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.
Subaru has also addressed most of our complaints with the previous Legacy, finally entering the modern era with a state-of-the-art infotainment system that makes it easy to pair and use a phone, stream music, and use apps.
Also, engine noise has been considerably tamed thanks to the reprogrammed continuously variable transmission, making the car feel less strained when accelerating.
Even with its 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and standard all-wheel drive the Legacy doesn't penalize drivers at the pump, returning a very good 26 mpg overall. A six-cylinder engine is available in the 3.6R version, which transforms the car with quick, effortless acceleration.
Either way, the Legacy comes well equipped and is available with a full-complement of modern active driver assistance safety aids though Subaru's EyeSight system. Yet four-cylinder versions remain affordable.