Subaru Legacy Review & Features

2018 Average MSRP
$23,083
Edmunds Est. Savings
$1,591
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2018 Subaru Legacy
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First Impression

2018 Subaru Legacy First Impression

Unveiled at the 2017 Chicago Auto Show, the 2018 Subaru Legacy receives incremental but significant changes. As with last year's model, there are two engines available: a 2.5-liter flat-four that produces 175 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque and a 3.6-liter flat-six that puts out 256 hp and 247 lb-ft of torque. The 2.5 is the default engine on all variants (standard, Premium, Sport and Limited), with the 3.6 available as an option on the top Limited model. Regardless of engine, power is sent to all four wheels through a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).

2018 Subaru Legacy

The outside features a new fascia design with a wider grille and lower air intake, while the foglight surround now mirrors the C-shaped daytime running lamps. In back, the exhaust tip cleanly integrates into the rear fascia, which gives the Legacy a more finished look.

The interior features change as well. Premium, Sport and Limited models will have contrasting stitching and two-tone colors, and a new steering wheel has more angular buttons. Gloss black panels are surrounded by metal trim to visually separate the entertainment and climate control console from the dash. Inside the head unit is a new 6.5-inch touchscreen display, although an 8-inch unit, with a faster processor available as an option. Both units come with more built-in apps, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now standard. Dual built-in microphones and updated software are designed to make hands-free calls clearer and voice commands easier to execute.

2018 Subaru Legacy

Subaru also made the cabin quieter with modifications to the transmission and engine software. Revised side mirrors reduce wind noise, and sound-insulating film on the front windows and changes to the rear wheelwells further reduce exterior wind and road noise.

Subaru says that adjustments to the electric power steering and suspension result in sportier handling and a smoother ride, while the 2.5-liter engine received calibration changes to give it a smoother feel. Even the tire-pressure monitoring system has been updated to indicate pressures for each wheel.

Although pricing hasn't been announced, we expect that information to be available closer to the Legacy's launch date in the summer of 2017.

Subaru Legacy Review

Introduced more than two decades ago, the Subaru Legacy is the brand'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.

Perhaps as a consequence of the Legacy's off-beat nature, it's never been as popular in terms of sales as mainstream picks like the Accord and Camry. In recent years, though, Subaru has attempted to expand the Legacy's appeal by making it roomier and more fuel-efficient. The newest generation, in particular, is a fully competitive rival. As a used vehicle choice, we still highly recommend the Legacy (particularly if you want all-wheel drive), though certain model years are going to be more appealing than others, so a bit of extra research is recommended.

Current Subaru Legacy
The newest Subaru Legacy sedan has been fully redesigned for 2015. Representing the car's sixth generation, the new Legacy shares a similar look and feel to the previous version, but changes under the skin have resulted in more passenger and cargo room. The cabin itself features nicer materials and updated electronics.

The Legacy has a choice of two engines. The base 2.5-liter horizontally opposed ("boxer") four-cylinder produces 175 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque. The available six-cylinder, which is also a boxer design, generates 256 hp and 247 lb-ft of torque. Both engines come with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and all-wheel drive.

Trim levels include 2.5i, 2.5i Premium, 2.5i Limited and 3.6R Limited. Highlights for the base 2.5i models include air-conditioning, cruise control, full power accessories, a rearview camera, a touchscreen display, Bluetooth and a four-speaker sound system. The 2.5i Premium adds dual-zone automatic climate control, a power driver seat, heated front seats and an upgraded audio system that includes a larger touchscreen. Going with the 2.5i or 3.6 R Limited (which has the six-cylinder engine) gets you leather upholstery, a power passenger seat, heated rear seats and a 12-speaker premium sound system. Major options include a sunroof, a navigation system and added safety features.

Seating is pretty roomy inside the Legacy, and outward visibility is excellent. The cabin is trimmed in high-quality materials, and the touchscreen that's bundled with the navigation system can be controlled like a tablet. On the move, the Subaru Legacy's standard all-wheel-drive system gives it plenty of capability in bad weather. Both the four- and the six-cylinder engines are quiet and provide class-acceptable acceleration. We also like how the Legacy easily soaks up bumps and ruts, yet maintains its composure when you're driving through turns. All in all, the Legacy is a smart choice for a midsize family sedan.

Used Subaru Legacy Models
Previous to the current model was the fifth-generation Legacy sedan sold from 2010-'14. Compared to the car it replaced, this Legacy was bigger both inside and out and was more visually distinctive because of its blockier styling.

Originally, Subaru offered this Legacy in 2.5i, 2.5i Premium, 2.5i Limited, 2.5GT Premium, 2.5GT Limited, 3.6R, 3.6R Premium and 3.6R Limited trim levels. All came standard with all-wheel drive.

The 2.5i models had a 2.5-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine that produced 170 hp and 170 lb-ft of torque. You could get it with a six-speed manual transmission or a CVT. The 2.5GT boasted a turbocharged version of the 2.5-liter four that cranked out 265 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, but only the manual transmission was offered. The 3.6R models came with a 3.6-liter horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine that generated 256 hp and 247 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed automatic was the only available transmission.

Standard equipment included air-conditioning, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and a four-speaker stereo. Moving up to the Premium and Limited trim levels would get you added features like power front seats, dual-zone climate control, leather upholstery, Bluetooth and a premium sound system. Exclusive to Limited models was an optional navigation system with a rearview camera.

The most significant changes for this fifth-generation Legacy occurred for 2013 when Subaru gave the car a sleeker look, made the four-cylinder engine slightly more powerful (173 hp) and fuel-efficient, revised the suspension tuning and CVT, and added a newly available frontal collision warning system (Subaru's "EyeSight" system). The 2.5GT model and its turbocharged engine were also discontinued that year.

Though it had some appealing qualities, this generation's Legacy didn't appeal to us as much as previous ones did. It was certainly roomier and more fuel efficient, but it largely lacked the snappy, fun-to-drive personality established by the fourth generation. In reviews we praised the car for its roomy seating, good outward visibility and standard all-wheel drive. Downsides included behind-the-times audio and navigation systems, below-average fuel economy with the six-cylinder and a ride quality that could seem overly firm at times.

The fourth-generation Legacy was produced from 2005-'09. It was available as both a sedan and a wagon until 2008, when the wagon was discontinued. Although the base car was a bit of a stripper, the other trims were well-equipped and made the Legacy as luxurious and comfortable as some midsize cars wearing luxury badges.

When this Legacy was introduced for '05, it was available as a sedan and wagon, and there were two basic trim levels: 2.5i and 2.5GT. The former had a 168-hp 2.5-liter boxer-4, while the 2.5GT received a 250-hp turbocharged version of the same engine. These models came with either a five-speed manual or an automatic transmission -- four speeds in the base 2.5i, five in the 2.5GT. As time went on, a few additional models joined the lineup, notably the sedan-only 2.5GT spec.B and 3.0 R. The former was a better-handling version of the 2.5GT, while the latter was a luxurious Legacy that came with a 245-hp 3.0-liter flat-6 and a five-speed automatic transmission. As with all Subaru vehicles, AWD was standard.

In road tests, our editors found the fourth-generation Subaru Legacy to be both sporty and comfortable -- a challenging combination for manufacturers to master. The base 2.5-liter engine provided adequate power, but the turbocharged GT model was the one to have for enthusiastic driving. However, the GT performed better with the manual transmission, as the five-speed automatic seemed ill-suited to the turbo motor's power delivery.

This Legacy was a bit tight in the backseat relative to its midsize rivals, but it compensated with comfortable front seats and a sleek BMW-like dashboard design. Additionally, the wagon model brilliantly combined impressive driving dynamics with all-star utility. Although this Legacy vintage is getting a bit old now, we still highly recommend it if you're looking for a used midsize sedan or wagon with all-season versatility and an extra dose of driving flair.

Notable changes to the fourth-generation Legacy began in 2006, when the sedan-only GT spec.B trim was added. For 2007, the GT spec.B received a six-speed manual in place of the original five-speed unit, and the 2.5-liter engine's horsepower rating was revised to 243 (from 250). For 2008 Subaru discontinued the wagon model, and the sedan-only 3.0 R model debuted, bringing six-cylinder power to the Legacy lineup. For 2009 stability control became standard and every Legacy except the base 2.5i received an upgraded nine-speaker audio system.

The previous, third-generation Subaru Legacy was more of a rugged all-weather performer than the current model. Sold from 2000-'04, it launched with three primary trim levels: base L, sporty GT and premium GT Limited. A Brighton value trim was also included in the 2000 lineup for the wagon, but was removed the following year.

Although it was a bit lacking in refinement, the previous Legacy was well stocked with standard features, including AWD. All trims came with a smooth and responsive 165-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. A five-speed manual transmission was standard and a four-speed automatic was optional. In 2003, Subaru moved the L trim upscale and added the L Special Edition trim, which was renamed the 35th Anniversary Edition a year later.

Value-minded buyers looking for an all-weather vehicle might take a look at the second-generation Subaru Legacy. Sold from 1995-'99, it was best known for spawning the Outback wagon, a rugged SUV alternative that came with standard AWD. The model's one weak link was its anemic 135-hp 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine, which many people felt was a downgrade from the 160-hp turbocharged 2.2-liter four-cylinder that was available in the first generation's Sport Turbo trim (sold from 1991-'94).

Subaru Legacy Cars for Sale

2017 Subaru Legacy 3.6R Limited
NEW 2017 Subaru Legacy 3.6R Limited
MSRP$34,759
Special Offer See special offer Stohlman Subaru of Sterling(3mi)(4)
2018 Subaru Legacy 3.6R Limited
NEW 2018 Subaru Legacy 3.6R Limited
MSRP$35,269
Special Offer See special offer Dulles Subaru(7mi)(4)
Dealer Notes

This Subaru won't be on the lot long! A comfortable ride in a go-anywhere vehicle! This model accommodates 5 passengers comfortably, and provides features such as: power moon roof, blind spot sensor, and power front seats. It features an automatic transmission, all-wheel drive, and a refined 6 cylinder engine. We pride ourselves in the quality that we offer on all of our vehicles. Please don't hesitate to give us a call.

2017 Subaru Legacy 3.6R Limited
NEW 2017 Subaru Legacy 3.6R Limited
MSRP$35,210
Special Offer See special offer Stohlman Subaru(15mi)(8)
2017 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Limited
NEW 2017 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Limited
MSRP$32,732
Special Offer See special offer Fitzgerald Subaru of Gaithersburg(17mi)(9)
2018 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Sport
NEW 2018 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Sport
MSRP$27,993
Special Offer See special offer Brown's Manassas Subaru(19mi)(61)
Dealer Notes

This Subaru won't be on the lot long! It prioritizes style, powertrain versatility and safety in an exceptional sedan package! Top features include power windows, a built-in garage door transmitter, automatic temperature control, and a split folding rear seat. It features an automatic transmission, all-wheel drive, and a 2.5 liter 4 cylinder engine. Our experienced sales staff is eager to share its knowledge and enthusiasm with you. They'll work with you to find the right vehicle at a price you can afford. We are here to help you.

2018 Subaru Legacy 3.6R Limited
NEW 2018 Subaru Legacy 3.6R Limited
MSRP$35,149
Special Offer See special offer Fitzgerald Subaru(20mi)(5)
2017 Subaru Legacy 3.6R Limited
NEW 2017 Subaru Legacy 3.6R Limited
MSRP$34,436
Special Offer See special offer Herb Gordon Subaru(29mi)(9)
Dealer Notes

0% FOR 60 MONTHS AVAILABLE WITH APPOROVED CREDIT 2017 Tungsten Metallic Subaru Legacy 3.6R AWD 3.6L Boxer H6 DOHC 24V CVT Lineartronic 4D Sedan Factory MSRP: $34,436 28/20 Highway/City MPG Awards: * ALG Residual Value Awards * 2017 IIHS Top Safety Pick+ Reviews: * Standard all-wheel drive in a segment where it's rare to even be an option; excellent outward visibility; high-tech safety features work well and are widely available throughout the lineup; top crash test scores. Source: Edmunds *Your additional costs are sales tax, tag and title fees for the state in which the vehicle will be registered, any dealer-installed options (if applicable) and a $299 dealer processing fee. Pricing and incentives may vary if vehicle is leased. Prices are subject to change, and prior sales are excluded from these offers. While every reasonable effort is made to ensure the accuracy of this information, we are not responsible for any errors or omissions contained on these pages. Please verify any information in question with the dealer.

2017 Subaru Legacy 3.6R Limited
NEW 2017 Subaru Legacy 3.6R Limited
MSRP$35,047
Special Offer See special offer Subaru of Winchester(38mi)(5)
Dealer Notes

All Wheel Drive, never get stuck again!! All the right toys! Optional equipment includes: Popular Package #2, Ice Silver Metallic Body Side Molding Kit...

2017 Subaru Legacy 2.5i
NEW 2017 Subaru Legacy 2.5i
MSRP$23,503
 Request price quote Sharrett Subaru(40mi)(0)
Dealer Notes

A real head turner!!! This credible Sedan, with its grippy AWD, will handle anything mother nature decides to throw at you!!! Hold on to your seats!!! Subaru has done it again!!! They have built some notable vehicles and this notable Sedan is no exception... This is the vehicle for you if you're looking to get great gas mileage on your way to work!!! Optional equipment includes: Splash Guards, Cargo Tray, All Weather Floor Mats...Standard features include: Bluetooth, Remote power door locks, Power windows with 1 one-touch, CVT Transmission, 4-wheel ABS brakes, Air conditioning, Cruise control, Audio controls on steering wheel, Traction control - ABS and driveline, Head airbags - Curtain 1st and 2nd row, Passenger Airbag, Multi-function remote - Trunk/hatch/door/tailgate, Power mirrors, Tilt and telescopic steering wheel, 175 hp horsepower, 2.5 liter flat 4 cylinder DOHC engine, 4 Doors, All-wheel drive, Fuel economy EPA highway (mpg): 34 and EPA city (mpg): 25, Tachometer, External temperature display, Interior air filtration, Overhead console - Mini with storage, Transmission controls on steering wheel - Gear shift controls, Trip computer, Video Monitor Location - Front, Tire pressure monitoring system, Transmission hill holder, Stability control, Daytime running lights, Dusk sensing headlights, Front seat type - Bucket, Rear bench seats, Intermittent window wipers, Privacy/tinted glass, Clock - In-dash, Speed-proportional power steering, 4WD Type - Full-time, Rear defogger...

2017 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Limited
NEW 2017 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Limited
MSRP$30,440
Special Offer See special offer Heritage Subaru Catonsville(42mi)(5)
Dealer Notes

Popular Package #4 (All Weather Floor Mats, Cargo Tray, Exterior Auto Dimming Mirror w/Approach Light/BSD, Rear Bumper Applique, and Splash Guards), 12 Speakers, 4-Wheel Disc Brakes, ABS brakes, Air Conditioning, AM/FM radio: SiriusXM, Anti-whiplash front head restraints, Auto-dimming Rear-View mirror, Automatic temperature control, Blind Spot Sensor, Brake assist, Bumpers: body-color, CD player, Compass, Driver door bin, Driver vanity mirror, Dual front impact airbags, Dual front side impact airbags, Electronic Stability Control, Emergency communication system, Exterior Parking Camera Rear, Four wheel independent suspension, Front anti-roll bar, Front Bucket Seats, Front Center Armrest w/Storage, Front dual zone A/C, Front fog lights, Front reading lights, Fully automatic headlights, Garage door transmitter, harman/kardon Surround Sound Speaker System, Heated door mirrors, Heated front seats, Heated rear seats, Heated Reclining Front Bucket Seats, Illuminated entry, Leather Shift Knob, Low tire pressure warning, Memory seat, MP3 decoder, Occupant sensing airbag, Outside temperature display, Overhead airbag, Overhead console, Panic alarm, Passenger door bin, Passenger vanity mirror, Perforated Leather-Trimmed Upholstery, Power door mirrors, Power driver seat, Power moonroof, Power passenger seat, Power steering, Power windows, Radio: Subaru Starlink 7.0 Multimedia Plus System, Rear anti-roll bar, Rear seat center armrest, Rear window defroster, Remote keyless entry, Security system, Smartphone Integration, Speed control, Speed-sensing steering, Split folding rear seat, Steering wheel mounted audio controls, Steering-Wheel Paddle-Shift Control Switches, Tachometer, Telescoping steering wheel, Tilt steering wheel, Traction control, Trip computer, Turn signal indicator mirrors, Variably intermittent wipers, Vehicle Information Display, and Wheels: 18 x 7.5 Aluminum Alloy Gray. It will allow you to dominate the road with style, and get wonderful gas mileage while you're at it. *Your additional costs are sales tax, tag and title fees for the state in which the vehicle will be registered, any dealer-installed options (if applicable) and a $299 dealer processing fee. Prices are subject to change, and prior sales are excluded from these offers. While every reasonable effort is made to ensure the accuracy of this information, we are not responsible for any errors or omissions contained on these pages. Please verify any information in question with the dealer. *Your additional costs are sales tax, tag and title fees for the state in which the vehicle will be registered, freight (see below for specific charges), any dealer-installed options (if applicable) and a $299 dealer processing fee. Freight charges: $860 (BRZ, Impreza, Legacy, WRX); $915 (Crosstrek, Outback, Forester). Prices are subject to change, and prior sales are excluded from these offers. While every reasonable effort is made to ensure the accuracy of this information, we are not responsible for any errors or omissions contained on these pages. Please verify any information in question with the dealer.