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 2 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 2017 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

Backup or other camera/sensors

"CR & others continually downgrading good vehicles due to "connectivity " or "infotainment" issues. My wife got an email warning "low windshield washer fluid" When it stops squirtin' a steady stream fill the damn thing up. Lights & warning buzzers, tracking devices, black boxes, touch screens & other electronic crap are out of control. Techno-geeks are not only ruining the world now they're ruining our cars for those of us who focus on driving, which is what our priority should be"

Anonymous, PA (2017 Subaru Legacy 3.6R 3.6-L 6 Cyl)
Display screen freezes up

"I could not change stations or turn off radio"

Anonymous, NJ (2017 Subaru Legacy 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
External music device interface (e.g., smart phone, MP3 player)

"iPod interface turns off connected iPod at odd times and is useless until the car is stopped and the iPod is restarted. This often happens when changing songs or albums with steering wheel control"

Dennis D., GA (2017 Subaru Legacy Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Sometimes when using BlueTooth to play music from my iPhone over the car's stereo system, the track would advance or restart without my having hit any buttons"

Geoffrey F., MA (2017 Subaru Legacy Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"Very poor system. Reroutes constantly and periodically locks up"

Mesh F., OH (2017 Subaru Legacy Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"System is terrible. Very poor directions. Voice commands also do not work"

Anonymous, MA (2017 Subaru Legacy Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Radio

"radio works fine. sirus xm not conecting"

Robert Y., NY (2017 Subaru Legacy Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Between delivery to dealer and several test drives, the XM antenna connection failed. It had worked as some XM stations had been pre-programmed, but when I took delivery, it had failed"

Ray M., CA (2017 Subaru Legacy Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Voice control commands

"Problems with electronics --- using bluetooth. Subaru has ordered a new computer for the car & will be installed at no cost as car is under warranty,"

Anonymous, VA (2017 Subaru Legacy)

"Voice commands do not work. Like GPS - should not be sold to public. Not ready for Prime Time"

Anonymous, MA (2017 Subaru Legacy Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

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

"Showed miles can drive before needing gas to be 3miles when there was 1/2 tank remaining. Also similar, but not affecting performance,miles per gal varied greatly from avg to 99.9 miles! This car was bought new in late Nov 2016...will be having it checked shortly"

Anonymous, IL (2017 Subaru Legacy)
Interior lights

"Somehow, probably because of the car's automatic systems for turning on interior lights, the interior lights seem to have never turned off when they were supposed to, and as a result the next day I found the car wouldn't work at all (because the battery had drained). Thank goodness, the dealership took care of this and didn't bill me for anything, but I did end up without the use of the car for several days, plus having to undertake the rather lengthy trip to the dealership and back, which basi"

Anonymous, NY (2017 Subaru Legacy Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Keyless entry

"Key fob would work intermediately. When it wouldn't work, had to unlock the car using the key which would set off the alarm causing extreme noise and people to look over to ensure it wasn't being stolen. Dealer replaced the key battery first and when that didn't work, had to replace the motherboard in the key fob"

Bruce B., CA (2017 Subaru Legacy Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Once it would not let me lock the car and twice it would not unlock the vehicle"

Ronald M., FL (2017 Subaru Legacy Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Warning lights

"had a bad sensor. several dash lights had come on"

Anonymous, PA (2017 Subaru Legacy 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

""Check Engine" warning light indicated grill shutter failure which was repaired under warranty"

Anonymous, GA (2017 Subaru Legacy 3.6R 2.5-L 4 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

"rattles and/or squeaks in dash area, addressed by dealer and now rarely heard"

Anonymous, WA (2017 Subaru Legacy 3.6R 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

"Rattles under the dash and from the sun roof. Repairs were made by the dealer to fix problems"

Anonymous, RI (2017 Subaru Legacy 3.6R 3.6-L 6 Cyl)
Wind noise

"At 55-60 mph wind noise make radio listening difficult"

Anonymous, VA (2017 Subaru Legacy Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Irritating wind whistle from front side driver and passenger windows when driving above 50 Km an hour"

Wayne P., ON (2017 Subaru Legacy 2.5i 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

Doors or sliding doors

"Two of the doors came misaligned. There was also an issue with the gas fill door not opening. Both were fixed quickly but reflect an inattention to detail since they were both known problems"

Mesh F., OH (2017 Subaru Legacy Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Glass defects

"Noticed there were scratches on my windshield. Not sure what caused it or if it is a factory defect"

Gerald C., VA (2017 Subaru Legacy 2.5-L 4 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

"Fender pulled away slightly coming off a snow mound..snapped it back on..no danage"

Anonymous, NY (2017 Subaru Legacy Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"Bumpers appeared to have been scratched either in the dealer lot or in transit. Scratches were not noted at time purchase was agreed to, but were noticed at time of dealer delivery"

Anonymous, PA (2017 Subaru Legacy Premium 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

"Heater gave off a burning / rotten smell several times. Engine generally had to be "hot" for the odor to originate. Research noted that other owners have had a similar issue. Dealership checked system and did not indicate any problems were found. AC worked fine. Will have to wait until next fall/winter to see if problem re-occurs"

Anonymous, PA (2017 Subaru Legacy Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Refrigerant leaks

"Noticed the AC wasn't working first warm day this spring but don't know when it quit (Michigan winter). Subaru i using new refrigerant in 2017 models. First had to wait for dealer to get refrigerant, then had to wait for them to get the proper sniffer tool before they could identify that the evaporator was leaking. And then finally had to wait for the replacement part and installation"

Charles R., MI (2017 Subaru Legacy 3.6R 3.6-L 6 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

Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"O2 sensor failed within 600 miles from new. Required reprogramming of on board computer. Fix was made by dealer"

Anonymous, RI (2017 Subaru Legacy 3.6R 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

Engine Cooling

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

What Owners Say

Overheating

"There was a hole in the radiator, which had to be replaced"

Leslie B., NY (2017 Subaru Legacy Sport 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

Engine Minor

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

Transmission Minor

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

Brakes

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

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.

Exhaust

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

Drive System

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

Engine Major

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

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