Introduced two decades ago, the Subaru Legacy is the company's longest-running nameplate in the United States. Thanks to its all-wheel drive, the Legacy has often been selected by consumers as a winter-beating alternative in the midsize sedan or wagon segment. It's also been highly regarded by Edmunds.com editors.
There have been five generations of the Subaru Legacy. For the current model, Subaru revamped the vehicle and its image by giving it entirely new styling, enlarging its dimensions considerably and discontinuing the wagon model altogether, leaving the Legacy-based Outback (reviewed separately) as Subaru's sole midsize wagon offering. The current Legacy isn't as sleek or sporty as its predecessor, but it's more practical for families. For used-car shoppers, past Legacy models are excellent all-season options.
Current Subaru Legacy
The Subaru Legacy is a midsize family sedan available in a wide range of trim levels -- 2.5i, 2.5i Premium, 2.5i Limited, 2.5GT Limited, 3.6R, 3.6R Premium and 3.6R Limited -- distinguished by powertrain. The base engine is a 2.5-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder that makes 170 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque. It comes matched with either a six-speed manual transmission or a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Also available are a 3.6-liter six-cylinder boxer engine good for 256 hp and 247 lb-ft and a turbocharged 2.5-liter boxer-4 making 265 hp and 258 lb-ft; the former comes with a five-speed automatic, while the latter gets a six-speed manual.
Even the base model with the 170-hp engine comes well-equipped, including air-conditioning, a tilt-telescoping steering wheel, an electronic parking brake and a CD stereo with an auxiliary audio jack. Higher trims add niceties like powered and heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, Bluetooth and a Harman Kardon audio system.
Ordering a Legacy with the turbocharged engine brings performance tires, larger brakes and a hood scoop. Exclusive to the top-of-the-line Limited trims is an optional voice-activated navigation system that's bundled with an iPod/USB input, Bluetooth and streaming Bluetooth audio.
On the road, we've appreciated the Legacy's standard all-wheel-drive system, a Subaru calling card that persists even as the rest of the car has been reoriented toward mainstream sales success. While this Legacy isn't particularly sporty, it rides nicely, and its diverse array of engine options sets it apart from the crowd. The only notable downsides are controversial exterior styling, limited access to some popular features and subpar fuel economy for the more powerful engines.
Read the most recent 2015 Subaru Legacy review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Subaru Legacy page.