With the popularity of the Outback, it’s easy to forget that Subaru makes a sedan. But the Legacy is still considered the flagship vehicle for the Japanese automaker and gets a makeover for 2020. Subaru calls it the most advanced Legacy in its 30-year history. It remains the only sedan in the U.S. that comes standard with all-wheel-drive on all models.
The five-passenger Legacy was introduced in 1989 and is now in its seventh generation. For 2020, the Legacy gets sportier looks, more power, and an upgraded cabin. And Subaru’s EyeSight suite of driver assistance technologies is now standard.
Six trims are available: base, Premium, Sport, Limited, Limited XT and Touring XT. Starting prices range from $22.745 to $35,895. These prices are both near the bottom and the top, respectively, for the segment. Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive is standard.
Two engines are available. All but the top trims get a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 182 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque. The Limited XT and Touring XT get a turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 260 horses and 277 pound-feet. Both engines are paired with a continuously variable transmission.
Handling is much improved over the outgoing model, although you still won’t mistake the Legacy for a sports car. The turbo provides some pep, the Legacy stays planted when cornering, and the ride is smooth and comfortable. It’s very pleasant as a daily driver and great for road trips. Yes, there are other midsize sedans with more athleticism, including the Mazda6 and Honda Accord, so you’ll want to check them out if that’s important to you. Visibility is good all the way around.
Fuel efficiency is about average for a midsize sedan. EPA ratings for my tester are 24 mpg city and 32 mpg highway with a combined rating of 27. I got 26 during my week with a mix of city and highway driving. Automatic stop/start is standard.
Wow, the interior looks great and it’s loaded with tech. Materials are attractive and most are soft-touch. There’s lots of room and adults in both rows of seating will enjoy good leg- and headroom. Seats are comfortable and supportive, and the cabin is quiet. In fact, Subaru says it’s 3 decibels quieter than the outgoing model.
Standard features include cloth upholstery, the Starlink infotainment system, seven-inch touch screen, four-speaker audio system, satellite radio, Bluetooth, two USB ports, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
Available features include keyless entry, push-button start, leather or Nappa leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, moonroof, six-speaker audio system, 12-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, HD Radio, an 11.6-inch touch screen, navigation, two additional USB ports, wireless device charging, and Wi-Fi connectivity.
Subaru’s EyeSight Driver Assist Technology is standard on all trims and includes new advanced adaptive cruise control with lane centering, pre-collision braking and throttle management, and vehicle lane departure and sway warning. This is the first time that the lane centering function is available on Legacy models in the U.S. It provides steering assist when the vehicle veers outside its lane.
Available active safety features include a 180-degree front vision camera, blind spot detection with lane change assist and rear cross traffic alert, reverse automatic braking, steering responsive headlights, and driver drowsiness and attention monitoring,
The center stack hosts a new tablet-style 11.6-inch HD infotainment display and is the largest screen ever in a Subaru. It’s standard on all trims except base. It responds quickly to voice and touch commands and the graphics look good. It’s easy to figure out and its large size makes it easy to see and reach.
The Legacy has a small trunk for a midsize sedan with only 15.1 cubic feet of space. The trunk opening is wide and is relatively low to the ground making it easy to load larger items. The 60/40 split-folding rear seats provide flexibility in hauling long items.
Upscale and attractive interior
Roomy, comfortable seats
Lots of standard and available tech
Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard
Subaru EyeSight suite of driver assistance technologies is standard
Starting price for the base model is below average for the class
Only sedan in the U.S. that comes standard with AWD
Handling not as athletic as some rivals
Below average trunk space
High end models cost more than average for the class
My tester starts at $35,895. Delivery fee is $900 bringing the grand total to $36,795.
It’s too bad that sedans just aren’t as popular anymore. The redesigned 2020 Subaru Legacy joins the Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Mazda6 and Toyota Camry as another excellent entry in this class. The Legacy boasts an upscale and comfortable cabin, lots of tech and driver assistance features, and standard all-wheel-drive.