Since Subaru took the Legacy wagon, lifted it and slapped an Australian name for the 1996 model year, the entire Legacy line, which abandoned the wagon in 2008, has been overshadowed by its off-road counterpart, Outback. , and the growing number of crossovers and sport utility vehicles today has not increased the visibility of the sedan. Nevertheless, Subaru remains attached to its four medium-sized doors, calling this an important part of the brand's lineup. With the redesigned 2020 model, the Legacy joins the ranks of the award-winning Honda Accord at the 10th best price, the boldly styled Hyundai Sonata and the ultimately boring Toyota Camry, further illustrating that sedans have not died, but improvement.
New but familiar
The latest Legacy is still clearly recognizable as a Subaru, but it has a leaner, more athletic physique with flared defenses on all four wheels. The well-trimmed cabin of the new Legacy retains the simple design of the old car, but with fleeting colors and soft-touch plastics that make it look a lot more luxurious. Passengers will find plenty of space in front and at the back.
We sampled high end, Limited and upscale XT Tourrings, equipped with brown nappa leather trim. The cabin is shared with the Outback and, with the exception of the base, the Legacy is equipped with the latest Subaru infotainment system and a large, 11.6-inch vertical display. The entry-level car boasts a dual-screen configuration with two 7.0-inch displays, but Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are the standard across the range. Subaru is also making EyeSight its standard driver assistance features; the package includes adaptive cruise control with centering lane, automated emergency braking and a lane departure warning.
Two boxers, a turbo
Buyers can choose one of two flat engines, a 182-hp 182 or 2.5-liter 2.5-liter turbo engine, although the latter is only available in the Limited XT and Touring superior versions XT. The all-wheel drive remains standard, of course, and the Legacy is only equipped with a continuously variable automatic transmission. The basic engine moves the Legacy adequately at best, and the sound seems laborious when it is pushed hard. The turbo engine is quieter and accelerates the sedan with more confidence, especially when overtaking maneuvers where the extra thrust of the turbo is within reach. It also gets a combined estimate of 27 mpg of EPA, an improvement of 4 mpg compared to 3.6 liters last year.
Light suspension components, including hollow anti-roll bars and aluminum suspension arms, have reduced the weight of the Legacy by 15 kg. Subaru's global platform is increasingly using structural adhesives and high-strength steel, resulting in a one-piece body with 70% torsional stiffness and 100% lateral stiffness. This new construction, coupled with improved torque-based torque vectoring and all-wheel drive systems, enhances the Legacy's driving experience. According to Subaru, the 2020 model is the most manageable legacy of all time, and that's probably the case, but it still lacks the precise direction and overall agility of the Honda Accord . And although this matches the driving comfort of the Accord, it lacks the playful side of the Honda.
This did not stop us from having fun during a walk in the Southern Padre National Forest in Southern California, on State Route 33, a sinuous and undulating ribbon that is a real test of the chassis and powertrain of a car. Of the 50 miles that separate Ojai from Ventucopa, sports cars dominate the day as the road winds its way through the mountainous landscape. We dissected the road with a first-generation Mazda Miata resident and followed at a speed of 20 miles (20 miles) before the driver left the vehicle, giving us a boost in passing. We may have followed the pace of the Miata, but it was clear that the driver of the roadster was having more fun.
Subaru did a good job updating its mid-size sedan. It is greatly improved, both in terms of driving satisfaction and cabin comfort. The turbocharged engine, however, is the one that best suits its more refined nature than its additional dynamism. Even with that, the Legacy is not a sports sedan, but it does not have to be. Subaru has done everything necessary to make it a comfortable, capable and confident cruising boat, boasting a spacious cabin, improved fuel economy and an elegant style.