2020 Subaru Legacy Restricted XT assessment: Not simply one other sedan
“The 2020 Subaru Legacy blends digital brains with mechanical brawn.”
Highly effective engine
Tech that fights distraction
Poorly tuned transmission
The Subaru Legacy has all the time accomplished issues in a different way than different midsize sedans, providing all-wheel drive and unorthodox boxer engines to differentiate itself from the cookie-cutter competitors. Whereas the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry have dominated the marketplace for many years, the Legacy has constructed up a small however loyal following, principally within the Subaru strongholds of the Northeast and Northwest.
With the redesigned 2020 Legacy, nevertheless, Subaru is seeking to get away of its area of interest and problem different midsize sedans head-on.
As with its Outback sibling, the standout new options of the 2020 Subaru Legacy are an out there 11.6-inch touchscreen and turbocharged four-cylinder engine — evoking sporty turbo Legacy fashions of the 2000s and 2010s. Our Legacy Restricted XT take a look at automobile had each objects, in addition to a sticker worth of $35,095, in comparison with $23,645 for a base Legacy.
Design and inside
Fashion is subjective, however wanting on the 2020 Legacy’s exterior, it’s clear that Subaru had different priorities. Nothing in regards to the design is totally different or groundbreaking and, regardless of being a brand new technology of Legacy, the 2020 mannequin appears much like its predecessor. The 2020 Legacy is barely longer, taller, and wider than the 2019 mannequin, however with an similar wheelbase.
Beneath the pores and skin, the Legacy rides on the identical Subaru International Platform because the automaker’s different latest fashions, just like the Crosstrek and Ascent. Subaru claims the 2020 Legacy is 70% stiffer in torsional rigidity than its predecessor, which helps enhance dealing with and provides the automobile a extra stable really feel. Subaru additionally claims the 2020 Legacy can take up greater than 40% extra power in entrance and facet impacts.
Many screens look like a waste of area, however Subaru did issues proper.
Typical for Subaru, the inside is straightforward however laid out nicely. Our Restricted take a look at automobile (one step under the highest Touring trim degree) had leather-based seats that had been pretty snug, however may have used firmer cushioning. Subaru additionally threw in plenty of shiny black plastic and pretend chrome trim, which produced vital glare in direct daylight, and seemed like it could scratch simply.
The Legacy has extra Environmental Safety Company-rated passenger quantity than high opponents just like the Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Nissan Altima, Toyota Camry, and Volkswagen Passat. Nonetheless, headroom and legroom in each rows are solely common. At 15.1 cubic toes, trunk area is a bit under common.
Tech, infotainment, and driver help
The 2020 Legacy will get the identical 11.6-inch portrait-oriented touchscreen because the Outback. The display screen is commonplace on all Legacy trim ranges besides the bottom mannequin (which will get a 7.Zero-inch touchscreen), whereas Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are commonplace throughout the board. The Legacy additionally will get a built-in Wi-Fi sizzling spot for the primary time.
Huge screens are all the fashion lately, however most automakers appear to be prioritizing type over perform. Whereas many of those screens look like a waste of area, Subaru did issues proper. As within the Outback, the icons are large and simpler to learn whereas driving. Icons for local weather management are additionally positioned on the backside of the display screen — the place analog knobs and buttons would usually be — and Subaru included an all-important quantity knob. Nonetheless, at one level the audio system stopped working, an issue we didn’t encounter on an Outback with the identical head unit. It was remedied by restarting the automobile.
The 2020 Legacy additionally will get Subaru’s EyeSight suite of driver aids, which makes use of forward-facing cameras mounted close to the rearview mirror, relatively than the radar models utilized by most different automakers. Adaptive cruise management with lane centering is commonplace, whereas blind spot monitoring, lane change help, and rear cross visitors alert are non-compulsory extras. That’s similar to the usual bundle of driver aids on the Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, and Toyota Camry.
EyeSight has a bonus over competitor techniques: Tech that ensures it received’t be used irresponsibly.
As with the Outback, EyeSight adaptive cruise management maintained a gentle tempo with ease, however was sluggish to react when automobiles reduce in abruptly. The lane-centering characteristic’s efficiency was worse, nevertheless, displaying a bent to drag to 1 facet just like the automobile wanted a wheel alignment. It additionally let the automobile drift out of its lane a few occasions. An Outback take a look at automobile didn’t have these issues on the identical stretch of street. Given how related the 2 fashions are (the Outback is actually a Legacy station wagon), the shortage of consistency was troubling.
Nonetheless, EyeSight nonetheless has a bonus over competitor techniques: Tech that ensures it received’t be used irresponsibly. Subaru is one in every of a handful of automakers (together with BMW and Cadillac) to make use of a driver-facing digital camera to observe for distraction. The DriverFocus system, which debuted within the Forester, sends audio and visible alerts if drivers take their eyes off the street. As in different Subarus, DriverFocus did its job unobtrusively within the Legacy, with no false alarms.
The 2020 Legacy continues Subaru’s use of its trademark “boxer” engines, which sit decrease within the chassis than different engine configurations, serving to to decrease the automobile’s middle of gravity. The bottom 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine carries over from the 2019 mannequin yr, however now makes 182 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque, up from 175 hp and 174 lb-ft earlier than. All Legacy fashions get commonplace all-wheel drive and a constantly variable transmission (CVT).
XT fashions get a extra powerful 2.Four-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Shared with the Outback and Ascent, it makes 260 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque. That’s greater than the three.6-liter boxer-six this engine replaces, in addition to the non-compulsory turbocharged engines within the Honda Accord and Nissan Altima. The Toyota Camry’s three.5-liter naturally aspirated V6 makes extra horsepower (301 hp) however much less torque (267 lb-ft).
The Legacy additionally beats the Hyundai Sonata in energy output, though Hyundai is making ready a sporty N-Line mannequin with a 2.5-liter turbo-four making 290 hp and 310 lb-ft. That engine is already out there within the 2021 Kia K5 GT.
The turbocharged engine makes loads of energy for an unusual household sedan.
Whatever the competitors, the turbocharged engine makes loads of energy for an unusual household sedan, so it’s simple to think about the Legacy XT as an even bigger sibling to the Subaru WRX. That’s not the case although. This Legacy is decently fast (zero to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds, in response to Subaru), however nothing else about it’s sporty. The suspension is tuned for consolation, not dealing with, an affordable resolution given how most midsize sedans are literally used. The Honda Accord and Mazda 6 stay the higher selections for driving lovers.
The CVT additionally sabotages the engine with uneven energy supply. As within the Outback, the engine and transmission simply don’t appear to be on the identical web page. The jerky acceleration looks like using with a novice studying to drive stick. This automobile calls for a unique transmission, or at the least a retuning of the CVT. That may flip a superb automobile into an incredible one.
Fuel mileage and security
Turbocharged 2020 Legacy fashions like our take a look at automobile are rated at 27 mpg mixed (24 mpg metropolis, 32 mpg freeway), in comparison with 23 mpg mixed (20 mpg metropolis, 28 mpg freeway) for the outdated six-cylinder mannequin. We averaged 24 mpg over every week of driving, in response to the automobile’s journey pc. With the less-powerful base engine, the Legacy is rated at 30 mpg mixed (27 mpg metropolis, 35 mpg freeway).
The Legacy provides barely higher mixed and metropolis gas financial system than a 2.Zero-liter turbo Honda Accord, however the Honda will get the identical 32 mpg freeway. The Nissan Altima is rated at 29 mpg mixed (25 mpg metropolis, 34 mpg freeway) with its non-compulsory turbo engine, which makes use of variable compression to wring out further mpg. The Accord, Hyundai Sonata, and Toyota Camry are additionally out there with hybrid powertrains, whereas the Legacy isn’t.
The 2020 Legacy obtained the very best Prime Security Decide+ ranking from the Insurance coverage Institute for Freeway Security, in addition to a five-star total ranking from the Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security Administration — the federal company’s highest security ranking.
Subaru provides a three-year, 36,000-mile, fundamental guarantee and a five-year, 60,000-mile, powertrain guarantee. That’s about common for a mainstream model, though Hyundai and Kia supply longer guarantee phrases. Subaru additionally has a superb fame for reliability.
How DT would configure this automobile
The Restricted XT trim degree examined right here appears to be the candy spot of the 2020 Legacy lineup. It will get the turbocharged engine, which is value the additional cash over a base engine that has not impressed in different latest Subaru automobiles. The Restricted can be the bottom trim degree to get the DriverFocus digital camera system, albeit solely as a part of an choices package deal that additionally consists of navigation, an influence moonroof, and a heated steering wheel.
On the similar time, it doesn’t appear value upgrading to the highest Touring trim degree. The one options it provides are a front-view digital camera and Nappa leather-based seats. The Restricted already comes with leather-based seats, albeit of ostensibly lower-grade materials.
It’s unclear how a lot aftermarket help the 2020 Legacy will get, however this looks as if a automobile with potential. Subaru is unlikely to supply a brand new model of the outdated Legacy 2.5GT Spec.B efficiency mannequin, however it could be nice to see one in every of these automobiles with stickier tires, greater brakes, and upgraded suspension to match its turbocharged energy.
The 2020 Subaru Legacy continues to face out from the group. The non-compulsory turbocharged engine provides this new mannequin some-much wanted oomph, and all-wheel drive traction stays an asset in snowy climates. Add to that EyeSight and DriverFocus tech, in addition to one of many best-integrated touchscreens within the enterprise, and the Legacy ought to attraction to extra than simply conventional Subaru followers.
The Legacy isn’t excellent. The Honda Accord and Mazda 6 are higher driver’s automobiles, and the Hyundai Sonata boasts its personal intelligent tech within the type of the Good Parking Help self-parking characteristic. The Nissan Altima does a greater job of balancing turbocharged energy with good fuel mileage, and the Accord, Sonata, and Toyota Camry are all out there with hybrid powertrains for even higher mpg.
Nonetheless, the Legacy covers the entire bases and, with its commonplace all-wheel drive, gives a bit of further insurance coverage for unhealthy climate.
Do you have to get one?
Sure. With all-wheel drive and loads of tech, the Legacy is a good different to the midsize sedan mainstays.