2018 Subaru Legacy Review

Pros & Cons

  • Standard all-wheel drive for extra wet-weather traction
  • Excellent outward visibility
  • Easy-to-use infotainment systems
  • Engines down on power compared to competitors
List Price Range
$13,998 - $23,836

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Which Legacy does Edmunds recommend?

We recommend the 2.5i Premium trim for most Legacy buyers. It comes with most of the features you're going to want or need, such as a power driver front seat, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control and the Legacy's upgraded 8-inch touchscreen. Just make sure to get the Premium with the optional EyeSight system that includes some useful and important driver safety aids.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

Thanks to the Legacy's all-wheel-drive system, Subaru's midsize sedan makes a lot of sense for those living in areas where the weather frequently makes the road slippery. But its available tech and safety features will appeal to anyone.

All-wheel drive is standard on every Legacy. This is the car's biggest differentiator among its competitors; only a few other cars in this class offer it. Otherwise, the Legacy features roomy seating, a comfortable road-going demeanor and the latest in-car technology. Every 2018 Legacy has a 6.5-inch display with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration. A larger 8-inch system that supports multitouch and navigation is optional.

The main drawback to the Legacy is engine choice. The Legacy's 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine is economical but not very powerful. You get more power from the 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine, but it's still not as quick as other sedans with upgraded engines, and it's thirsty. Overall, though, we like the Legacy. Even if you live in a place where it's sunny 365 days a year, the car's mix of features, interior room and safety features makes it a worthwhile choice.

2018 Subaru Legacy models

The 2018 Subaru Legacy is a five-passenger midsize sedan available with two engines and five trim levels: the base 2.5i, 2.5i Premium, 2.5i Sport, 2.5i Limited and 3.6R Limited. Legacy 2.5i models have a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine (175 hp and 174 lb-ft) while the 3.6R has a 3.6-liter six-cylinder (256 hp and 246 lb-ft). All Legacys come with a continuously variable automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.

The 2.5i feature set includes 17-inch steel wheels, air-conditioning, a rearview camera, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, Bluetooth, a 6.5-inch touchscreen interface, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, and a four-speaker sound system with a USB port, an auxiliary audio jack, a CD player, HD and satellite radio and an iPod interface.

The 2.5i Premium adds 17-inch alloy wheels, 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, an 8-inch touchscreen interface, an additional USB port and six speakers for the sound system.

The 2.5i Sport is pretty similar to the Premium but has 18-inch wheels, LED foglights, a sunroof, keyless ignition and entry, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a variety of exterior and interior trim flourishes.

The 2.5i Limited reverts to the Premium's styling but makes certain safety tech standard, such as a blind-spot monitoring system and rear cross-traffic alert. Also standard are an upgraded suspension, power-adjustable front seats, driver-seat memory settings, heated rear seats, leather upholstery and a 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system. With the 3.6R Limited, you also get the six-cylinder engine and turn-adapting LED headlights.

Optional for the Legacy Premium and above is Subaru's EyeSight safety package. Depending on the trim, it can bundle blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, automatic high-beam headlights, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and intervention, and front and rear collision warning with emergency automatic braking. A navigation system is also optional.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our First Drive of the 2015 Subaru Legacy Premium (2.5L flat-4 | CVT automatic | AWD).

NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current Subaru Legacy has received some revisions, including suspension and steering changes, larger and more capable infotainment screens, and more extensive noise reduction measures. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's Subaru Legacy.

Driving

Acceleration is tepid from the Legacy's four-cylinder engine, but it's pretty smooth and relatively quiet. The continuously variable automatic transmission performs "shifts" so it feels more like a traditional automatic. Handling and steering are acceptable.

Acceleration

The 2.5-liter engine makes 175 hp. Expect a zero-to-60-mph time of about 9.5 seconds. This Legacy is one of the slowest cars in the class, and it feels like it out on the road.

Braking

Strong performance at our track, stopping in just 114 feet with all-season tires. The brakes never felt all that strong on the road, with a spongy pedal, but they were easy to modulate to come to a smooth stop.

Steering

Steering has an intuitive operation and good weighting, and it feels natural in its action. The Legacy turns into corners nicely, but not so quick that it's abrupt.

Handling

This Legacy is no sport sedan, but it has easy-to-control manners, despite considerable body roll around turns.

Comfort

Seat comfort is excellent front and rear, and we were especially impressed with the soft and grippy cloth material. The cabin is fairly quiet. The engine is subdued in most situations, but it can get loud at high rpm.

Seat comfort

The front seats have good cushioning, covered with soft, high-quality cloth. Minimal lateral support. The door and center armrests have thick padding. The rear seats have good comfort and nice upper-back support, although the seatback rake is a bit upright.

Noise & vibration

The Legacy has a quiet highway ride with minimal tire noise and barely perceptible engine noise. The CVT is good about not pegging revs during acceleration, which is nice because the engine can get thrashy at high rpm.

Interior

It's an airy cabin, with not only ample room for passengers but also slim roof pillars for better visibility. There are plenty of handy small-item storage bins, too.

Utility

Cargo volume is generous due to the airy trunk. On the inside, numerous pockets and compartments ensure there's someplace for all your personal belongings.

Small-item storage

The door pockets are narrow but feature bottle holders. The good-size front bin has a security door. The armrest bin is easily accessible; the deep compartment in front of the shifter easily holds a phone and wallet.

Cargo space

The trunk opens wide to reveal a large opening and holds a decent 15 cubic feet. The rear seats are split 60/40, with a seatback release located in the trunk. The center pass-through is wide but not tall.

Technology

With a large standard screen and smartphone mirroring for both Apple and Android phones, the Legacy also features Bluetooth and various apps that use your phone's data connection.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2018 Subaru Legacy.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Underrated Car
Aldo,12/06/2017
2.5i Limited 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)
I think the knock others give any Legacy with the 2.5 engine needs to be challenged. I have found that I have plenty of power and can't understand why there are those reviews that call for more. It simply makes no sense. I have all the get up and go I'd ever want. The car is comfortable, quiet, and loaded with technology. The EyeSight system works flawlessly in every way and the interior is nicely appointed, giving the impression of a much higher priced luxury car. In fact, within the last couple of months, we rented a so-called "luxury" car while on a trip to the west coast. Our Subaru is a far better car in every way. I love the steering responsive LED headlights, and I love their auto dimming/brightening capability as well. The Harmon-Kardon sound system makes listening to media a total joy. The only knock is not having an extra inch to take the front seat back. I'm a big guy (6'4') and could use just a tad extra, but still, compared to competitors' cars, I can get in and out with much greater ease. The ride is quiet, braking is solid, yet not abrupt, and the AWD gives it superior handling characteristics.
Great car for a great price
Ric,12/04/2017
2.5i Limited 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)
I tested the new Camry, Accord, and Sonata before deciding to purchase the Subaru Legacy. There were many reasons that included overall value, safety, performance, and reliability. In addition, the Harmon-Kardon sound system is superior to all of the other offerings. While I am still breaking the car in, I am getting better MPG than I anticipated, and the safety features give me great security while on the roadway where no one is paying attention anymore. I was told that the base 2.5 engine was not very energetic, but I have not found that to be the case. The base engine is very peppy and I have no problems merging into traffic in the DC metro area.
A nice well balanced sedan
Rick,02/07/2018
2.5i Limited 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)
If you are shopping for a classy, updated, contemporary sedan, look at the 2018 Subaru Legacy limited. I’m coming from a 2015 Legacy which I liked very much. This 2018 Legacy has a much tighter suspension and quicker handling. It has good acceleration quite acceptable for everyday routine driving. I was also impressed that road highway noise has been reduced over my 2015 Legacy. However, I am really disappointed with the seat comfort. The seats are extremely hard so be prepared for back and leg pain on long trips. I did not pick this up on the test drive unfortunately. It was discovered on my first hour long trip. About 30 minutes into the trip, my rear went numb all the way down through my right foot. The leather looks very nice, but buyer beware of the hard seats. Update: 2019. After driving this car for a year, the seat is more acceptable/comfortable. I’m being very critical, but I wish there was less road noise on the interstate. Braking is great. I like the eyesight feature. Pretty nice care overall.
2nd Legacy...probably not my last
Bill M.,01/15/2018
2.5i Limited 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)
So my first Legacy was a 2015. Leased that one since I never had a Subaru before and wasn’t sure I would like it. Well I did and decided to buy my next one (can’t beat 0% financing). On paper this is the perfect car for me. Live in North Idaho now and needed AWD. For the price and features I don’t think there is a better value out there.For a fully loaded 2.5 Limited Legacy with Eye Sight Pkg for around $30k....is not bad at all. They did enough with 2018 Legacy compared to 2015 Legacy to make me feel I got a better car than the 2015 I traded in. Some of the new features I like in the 2018.... LED lighting (including headlights), auto high beams, lane keep assist, 8” screen, Tom Tom navigation, new multimedia interface, CarPlay, 2 usb power ports in the rear, rear braking assist, predictive guide lines on the reversing camera, better blindside notification, tire pressure monitor showing each individual tire’s air pressure, stitching on dash, smaller steering wheel with updated controls, overall updating of interior and exterior. Some things that I didn’t like in the 2015 that they didn’t change in 2018.... the tires that come on this car still suck (especially in the snow), location of front usb power ports can be a pain to hook up a power cable, seats could use some more padding. I am getting a over 30 mpg in mixed spirited driving...not bad for an AWD car in my opinion. Handles pretty good but is better with better tires. Acceleration is surprising decent for a four liter. Safety wise, I don’t know of a car with more safety features at this price point. If you are looking for an AWD car with pretty much every safety feature available today, that gets good gas mileage, is a great value with a pretty decent look to it.....this is your car in my opinion, just change out the tires.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2018 Subaru Legacy features & specs

Safety

Our experts like the Legacy models:

EyeSight Driver Assist Technology
Includes a variety of driver aids, including lane departure intervention and emergency automatic braking for imminent forward collisions.
Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive
Sends power to any of the four wheels with the most grip. Keeps the car pointing in the right direction when the roads are wet.
Blind-Spot Detection
Warns you if you're about to move into into an occupied lane. Is paired with rear cross-traffic alert to warn you of rear crossing traffic.

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 2018 Subaru Legacy

Used 2018 Subaru Legacy Overview

The Used 2018 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 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT), 2.5i Sport 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT), 2.5i Limited 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT), and 3.6R Limited 4dr Sedan AWD (3.6L 6cyl CVT).

What's a good price on a Used 2018 Subaru Legacy?

Price comparisons for Used 2018 Subaru Legacy trim styles:

  • The Used 2018 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium is priced between $16,500 and$19,988 with odometer readings between 22265 and50433 miles.
  • The Used 2018 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Limited is priced between $13,998 and$22,911 with odometer readings between 18637 and33298 miles.
  • The Used 2018 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Sport is priced between $19,101 and$21,000 with odometer readings between 24407 and43315 miles.
  • The Used 2018 Subaru Legacy 3.6R Limited is priced between $21,590 and$23,836 with odometer readings between 22413 and65431 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 2018 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) 2018 Subaru Legacy for sale near. There are currently 32 used and CPO 2018 Legacies listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $13,998 and mileage as low as 18637 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 2018 Subaru Legacy.

Can't find a used 2018 Subaru Legacys you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Subaru Legacy for sale - 4 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $20,879.

Find a used Subaru for sale - 8 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $17,164.

Find a used certified pre-owned Subaru Legacy for sale - 9 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $8,238.

Find a used certified pre-owned Subaru for sale - 4 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $12,616.

Should I lease or buy a 2018 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