My key requirements are cost and safety. True cost to own over 5 years between the Mercedes and the Legacy for 5 years is about $25K. Safety options only lack the adaptive headlights.
SAFETY: The Edmunds reviews ignore the fact that you can get Safety Options on the Legacy that just aren't available on any of its competition: AWD (winter safety), Blind Spot detect and avoid, Lane Drift detect and avoid, and Crash Avoidance. Also, the "Deaths per Million Miles" of the Legacy are 0 (the only one in its class). Finally it has all 5 star ratings on the safety tests. If you want safety, you can't beat it in its category. The review should make this clear.
The more things change the more they stay the same
written on 01-12-2016
3.6R Limited 4dr Sedan AWD (3.6L 6cyl 5A)
I bought this car because we have owned foresters for 7 yrs. I just bought a new one for my wife is September, she won't drive anything else. I wasn't lookin for a new car but one of my sedans was totaled in accident in November so I looked at the Legacy. I drove the 2.5 the same as in my wife's Forester. The 4 performs fine in everyday driving but has some transmission lag when punched, since I do a fair amount of freeway driving and merging I choose the 6. The 6 is much smoother. So far I am averaging about 23.8 in mixed driving after 900 miles.
Subaru has always been know for their all wheel drive, safety and drive trains. Fit and finish have lagged the Toyota,s and Honda's along with ride. I sold my 2014 Camry XLE to my son whose sedan was totaled. The creature comforts and technology have improved from our 2009 Forester. The legacy holds 4 adults very comfortably and you can fit four sets of clubs in the trunk. The interior and tech are on par with the Toyota's and Honda, . Seats are more comfortable. The newer Subies are bigger. The handling feels compliant with the all wheel drive system, still no sports sedan i.e. Mercedes or Audi. The safety record is unmatched and the eyesight system is state of the art. Visibility is excellent for a sedan.
So as usual the all wheel drive system, reliability, and safety are reasons to buy this car. The interior is better and more comfortable than previous models with plenty of room.
Disappointing is the road and wind noise, my Toyota was quieter in that respect. I also drove a few used Mercedes and the Buick Regal that are quieter. It's tough to pick up in a short test drive with the Salesman talking. The suspension still feels stiff and my old Camry took the bumps better.
I live in the Northeast and you can't beat these cars in the snow, but also great traction in heavy rains. So it depends how you weigh safety , great all wheel drive vs ride. Kinda like it's always been with the Subies, although the creature comforts and tech have improved.
Update after 8400 miles, I'm enjoying the car more than ever, the ride feels better now than at first and is very comfortable. The 6 is quiet and performs weel on the freeway.
I struggled with the decision on which car to buy in this segment. For me it basically came down to the Honda Accord and the Legacy, and I really really liked the accord and every publication will tell you it is a MUCH better car than the Legacy, but when it came down to it, the AWD and the interior space is what one me over with the Legacy. The Legacy is slightly bigger, I'm not sure how they compare exactly in measurements but I know when you sit in the drivers seat and reach over to the passenger side the accord is smaller and the arm rest on the accord is much smaller. This is an important aspect for me because I'm 6'3"/225lbs, I need all the space I can get and don't like feeling stuffed into my car.
The AWD was important because I work in the medical field and live in Michigan=no snow days. I've had front wheel drive cars before and they were fine, but there is just a little more confidence when you have the AWD that is going to help on those few days a year where you feel like you might die on the way home from work:)
Not a big fan of the touch screen, I like the set up on the accord better, and if you have to touch the screen while driving it is a reach for the driver so that isn't convenient. The mileage has not been great, it is saying for the first 700 miles I'm averaging 25.5mpg and I drive a mix of city highway, so certainly hoping that will go WAY up.
I do LOVE the car though. Smooth, quick, feels more luxury inside than the price, quiet, all in all I look forward to driving it and am proud to own it. What I learned is that you can read all the reviews from the professionals but until you drive the car itself you won't know if it's a good fit for you. This car might not break the top ten on a lot of lists, and there are a few things I'd change, but it is a GREAT car.
This is not a fun or sporty car to drive, but it serves it purpose as a safe family sedan. I bought it because of the AWD that Subaru is known for since I live in a hilly area in Northeast. The 2.5 engine lacks power and acceleration. There also seems to be lag accelerating from full stop. Cornering is just ok. The safety features are very good. Blind spot warning came in handy a few times when I pulled out of parking spot and a car suddenly zoomed by or pedestrian running by. Eyesight doesn't work well in fog or sun glare. The dashboard will warn you when Eyesight is turned off. Eyesight will trigger warning if you're cruising and the car infront of you suddenly breaks. Lane departure warning is very sensitive and can trigger erroneously if you drive over a tar line patch on the road. Overall, this is a good safe car and I plan on passing down to my kids once they start driving. It's better that they don't drive a high perfornance car.
I came to the Legacy in a very strange way. I had no interest in buying a middle of the road sedan. I was set on buying either a F-150 or 4-Runner (my previous vehicle). But I had been without a car for nearly 2 months and after looking at the $40k price tag of trucks/suvs, I came to the conclusion I'd get a car then later buy a truck as a second vehicle. When selecting a car I typically prefer hatchbacks but don't care for the pokey 2.0 engine in the crosstrek/impreza. I also looked at some other sedans but what I like about Subarus is the large pass through from the trunk to the back seats when folded down. I can fit my bike in easily and it just has tons of cargo room. The interior is also very spacious, and I liked the extra cabin space and room around the driver (remember this is same platform as the outback). For the price of $25k (and I didn't even negotiate as I was exhausted after 2 months of car searching), it came with features more expensive vehicles didn't have (homelink, all-weather car mats, heated seats, awd). I was going to go with the 3.6 limited, but this was just a 'commuter car' so I didn't want to spend another $7k for the bigger engine and leather. Also, I have been pleasantly surprised at the acceleration of the 2.5 engine when paired with the CVT. It is way better than what I remember when driving other people's Subarus. Not to mention, I'm averaging 30mpg with 90% city driving!!!!! So when I say I love my grandma car, I mean it is a 4 cylinder sedan that hauls lots of stuff and gets great gas mileage and is very comfortable in town as well as on the highway. I also looked at the Honda Accord, Mazda 6, and VW GLI and VW GTI (which I have previously owned). All those cars have their positives. Overall I liked the space and cargo capacity of this one. I also like the easy/simple LCD display, traditional tachometer/speedometer, and well designed ergonomics. The only downside I have noticed of this vehicle is the CVT transmission can be a little rough when decelerating/going downhill at certain speeds (mostly I notice it right about 35-40 mph going downhill). But other than that, I never really notice that I'm driving a CVT. The stock speakers were also terrible (I upgraded mine). A good choices for a sedan if you value spaciousness and cargo capacity. And apparently resale is excellent on these vehicles (as it is with most Japanese brands). Great practical car. You just won't win any fun awards with it.