2020 Subaru Legacy first drive review: It’s what’s inside that counts

    If there is a main fault with the brand-new 2020 Subaru Legacy, it is that it does not instantly appear to be a brand-new automobile. Even all tarted up in range-topping XT Touring guise, the brand new Legacy lacks the outright freshness and curb attraction of rivals just like the Honda Accord, Mazda6 or Nissan Altima. I imply, have you ever seen the brand new Hyundai Sonata?But spend a while with the 2020 Legacy and you will find quite a few substantial enhancements to an already strong competitor, in areas that actually matter. From its compliant trip to its snug inside to its wealth of cabin tech and security programs, that is Subaru’s best and well-executed Legacy by a rustic mile.
    Generous lodgingThe new Legacy does not look dangerous, it is simply type of nameless. But that is to not say there aren’t some neat particulars. I just like the brushed steel mirror caps on my absolutely loaded Touring tester, and the way in which the chrome strip across the aspect home windows curves onto the aspect mirrors. The headlamp housings are extra stylized than earlier than, with normal LED important beams and operating lights on all fashions. The physique sides themselves are a bit plain, however the Legacy has a pleasant stance on its optionally available 18-inch wheels (17s are normal), and the rear fascia is easy and clear, with twin exhaust pipes solely seen on XT (turbocharged) fashions.Under its new pores and skin, the Legacy rides on Subaru’s new international platform — the identical bones that underpin the Ascent, Forester, Impreza and Outback. Even so, the 2020 Legacy is almost an identical to its predecessor in measurement, with solely 1.5 further inches of size. The Legacy won’t be a slave to trend, however this conservative design method has resulted in plenty of area for passengers. Without a closely raked roof or dramatically angled beltline, the Legacy feels completely large inside, with a ton of glass space and skinny pillars leading to a commanding view of the world exterior. A 6-foot-tall driver can put the entrance seat of their excellent driving place whereas a equally sized passenger rides comfortably within the again. And with 15.1 cubic toes of trunk area, the Legacy presents loads of room for a handful of suitcases, with the added bonus of a bigger aperture than earlier than for simple loading.Caramel-colored Nappa leather-based is obtainable on the top-end Touring trim.
    Michael Shaffer/Subaru
    Comfy and techyInterestingly, it is contained in the Legacy the place Subaru appears to have flexed some design muscle. I like the caramel-colored Nappa leather-based on my Touring tester, particularly the way in which it is utilized in giant swaths on the dashboard. Overall, the cabin is handsomely styled however nonetheless a lot practical, with deep door pockets that may accommodate massive water bottles.The apparent centerpiece of the Legacy’s cabin is Subaru’s 11.6-inch, portrait-oriented Starlink multimedia show. It’s normal on all however the base Legacy, that trim making do with a smaller, 7-inch touchscreen set above an association of bodily buttons for the automobile’s local weather controls. On all different fashions, the massive touchscreen is the place you will entry nearly every little thing, with a couple of bits of switchgear and knobs for issues like audio quantity, tuning and temperature.First seen on the 2020 Outback, this Starlink display is basically divided into three sections, with the biggest, center space dedicated to nearly all of infotainment features. Above that, you will entry readouts for issues like ambient climate, visitors or car data. At the underside, you will discover the local weather controls. The complete interface could be very easy to work by means of after a brief studying interval, with fast responses to inputs and a typically easy menu construction. Embedded navigation is obtainable on larger trim ranges and normal on the Legacy Touring, but it surely’s powered by TomTom and lacks the high-resolution maps befitting such a big display. Thankfully, each 2020 Legacy comes normal with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and I’d extremely advocate sticking to these interfaces on your navigation expertise.The 11.6-inch Starlink infotainment system is brilliant, colourful and tremendous simple to make use of.
    Michael Shaffer/Subaru
    Turbo energy and a compliant tripThere’s a brand new turbocharged engine possibility for the 2020 Legacy, changing the previous, 3.6-liter flat-6 from final 12 months’s automobile. It’s the identical 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder you will discover within the Ascent and Outback, producing 260 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque, mated to a constantly variable transmission and normal all-wheel drive. Not solely is that this engine extra highly effective than the outgoing H6 motor, it is extra environment friendly, too. Subaru estimates gasoline economic system rankings of 24 miles per gallon metropolis, 32 mpg freeway and 27 mpg mixed for these XT fashions, all of which symbolize 4-mpg positive aspects over the previous six-cylinder.This turbo engine does not precisely flip the Legacy right into a sport sedan, however alongside California’s Highway 33 heading north from Ojai, I discover this powerplant provides noticeable pep to the Legacy’s step, with loads of low-end and midrange energy. Unfortunately, the Legacy XT displays the identical type of aggressive throttle tip-in we have skilled in our long-term 2019 Subaru Ascent, that means there is a bizarre burst of energy proper off the road that fades away as you choose up velocity. It takes a bit getting used to, however actually is not a deal-breaker. Happily, XT fashions additionally include paddle shifters so you may drive the transmission into holding its simulated “gears” for longer quantities of time to clean these energy peaks out.Non-XT fashions use the identical naturally aspirated 2.5-liter H4 you will discover within the Forester and Outback, with 182 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque. The CVT/AWD mixture is once more normal on these turbo-less fashions, with respectable gasoline economic system estimates of 27 mpg metropolis, 35 mpg freeway and 30 mpg mixed.The new turbo engine has loads of energy, but it surely does not flip the Legacy right into a sport sedan.
    Michael Shaffer/Subaru
    Every Legacy makes use of the identical suspension and steering setup, so that they’re dynamically comparable; the XTs simply have extra punch. There’s a brand new Sport trim for 2020, however do not let the title idiot you. Available solely with the two.5-liter engine, there are not any chassis tweaks to talk of, just a few type upgrades and sport drive modes that barely alter the throttle and transmission mapping. Really, simply go for the Sport trim if you would like a decklid spoiler and model-specific, black-finish, 18-inch wheels.After a day of driving the 2020 Legacy by means of Southern California, my greatest takeaway is how nicely sorted the chassis is — you will really feel pavement imperfections, however they do not jostle you round. Through metropolis facilities and on the freeway, the Legacy is tremendous snug, from its supple trip to its soft entrance seats. Hit a twisty backroad and you will discover roll within the suspension and vagueness to the steering, however once more, this is not a sports activities automobile. If you are on the lookout for the motive force’s automobile of the midsize class, I’d sooner advocate a Honda Accord 2.0T or Mazda6 Signature, each of which lack all-wheel drive however really feel lighter on their toes with larger ranges of driver engagement.Instead, I might simply see consuming up a whole bunch of miles at a time behind the wheel of a Legacy. That this automobile can also be significantly quiet inside at freeway speeds solely provides to that completely nice vibe. Plus, each Legacy comes normal with Subaru’s EyeSight driver help expertise, with adaptive cruise management, lane-keep help with a lane-centering operate, pedestrian detection and extra. The lane-centering tech has been up to date to now observe a lead automobile quite than ping-ponging you towards the center of the lane, and it really works a deal with alongside California’s congested 101 Freeway. Other driver-assistance programs, together with blind-spot monitoring, lane-change help and rear cross-traffic alert can be found as choices, and normal on the top-shelf Touring.The 2.4-liter turbo-4 presents extra energy and returns higher gasoline economic system than the outgoing flat-6 engine.
    Michael Shaffer/Subaru
    A protected, strong selection2020 Subaru Legacy pricing ranges from $22,745 for a base mannequin to $35,895 for a loaded Touring XT, excluding $900 for vacation spot. That places the Legacy, inbuilt Lafayette, Indiana, according to just about each different midsize sedan, although it is after all value noting that Subaru’s contender is the one one to come back normal with all-wheel drive.It’s no secret the seventh-generation Legacy arrives at a time when an rising variety of shoppers are ditching sedans and stepping as much as extra practical crossovers and SUVs. And for those who’re a type of individuals, by all means, Subaru will fortunately advocate that you simply choose up a brand-new Forester or Outback.But so far as midsize sedans are involved, the 2020 Subaru Legacy positions itself as an extremely well-rounded providing, packing a ton of tech and oodles of passenger area into a comparatively inexpensive bundle. It would possibly lack type, but it surely’s brimming with substance.It seems a bit plain, however the brand new Legacy is a super-solid midsize sedan.
    Michael Shaffer/Subaru
    Editors’ be aware: Travel prices associated to this characteristic had been lined by the producer. This is widespread within the auto business, as it is extra economical to ship journalists to vehicles than to ship vehicles to journalists. While Roadshow accepts multiday car loans from producers with a view to present scored editorial opinions, all scored car opinions are accomplished on our turf and on our phrases.The judgments and opinions of Roadshow’s editorial staff are our personal and we don’t settle for paid editorial content material.

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