2011 Subaru Legacy Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2011 Subaru Legacy Sedan

We didn't find any results. You can try changing your zip code, or check another model year.

We found matches for you!

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Subaru Legacy Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.5 L Flat 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission CVT Automatic
  • Horse Power 170 hp @ 5600 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 23/31 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2011 Subaru Legacy

  • The 2011 Subaru Legacy offers standard all-wheel drive and above-average performance in a fairly large package. It's an offbeat choice, but a solid one nonetheless.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Standard all-wheel drive, excellent outward visibility, diverse engine and transmission choices, spacious cabin.

  • Cons

    Weak base stereo, fussy navigation system, unimpressive six-cylinder fuel economy, no automatic available with 2.5GT, polarizing styling.

  • What's New for 2011

    After last year's full redesign, the 2011 Subaru Legacy sees only minor changes. The 2.5GT is now only available in Limited trim, which gains a standard sunroof, satellite radio and some upgraded trim. The Harman Kardon upgraded sound system now includes satellite radio.

Gas Mileage


  • 23
  • cty
  • 31
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Like the car but some

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Limited 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)

The interior front driver's sill trim recently popped up and won't stay down (will address that on next service). Bridgestone tires leave much to be desired. Noisy, and at 4,800 miles I had to replace one due to a non-repairable punture. I then found out these tires are very pricey ($175), don't have a good wear rating (260), and on Tire Rack on a scale of 1-10 only 1.9 said they would buy again. Got a check engine light on a trip and Subaru had the car towed. In the end it was a ripped gas filler gasket that caused the problem, but the dealer in Upstate NY said they've seen more and more of this issue. A nice car but Subaru has some work to do to get it to the next level.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

2011 legacy 2.5l limited

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Limited 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)

My car has 2,500 on it now. It drives nicely and has a superior ride. I have a young child and the access is commendable. The 2.5L is sluggish but is enough; it doesn't match the soothness or quietness of the Toyota and Honda engines. MPG with the CVT is good. I had to bring this car to a tire shop because of a leaky tire bead and the factory Bridgestone tires exhibited significant road noise at highway speeds. The hood shakes at highway speeds and when going over a bump. The AC struggles on hot days; getting the windows tinted helped. Visibility is excellent. Overall a very good vehicle if one can put up with those few minor issues.

1 of 5 people found this review helpful

First time subaru owner!

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Limited 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)

I'm a first-time Subaru owner and loving every minute of it! I've been a Ford girl for most of my life (3 Mustang GT's) and was ready to trade out my 2005 Explorer for a larger SUV- Expedition or Tahoe/Yukon. However with the crazy gas prices, my husband convinced me to check out the Toyota Venza. When I arrived at the dealership to check out a year-old Venza, I spied the most gorgeous car and was FLOORED to find out it was a Legacy! I drove it and was hooked! My car turns heads everywhere I go and handles like a dream. I don't miss my big SUV at all. It helps me recapture the sportiness that i've been missing all these years, while still hauling my family. I couldn't love it more!

22 of 65 people found this review helpful

Serious design flaw not resolved

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Limited 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)

The Subaru Legacy was plagued with design issues after its redesign in 2010 and unfortunately these have not been resolved in the 2011 model. Many of these cars (along with the Outbacks) have a "shimmy" issue at highway speeds and if you bring this to the dealer's attention, they will apply an extensive technical service bulletin (TSB 05-48-10) which is essentially a redesign to the car. After I had this applied the car had serious vibration issues and swaying at highway speeds, along with pulling to either side. Subaru refuses to acknowledge that there is anything wrong with the car after this fix was applied. Google "subaru legacy shimmy" and read the 64 pages of posts! Stay FAR away!!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Sweet subie (part deux)

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Limited 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)

This is my second Subie-my first was an '04 Forester XT fun to drive but wasn't too economical-but never failed me in 7 years and 120K miles. I was willing to forgo getting my head snapped back for better MPG's and after 2K miles I’m averaging 29.2 overall (Regular!). This time around got all the bells and whistles and couldn't be happier, never realized how noisy my XT was until now. The interior is well apportioned the leather seating is glove soft and heated-the stereo plain rocks. The back seat is big enough for two boosters and a baby seat. CVT took a little used to but once the engine was broken in you can get higher revs and satisfactory stop light acceleration. $26K @ 0.9% Awesome!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Air flow and media hub

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Limited 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)

This is my first subaru - shortly after I had made my decisions to purchase an Acura, I stumbles across a Subaru dealership and was totally sold on the Legacy. I do have 2 concerns/problems I'm wondering if anyone else is having...? The heater/ac airflow on the floor only setting pushes out way more air from the dash/windshield defroster. This is particularly irritating on a cold, sunny day. The upper part of the car becomes too hot, and the lower part where your feet are is too cold. I also had a media hub installed for my IPod and it makes a clicking noise whenever I play it in the car. I've had the car serviced and they tell me both issues "are working as designed". ???


Full 2011 Subaru Legacy Review

What's New for 2011

After last year's full redesign, the 2011 Subaru Legacy sees only minor changes. The 2.5GT is now only available in Limited trim, which gains a standard sunroof, satellite radio and some upgraded trim. The Harman Kardon upgraded sound system now includes satellite radio.


It's easy to be a copycat. You don't have to think as much and there's less risk of failure. Remaking a known commodity like the "A-Team," for instance, has a better shot of bringing in $500 million than an indie film. The same goes for the midsize family sedan segment, which consists of seemingly countless vehicles that play it safe by riffing on the same formula. One notable exception, however, is the 2011 Subaru Legacy.

For years now, the Legacy has resolutely kept beat with its own drummer, and the current car is little different. While nearly everything else goes with the surefire formula of front-wheel drive and a choice of either inline-4 or V6 power plants, the Legacy keeps on rocking its standard all-wheel-drive and horizontally opposed four- and six-cylinder engines, including one that's turbocharged. Then there's the styling, which has always stood out from the crowd -- for better or worse. Despite setting itself apart in such key areas, however, the Subaru Legacy is still a viable family sedan, with top crash test scores, decent four-cylinder fuel economy and comfortable driving dynamics.

However, some of the Legacy's quirks do have downsides. Standard all-wheel drive has obvious traction benefits in poor weather, but the associated mechanical inefficiencies keep the Legacy from being as competitive in fuel economy and acceleration as it could. The turbocharged 2.5GT isn't available with an automatic transmission, which limits its widespread appeal. Also, increasingly common electronic features like Bluetooth, iPod control and navigation are either haphazardly designed or only available in the top-of-the line Limited model with navigation.

Certainly, being a bit different means the Legacy is unlikely to ever match the mighty 2011 Honda Accord and 2011 Toyota Camry for sales supremacy, but it does mean that it has burrowed out a little niche for itself. Still, there are others to consider. The 2011 Ford Fusion and 2011 Suzuki Kizashi also offer all-wheel-drive, while the Mazda 6 is a good choice for driving enthusiasts. The new 2011 Hyundai Sonata is also a class-leading, well-rounded family sedan. Yet, if you're the sort of person who doesn't automatically follow the crowd, the 2011 Subaru Legacy is a solid, non-conformist choice.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2011 Subaru Legacy is a five-passenger sedan available in seven trim levels: 2.5i, 2.5i Premium, 2.5i Limited, 3.6R, 3.6R Premium, 3.6R Limited and 2.5GT Limited.

The 2.5i comes standard with 16-inch steel wheels, automatic headlights, air-conditioning, cruise control, a height-adjustable driver seat, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, full power accessories, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat and a four-speaker stereo with CD player, auxiliary audio jack and steering-wheel controls. The 2.5i Premium trims adds 16-inch alloy wheels, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, an eight-way power driver seat and an auto up/down driver window. The 2.5i Limited adds 17-inch alloy wheels, a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), an All Weather package (optional on 2.5i Premium and includes a windshield wiper de-icer, heated side mirrors and heated front seats), four-way power passenger seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth and a nine-speaker Harman Kardon sound system with an in-dash six-CD changer and subwoofer. This stereo is optional on the Premium trims.

The 3.6R models are essentially the same as the 2.5i models, but gain a horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine, bigger brakes and 17-inch alloys for all models. The Premium also gets the All Weather package. The 2.5GT Limited adds to the 3.6R Limited a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, six-speed manual transmission, 18-inch alloy wheels, summer tires, a hood scoop, a sunroof (optional on all other trims but 2.5i), foglights, unique interior trim and satellite radio.

Optional on the Limited trims is a navigation system package, which includes a touchscreen interface, voice controls, a rearview camera, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and a different Harman Kardon sound system with a single-CD player, USB audio jack and iPod control. Bluetooth is optional on the other trims, but is a port-installed system that plugs into the open dash slot beneath the stereo and relies upon its own small speakers rather than the stereo system.

Powertrains and Performance

The all-wheel-drive 2011 Subaru Legacy offers a variety of engines and transmissions. The base 2.5-liter horizontally opposed (a.k.a. "boxer") four-cylinder engine produces 170 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission (which includes a hill-holder feature) is standard on the base 2.5i and 2.5i Premium, while a CVT is optional on those models and standard on the 2.5i Limited. With the CVT, a 2.5i we tested went from zero to 60 mph in a mediocre 9.4 seconds. Estimated fuel economy is 23 mpg city/31 mpg highway and 26 mpg combined with the CVT. The manual is notably worse at 19/27/22.

The 3.6R features a 3.6-liter boxer six-cylinder good for 256 hp and 247 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed traditional automatic transmission is standard. It takes 7.1 seconds to go from zero to 60 mph, which is slightly below average for the class. Fuel economy is an estimated 18/25/20.

The 2.5GT gets a turbocharged version of the base model's boxer-4 and produces 265 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual is the only transmission choice. It goes from zero to 60 mph in a rapid 5.7 seconds. Estimated fuel economy is 18/25/21.


Every 2011 Legacy comes standard with stability and traction control, antilock disc brakes, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. In Edmunds brake testing, the 2.5i came to a stop from 60 mph in a good distance of 121 feet and the 3.6R was in the same ballpark. The 2.5GT stopped in an excellent 111 feet.

In the government's new, more strenuous crash testing for 2011, the Legacy earned an overall rating of four stars out of a possible five, with four stars for overall frontal crash protection and four stars for overall side crash protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety also gave the Legacy its perfect score of "Good" in the frontal-offset, side and roof strength tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Legacy's interior design is sleek and sophisticated, but you better like silver paint, because the center stack is covered with it. Though the interior plastics look upscale, most of them are hard to the touch and lack the more premium feel found in models such as the Ford Fusion.

The seats are comfortable and the Legacy's provide plenty of headroom and rear seat legroom. In terms of technology, iPod control and streaming Bluetooth audio are available, but you have to ante up for the top-of-the-line Limited trim in order to get it. We've also noticed the nav system's functionality is hampered by fussy controls and small touchscreen icons. You should also note that sound quality from the base sound system is poor and we highly recommend the available Harman Kardon upgrade system. Trunk space is an average 14.7 cubic feet.

Driving Impressions

The 2011 Subaru Legacy provides a smooth ride and respectable handling. Drivers expecting the 2.5GT model to be a sleeper sport sedan will be disappointed, though, as its suspension tuning is the same as all other Legacys. The base 2.5-liter engine is adequate, but outright acceleration trails some of the speedier family sedans. The 2.5GT's turbocharged engine is much more of a thrill, though the mandatory manual transmission will limit its appeal. That leaves the new 3.6-liter flat-6 as the main draw for those wanting some punch.


Talk About The 2011 Legacy

2011 Subaru Legacy Discussions See all Started By

I'm looking to buy either an Impreza or Legacy, and am wondering if this is a good deal. It's around KBB price but I don't know how relevant that is for buying a pre-owned Subaru, and my time for shop...

Just wondering if it's my car or does Subaru have a light issue going on with the 2011 Legacy's??...

The owners manual in my 2011 Legacy says the coolant can last to 100,000 miles. I am skeptical of cooant lasting over 2 years or 24,000 miles. Comments?...

Read more about the 2011 Subaru Legacy

Have a question? We're here to help!
Chat online with us
Email us at help@edmunds.com
*Available daily 8AM-5PM Pacific