2009 Subaru Legacy Review
2009 Subaru Legacy Review
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Used Legacy for sale
Edmunds' Expert Review
by the Edmunds Experts
- 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.
- Subpar fuel economy, relatively tight backseat and trunk, outdated four-speed automatic transmission.
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.
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.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2009 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Limited 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl 4A) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.26 per gallon for regular unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
Legacy 2.5i Limited
Avg. Midsize Car
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.
Performance & mpg
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.
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.
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.
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.
2009 Subaru Legacy models
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.
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
4.88 out of 5 stars
Excellent all around
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!
4 out of 5 stars
My 1st SUBARU-"It's a keeper"-STILL!
2009 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Special Edition 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl 4A)
This 2009 Legacy is a good value for what it is; I bought it used with about 20k miles on it---now it's 4 yrs later with over 75k miles. The AWD is great for the Ohio winters, especially once I replaced the OE tires with higher quality treads. I get about 25 mpg overall city/hwy which is not great, but for having AWD and the comfort and space for me, it's OK. I appreciate the rear … seatbacks which fold forward, which gives extra space for storage, or transporting materials from Home Depot when doing weekend projects. I wish the engine had more power for quicker acceleration at times, but it's adequate most of the time. The car has been basically trouble-free...it's a KEEPER for me! UPDATE: I have now had this car for over 6 years, and have put 100,000 miles on it since I got it. It still runs and handles the same. Most of the maintenance has been performed by a local Subaru dealer, except brake jobs, which I felt they were just too expensive. The 4 speed automatic is very outdated, so the acceleration is slow. The newer Legacy with the CVT seem to be a lot quicker and quieter, which I will keep in mind, for some day. The newer models also have improved technology as far as sound systems, navigation, etc. I suppose I will be ready for a more updated model in a few years. This car seems like it will go another 100,000 miles without a doubt. It's still great for the Ohio winters.
3.88 out of 5 stars
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.
5 out of 5 stars
Someones trash became my treasure!!
2009 Subaru Legacy 3.0R 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl 5A)
I bought my Legacy 3.0R used with 13400 miles. This is my commuter car. Its a blast to drive with great acceleration and braking. I wish there was a little less body roll but overall very sporty ride. Maybe if I upgrade the roll and strut bars. I love the black cloth and silver trim. I upgraded to a bluetooth pioneer radio and the factory Harmon Kardon sounds much better than the stock … unit not that the stocker is bad. The gas mileage isnt great but I knew what I was getting into before I bought it. The back seat is a little tight for adults but we own a SUV if we need to haul passengers. <br><br> *Update - 68000k on the clock. Still hanging in there. Replaced the pulleys, battery, shocks, wheels and tires. Still rides great. I gonna drive it until the wheels fall off!!!
Features & Specs
- Base MSRP
- MPG & Fuel
- 20 City / 27 Hwy / 22 Combined
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 16.9 gal. capacity
- 5 seats
- Type: all wheel drive
- Transmission: 5-speed manual
- Flat 4 cylinder
- Horsepower: 170 hp @ 6000 rpm
- Torque: 170 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm
- Basic Warranty
- 3 yr./ 36000 mi.
- Length: 185.0 in. / Height: 56.1 in.
- Overall Width without Mirrors: 68.1 in.
- Curb Weight: 3275 lbs.
- Cargo Capacity, All Seats In Place: 11.4 cu.ft.
NHTSA Overall Rating
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverallNot RatedDriver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverallNot Rated
- Side Barrier RatingOverallNot RatedDriver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront SeatNot RatedBack SeatNot Rated
- RolloverRollover4 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of RolloverNot Rated
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
- Side Impact TestGood
- Roof Strength TestNot Tested
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood
- IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front TestGood
More about the 2009 Subaru Legacy
Used 2009 Subaru Legacy Overview
The Used 2009 Subaru Legacy is offered in the following submodels: Legacy Sedan. Available styles include 2.5i Limited 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl 4A), 2.5i Special Edition 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl 4A), 2.5i Special Edition 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl 5M), 2.5GT Limited 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 5A), 3.0R Limited 4dr Sedan AWD w/Nav (3.0L 6cyl 5A), 2.5GT Limited 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 5M), 2.5i 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl 4A), 2.5GT Limited 4dr Sedan AWD w/Nav (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 5A), 2.5GT spec.B 4dr Sedan AWD w/Nav (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6M), 2.5i 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl 5M), 3.0R Limited 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl 5A), and 3.0R 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl 5A). Pre-owned Subaru Legacy models are available with a 2.5 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 170 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2009 Subaru Legacy comes with all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 4-speed shiftable automatic, 5-speed manual. The Used 2009 Subaru Legacy comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. powertrain warranty.
What's a good price on a Used 2009 Subaru Legacy?
Price comparisons for Used 2009 Subaru Legacy trim styles:
- The Used 2009 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Special Edition is priced between $12,590 and$12,990 with odometer readings between 73032 and94095 miles.
Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.
Which used 2009 Subaru Legacies are available in my area?
Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2009 Subaru Legacy for sale near. There are currently 3 used and CPO 2009 Legacies listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $12,590 and mileage as low as 73032 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2009 Subaru Legacy.
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Should I lease or buy a 2009 Subaru Legacy?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.