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Consumers Review the Subaru Legacy

Read recent reviews for the Subaru Legacy
Overall Consumer Rating
4.41,841 Reviews
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I Bought My 2017 Legacy for Safety features
Peter Cole,03/11/2017
I was looking for a sedan that would be significantly safer than my older cars. It wasn't a matter just of airbags and protection in a crash. My old car had air bags, so how much safety would a few additional bags add? What I wondered was whether any of the ACTIVE safety features really work by keeping you out of accidents in the first place. I only compared cars that already have top government and insurance safety ratings. It soon became clear that a few cars really stand out: among the sedans, the Volvo S60 (great but far too expensive), the Mazda 6 (but only the top of the line model) AND, the eventual winner, the Subaru Legacy (a car I was not considering when I first started looking). In all cases, what you get depends which OPTIONAL safety features you buy. My list of desired features included a rear camera (available on almost all cars and soon to be required on all cars), warnings when you stray out of lane (very common but far from universal) and indication of when a car in in your blind spot. I also wanted more advanced features such as for the car to intervene if an accident is on the verge of happening, by automatic braking etc., both driving forward and in reverse. An additional feature that really intrigued me was adaptive headlights, headlights that aim to the left or right when you turn to your driving path is illuminated. I also liked lane assist and adaptive cruise control. The first gently keeps you in your lane on the highway, and the second keeps you the right distance behind the car in front of you. In addition to these core safety features, I was also interested in a car with reasonably modern electronics. I hoped for an easy integration of my car and my iPhone. Of course, seat comfort, economy and a generally pleasant driving car were important as well, but I hoped that most new cars would be OK in those respects. Style, color etc. were on the bottom of the list, but still in mind. My general evaluation is that the 2017 Legacy exceeds expectations with regard to safety. I love the rear view camera and the beeps when I stray out of lane. I hope the active crash protection works. I have seen demonstrations on You-Tube, but I would rather not need it in real life. When the salesman was demonstrating the car, he put it in cruise control while following another car. When that car stopped at a light, so did the Legacy! That was pretty impressive, but I have no desire to duplicate the experience routinely. I do use the lane assist all the time. It works. You can see how we are moving toward self-controlling cars. The safety feature I am most disappointed with is adaptive headlights. I don't think I see into curves any better than I would otherwise. The headlights are fine as such, but I see no advance over conventional headlights so far. So for safety, I would give the 2017 Legacy, equipped with all the safety features, an A Minus. I am happy. It really is much better than earlier cars, but more improvements are clearly possible. The improvements so far DO seem to justify buying a new car if your old one lacks most of these features. Electronics is another story. Here the 2017 Legacy has the feel of 2007, not 2017. Yes, you can make an iPhone or Android use the sound system as a hands-free, but the built in GPS system feels old fashioned compared with Google Maps on my iPhone. It has been announced that the 2018 will integrate with Apple Car Play, but judging from the Impreza, which has those features now, that is not much better. Most people prefer Google Maps to Apple Maps, and that is not available in 2017 or in 2018 apparently. I am not sure any car on the market really gets this right. Maybe we have been spoiled by our phones. The cars have a way to go to catch up. What I can praise is the upgraded stereo on the Limited trim level. The sound is great. It is possible to listen to Pandora and get a wide choice of music (if you don't mind using up your data plan on your phone, the source of the Internet connection). Overall, though, the electronics are really not up to date, but then there are few cars that are up to date, and it is possible to achieve what you want with the present system. It just has an out of date feel. Regarding general comfort and ergonomics, I find the front seats comfortable but not in the same class as my 2002 Volvo S60's seats. The back is spacious and reasonably comfortable. The instruments are a bit overwhelming because current cars have so many features that in principle one might want to turn off. Since in fact, I don't want to turn off crash protection etc., I actually don't pay attention to a lot of switches, and I find the car easy to operate. There is excellent visibility and a small turning ration. The car is easy and pleasant to drive (like most Japanese cars). The bottom line is that I am very happy with the car. I am glad I bought all the extra safety features. Update: still happy (1 yr)
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