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
NA
2006
NA
2007
NA
2008
NA
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
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
NA
2007
NA
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
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 2018 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

Android Auto

"Android auto will no longer connect with my display/touch screen."

John J., NC (2018 Subaru Legacy Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Backup or other camera/sensors

"Stopped working had it repaired shortly after it intermittently stopped working. Took it to dealer and he could not replicate problem so could not fix it. Note: when stopped working the map view would display when in reverse, not the rear view."

Anonymous, NJ (2018 Subaru Legacy Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
CD player

"Did not work properly upon delivery. Dealer fixed it but was arrogant and non cooperative. Took many tries and the solution was simple but they could have cared less."

Anonymous, WA (2018 Subaru Legacy 3.6R 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

"Controls aggravatingly unresponsive. CD has to be ejected and reloaded each time the engine is turned off for the CD to continue to play. Good thing the car doesn't have start/stop ??. CDs never a problem on my 2012 & 2015 Legacy's. The CD player on my 1984 Pontiac rocked!"

Dan I., MI (2018 Subaru Legacy Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"CD player didn’t Work correctly. Dealer replaced with new unit. Problem fixed. No cost."

Richard S., NJ (2018 Subaru Legacy 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Display screen freezes up

"This was multiple problems, GPS kept loading, Phone not connecting. This was a known problem that happened 2 days after I drove the car off the lot. The problem was fixed with a software update."

Allen S., NY (2018 Subaru Legacy Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"My nav display froze up a few time. My Subaru dealer applied a software fix that fixed the problem. The Harmon Kardon radio-nav system in my 2018 is wonderful. Fast, responsive and full of great features."

Joseph M., NY (2018 Subaru Legacy Limited 3.6-L 6 Cyl)
Display screen goes blank

"Display went blank. Dealer replaced unit under warranty."

Jack P., CT (2018 Subaru Legacy Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Display screen went blank upon starting car. None of the drivers assist functions or radio would work. Entire console was replaced by dealer. No further problems."

Anonymous, VA (2018 Subaru Legacy Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"called the dealer and this entire screen unit will require replacement"

Erwin S., ON (2018 Subaru Legacy Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Display screen & backup camera stopped working. It took at least 3 weeks for the dealership to fix the problems."

Anonymous, CT (2018 Subaru Legacy Premium 3.6-L 6 Cyl)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"Occasionally (3 times in last 5 months) nav system will not load (get circling load icon only). Dealer of course does not witness this. Dealer has tried to reprogram, but still happens."

Anonymous, NY (2018 Subaru Legacy Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Navigation display froze. Had to turn car off to reset. Dealer updated software. Nav display works normally now."

Anonymous, MI (2018 Subaru Legacy Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Nav system went completely blank screen."

Anonymous, NY (2018 Subaru Legacy Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"It's better than the previous system but still sucks"

Anonymous, MI (2018 Subaru Legacy)

"Radio failed and stopped all associated functions: navigation, radio, Starlink, backup camera, This was one of two recalls we experienced. Other recall was for digital gas consumption and mileage predictor."

Daniel B., VT (2018 Subaru Legacy 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Radio

"the radio turns itself on every time I start the motor even though I keep shutting it off"

Anonymous, NY (2018 Subaru Legacy Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Radio failed repeatedly and intermittently with no software fix available for 9 months. When at the dealership all parts were working. The entire system was then replaced. When it failed there was no GPS, Bluetooth or any infotainment system parts available. Lights and speedometer were working."

Anonymous, MA (2018 Subaru Legacy 3.6R 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

"broken tuning knob"

Steven P., MI (2018 Subaru Legacy 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Routine software updates

"It was not a 'problem' it was a recall update because of potential error showing gas level remaining"

Anonymous, TX (2018 Subaru Legacy 3.6R 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

"Tried to install update to GPS navigation update that I received from Subaru. Would not install completely and took whole system down. Car was drivable, but no electronics worked tied to the navigation screen, radio, gps, etc. Eventually Subaru issued a recall on the electronics that seemed to fix the problem. Have not tried to update the navigation system since, but don't think that was the problem. It was more likely a bug in the navigation software that wouldn't allow the update. Working fine now."

Anonymous, MN (2018 Subaru Legacy 3.6R 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

"I must update the mapping data for GPS myself. Gas level indication is wrong when at low levels below 1/4 tank. Audio software again needs updating"

Anonymous, MA (2018 Subaru Legacy 3.6R 3.6-L 6 Cyl)
Software update fixes

"Had to disconnect battery to reboot dealer tried to fix reset computer problem continues. also VERY TOUCHY THROTTLE CONTROLLED BY COMPUTER DEALER HAS NO FIX?"

John G., PA (2018 Subaru Legacy 3.6R 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

"They involved 2 recall notices from Subaru."

Anonymous, OR (2018 Subaru Legacy Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Voice control commands

"Voice command has problems recognizing what I want to do -- usually calling a phone number or name, occasionally with addresses for navigation."

Anonymous, NY (2018 Subaru Legacy Premium 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

"Plastic drivers side fog light cover fell off and was lost on the road twice requiring replacement twice."

Lawrence K., NY (2018 Subaru Legacy Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"front passager bumper was off a little bit. got if fixed with in a week"

Anonymous, CT (2018 Subaru Legacy)
Loose interior trim or moldings

"Once while my husband was driving us, the accelerator refused to respond to foot pressure, and car stopped (inside parking garage). Engine ran but at idle. He tried repeatedly to press accelerator, which would depress only slightly, and engine did not respond to this pressure for almost five minutes. Then suddenly, engine began to respond, and car moved ahead normally and he drove it home, wondering when/if that would occur again. That night he found, loose on the driver's side front floor, a sizeable chunky plastic trim that he later discovered belonged on the front of the driver's seat's left slide rail. The next day he took car to dealer. A trustworthy (he thinks) service writer had two separate good mechanics independently test drive car, with instruments; however the problem never materialized. Both the service writer and my husband suspect that this black plastic trim trim may have fallen off the slide rail, and MAY have lodged unseen under the accelerator, preventing foot pressure from pushing accelerator far enough down to increase engine speed beyond idle. Or is there something fundamentally wrong with the drive system, at least of this one vehicle? Either way, there is a safety defect, as the cuttting off of the motive power could have been extremely dangerous in traffic or under speed. In any case, for the ensuing 10 months,, my husband has not trusted the car and admits he probably never will, since we don't know the cause of the problem with any certainty -- a sad commentary on a $30,000 expenditure. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to inform you of this auto's puzzling problem. I have had one other trim problem. The second time my husband went to gas up the car, he could not even open the door to the gas tank. We had to wait two weeks before the dealer could obtain and install what turned out to have been a defective gas door assembly."

Nancy H., MD (2018 Subaru Legacy 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"Surface finish more susceptible to acidic bird droppings than any other car I've ever had. Also susceptible to minor denting from tree nuts and branches, never noted on other cars I've owned"

Anonymous, VA (2018 Subaru Legacy Sport 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

"Received a recall notice that the fuel gauge was giving a false reading but they had no fix for it yet. They suggested filling the tank when gauge read one half full. A month or two they had a fix for the fuel gauge. So far so good."

Clayton B., MI (2018 Subaru Legacy 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Headlights

"swivel headlights not working; repaired under warranty"

Allan K., ON (2018 Subaru Legacy 3.6R 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

"SRH did not function correctly"

Anonymous, NB (2018 Subaru Legacy Limited 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

"3 trips to dealer. They were not able to identify nor rectify the upper dash rattle. Probably because it sat in a heated service dept. for awhile before a mechanic looked at it, thus the problem never reared its ugly head. However, I have never had the pleasure of driving in a heated area. Especially in December, January, and March. In Michigan. Just hoping the rattle goes away come summer. Maddening enough to not consider a Subaru again. This is my 3rd Lagacy in a row (2012, 2015, 2018) but the first two were rattle and squeak- free. Same body all three."

Dan I., MI (2018 Subaru Legacy Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"The driver seat squeaked when I hit a bump. I took it to the dealer, they gave me a loaner and it took 4-5 days (including over a weekend) and they fixed it under warranty."

Louis R., CT (2018 Subaru Legacy 3.6R 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

"NOISE IN L/F WHEN GOING OVER WASHBOARD ROAD DEALER SAYS NO PROBLEM BUT CAN NOT EXPLAIN WHY NO NOISE ON RIGHT SIDE??"

John G., PA (2018 Subaru Legacy 3.6R 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

Exhaust

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

What Owners Say

Other/unsure

"Eyesight will sometimes stop working in rain or snow when vision is temporarily obstructed. But even when cleared, it will sometime stay off for up to 8 minutes afterward."

Anonymous, NY (2018 Subaru Legacy 3.6R 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

"Blind spot warning is too slow when vehicles overtake slowly. Vehicle is already visible in side view mirror and sometimes directly through side window when warning occurs."

Anonymous, NY (2018 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

Fuel gauge/sender

"Headlight was not responding to turning as it was supposed to."

Anonymous, NB (2018 Subaru Legacy Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"fuel guage did not accurately reflect the amount of fuel remaining in the tank (it over-estimated the amount remaining)"

Anonymous, ON (2018 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

"Drive system crashed"

Anonymous, MI (2018 Subaru Legacy)

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

"Steering on both the Legacy and Outback is a bit unstable compared to our previous Toyota Avalons. The Legacy steering turned out to be out of alignment shortly after purchase and one tire was 10 pounds too high. Very strange. The dealer shop people were not as gracious as you would think they should be when a brand new car is having issues."

Anonymous, FL (2018 Subaru Legacy Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Major

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

What Owners Say

Head gasket

"Car had 5943 miles when dashboard light up with electronic failures and check engine light. Change the oil sensor but it was the head gasket. Was without the car for 3 weeks."

Anonymous, IL (2018 Subaru Legacy 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Brakes

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

Transmission Minor

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

Engine Cooling

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

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.

Climate System

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

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.

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