2020 Subaru Legacy - Driven
One automaker after another is facing a new reality: Most people prefer SUVs to cars. That’s nothing new to Subaru, whose cars have played second fiddle to its crossovers ever since it turned the midsize Legacy station wagon into the Outback in 1995.
A crossover before the term “crossover” existed — before even “car-based SUVs” had really emerged on the scene — the Outback was a Legacy with some butcher detailing and, soon after its launch, a higher ground clearance. Since then, the Legacy has dwindled from Subaru’s flagship to a minor part of the company’s lineup, while the Outback has become its No. 1 product. Last year, the company sold five times as many Outbacks as Legacys.
Other companies’ buyers stuck with sedans longer. That’s probably because Subarus’ famously standard all-wheel-drive system already attracted the type of buyer who wanted more utility than a sedan. But now, nearly across the board, sedan sales are falling as crossover sales rise.
Some automakers have responded by discontinuing their sedans. Many of the survivors are focusing on what makes sedans stand out from SUVs: low, sleek proportions and a sporty driving experience. The latest iterations of the Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Nissan Altima, and Toyota Camry have all dialed up their style and their performance chops. The idea is that if someone still wants a car today, they really want a car — something beautiful, something fun, something interesting.
The redesigned 2020 Subaru Legacy, meanwhile, isn’t really any of those things. It sticks firmly to the old-school midsize sedan rules: a smooth ride, a big back seat, a fuel-efficient powertrain, and easy outward visibility. And, just like it has for decades, it comes standard with the same all-wheel-drive system that you’d find in a Subaru crossover. There’s little pizzazz to the design, which is nearly indistinguishable visually from the previous-generation 2015-2019 Legacy. The driving experience isn’t zesty like an Accord or like some past Legacy generations. This is a sedan that blends into the background, and Subaru doesn’t use discounted pricing to lure the remaining sedan shoppers. Even the Legacy’s storied all-wheel-drive advantage is dwindling; the Nissan Altima recently introduced an optional AWD system, and the Toyota Camry is following suit this year.
The Legacy is a safe, comfortable, no-nonsense midsize sedan. The new generation is roomier than before, it gets better gas mileage (especially if you opt for the optional new turbocharged four-cylinder, which replaces last year’s thirsty six-cylinder), and it has a bigger infotainment screen on most models. If you think excitement is overrated, you don’t have to count out this Subaru — though we’re going to go over its shortcomings as well. Prices start at $23,645, including the mandatory $900 destination charge.
The seventh-generation Subaru Legacy debuted at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show, and less than a year later, we finally got to get behind the wheel of one. Right away, we were impressed. It’s built on top of Subaru’s newly optimized global platform, which means it’s stiffer in all the right places. And, thanks to Subaru’s newly adopted Dynamic X Solid philosophy that makes the Legacy more expressive than even – something that’s clearly visible in the front end design and in the rear where the rear decklid is morphed into a makeshift spoiler of sorts.
The interior probably got the biggest update, though, with the major highlight being that new 11.6-inch, vertically oriented infotainment display. It’s dubbed “HD Subaru Starlink,” and it’s about as modern as you can get without stepping into a Mercedes. Other interior features worth boasting is the new Nappa leather – a first for the Legacy and Subaru as a company – improved headroom and legroom, and improved cargo capacity.
Subaru has finally decided to Turbocharge the Legacy for the first time since 2012, and our Legacy XT tester featured a 2.4-liter Boxer engine that delivers a cool 260 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque. All of that is sent through a CVT with a somewhat decent manual mode. It doesn’t make up for the lack of a manual or something with real gears, but it’s definitely not the worst CVT on the market. Four-wheel drive is, as you’d expect, a standard affair, and it took our tester just 6.1 seconds to hit 60 mph – not bad for a family sedan that’s also safe. The Subaru Legacy starts out at $22,745, but to get an XT model like ours, you’ll have to pony up at least $34,195 or $35,895 for the XT Touring.
2020 Subaru Legacy
First arriving on the scene in 1989, the Legacy nameplate has served as Subaru’s flagship sedan for six full generations. Now there’s a new seventh-generation arriving for the 2020 model year, and it’s framed as “the most advanced Legacy in the model’s 30-year history.” Sporting a revised exterior, oodles of new technology and luxury features in the cabin, as well as a new platform and a new turbocharged engine option, the Legacy is feeling fresher than ever. But with segment competition tightening, does the Legacy have what it takes?
2018 Subaru Legacy 50th Anniversary Edition
Subaru celebrates 50 years of selling vehicles in America with an appropriately named 50th Anniversary Edition lineup, including the Legacy sedan. Each model receives similar treatments of Heritage Blue paint, satin chrome accents, and an embroidered interior with the unique 50th Anniversary logo.
Subaru is producing a limited number of each anniversary edition model, with the Legacy limited to 1,050. Of those, 800 will be the 2.5i Limited trim, while the other 250 are the 3.6R Limited. Subaru chose to base the 50th Anniversary Edition on the Legacy’s range-topping trim, the Limited, so each example will pack tons of standard equipment and features. Subaru’s EyeSight driver assist package is included, meaning active safety features like adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, lane departure and sway warning, and lane keep assist are present. EyeSight also includes the 8.0-inch Starlink infotainment system with navigation, high-beam assist, and LED headlights with steering responsive turning.
Now let’s jump into what makes the 2018 Subaru Legacy 50th Anniversary Edition special.
Continue reading for more information.
2018 Subaru Legacy
Introduced at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show, the sixth-generation Subaru Legacy received its mid-cycle facelift exactly three years later, at the same event. Redesigned inside and out, the current Legacy carried over with the same four- and six-cylinder boxer engines, but gained a host of new technologies and active safety features. The facelift leaves a rather soft print on the midsize sedan styling-wise, with the most significant upgrades having been operated in the technology department. The sedan now features better materials, smartphone integration, and new apps, among other features. The revised Legacy arrived just as Subaru of America posted its eighth consecutive year of record-breaking sales.
Although Subaru isn’t the kind of automaker you’d expect to challenge giants like Toyota, Volkswagen, or General Motors, the Japanese firm is definitely on a roll that will lead to biggest investments in brand-new cars in the future. The Legacy is still some three years away from a complete redesign, but needless to say, the four-door is still up for a good battle in this crowded segment. Sure, with the brand-new Camry almost in showrooms and the current Accord setting new benchmarks in the midsize market, the Legacy could use a fresh look and better tech, but it’s not as dated as it seems. Find out how it stacks against competition from Toyota, Honda, Ford, and Nissan in the review below.
Updated 06/23/2017: Subaru revealed prices for the 2018 Legacy that will arrive into retailers this Summer. Check the "Prices" section for the full details.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Subaru Legacy.
2015 - 2017 Subaru Legacy
We first saw hints of the next-gen Legacy at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show when Subaru pulled the covers off of the Legacy concept. Then, in 2014, we finally got to lay eyes on the new Legacy in production form, and boy was it a sight to see. To put it simply, Subaru redesigned the Legacy from the ground up, bringing about a sportier outer shell, coupe-like roof, an aggressive front end, improved aerodynamics, and a fully revamped cabin with more legroom, a larger instrument cluster display, and a completely new infotainment system. Furthermore, the sedan also received updates in the drivetrain department. The same engines carry over, but the four-cylinder offers up more power and torque than before. Needless to say, Subaru wasn’t playing around when it came to updating the Legacy.
As is the standard within the market, the upper trim levels come standard or can be equipped with a host of safety systems that include adaptive cruise control, front collision warning and prevention, blind spot monitoring, and lane change assist, among other things. When tested by the IIHS, models equipped with the EyeSight safety package earned the highest possible rating in frontal crash testing. So, not only is it stylish but pretty safe as well.
So, is the new Subaru Legacy able to keep up with competitors in the market like the Ford Fusion and Nissan Altima? Well, from a glance, it certainly looks that way. But, instead of making that decision for you, scroll down the page to read our full review on the new Legacy and make that decision for yourself.
Updated 05/06/2016: Subaru announced that for the 2017 model year, the Legacy will receive a new "Sport" trim level. Continue reading to learn more about what it brings new to the lineup.
Continue reading to learn more about the Subaru Legacy.
The Legacy was a bit of a departure from the Subarus of the past when it rolled onto U.S. dealer lots in 1990. The all-new Legacy featured a new flat-four engine that was more refined and quieter than the automaker’s previous engines and it didn’t have to share the engine bay with the car’s spare tire. Yes, that was a thing. The Legacy’s first generation lasted until 1995 when the second generation took over. The Legacy was new again in 2000, 2004, and 2010 with the third, fourth, and fifth generations, respectively. Despite the changes over the years, the Legacy never lost its “quirkiness;” among which was a standard all-wheel-drive system and a manual transmission option.
Now totally redesigned for its sixth generation, the 2015 Legacy is a new bag of tricks. Subaru has seemingly traded quirkiness for quietness – a sort of yielding to the needs of the mainstream. Gone are the manual transmissions and visceral feelings of driving; replaced by a car better suited to compete with the likes of the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord.
I recently spent a week getting to know this new Subaru inside and out. My particular tester came loaded to the hilt with the most inclusive option package. Decked out in the Limited Trim, the car came with the “Moonroof + Keyless Access & Push-Button Start + Navigation” package. What’s more, under the hood was the optional 3.6-liter flat-six-cylinder engine that powers all four wheels.
Click past the jump for the full review of the all-new 2015 Subaru Legacy
The current-generation Subaru Legacy was unveiled in 2009 and for the car’s 25th anniversary, Subaru decided to reveal the new generation. Subaru will display a preview of the new model at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show, and the production version should arrive sometime in 2014.
As revealed by the concept, the next Legacy will adopt a new exterior appearance, with the company’s latest hexagonal grille and a sharper hawk-eye headlamp design. Also, Subaru promised it will offer plenty of new technology and a more comfortable interior for all four passengers. It also promises to take Subaru’s brand value of "driving enjoyment and peace of mind" to a completely new level.
The new Subaru Legacy Concept will make its official debut on November 20th, 2013 and will be displayed at Subaru’s booth in L.A.
Click past the jump to read more about the Subaru Legacy Concept.
Subaru has announced the limited edition 2.5i EyeSight tS. It will be limited to only 300 units and, despite its fancy name, is just a Legacy that is specially customized by STI (Subaru Tecnica International). In Japan, the model is priced at 3,528,000 or about $45,000 at the current exchange rates and will be offered in both sedan and wagon versions.
The model is being offered with special STI front and rear bumpers, a roof spoiler, “STI” and "tS" badges, honeycomb upper and lower grilles, and chrome exhaust tips. The car sits on a set of 18-inch alloy wheels combined with an STI-tuned suspension.
Inside the cabin, STI adds a leather-wrapped steering wheel with red contrast stitching, sports seats covered in Alcantara, a "Nick Toro" gear lever and an STI “Start” button. The interior can be ordered in either a black or a titanium gray trim and offers a revised instrument panel with a 260 km/h (161 mph) speedometer.
Under the hood you will find a 2.5-liter four-cylinder boxer engine that delivers a total of 173 horsepower and mated to a continuously variable transmission and an all-wheel drive system.
The third model in Subaru’s line-up at the 2012 New York Auto Show - next to the XV Crosstrek and the Outback - will be a revised version of the Legacy sedan. Just like its bigger brother - the 2013 Outback - the new Legacy will feature a revised interior, a new 2.5-liter BOXER engine, and a series of new safety elements.
The 2013 Legacy will be offered in two versions: Legacy 2.5i and Legacy 3.6R. The 2.5i models will be powered by a new 2.5-liter boxer engine that delivers a total of 173 HP and a peak torque of 174 lb-ft, while the 3.6R models will continue with their usual 256 HP 3.6-liter six-cylinder boxer engine.
For the exterior, Subaru is offering new headlights, a new grille, and a new front bumper. The interior gets new seat fabrics and a dark, glossy wood grain trim. Numerous improvements have also been made to the body structure, suspension, and steering.
Hit the jump to read more about the 2013 Subaru Legacy.
After a year in the making, Subaru’s in-house tuning company STI has unveiled the limited edition Legacy 2.5GT tS (tuned by STI). Based on the 2.5 GT S Package, the 2.5 GT tS will be limited to only 600 units and will be offered in both sedan and touring versions, with prices starting at 4,029,900 Yen (around $44,000) for the sedan and 4,187,400 Yen (around $46,000) for the touring.
The package comes with no power upgrades, but STI said it handles better and looks a lot cooler. The tS models will be distinguished by a front lip and rear spoiler, 18" alloy wheels, a less restrictive muffler, and STi badges. It also gets a revised Bilstein suspension, strut tower bars, and carbon fiber trimming.
For the interior STI offers sport seats dressed in alcantara and leather with contrasting red seams, decorative carbon trim in a titanium finish, STI leather steering wheel, and gearbox lever with red seams and STI-branded floor mats.
The Legacy 2.5GT tS is powered by a 2.5-liter turbocharged flat four-cylinder engine that produces 265 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque.
The fifth generation Legacy has undergone a complete restyling for 2010 and our Azurite Blue Pearl 2.5 GT features a bold new design that features a larger one bar grill and a set of Subaru’s new hawk eye headlamps. On the outside, aside from the larger 18 inch wheels, the only thing that gives away the GT as a performance model is the functional hood scoop feeding fresh air across the turbocharged Legacy’s intercooler. The 2.5 GT wears the same bulging fenders as the rest of the lineup as well as their signature side skirts that jut out more than down, giving the Legacy a very wide and stable stance. The 2010 Legacy is a nod at the future of automobile design with its sweptback windshield and short trunk overhang that is more aerodynamic than the traditional three box shape.
Subaru considers their products to be premium automobiles, and it shows on the inside. Our Limited trim Legacy came with a very attractive leather wrapped steering wheel as well as supple seats and a dash adorned with sophisticated wood trim that carries over into the door cards. The 2010 Legacy has been completely redesigned in the interest of a roomier interior and the new car is the most spacious and luxurious Subaru sedan to date. Being the sportiest member of the Legacy lineup, the 2.5 GT is powered by a turbocharged version of Subaru’s 2.5 Liter flat four making 265 HP mated to a six speed manual gearbox and is good for a 0 to 60 MPH sprint of only 5.9 seconds.
Legacy fans will be glad to know that Subaru is taking the car road racing in the Japanese Super GT series as a GT300 race car competitor, and once you have a look at the flared four door, you will never look at the new Legacy the same way again. Starting a just under $30,000 our Limited model benefited from a $3,000 power moonroof and navigation system that brought our 2.5 GT’s asking price up to $34,146; not a bad price to pay for so much all wheel drive machine.
Continued after the jump.