For too long, sometimes feeling like eternity, the Subaru Legacy has been pushed by the wayside. It should never have been so, because the midsize sedan is nearly as good as the Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, Mazda6, Kia K5 and so forth. With a total redesign last year, the Legacy should inspire plenty of interest. After all, the car demonstrates incredible nimbleness, remarkable handling and response. Partial credit, of course, goes to the standard symmetrical all-wheel drive system that Subaru equips in all its vehicles.
The seventh-generation Legacy is equipped with a 2.4-liter, horizontally opposed, turbo four-cylinder engine blasting off 260 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 277 pounds-feet of torque at 4,800 rpm. The continuous variable transmission with eight-speed manual shift capabilities contributes to a compelling performance while ensuring gas savings.
Ensconced on the unitized body structure is a frameless hexagonal grille and lower air intake with a centered Subaru star cluster insignia, flanked by C-shaped LED headlights. Outdoor-loving folks will appreciate the mounting brackets atop the roof to haul a canoe or surfboard. A twin cockpit with electroluminescent analog gauge displays for the speedometer, tachometer, fuel and coolant temperature give the cabin a rich feel.
Its huge, 11.6-inch, tablet-style touch screen to control navigation, audio and phone along with circular control knobs is easy to use. Drivers of different heights in the family will appreciate the three-spoke tilt/telescopic steering column. Its trunk capacity of 15.1 cubic feet matches rival offerings. Other standard comforts are the dual auto AC, 10-way adjustable power driver and eight-way passenger seats, 60/40 fold rear seats, rear-seat AC outlets, overhead sunglass holder and power moonroof.
Dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag for both rows, driver knee airbag, four-wheel anti-lock brakes with electronic brake distribution and brake assist, vehicle dynamic control, stability and traction system, rearview camera, blind-spot detection with lane-change assist and rear cross-traffic alert, reverse auto brakes, tire pressure monitoring system and daytime running lights come at no extra cost.
The standard Eyesight Assist Monitor, which features lane-departure warning and active cruise control, ensures that the driver maintains a straight path while the DriverFocus Distraction Mitigation System sounds a warning if its camera and facial recognition software finds tiredness signs or driver diversion.
It’s about time the redesigned Legacy begins to attract serious attention among sedan buyers. For us in the Tampa Bay area, the standard all-wheel drive will be practical during the rainy season. Plus, the first-rate cabin and tremendous safety features make the Legacy a terrific daily ride.