If you want an affordable family sedan with all-wheel drive, the Legacy is the only game in town. It's also a value-packed ride with a spacious interior and good fuel economy. Where it falls a bit short is in refinement and performance.
For 2013, Subaru tweaked the steering and suspension, which helped make emergency handling more secure and predictable. But the changes also robbed the car of its plush ride. It's was still good mind you, just not great. The redesigned 173-hp, 2.5-liter "flat-four" engine delivers slightly quicker acceleration and fuel economy of 26 mpg overall, which is impressive for an AWD car. Still, most competing four-cylinder sedans were quicker.
The Legacy's real Achilles' heel is its continuously variable transmission. Well behaved during casual driving, it tends to exacerbate engine noise when you're accelerating or merging on the highway. Its performance is also a bit rough around the edges. The optional 256-hp six-cylinder engine is more refined and enjoyable to drive, but it's pricey. Expect about 22 mpg overall.