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.
trim levels & features
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.
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.
noise & vibration
edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.