REVIEW: 2020 Subaru Legacy – Two Ways This Sedan Leads The Pack

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Shoppers looking for a midsized sedan often default to the iconic Honda Accord or Toyota Camry. Each is a safe choice. However, the 2020 Subaru Legacy beats them both in two important ways.  

What is it? 

The new 2020 Subaru Legacy is a midsized sedan with room for five passengers. Although it does not have the market share that the Accord and Camry have earned, it offers buyers with certain priorities an attractive alternative.

Pricing and trims

The 2020 Subaru Legacy is offered in six trims. The Base, Premium, Sport, and Limited all come with a 2.5-liter engine developing 176 lb-ft of torque. These trims range in price from about $24K to about $32K. New for 2020 are the Limited XT and Touring XT trims with a 2.4-liter turbocharged engine developing 277 lb-ft of torque, which top out in price at about $37K.

We tested a pre-production version of the 2020 Legacy Premium.  It had an estimated as-tested price of $26,895. As luck would have it, we were at a local Subaru dealer (Patriot Subaru of Attleboro, Mass.) on the day our tester arrived, and the dealer had multiple 2020 Legacy sedans in stock and in the showroom with prices under $27K. It is nice to know the affordable trims are actually stocked by the dealer network.

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Safety

Simply put, the Subaru Legacy has a “legacy” of being the safest car in its class. Not only have previously tested Legacy model years been IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus award winners, they have also proven to be the safest sedans in the class when real-world crash data is analyzed. See our prior report on the 2016 Legacy for more details on this model’s impressive safety record.

Our test vehicle had all manner of driver aids. The lane-centering steering assist is one of the best we have ever tested. One annoyance is included though. The lane departure warning beeps constantly in rural driving and cannot be made to turn off without a yellow warning light being displayed. IIHS has not tested the 2020 Legacy yet. We expect a high score given Subaru’s track record.

Performance

Our lower-trim Premium Legacy had the base 2.5-liter engine. In our testing in normal suburban, highway, and city driving, it seemed to have more than ample power. We took over the test vehicle from an editor at an enthusiast publication. He’s a weekend racer with a high-performance car in his garage. We asked his opinion on the Legacy and his answer was, “It never feels underpowered.” The Legacy Premium has a comfortable ride and is fun to drive hard in corners.

The first area that the Legacy stands apart from the Camry and Accord is its standard all-wheel drive. Anyplace it snows in America AWD is a big advantage. In rural areas with dirt roads, AWD is also a plus, and Subaru has found ways to add this advantage without any pain at the pump.  The EPA estimates that the Accord and Legacy both have the same annual fuel costs.

Seating & Cargo

The Legacy Premium has a power-adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support. We found the soft cloth cozy in fall weather and very comfortable. Heat for the front seats is included at this low price point.

The Legacy offers 104 cubic feet of passenger volume. By contrast, the Camry has 99 cubic feet available. Both the Camry and Legacy have a 15 cubic foot trunk. Under the cargo floor is additional storage space and a compact spare tire.

Infotainment and controls

Infotainment is the area where the Legacy beats the Accord and Camry hands-down. The 2020 Legacy offers a huge tablet-like screen with outstanding information organization. We used Android Auto during our time with the Legacy Premium and were very surprised by what we discovered. Subaru has made it possible to view Google Maps for navigation at the top of its display, while still having ample room below that for audio and other information to be displayed and accessed. The image above is our night-time view of the screen while Android Auto is on. No vehicle we have ever tested, including the 2020 Subaru Ascent we tested just last week, offers infotainment this good.

Overall

The 2020 Subaru Legacy Premium is a safe, fun to drive, spacious sedan. With its standard all-wheel-drive system and industry-best infotainment system, we feel that it offers two big advantages when compared to the top-selling sedans in the midsize car market.

Note: Some images show other trims than that which was tested.

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John Goreham

John Goreham