2017 Subaru Legacy Review

Pros & Cons

  • 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
  • Slower acceleration than almost every competitor
  • Stiffer ride (except Legacy Limited) than many competitors
List Price Range
$12,295 - $23,500

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

The 2017 Subaru Legacy deserves more attention that it typically gets from most car shoppers. It's overshadowed in the midsize sedan segment by ultra-popular and hard-to-argue-with rivals like the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry and Ford Fusion. The Legacy sedan also faces competition inside Subaru's dealerships by the company's selection of crossovers that include the mechanically related Outback. Nevertheless, the Legacy deserves a look -- especially for those living where weather is a factor.

The Legacy owes its excellent all-weather capability to its standard all-wheel-drive system, a trait that differentiates it clearly from its competitors. The Ford Fusion and Chrysler 200 both offer all-wheel drive as well, but it's optional and then only with the pricier, more powerful and less efficient engines. With the Legacy, it's included with both available engines and on every trim, plus its fuel economy compares favorably to the segment best (acceleration is quite a different matter, however).

Beyond its all-weather distinction, the Legacy stands out with its package of EyeSight accident avoidance tech available on all but the base trim. Although not as sophisticated as those found in many luxury cars, Subaru's systems will help save your bacon (and insurance rates) and we recommend checking that option box.

Otherwise, the Legacy is a rather average, run-of-the-mill family sedan -- and we mean that in the best way possible. Though not sensational in any particular way, it has few shortcomings. It's not as pleasing to drive or look at as a Chevy Malibu or Mazda 6, nor does it offer the perceived quality and refinement of the Honda Accord or Ford Fusion. You may also have to explain to your Camry-driving friends why you went with the Subaru. Well, if you live where the sun rarely shines in the winter, you should at least have one easy answer.

The 2017 Subaru Legacy comes standard with stability and traction control, antilock disc brakes, a rearview camera, front side airbags, side curtain airbags and seat cushion airbags that deploy from the seat bottom to help keep occupants in place in a frontal collision.

On the Premium and Limited trim levels, the Legacy comes with Starlink Connected Services, which includes emergency assistance and automatic collision notification. This can be enhanced with the optional Safety Plus and Security Plus upgrade, which adds remote vehicle access, remote vehicle locating and stolen vehicle recovery.

The EyeSight Driver Assist Technology package, optional on all but the base 2.5i, includes forward collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic braking, reverse automatic braking, and lane departure warning with automatic intervention.

In government crash testing, the Legacy earned a top five-star rating for overall safety performance, with five stars in the frontal- and side-impact categories. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the Legacy received a top score of "Good" in moderate-overlap frontal-offset, small-overlap frontal offset, side-impact and roof-strength testing. The Legacy's seat/head restraint design was also rated "Good" for whiplash protection in rear impacts.

In Edmunds brake testing, a Legacy 2.5i Premium stopped from 60 mph in a short 114 feet, a better-than-average performance for this segment.

2017 Subaru Legacy models

The 2017 Subaru Legacy is a five-passenger midsize sedan available in five trim levels: 2.5i, 2.5i Premium, 2.5i Sport, 2.5i Limited and 3.6R Limited. The numbers indicate the engine type.

Standard equipment on the 2.5i includes 17-inch steel wheels, all-wheel drive, automatic headlights, air-conditioning, a rearview camera, cloth upholstery, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a 60/40 split- folding back seat, Bluetooth phone and audio, a 6.2-inch "Subaru Starlink" touchscreen interface, a variety of entertainment and information smartphone integration apps, and a four-speaker sound system with a USB port, an auxiliary audio jack, a CD player, HD and satellite radios and an iPod interface. 17-inch alloy wheels are optional.

The 2.5i Premium adds those alloy wheels plus an All-Weather package (heated front seats, heated mirrors and a windshield wiper de-icer), dual-zone automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a 7-inch Starlink touchscreen, additional smartphone app services, an emergency communications system, an additional USB port, and a six-speaker sound system. A sunroof is optional.

The 2.5i Sport adds mostly aesthetic flourishes inside and out, but does add 18-inch wheels, foglights, a sunroof, keyless ignition and entry and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

The 2.5i Limited has different 18-inch wheels and reverts to the Premium's styling, but adds an upgraded suspension for improved comfort, a blind-spot warning system, rear cross- traffic alert, an eight-way power driver seat (with memory functions and two-way power lumbar), a four-way power passenger seat, heated rear seats, leather upholstery, and a 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system.

The 3.6R Limited differs only with its six-cylinder engine, steering wheel shift paddles that can call up simulated shifts and xenon headlights.

All but the base 2.5i can be equipped with a navigation system and the EyeSight Driver Assist Technology package (see Safety section). The two are bundled together on the Limited trims.

Driving

Both the four- and the six-cylinder engines are quiet and smooth, but acceleration is lackluster. On the upside, though, the Legacy's standard all-wheel-drive system gives it plenty of capability in bad weather. The standard continuously variable transmission also does an excellent job of getting the most out of either engine. Although it can essentially mimic a broad range of gearing for maximum mileage, this CVT is also programmed to deliver noticeable "shifts" to make it feel more like a traditional transmission.

The Limited's upgraded suspension should provide a more comfortable ride than those of the other trims which we found to be a bit firmer than the class leaders. Around turns, the Legacy is precise and easy to drive, but a significant amount of body roll prevents it from feeling truly sporty.

The 2017 Legacy is available with two engines, specified as 2.5i and 3.6R. Both come standard with all-wheel drive and a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).

The 2.5i's 2.5-liter horizontally opposed ("boxer") four-cylinder produces 175 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque. During Edmunds track testing, it brought the Legacy from zero to 60 mph in 9.4 seconds, making it one of the slowest cars in the midsize sedan segment. The segment average is more than a second quicker. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 29 mpg combined (25 mpg city/34 mpg highway). That's impressive given that all-wheel drive usually results in a significant fuel economy penalty.

The 3.6R has a 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine good for 256 hp and 247 lb-ft of torque. Those are low for an optional engine in this segment and acceleration is not surprisingly unimpressive as a result (though still better than the 2.5i). EPA-estimated fuel economy is 23 mpg combined (20 mpg city/28 mpg highway).

Interior

Subaru's no-nonsense approach to car design is reflected in the Legacy's simple and straightforward interior. Materials quality has improved compared to earlier versions of the Legacy, with more cushioning at common touch points like the armrests and center console. The optional touchscreen navigation system has crisp graphics and is easy to use thanks to smartphone-like operation and large icons.

There is plenty of front headroom, and we've found the front seats to be comfortable on longer drives. In back, the Legacy offers slightly less headroom and legroom than the Honda Accord and Ford Fusion, and its 15-cubic-foot trunk trails the competition as well. We doubt that many will find it anything other than sufficiently spacious.

One thing we specifically like about the Legacy is its excellent outward visibility -- no small feat in an age of high door lines and bulky pillars that result from modern safety standards. Firm, supportive seats and a slightly higher driving position make the Legacy Subaru's most comfortable sedan yet.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2017 Subaru Legacy.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Beats Accord & Camry
Alan,10/23/2016
2.5i Limited 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)
Had a 2014 Accord Sport, Have a 2012 Camry Se. Both cars are pretty much the same. They feel cheap. Got Legacy Limited. The difference is the All Wheel Drive. Instead the the car being pulled, which stinks, all 4 wheels move and the car is much smoother and feels like a luxury car. Front wheel drive is terrible. It also rides softer than both Camry & Accord. It's a huge difference. The front seats are much more comfortable and there's more room width wise. After driving the Legacy, you will never go back to front wheel drive.
Checked-out all the sedans. Legacy rose to the top
Iowa,12/05/2016
2.5i Limited 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)
Wife and I test drove all the 2017 sedans. Accord was ruled out because the seating was very uncomfortable for both of us. Ford Fusion gas mileage not up to par. Camry was sort of blah. Finally narrowed to Sonata and Legacy (Limited trim for both) . Both are quiet. Sonata has slightly better pick-up, but I thought Legacy handled better. Sonata's warranty was a strong selling point, but the Legacy had all-wheel drive. Final choice based on minor interior things. No options for the Sonata interior color: only black interior with the white/silver/grey exterior, and only beige with the blue/red exteriors. Also the faux wood interior molding on the Sonata beige trim looked cheap. Have had the Legacy for a month and very happy with it. Have now had the Legacy for over 6 months. Remains very comfortable with excellent handling and ride. I find the audio interface poor. The computer frequently does not pick up my voice, and the audio controls are not intuitive. Am a little disappointed with the gas mileage. Overall, I am happy with the car, as the safety features work very well (which was a major selling point of the car). Backup warning when a car is coming out of my site line has saved me a couple of times already. I really like the headlights lighting up the curb in the direction of a turn. Lane departure, automatic cruise control, and blind spot detectors all work flawlessly as well.
The Pillow
Howard Larkin,11/30/2016
2.5i 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)
Update: At 24 months and 36,000 miles no repairs needed. The car gets about 28-30 mpg in mixed city/highway driving for my wife's daily commute and around town use. We have taken several long trips and have seen mileage as high as 38 mpg on the highway, though 32-35 is more typical at a constant 70 mph. The car is also very comfortable for four adults with luggage on long trips, and daily commutes -- hence "the pillow." Road holding in wet and icy conditions is outstanding. We are very pleased with the Subaru Legacy 2.5i. My wife traded in her 2005 Volvo S40 for this 2017 Subaru Legacy 2.5i mostly because the Volvo was getting too expensive to keep repairing -- Volvo parts are ridiculously expensive and the thing is so complicated they had to take the grill off to recharge the air conditioner. So the nice roomy layout under the Legacy's hood is a welcome switch, or so my mechanic tells me. You can actually see and reach the spark plugs without disassembling half the engine. This is actually our third Subaru, the previous two being a 1996 Outback and a 2012 Forester which we still have. The Legacy doesn't handle quite as well as the Volvo but they are such different cars it is not really fair to compare them. However, the Legacy does feel very planted on cloverleaf freeway entry ramps and it is easy to change and hold a line. I give credit to the symmetrical all-wheel-drive, which sounds like advertising but it really does eliminate torque steer. Physics, I guess.The Legacy is much better at absorbing the massive potholes and bumps all over the streets in Chicago and suburbs, which destroyed the Volvo's front end twice in 100,000 miles. The Subaru is at least a match for the Volvo in the rain and I am sure it will be much better in the snow as well. The Volvo was pretty good in snow for a front-wheel-drive car, but our other two Subarus were and are practically snowmobiles. This is a big reason why my wife chose the Subaru. based on previous experience with continuously variable transmissions, I was a little leery of this feature. However, the Legacy's CVT is very responsive and the car moves right out when you need it to. On my wife's 35 mile commute of about half highway and half streets the Legacy is getting about 29 mpg, which is about five or six better than the Volvo got on the same trip. We haven't taken any long road trips yet, but the dash says it hits 35 mpg on the freeway right after a fill up, and so far the dash mpg report has been pretty accurate, within about two percent of miles divided by gallons when we fill it up. The Legacy is much bigger inside than the Volvo, with a very comfortable back seat, though the Volvo had better seats. The lumbar cushion on the base Legacy are not adjustable, and tend to push me out a little farther than ideal on the bottom cushion, though this isn't a hug problem. Much, much better visibility out of the Legacy and the back up camera helps avoid backing into the garage wall. The Legacy is very solid and quiet, much more so than our 2012 Forester. Based on the excellent durability and reliability of our other two Subarus -- no repairs needed at all in 55,000 miles on the 2012 Forester, not even brake pads -- I am hoping this one won't need much work over the next 10 years or so.
Can't go wrong with Legecy
Brian,02/12/2017
2.5i Premium 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)
I purchased this car in December and I took advantage of Subaru's zero percent financing. I am very happy with the room under the hood and the roominess of the cabin. I am 6'1 and I am very comfortable driving the car, plenty of room. The car is smartly engineered. The AWD is the best in the business. I live in the northeast so the AWD will come in handy. So far I am very happy with the car. If you are looking for a good, comfortable, reliable and safe automobile at a good price, look no further than the Subaru Legecy. Don't get the base model. You get more bells and whistles starting with the premium edition on up. Update: I have owned the car now for 8 months and my review hasn't changed. I have experienced no issues with the car. Drives well with the changes in the seasons in the northeast. Only season that it hadn't seen yet is fall. It still gets 32 miles to the gallon in mix driving city vs. highway. I am happy that I purchased the Subaru over other cars I was considering.

Features & Specs

MPG
25 city / 34 hwy
Seats 5
Continuously variable-speed automatic
Gas
175 hp @ 5800 rpm
MPG
25 city / 34 hwy
Seats 5
Continuously variable-speed automatic
Gas
175 hp @ 5800 rpm
MPG
25 city / 34 hwy
Seats 5
Continuously variable-speed automatic
Gas
175 hp @ 5800 rpm
MPG
20 city / 28 hwy
Seats 5
Continuously variable-speed automatic
Gas
256 hp @ 6000 rpm
See all Used 2017 Subaru Legacy features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover5 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover10.1%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2017 Subaru Legacy

Used 2017 Subaru Legacy Overview

The Used 2017 Subaru Legacy is offered in the following submodels: Legacy Sedan. Available styles include 2.5i Premium 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT), 2.5i Limited 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT), 2.5i 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT), 3.6R Limited 4dr Sedan AWD (3.6L 6cyl CVT), and 2.5i Sport 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT).

What's a good price on a Used 2017 Subaru Legacy?

Price comparisons for Used 2017 Subaru Legacy trim styles:

  • The Used 2017 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium is priced between $13,590 and$23,500 with odometer readings between 15688 and79851 miles.
  • The Used 2017 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Limited is priced between $12,295 and$21,995 with odometer readings between 17350 and81665 miles.
  • The Used 2017 Subaru Legacy 2.5i is priced between $14,448 and$17,717 with odometer readings between 12996 and78418 miles.
  • The Used 2017 Subaru Legacy 3.6R Limited is priced between $21,911 and$22,711 with odometer readings between 23123 and38826 miles.
  • The Used 2017 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Sport is priced between $17,911 and$19,990 with odometer readings between 35624 and47810 miles.

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Which used 2017 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) 2017 Subaru Legacy for sale near. There are currently 50 used and CPO 2017 Legacies listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $12,295 and mileage as low as 12996 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 2017 Subaru Legacy.

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Find a used Subaru Legacy for sale - 8 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $16,336.

Find a used Subaru for sale - 12 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $24,028.

Find a used certified pre-owned Subaru Legacy for sale - 11 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $19,230.

Find a used certified pre-owned Subaru for sale - 5 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $25,204.

Should I lease or buy a 2017 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.

Check out Subaru lease specials
Check out Subaru Legacy lease specials