2017 Subaru Legacy Review


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2017 Subaru Legacy Overview

Subaru is ostensibly a manufacturer of crossovers, but the brand’s midsize Legacy sedan has been growing in popularity thanks as much to its all-weather traction as to its refinement, value, and fuel efficiency. Indeed, until just recently, those are three maxims we couldn't apply to the Legacy while keeping a straight face.

The latest Legacy debuted for the 2015 model year and sees the addition of a new trim package for 2017. A host of flavors are on offer in an attempt to lure buyers away from mainstream choices like the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord—and, if they step into a Subaru showroom, they very well might be swayed by the roomy, value-laden, and polished Legacy they find there.

A pair of engines are available, both mated exclusively to all-wheel drive and a continuously variable automatic transmission with paddle shifters that simulate manual gears for downhill descents and more spirited driving. Most Legacys—those identified by the 2.5i moniker—utilize a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder boxer engine rated at 175 hp and 174 lb-ft of torque, while the 3.6R uses a 3.6-liter 6-cylinder boxer checking in at 256 hp and 247 lb-ft of torque.

Boxer means just what it sounds like: the cylinders are arranged so they point toward each other, almost as if they’re boxing. It’s an unorthodox design Subaru shares with no automaker other than Porsche. With the 4-cylinder, the Legacy is rated at 26 mpg city/36 highway/30 combined, while the 6-cylinder trim lowers those figures to 20/29/23.

All Legacys are given top marks for crashworthiness by both the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the federal government’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In addition to the expected front, side, and side-curtain airbags, all Legacy models include airbags integrated into the seat base below the driver and front passenger’s legs, designed to better keep vehicle occupants in place during a collision.

One additional option worth ticking the box for is Subaru’s EyeSight system, available on the Premium, Sport, and Limited trim grades. In addition to adding adaptive cruise control and a blind-spot monitor, EyeSight can automatically apply the brakes if it detects an impending frontal collision. The Legacy also comes standard with a backup camera that, like EyeSight, can automatically brake if it senses an imminent wreck.

Opt for the 4-cylinder Legacy and you’ll have a choice between base, Premium, Sport, and Limited trim grades. Though the base comes well-optioned, the Premium adds automatic climate control, 17-inch alloy wheels, heated seats, and a few cosmetic features. The Limited tops the range with leather seats, a Harman Kardon audio system, 18-inch alloy wheels, and special shock absorbers designed to improve the car’s ride. The new Sport trim, meanwhile, slots in between the Premium and Limited. Although it doesn’t specifically change the car’s suspension setup, the Sport does include exclusive 18-inch alloy wheels and a host of styling touches inside and out to better compete against popular model-trims like the Honda Accord Sport and the Toyota Camry SE.

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