Subaru Legacy enters its seventh generation for the 2020 model year, and it maintains a close relationship with the Outback such that it gets a lot of the same technology upgrades.
While the sedan segment is dwindling, there are a lot of reasons why Legacy will likely survive the fray. Here are five.
EyeSight is standard
If you’ve caught any of Subaru’s recent commercials, it’s clear safety is a priority for the automaker – as well as a huge selling point.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has called the EyeSight safety suite one of the best in the industry, and now Subaru is making it standard on Legacy. This includes automatic emergency braking, lane centering and advanced adaptive cruise control, which can bring the vehicle to a complete stop and stays engaged up to 90 mph.
The Legacy also offers available safety features such as blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and automatic reverse braking.
There are two new engines
Legacy gets two new engines for the 2020 model year, and by new, I mean new to Legacy. We’ve already seen each of these engines in other Subaru products.
The base engine is a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder Boxer that delivers 182 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque.
The up-level engine, which is found in the XT trims, is a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder twin-turbo Boxer that delivers 260 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque. This powertrain is the clear winner in the “fun” category, but it does have some turbo lag.
Combined fuel economy for each engine is 30 mpg and 27 mpg, respectively.
Touring trim enters lineup
In a Legacy first, Subaru adds a Touring trim to the lineup. It’s only offered as an XT, which means it gets the up-level turbo engine.
It also adds features such as a high-torque continuously variable transmission, dual stainless-steel exhaust tips, moonroof, navigation, sound-insulated front, heated and vented front seats, Nappa leather trimmed seats, power folding side mirrors and (oddly) a CD player.
Cool technology abounds
Subaru has been pioneering some interesting technology, and one of the coolest features (IMHO) is DriverFocus. We’ve seen this in both the Forester and the Outback, and now it makes its way into Legacy.
This is facial recognition software that can remember up to five drivers, and will then adjust seating position, mirrors and HVAC controls based on who is sitting in the driver’s seat.
DriverFocus also monitors driver distraction and drowsiness, and it will sound an alert if it detects either.
It is available as a part of a package in the Limited trim ($30,645) for $2,045, but it comes standard on both the Limited XT ($35,095) and Touring XT ($36,795) trims.
Other cool tech features include a 180-degree front facing monitor, an 11.6-inch vertical multimedia display, dual rear USB charging ports and a TomTom-powered navigation system.
Legacy has a leg-up over competitors
With standard safety technology and all-wheel drive, the Legacy immediately has an advantage over its competitors. Nissan Altima is the only mid-size competitor that offers all-wheel drive, but it’ll cost you $2K more to go in that direction. Honda Accord has a standard safety suite, but Toyota Camry and Altima do not.
And when you look at comparably equipped vehicles, Legacy manages to hold its own – even with standard AWD. Legacy has a base price of $23,645, with destination, and its primary competitors – without AWD – are priced as follows:
- Honda Accord: $24,650
- Nissan Altima: $24,995
- Toyota Camry: $25,050
Another competitive advantage: Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is standard on Legacy. It’s also standard on Altima, but it's only just starting to be offered on Camry for 2020, and Accord doesn’t add it into the mix until the mid-level Sport trim ($27,110).
The Bottom Line:
Though some automakers are ditching their sedans, Subaru is not only keeping but also spiffing up the sedans in its lineup. With standard safety, AWD and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, Legacy has a lot of good stuff going for it.
While Subaru might be better known for its SUVs, it’s going to be hard to overlook this peppy and flexible contender in a dwindling sedan segment.
For more information on the all-new Legacy, be sure to visit our full first-look review.