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Subaru Legacy

  • Road Test
  • Predicted Reliability
  • Predicted Owner Satisfaction
The Legacy is one of the roomier, quieter, and more refined midsized sedans--attributes that help it remain as one of our top-scoring models in the class. Its ride is more comfortable than some luxury cars', and handling is sound and secure. The 2.5-liter four-cylinder is no rocket, but it gets the job done and returns 26 mpg overall. A stronger, quieter, and thirstier 3.6-liter six-cylinder transforms the car, giving it strong performance. The unobtrusive CVT behaves much like a conventional automatic. The infotainment system includes an easy-to-use touch screen with internet radio and Bluetooth. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility are standard. For 2019, advanced safety features including forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure, lane keeping, and sway warnings are standard.
All Ratings & Reliability
2015 Redesign Year
Subaru Legacy 2018
The Legacy's 2015 redesign delivered welcome refinement to an already roomy and accommodating mid-sized sedan. The car simply does everything well. The redesign improved interior quality, added contemporary connectivity from a new touchscreen infotainment system, and made the car one of the best-riding sedans available. Two engine choices are available, a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that returns 26 mpg overall, impressive given the standard all-wheel-drive, and a smooth 3.6-liter six. Both engines are mated to a continuously-variable transmission (CVT); gone is the optional manual. Handling is responsive. The spacious and quiet cabin provides plenty of room for the driver, along with a large rear seat, and simple controls. The infotainment system, long a Subaru weak spot, finally was brought up to date. Large windows and thin roof pillars supply excellent outward visibility, helped by a standard backup camera and optional blind-spot monitoring. Crash-test results are top-notch, and Subaru's EyeSight suite of safety gear includes desirable features like forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking.
Average Retail Price Trade-in Price Reliability Verdict Owner Satisfaction View Local Inventory
2018 N/A N/A
2017 N/A N/A
2016 $16,475 - $21,900 $13,250 - $18,950
2015 $15,025 - $19,600 $11,850 - $16,700
2010 Redesign Year
Subaru Legacy 2014
The Legacy's 2010 redesign transformed it into an accommodating and easy-to-live-with all-wheel-drive family sedan. Despite a considerable increase in size, fuel economy improved markedly, jumping to 25-26 mpg overall in our tests with the base 2.5-liter four-cylinder. Some credit for that goes to the continuously-variable transmission (CVT) that replaced Subaru's outdated automatics, aiding both efficiency and acceleration. Too bad the CVT emphasizes engine noise when accelerating or merging. A 3.6-liter six-cylinder with a five-speed automatic is an option, delivering smooth and easy power, along with 22 mpg overall. This satisfying engine choice makes the Legacy feel like a budget luxury car, pairing with the sedan's very impressive ride quality and a quiet interior. Handling lost some agility from the previous generation, but the Legacy remained more fun to drive than the average sedan, with quick steering turn-in. Despite standard stability control, emergency handling could still be sloppy. Suspension revisions for 2013 improved emergency handling, but overly hurt the ride; it went from being great to just good. Controls are simple and the rear seat is spacious. The 2013 update also brought Subaru's EyeSight suite of safety gear. This option includes forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking, highly desirable safety features, but you'll only find it on loaded-up Legacy models.
Average Retail Price Trade-in Price Reliability Verdict Owner Satisfaction View Local Inventory
2014 $12,450 - $17,250 $9,440 - $13,940
2013 $10,150 - $14,700 $7,230 - $11,480
2012 $8,625 - $15,700 $5,785 - $12,335
2011 $7,375 - $13,150 $4,615 - $9,965
2010 $6,675 - $10,425 $3,950 - $7,400
2005 Redesign Year
Subaru Legacy 2009
Think of this generation of the Legacy as a budget-priced European sports sedan or wagon, with a Japanese nameplate. Handling is excellent, with pinpoint steering that delivers direct feedback, making the car feel lively and agile to drive. But this is no hard-edged sports car, with a supple ride that soaks up bad roads. All of this makes the Legacy a particularly well-rounded performer. It's not perfect though; the tail can slide easily in emergency maneuvers. Electronic stability control helps, but it didn't become readily available until 2008, finally becoming standard for 2009. Power from the standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder is adequate, but nothing more. Expect 23 mpg overall from this engine, partly a consequence of its dated four-speed automatic, and partly due to the added weight of the standard all-wheel-drive system. A five-speed automatic was also available. Legacy 2.5GT and Spec B models have a more entertaining 2.5-liter turbocharged four, but fuel economy suffers for the fun. A smooth 3.0-liter six-cylinder was also available. Both four-cylinders were available with a manual transmission, but the six-cylinder was automatic only. Inside, the interior is rather well finished and controls are simple. Large windows, a low dashboard, and thin roof pillars deliver easy driver visibility. Front seats are well-sculpted and supportive, but the front cabin is fairly snug and rear seat legroom is rather tight. The Legacy wagon was dropped after 2007, a victim of the similar Outback wagon's overwhelming popularity.
Average Retail Price Trade-in Price Reliability Verdict Owner Satisfaction View Local Inventory
2009 $6,000 - $11,175 $3,265 - $8,065
2008 $5,525 - $9,475 $2,815 - $6,515
2007 $5,050 - $7,625 $2,360 - $4,760
2006 $4,725 - $6,900 $2,110 - $4,110
2005 $3,975 - $5,675 $1,505 - $2,955
Subaru Legacy 2003
Thanks to its roomy interior, comfortable ride, and nimble handling, the Subaru Legacy sedan has been a top performer for many years. Standard all-wheel-drive aids winter traction. Driving the Legacy is a delight, with its steering providing excellent feel and feedback. Emergency handling can be a handful, but stability control is not available on this generation of the Legacy. Acceleration from the 2.5-liter four is adequate, but not quick. Expect 22 mpg overall. Some useful interior features, like a folding rear seatback or height-adjustable driver seat, are only found on higher-trim versions. Interior ambiance is fairly drab, and the front seats are fairly narrow, but the wagon has a very spacious cargo area.
Average Retail Price Trade-in Price Reliability Verdict Owner Satisfaction View Local Inventory
2004 $3,600 - $4,800 $1,180 - $2,130
2003 $3,225 - $4,425 $880 - $1,830
2002 $3,025 - $4,100 $875 - $1,725
2001 N/A N/A
2000 N/A N/A