2009 Subaru Legacy Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2009 Subaru Legacy Sedan

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Subaru Legacy Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.5 L Flat 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 170 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 20/27 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2009 Subaru Legacy

  • The 2009 Subaru Legacy isn't great on gas, but it compensates by offering standard all-wheel drive, excellent crash test scores and above-average performance.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Sleek interior and exterior design, powerful acceleration in 2.5 GT and 3.0 R trims, standard all-wheel drive, secure handling, top-notch safety ratings.

  • Cons

    Subpar fuel economy, relatively tight backseat and trunk, outdated four-speed automatic transmission.

  • What's New for 2009

    Stability control is now standard on every 2009 Subaru Legacy except for 2.5 GT models equipped with the manual transmission, and all Legacies save for the base 2.5i receive an upgraded nine-speaker audio system. Additionally, a pair of new trim levels join the lineup -- the feature-laden 2.5i Special Edition and the 3.0 R model, the latter serving as a less expensive alternative to the 3.0 R Limited.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (9 total reviews)


Solid sedan

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Vehicle: 2009 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Special Edition 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl 5M)

I sold a new 2012 Mazda3 which I never really fell in love with and purchased this car used with very low mileage as basic transportation. I drive about 5K per year. I wanted something I could transport my bikes and canoe on the roof. Nicely built sedan. Good handling. Not powerful at high speeds, but peppy at low and mid range. Decent trunk space that opens into back seats. Comfortable driver seat. After a 1000 miles of driving no issues, solid feel, and happy with my purchase. Mileage has been 24 city, 29 highway.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Excellent all around

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Vehicle: 2009 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Special Edition 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl 5M)

I reviewed 2008 and 2009 Subaru Legacys for several months before purchasing one. I also looked at Honda Civics, Accords, Toyota Camrys and Carollas. I am a very careful buyer, so I was very cautious in my decision. Ultimately, the Legacy was the clear choice. Handling is great, and mileage is better than you would expect. I have gone on two 7-hour road trips and got 34.7 mpg on the first and 35 mpg on the second. Typically, it's around 33 mpg on the highway. This is just as good as the Accord and the Camry. Unlike the Accord and Camry, though, the Legacy has AWD all the time. This is great for winters here in eastern Washington state. I love my Subaru!




I am impressed!

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Vehicle: 2009 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Special Edition 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl 5M)

I just got my Legacy a month ago and I could not be happier. We broke it in on a 3,000 mile trip to SC. It cruised through rain that had people pulling over because they could not see. We averaged 70 mph with the A/C on and the mileage was 31! Great safety with the 6 airbags and traction control. I have been told it had a 5 star rating. Great HK stereo, very quick with the 5 speed. Steering is precise and the roadholding is fantastic. I had two Audis and I like this more. Plus, if it did have a maintenance problem (which I don't think it will) it would be cheap to fix. A lot of car for 19K.




Love my legacy!

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Vehicle: 2009 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Special Edition 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl 5M)

When I was forced to abandon ownership of my Jetta because no one in my town was talented enough to fix it - I looked at the Subaru. I live in the mountains in NC - and thought that AWD would be a good idea. I bought a 2009 Legacy (2.5 Special Edition issue). Although the "pick up" isn't quite like my Jetta - everything else more than surpasses my expectations and desires. My favorite part is the stability - in rain (no ice yet, but am waiting for winter), the car handles hazardous road conditions like a magnet on steel. I was amazed. I also love the stereo system - especially since I can plug in my iPod. Now I can listen to Stephanie Miller podcasts on my way to work. I love my Subaru!




Awesome buy

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Vehicle: 2009 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Special Edition 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl 5M)

The company I work for has a few Subarus, before I worked there I would have never thought about owning one. Now, I would not have it any other way. One of the office Subarus has over 220,000+ miles on it (99 Impreza,MT) & another has 130,000+ miles on it (05 Impreza,MT)I've driven the 05 "like I stole it" too. We change the oil and rotate the tires. I chose the Legacy, a little roomier than the Impreza. I also opted for the 5 speed MT, less overall ownership cost and I control the MPG a little more than the AT, not a computer. I don't understand the mileage rating from Subaru, I read other posts and several people have pointed out that these cars can get 32-36 mpg on the hwy. I do too!




My first subaru

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Vehicle: 2009 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Special Edition 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl 5M)

This car is fantastic. I have not had a new car since 1997. I am cheap and the Legacy sold me at a very modest price. I have not looked back. This car is sleek, handles beautifully in this Ohio snow season, is comfortable, quiet, and has a great sound system. The peace of mind from the AWD + traction control is well worth the loss in miles. Plus, I don't drive all that much anyway to worry too much about 1 or 2 mpg. Hands down best car for the price.



Full 2009 Subaru Legacy Review

What's New for 2009

Stability control is now standard on every 2009 Subaru Legacy except for 2.5 GT models equipped with the manual transmission, and all Legacies save for the base 2.5i receive an upgraded nine-speaker audio system. Additionally, a pair of new trim levels join the lineup -- the feature-laden 2.5i Special Edition and the 3.0 R model, the latter serving as a less expensive alternative to the 3.0 R Limited.

Introduction

Subarus have long been popular choices in snowbelt states thanks to their all-wheel drive, but given the 2009 Subaru Legacy's many virtues, it should be a strong seller in every climate zone. This distinctive family sedan is safe, stylish and downright speedy if you skip the base 2.5-liter engine; moreover, even this entry-level power plant is pretty peppy for its class. The only real strike against the Legacy is its subpar fuel economy, thanks largely to that standard AWD. At 20 mpg in the city, 27 highway and 22 combined, the base Legacy 2.5i is a few miles per gallon behind perennial segment leaders like the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. If you can get over that, we strongly recommend taking Subaru's underappreciated midsize offering for a spin, as it's an appealingly different take on the family-sedan formula.

The first thing you'll notice about the Legacy is that it's a fairly striking car. Unlike owners of some notable competitors, you're not likely to lose track of this sleek sedan in a crowded parking lot. Hop inside and the inspired styling continues, as the Legacy sports the most visually interesting center stack in its class -- it's even canted toward the driver, an element we'd typically expect to find in a dedicated sports car.

Behind the wheel, the Legacy is notable for its sporting demeanor, an unusual trait in this generally conservative segment. Other than perhaps the Nissan Altima and 2009 Mazda 6, no midsize family sedan can match the Legacy's combination of sharp steering, sure-footed grip and -- particularly in 2.5 GT and 3.0 R trims -- enthusiastic acceleration. At the same time, the Legacy manages to provide a comfortable ride. It also offers an impressive array of creature comforts, and the wide range of available trim levels ensures that most consumers will be able to find a Legacy to their liking.

The 2009 Subaru Legacy isn't without its flaws. The backseat is one of the few in this segment that could be called "tight," for example, and trunk space is on the skimpy side as well. But on the whole, the Legacy is one of the rare family sedans that we genuinely enjoy. Provided you're willing to pay a little more in yearly gas costs, we think you'd enjoy it too.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Subaru Legacy is a four-door midsize sedan with standard AWD. There are seven trim levels: base 2.5i, 2.5i Special Edition, 2.5i Limited, 2.5 GT Limited, 2.5 GT spec.B, 3.0 R and 3.0 R Limited.

The base 2.5i comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, full power accessories, air-conditioning, a tilt/telescoping steering column, a trip computer and an MP3/WMA-capable CD stereo with an auxiliary input jack. The 2.5i Special Edition adds a moonroof, a power driver seat and a 385-watt nine-speaker premium stereo that includes a subwoofer. The 2.5i Limited tacks on foglights, heated exterior mirrors, heated front seats, leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control and an in-dash six-CD changer.

The performance-oriented 2.5 GT Limited includes a turbocharged engine, a hood scoop, a limited-slip rear differential, larger brakes, a quicker steering ratio, sport seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, electroluminescent gauges and a power front passenger seat. The 2.5 GT Limited also comes standard with SI-Drive, which allows the driver to adjust the electronic throttle's responsiveness and -- if applicable -- the automatic transmission's shift points. The 2.5 GT spec.B adds an upgraded Torsen limited-slip differential, a sport suspension with Bilstein dampers, ground effects, 18-inch alloy wheels with performance tires and a touchscreen navigation system. The 3.0 R begins with the same standard equipment as the 2.5i Special Edition and adds a six-cylinder engine, SI-Drive and the Torsen limited-slip differential. The 3.0 R Limited sports the same six-cylinder engine along with the luxury features of the 2.5i Limited.

The navigation system is optional on the 2.5 GT Limited (though only when equipped with the automatic transmission) and 3.0 R Limited models.

Powertrains and Performance

The AWD 2009 Subaru Legacy offers a choice of three engines. The 2.5i models are powered by a 2.5-liter horizontally opposed (a.k.a. "flat") four-cylinder that makes 175 horsepower and 169 pound-feet of torque. Legacy 2.5 GT models feature a turbocharged version that makes 243 hp and 241 lb-ft. The 3.0 R models are propelled by a 3.0-liter flat-6 generating 245 hp and 215 lb-ft.

Legacy 2.5i models are equipped with either a five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic. Buyers of the 2.5 GT have the choice of the five-speed manual or a five-speed automatic that features rev-matched downshifts, a rarity in this class, as well as paddle shifters. The 2.5 GT spec.B is available only with a six-speed manual transmission. Both 3.0 R models share the 2.5 GT's five-speed automatic.

Performance is impressive, especially in GT trim -- we've clocked the 2.5 GT spec.B from zero to 60 mph in a blistering 5.7 seconds. Fuel economy, however, is a disappointment, with the base 2.5i yielding 20 mpg city/27 highway and 22 combined, the 2.5 GT Limited 19/24/21 (manual) or 18/24/20 (automatic), the 2.5 GT spec.B 17/24/20 and the 3.0 R 17/24/20.

Safety

Antilock disc brakes, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and whiplash-reducing front headrests are all standard on the 2009 Subaru Legacy. Stability control is standard on all Legacy models except for the 2.5 GT Limited with the manual transmission.

In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests, the Legacy received the Gold Award (its highest honor) based on the car's "Good" ratings (the highest) in frontal-offset and side-impact crash tests, as well as the ability of its head restraints to prevent whiplash in rear impacts. In government testing, the Legacy again scored the highest possible marks -- a perfect five-star rating for both frontal and side-impact crash protection.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Legacy's suave and nicely appointed cabin is a standout in this segment. All models feature legible gauges, intuitive controls and an attractive driver-centric center stack. Red and white gauge trim and a three-spoke Momo steering wheel in 2.5 GT Limited, 2.5 GT spec.B and 3.0 R Limited models add a sporty flair, while top-notch construction and materials are evident across the board.

The backseat is a lowlight, however -- while it's comfortable enough for two average-sized passengers, leg- and shoulder room are unusually tight compared with other midsize sedans. The Legacy's trunk is similarly undersized at 11.4 cubic feet, though a ski pass-through and fold-down rear seats help make the most of the car's hauling capacity.

Driving Impressions

The base 2.5-liter engine provides satisfactory acceleration along with a pleasing growl, though the anachronistic four-speed automatic transmission hinders performance noticeably through its sluggish downshift response. Enthusiastic drivers should turn their attention to the thrilling 2.5 GT or smooth and refined 3.0 R models.

Handling is impressive even in base 2.5i trim, while the upgraded brakes and suspensions on higher-end models make the Legacy a budget alternative to German sport sedans. To be fair, the Legacy rolls too much in hard cornering to pass for a BMW 3 Series or an Audi A4. Disappointingly, the enthusiast-oriented 2.5 GT spec.B doesn't handle much better than the regular 2.5 GT. Nonetheless, we find the Legacy extraordinarily entertaining to drive compared with most other family sedans.

Talk About The 2009 Legacy

Read more about the 2009 Subaru Legacy

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 20
  • cty
/
  • 27
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs