It’s not very often that we have the chance to write about an all new Subaru Legacy sedan.
This iconic Subaru has been in production for over 30 years, and it has racked up a whole host of awards during its time in production. Subaru is very keen on not letting the latest iteration of the Legacy rest on its loins, and has prepared a whole host of upgrades for the 2020 model year aimed at keeping the Legacy fresh and relevant, even as it faces the surging tide of SUV and CUV demand head on.
The exterior styling of the 2020 Legacy was penciled towards being more of an evolution of the look that has been around since 2015, versus an all out extreme redesign, but the basic theme still manages to be much sleeker than before, with tweaked headlights, a subtlety edited grille, and a new lower front bumper being the major items that are noticed by trained eyes. The rear fascia is equally tweaked, and benefits from new taillights and other minor upgrades. The end result is a look that helps make the Legacy look handsome, while still retaining the finer elements that allow it to still be a solid choice for buyers of all ages, especially older buyers and even first time drivers looking for a very safe option to begin their driving career.
The seventh generation Legacy rides on Subaru’s Global Platform, and while the exterior will not set the world on fire, the completely revamped interior will. The new platform helps increase rigidity, which in turn helps lower noise in the cabin by three decibels giving the Legacy a near luxury car vibe when it comes to banishing noise. Buyers that opt for the Sport, Premium, and Limited models will be rewarded with an all new 11.6 inch portrait style infotainment system that dominates the center stack and makes the unit a prominent piece of the cabin’s design. The same display is also standard issue in the Touring, but unlike the first three models, it adds navigation to its list of tricks. As for base models, they get dual seven-inch screens that split the infotainment and HVAC controls evenly.
The cabin also offers an extensive suite of connectivity to owners including four USB ports, (two in the front and two in the back) two 12-volt DC outlets, as well as an auxiliary input jack which allows the Legacy to be a very flexible platform when it comes to mobile media. The Legacy also leads the way in safety, with Subaru’s familiar Eyesight Driver Assist technology standard on all Legacy models. The 2020 version of the technology now adds a lane centering function for the adaptive cruise control, which makes small subtle steering corrections to help keep the car centered in the lane it is placed in. Subaru also offers an optional Driver Focus Distraction Mitigation system for the Limited (standard on the XT) that monitors the drivers eyes for signs of distraction and fatigue, with the system displaying warnings in the instrument cluster if it senses the driver is becoming fatigue.
Performance for the 2020 Subaru Legacy comes from a pair of engines with the bulk of the lineup being powered by a 2.5 liter naturally aspirated four cylinder boxer engine that is good for 182 horsepower and 176 lb-ft of torque with a CVT being the only transmission choice available. This results in a 0 to 60 time of 8.4 seconds, and Subaru claims that the combination is good for 27 mpg in city driving and 35 mpg in freeway cruising. This allows it to be on par with some of its rivals in everyday driving, but this engine might not light the fire of eager enthusiasts that like to take on Subaru’s wild side in their daily commute.
If that description fits you perfectly, then Subaru has the perfect answer, with the all new XT model. Serving as the range topping offering in the Legacy lineup, the XT also serves as the pinnacle of performance with power coming from Subaru’s 2.4 liter turbocharged four cylinder boxer engine that is good for 260 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque. The first turbocharged offering for the Legacy in over 12 years, these figures are virtually identical to what is seen in the bigger Ascent, and allows the Legacy XT to sprint its way to 60 mph in a brisk 6.1 seconds. Annoyingly, a CVT is the sole transmission choice available here too, but Subaru engineers claim that this particular CVT was tuned to make full use of the engine’s power, and still deliver commendable fuel economy figures, with Subaru claiming the XT can still deliver 24 mpg in city driving, and 32 mpg on the freeway.
The 2020 Legacy is expected to go on sale this fall, with Subaru choosing to release official pricing closer to its official launch. We still expect these figures to be a very value focused proposition for much of the range, however look for the Limited and the XT to be the two that command a hefty premium to access their unique charms. In the meantime, Subaru has released a brief video highlighting the 2020 Legacy which can be seen below. In a slightly related item, Subaru confirmed that an updated version of the Legacy’s wagon counterpart, the Outback, is under development, with that particular model possibly making its world debut sometime this fall.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.