My wife and I shopped all of the competition in this segment before we landed at the Subaru dealership. Our primary requirements were comfortable and durable interior, respectable gas mileage, roomy interior and excellent safety ratings. This new Legacy delivered these in spades and the price was very competitive given its feature set. We were initially impressed with the styling, which we feel stands out nicely, but really fell in love with the roomy interior, well thought out use of space, split third row and very nice trunk (with no goose neck hinges). Given the price ($22K out the door for our 2.5i "Premium" model), we felt it was best in class - even after driving the new Sonata.
AWD, IIHS top pick, USB/iPod integration, trunk space, incredible leg room in all seating positions, thoughtful interior design. NVH control (the interior is very quiet, even on coarse pavement).
We added the normally dealer-installed "tweeter kit" and could not believe the difference it made. This really should be standard. Folding side mirrors. A few more ponies wouldn't hurt, although the CVT does a good job of managing what it has.