2023 Subaru Legacy Review, Pricing, and Specs

Heather

Overview

Nestled among the rugged-looking crossovers in Subaru dealerships is the easy-to-miss 2023 Legacy. Looking every bit the conventional family sedan that it is, it seems only distantly related to the lifted SUV-ish Outback station wagon, though the two are built on the same platform and share many components. Subaru knows how to build exciting cars—witness the BRZ and several generations of rally-inspired WRXs—but the Legacy is not one of them. It drives with a competent aloofness, and its base four-cylinder engine delivers unremarkable acceleration. A turbocharged four-cylinder is optional that provides more eager acceleration, but none of the Legacy models deliver the same driving enjoyment that comes standard in a Honda Accord. Neither will you find a hybrid powertrain here, something that’s available in the Honda, as well as in the Hyundai Sonata and Toyota Camry. The Legacy at least rides comfortably, is fairly spacious, and quite well-equipped—including standard all-wheel drive—and those are reasons to consider one. But for similar money there other numerous mid-size cars that offer equal value and a more engaging experience for the driver.

What’s New for 2023?

Subaru’s family sedan wears an updated look for 2023, with a larger grille, a revised front bumper, and different headlamps. The mid-range Sport model now comes standard with a 260-hp turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder and additional exterior embellishments including a red stripe in the grille and gray mirror caps. Automated emergency steering has been added to the roster of available driver-assistance features, and the top Touring XT trim uses a new wide-angle camera that improves the field-of-view for the car’s EyeSight system.

Pricing and Which One to Buy

Base

$25,000 (est)

Premium

$27,000 (est)

$30,000 (est)

Limited

$31,000 (est)

Limited XT

$36,000 (est)

Touring XT

$38,000 (est)

The midrange Sport offers a good balance between price and features. Not only does it come with the more powerful 260-hp turbocharged four-cylinder it also adds a bunch of desirable equipment. The Sport comes standard with 18-inch wheels, a power sunroof, LED fog lamps, a rear spoiler, blind-spot monitoring, keyless entry with push-button start, an auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass, rear automated emergency braking, and cloth upholstery with red contrast stitching.

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

A 2.5-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine is standard and makes 182 horsepower. Sport, Limited XT, and Touring XT models come with a 260-hp turbocharged 2.4-liter engine. All Legacy models have all-wheel drive and a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). We’ve tested both engines now, and what a difference a turbo makes. The Touring XT managed to hit 60 mph in just 6.1 seconds while the non-turbo Sport required a lackluster 8.0 seconds. Regardless of which engine is under the hood, the new Legacy boasts slightly improved handling dynamics over the last generation and a similarly compliant ride.

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

The non-turbo cars achieve higher fuel-economy estimates from the EPA—27 mpg city, 35 mpg highway, and 30 mpg combined—but the turbocharged models aren’t far behind at 24 mpg city, 32 mpg highway, and 27 mpg combined. In our real-world 200-mile highway fuel-economy tests, both powertrains delivered 34 mpg, 1 mpg short of the Accord 2.0T’s result. That said, the Subaru and Honda pale in comparison with the 2.5-liter-equipped Camry SE, which delivered an impressive 45 mpg. For more information about the Legacy’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.

Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

Though the measurements may not show it, the Legacy’s cabin feels much bigger than the last generation’s, particularly in the back. While its design is still on the dowdy side, the Legacy’s interior is functional, with well-chosen materials throughout. Cloth upholstery is standard, but the high-end Limited and Touring models have leather. The front seats are well sculpted and comfortable, and the upper trims feature a manual thigh extension for the driver’s seat, a boon to long-legged buyers. The trunk is generously sized and held eight carry-on suitcases in our testing, one more than the Accord and two more than the Camry.

Infotainment and Connectivity

Base models use a version of Subaru’s Starlink infotainment system that features dual 7.0-inch displays. The one-rung-up Premium model has the company’s latest 11.6-inch vertically oriented infotainment display that looks as if it had been borrowed from a Volvo. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration come standard. And while in-dash navigation is only standard on the Limited XT and Touring XT models, it’s optional on all but the base Legacy. A four-speaker stereo is standard, Premium and Sport models come with a six-speaker setup, and anything above that gets a 12-speaker Harman/Kardon audio system.

Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

The Legacy is a great choice when it comes to safety. All Legacy models come with Subaru’s EyeSight suite of driver-assistance features. For more information about the Legacy’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:

  • Standard automated emergency braking
  • Standard lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
  • Standard adaptive cruise control with lane-centering

Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

Subaru’s standard warranty package is basic but matches what most rivals in this class offer. The Hyundai Sonata and the Kia K5 both provide longer warranty terms, and the Camry comes with two years of complimentary scheduled maintenance.

  • Limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
  • No complimentary scheduled maintenance

Specifications

Specifications

2020 Subaru Legacy Sport

VEHICLE TYPE

front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan

PRICE AS TESTED

$30,090 (base price: $27,845)

ENGINE TYPE

DOHC 16-valve flat-4, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection

Displacement

152 cu in, 2498 cc

Power

182 hp @ 5800 rpm

Torque

176 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm

TRANSMISSION

continuously variable automatic

CHASSIS

Suspension (F/R): struts/multilink

Brakes (F/R): 12.4-in vented disc/11.8-in vented disc

Tires: Yokohoma Avid GT, 225/50R-18 95V M+S

DIMENSIONS

Wheelbase: 108.3 in

Length: 190.6 in

Width: 72.4 in

Height: 59.1 in

Passenger volume: 103 cu ft

Trunk volume: 15 cu ft

Curb weight: 3540 lb

C/D
TEST RESULTS

Rollout, 1 ft: 0.3 sec
Zero to 60 mph: 8.0 sec

Zero to 100 mph: 22.0 sec

Zero to 120 mph: 40.4 sec

Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 8.6 sec

Top gear, 30–50 mph: 4.5 sec

Top gear, 50–70 mph: 5.8 sec

Standing ¼-mile: 16.2 sec @ 88 mph

Top speed (governor limited): 130 mph

Braking, 70–0 mph: 174 ft

Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.84 g

C/D
FUEL ECONOMY

Observed: 28 mpg

75-mph highway driving: 34 mpg

Highway range: 620 miles

EPA FUEL ECONOMY

Combined/city/highway: 30/27/35 mpg

 

2020 Subaru Legacy Touring XT

VEHICLE TYPE

front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan

PRICE AS TESTED

$36,795 (base price: $36,795)

ENGINE TYPE

turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve flat-4, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection

Displacement

146 cu in, 2387 cc

Power

260 hp @ 5600 rpm

Torque

277 lb-ft @ 2000 rpm

TRANSMISSION

continuously variable automatic

CHASSIS

Suspension (F/R): struts/multilink

Brakes (F/R): 12.4-in vented disc/11.8-in vented disc

Tires: Yokohoma Avid GT, 225/50R-18 95V M+S

DIMENSIONS

Wheelbase: 108.3 in

Length: 190.6 in

Width: 72.4 in

Height: 59.1 in

Passenger volume: 103 cu ft

Trunk volume: 15 cu ft

Curb weight: 3781 lb

C/D
TEST RESULTS

Rollout, 1 ft: 0.3 sec
Zero to 60 mph: 6.1 sec

Zero to 100 mph: 15.6 sec

Zero to 120 mph: 24.3 sec

Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 6.7 sec

Top gear, 30–50 mph: 3.7 sec

Top gear, 50–70 mph: 4.5 sec

Standing ¼-mile: 14.7 sec @ 97 mph

Top speed: 140 mph (C/D est)

Braking, 70–0 mph: 176 ft

Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.80 g

C/D
FUEL ECONOMY

Observed: 20 mpg

75-mph highway driving: 34 mpg

Highway range: 620 miles

EPA FUEL ECONOMY

Combined/city/highway: 27/24/32 mpg 

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