At first blush the Subaru Legacy is a great all-around sedan, thanks to its standard all-wheel drive and reasonable price. But dig a bit deeper and you'll realize that is selling the car short. This is a car with very few compromises, effectively blending an excellent ride, responsive handling, a roomy and quiet interior, great visibility, simple controls, and easy cabin access front and rear.
Alerts
There are 3 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
NA
2001
NA
2002
NA
2003
NA
2004
NA
2005
2006
NA
2007
NA
2008
2009
NA
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
NA
2001
NA
2002
NA
2003
NA
2004
NA
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS available, standard from 2000. Side air bags available from 2000, standard from 2005. Head protection air bags standard from 2005. ESC available from 2007, standard from 2009.
Road Test

At first blush the Subaru Legacy is a great all-around sedan, thanks to its standard all-wheel drive and reasonable price. But dig a bit deeper and you'll realize that is selling the car short. This is a car with very few compromises, effectively blending an excellent ride, responsive handling, a roomy and quiet interior, great visibility, simple controls, and easy cabin access front and rear. This all adds up to a package that puts it among the top performers in our ratings of midsized family sedans.

Sure, the Legacy doesn't set hearts racing based on its nondescript looks or its respectable-if-unexciting acceleration numbers. But with best ride and among the best handling and braking of its competitors, it topped the category in nearly every other measure of track performance.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
AWD
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
sedan
Transmissions Available
  • CVT
Engines Available
  • 2.5-liter 4 (175 hp)
  • 3.6-liter 6 (256 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2016 Subaru Legacy owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Display screen difficult to see

"Difficult to read screen in bright sunshine"

Kathryn Z., NJ (2016 Subaru Legacy Premium 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

"The display screen is highly polished and angled in a way that creates veiling reflections and blinds the driver when the sun is behind you"

Bruce P., CA (2016 Subaru Legacy Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Certain times of day the angle of the light from the sun completely obliterates the screen"

Steven A., SC (2016 Subaru Legacy Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Display screen freezes up

"We were on the highway with the radio/navigation, etc off. Suddenly, the radio turned on, it started scrolling down the radio stations, stopped on one station, then the whole system froze. We could not turn it off or change the screen. Only after arriving home, turning off the car, then starting it the next day did it work again. The dealership said they could not replicate the problem and could find nothing wrong with it"

Robert F., ND (2016 Subaru Legacy Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
External music device interface (e.g., smart phone, MP3 player)

"Frequently unable to connect to iPhone or Pandora"

Steven A., SC (2016 Subaru Legacy Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"The music interface will sometimes freeze and require turning the radio off and then turning it back on"

Anonymous, NC (2016 Subaru Legacy Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"Voice commands would begin in mid-sentence, leaving out the first several words of the directions"

Paul S., FL (2016 Subaru Legacy Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Gave misleading directions but ultimately got us to our destination. Replaced under warranty and no further problems"

Anonymous, FL (2016 Subaru Legacy Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Navigation location and commands lag behind actual vehicle position"

Steven C., MN (2016 Subaru Legacy Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Defective electronic module had to be replaced"

Marvin M., NJ (2016 Subaru Legacy 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"The problem only has occurred when on the highway. And it has happened twice. The GPS will pick a random spot to give directions to. We enter nothing into the GPS. It just does it on its own"

Robert F., ND (2016 Subaru Legacy Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Map more than 2 years out of date when car was new. Have to pay for upgrade even with extended warranty. Inaccurate or bad routing information - cannot rely on navigation. Dealer not knowledgeable on now to correct issues. We have stopped using it"

Boyd N., MO (2016 Subaru Legacy Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Radio

"Intermittent Sirius XM reception"

Anonymous, NJ (2016 Subaru Legacy Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"It kept losing connection to Sirius/XM radio and they had to replace the WHOLE radio unit, which I had to wait a few weeks for"

Theodore S., WI (2016 Subaru Legacy 3.6R 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Squeaks or rattles

"Popping sounds, seat creaking. Dash rattles at 1200-1500 engine rpm"

Steven C., MN (2016 Subaru Legacy Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Metallic knock coming from the rear of the vehicle. Source unknown as of the date of this survey"

Anonymous, WI (2016 Subaru Legacy Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Modestly irritating noise top center underside of dash when on a slightly rough road surface"

Anonymous, OH (2016 Subaru Legacy 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Wind noise

"Wind noise fix kits applied 3 times to passenger door and 2 times to driver door. Subaru of America Field Sales Engineer determined that wind noise was not much worse than 2015 model. I've never had a wind noise issue with any car in 40 years of driving. Even when when driving various cars on the Autobahn in Germany, have I experienced such noise"

Stephen M., PA (2016 Subaru Legacy Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"loud wind noise they are unable to correct...so far"

Anonymous, NY (2016 Subaru Legacy 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"air leaks noisy around windows"

Anonymous, OK (2016 Subaru Legacy 3.6R)

"The wind noise is noticeable at higher freeway speeds, was not something observed during test drive as we were unable to test on freeway"

Anonymous, CA (2016 Subaru Legacy 3.6R 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

"Wind noise in front windows at highway speed"

Anonymous, CO (2016 Subaru Legacy Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Alignment

"the car was delivered from the dealer with the steering alignment off pulling to the right. within 2 weeks it was returned for alignment service"

Anonymous, NY (2016 Subaru Legacy Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Steering linkage (includes rack and pinion)

"Steering colunm replaced as the result of a safety recall by Subaru"

Anonymous, IL (2016 Subaru Legacy Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Steering column warranty problem they had me stop driving car until brought in and repair applied. Was mfg defect but did not cause an actual driving probleme"

David K., CA (2016 Subaru Legacy Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Had a factory recall in May 2016, had to take the car in, but I was given a loaner"

Anonymous, PA (2016 Subaru Legacy Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Steering column fasteners could crack and cause accident. they fixed it and gave us a free loaner"

Anonymous, OR (2016 Subaru Legacy Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Steering linkage had a recall and had to be replaced at 194 miles on car. It took over a week to get replacement parts and they had re-order and re-install a piece on the steering wheel that was defective that was damaged while replacing the defective part"

Anonymous, NC (2016 Subaru Legacy Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Glass defects

"Both fog lights busted from the inside. My guess is water got in and then living in upstate NY froze and busted. Currently waiting to see if we can get them covered by warranty"

Anonymous, NY (2016 Subaru Legacy Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"pitted front windshield"

Anonymous, ON (2016 Subaru Legacy)
Sunroof

"There was a defect in the seal for the sunroof - when the sunroof was fully seated the seal would bulge in the middle. It was repaired under the warranty by the dealer"

Linda R., WA (2016 Subaru Legacy Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Fuel cap

"Fuel cap failed to open. Required replacement of component"

John S., PA (2016 Subaru Legacy 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Fuel injection system

"Injector failed 30 miles after purchase. Injector froze open, dumping fuel into the engine constantly. Kicked off a whole slew of follow on problems that took 20,000 miles and months in the shop to fix"

Peter G., MD (2016 Subaru Legacy Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"Mass Air Flow Sensor was damaged by the Injector Failure. It would read approximately 10% more air than was actually entering the engine. This caused massive power loss at low power, failure of the spark plugs, and other drive-ability issues. Subaru was unable to diagnose this failure, and kept giving me excuses and telling me nothing was wrong. This is due to a limitation with the ECU diagnostics that prevent the ECU from detecting a degraded but functional MAF sensor. I had to purchase a MAF s"

Peter G., MD (2016 Subaru Legacy Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

4WD/AWD components

"Passenger rear wheel bearing replaced. It was noisy"

Anonymous, RI (2016 Subaru Legacy Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Driveshaft or axle

"Right rear wheel bearing failed & Transmission shift lever failed and key could not be removed from ignition"

Anonymous, IN (2016 Subaru Legacy 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Alternator

"Alternator failed after 1 year and left us stranded when car would not start"

Mark G., NV (2016 Subaru Legacy Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Heater system

"The heat at the feet on the passenger side is totally inadequate even on the highest settings. The dealership checked it out and says it is "performing to factory specs." In which case, factory specs are rubbish"

Anonymous, CO (2016 Subaru Legacy)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Gauges

"They are totally inaccurate. GPS is worthless. I called Subaru & was told nothing can be done to correct the problems. I suggested they spend a few more $$ & improved the now useless gauges/GPS"

Kathryn Z., NJ (2016 Subaru Legacy Premium 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Loose exterior trim or moldings

"Entire left front fender popped out when I went over a pothole. Took two trips to dealer to get it fixed so it looked like the other side"

Anonymous, CT (2016 Subaru Legacy 3.6R 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Rotors

"Needed to be resurfaced at 10000 miles due to vibration during normal braking at speed"

Anonymous, CT (2016 Subaru Legacy Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Transmission rebuild or replacement

"The transmission simply quit working and car had to be towed. I was told that the transmission simply disintegrated"

Anonymous, IN (2016 Subaru Legacy 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Gear selector or linkage

"I was scared out of my wits when I put my 2015 Legacy from the 'reverse' (R) gear into the 'drive' (D) gear and it kept going in reverse almost slamming into car directly behind me. What happened: -I was parked on a steep winding driveway located on a very steep road. -I put the car in 'reverse' (R) to begin backing out of the driveway onto the steep road -Once on the steep road I then shifted into 'drive' (D) expecting to go forward. -But 'drive' (D) gear didn't seem to engage and kept rolli"

Anonymous, NJ (2016 Subaru Legacy 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

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