy will utilize Subaru’s latest modular architecture. These are the same underpinnings found on the new Ascent SUV and the latest Impreza, and it should suit the Legacy well with improved torsional rigidity, less weight, and a better overall ride.

Looking Into Subaru’s Future

2015 - 2017 Subaru Legacy High Resolution Exterior
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Note: current Subaru Legacy pictured here.

It’s nice to see Subaru sticking with the sedan segment despite widespread moves away from the body style and a greater emphasis on SUVs and crossovers in general.

When it’s released, the 2020 Subaru Legacy go up against a selection of other Japanese sedans, including the Honda Accord, the Toyota Camry, and the Nissan Altima.

The 2020 Subaru Legacy is all set for a big reveal at the Chicago Auto Show on Thursday, February 7th. Pricing so far unannounced, but the current model starts at $22,545, and we expect a small bump with the release of the latest and greatest iteration.

What’s more, the release of the 2020 Legacy likely signals that a new Outback is forthcoming as well, but we probably won’t see that until sometime this spring.

For now, stay tuned as we cover all the big reveals from the 2019 Chicago Auto Show.

Further Reading

2015 - 2017 Subaru Legacy High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Subaru Legacy.

2015 - 2017 Subaru Outback High Resolution Exterior
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Read our speculative review on the 2020 Subaru Outback.

Jonathan Lopez
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