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2018 Subaru Legacy Overview
In the crowded midsize class, it’s clear that you need some accomplishments in order to stand out. Luckily for the Subaru Legacy, it has two aces up its sleeve. First of all, it’s the only model in the class that comes standard with all-wheel drive (AWD). Second, the Legacy has an excellent safety record—the 2017 model earned top marks from both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Despite these assets, the Legacy is often overlooked by buyers in favor of the Honda Accord or Toyota Camry, which Subaru hopes to remedy by introducing a refreshed Legacy for the 2018 model year.
The 2018 Legacy comes in four trims—base, Premium, Sport, and Limited—with a choice of two powertrains. A 2.5-liter 4-cylinder Boxer engine good for 175 hp and 174 lb-ft of torque serves as the base engine, while the Limited trim is also available with a 3.6-liter 6-cylinder Boxer that makes 256 hp and 247 lb-ft. A revised engine computer promises quicker and smoother throttle response for both engines, and all-wheel drive (AWD) and a continuously variable transmission (CVT) are both standard. Fuel-economy figures haven’t been announced yet but we expect them to be similar to the 2017 model—25 mpg city, 34 highway, and 29 combined with the 4-cylinder, and 20, 28, and 23 with the 6-cylinder. Subaru has also made some minor tweaks to the dampers, steering, and brakes to make the Legacy a bit more fun to drive, with less body roll on corners and a firmer brake feel.
Until recently, Subaru car interiors—the Legacy’s included—have looked and felt somewhat overlooked, with questionable materials, poor noise insulation, and difficult-to-use infotainment systems. This changes with the 2018 Legacy, however, as Subaru has stepped up its efforts with a simple dash layout, high-quality materials, and a much quieter cabin. Higher trims receive added stitching for the dash, door panels, and seats, and Subaru has made the Legacy much quieter with sound-insulating film for the windows, reshaped side mirrors, and thicker rear wheel-well aprons.
The 2018 Legacy’s redesigned center stack holds a 6.5- or 8-inch touchscreen featuring Subaru’s updated Starlink infotainment system, which now comes with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and the ability to update the system over Wi-Fi. Starlink offers with smartphone integration for various applications like iHeartRadio, Yelp, and Glympse location sharing, and TomTom navigation and 3 years of free map updates are included with the 8-inch system.
The Legacy receives only subtle exterior changes for 2018. The front end comes with a larger hexagonal grille and revised air intakes for a sportier overall appearance. Other updates include a new rear bumper with integrated tailpipes, new wheel designs, and two new paint colors: Magnetite Gray Metallic and Crimson Red Pearl.
Safety has been a hallmark for Subaru for many years, and the 2018 Legacy continues in that tradition with the introduction of 2 new safety features. Reverse Automatic Braking (RAB) will detect objects in the Legacy’s path when backing up and provide audible warnings to the driver, displaying information on the distance and position of the object on the center screen. An available Steering-Responsive Headlight (SRH) system aims the headlights in the direction the steering wheel is turned for better visibility. All trims come standard with a reversing camera and higher trims can add Subaru’s optional EyeSight system, which uses cameras mounted on the windshield to provide adaptive cruise control and includes an automatic emergency-braking feature.
Ask William Maley how he started as an automotive writer and he would say he just fell into it. Based in Michigan, William has driven vehicles of all sizes and shapes. His work has appeared on Autobytel, CARFAX, Cheers & Gears, and U.S. News Best Cars.
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