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$22,745 - 35,895 MSRP

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2020 Subaru Legacy Review

The redesigned 2020 Subaru Legacy finishes in the middle of our midsize car rankings. It has an upscale cabin with no shortage of space or cutting-edge technology, but it isn't quite as athletic as some of its competitors. It also has a terrible predicted reliability rating.

Pros & Cons

  • Attractive, upscale interior
  • Plenty of passenger space
  • Intuitive infotainment technology
  • Smooth ride
  • Rivals have superior handling
  • Some competitors offer more potent powertrains
  • Below-average cargo capacity
  • Poor predicted reliability rating

Rankings & Awards

The 2020 Subaru Legacy's #7 ranking is based on its score within the Midsize Cars category. It was a finalist for our 2020 Best Midsize Car for Families award. Currently the Subaru Legacy has a score of 7.6 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 23 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 8.5
Performance: 7.0
Interior: 7.7
Safety: 9.8
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Thinking of leasing a Subaru Legacy?

The U.S. News Best Price Program saves users an average of $3,206 off the MSRP, and a lower price equals lower monthly lease payments. That means you could see a savings of $90 a month on a 36-month lease.

Is the Subaru Legacy a Good Car?

Yes, the Subaru Legacy is a good car. It provides shoppers with two solid powertrain choices, a smooth ride, and standard all-wheel drive – a rarity among midsize cars. Inside, the Subaru looks and feels upscale and provides two rows of spacious seats. There are plenty of standard driver assistance features, and the touch-screen infotainment system is easy to use. We named the Legacy a finalist for our 2020 Best Midsize Car for Families award.

On the downside, performance is something of a weak spot for the Legacy. Several class rivals either have more energetic powertrains or better handling, and a few have both. The Legacy's trunk is one of the smallest in the class, and despite how nice this Subaru's cabin is, there are still competitors with equally upscale interiors.

Should I Buy the Subaru Legacy?

The Legacy is a strong choice in this class, especially if athletic performance isn't high on your list of priorities. With its below-average starting price, this sedan provides plenty of bang for your buck. That said, there are a lot of strong entries in the midsize car class, and you may also want to check out alternatives like the Nissan Altima and Toyota Camry.

Compare the Legacy, Altima, and Camry »

Should I Buy a New or Used Subaru Legacy?

Subaru completely redesigned the Legacy for the 2020 model year, introducing quite a few changes. The base engine gets a power bump from 175 to 182 horsepower. The previously available six-cylinder engine has been dropped in favor of a 260-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder. Fuel economy ratings are slightly better for 2020 as well.

Inside, the redesigned Legacy looks more modern and feels more upscale than ever before. Tech updates include a newly standard 7-inch touch screen (up from 6.5 inches), but the crown jewel of the Legacy's interior tech is the newly available 11.6-inch vertically oriented touch screen.

If you think you can live without these updates, you may want to shop for a used Legacy, which could save you thousands of dollars. Check out our reviews of the 2018 and 2019 Subaru Legacy to learn more about previous editions of this sedan. And be sure to browse our Used Car Deals page to learn about the savings and incentives you can find on used models.

Compare the 2018, 2019, and 2020 Legacy »

We Did the Research for You: 23 Reviews Analyzed

Our car reviews include everything you need to know before heading to the dealership. We combine the opinions of the automotive press with quantifiable data like crash test results and reliability ratings to form a complete picture of every vehicle we rank.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking vehicles since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry. Our car reviews are objective. To keep them that way, our editorial staff doesn’t accept expensive gifts or trips from automakers, and a third party handles all the advertising on our site.

How Much Does the Subaru Legacy Cost?

The Legacy sports a base price of $22,745. That's lower than the starting prices of many other midsize sedans. The story is different at the top of the trim lineup. The Legacy's highest trim, the Legacy Touring XT, starts at $35,895. That's above-average for a top trim in this segment.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Subaru dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Subaru deals page.

Subaru Legacy Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Subaru Legacy or Nissan Altima?

The Nissan Altima provides comfier seating and plenty of infotainment tech, but the Legacy is a bit more upscale inside and comes with more active safety features. Like the Legacy, the Altima is on the short list of midsize cars that offer AWD (though it's an extra-cost option on the Nissan), and these cars have similar powertrain offerings. The base front-wheel-drive Altima gets better gas mileage, but when you compare the Subaru to an AWD Altima, fuel economy is a wash. There are a lot of similarities here, so the right choice boils down to personal preference.

Which Is Better: Subaru Legacy or Toyota Camry?

The Toyota Camry is one of our most highly rated midsize cars because it has virtually no major weaknesses. Similar to its Subaru rival, the Camry has an upscale interior with two rows of roomy seats, and it comes with plenty of easy-to-use technology and several driver assistance features. The Camry is our 2020 Best Midsize Car for Families, while the Legacy was a finalist. From a performance standpoint, the Camry is far superior. Though it doesn't offer all-wheel drive, the Camry rides smoothly and handles corners better than its Subaru rival. The Camry gets better fuel economy, and it has stronger engines. These are both great sedans, but the Toyota is better overall.

Compare the Legacy, Altima, and Camry »

Legacy Interior

How Many People Does the Legacy Seat?

This Subaru seats five people. The seats are comfortable and supportive, and visibility for the driver is excellent. Space is the real story, though. There's plenty of head- and legroom in both rows, and six-footers can ride in the back with no issues. Few other midsize cars offer so much legroom.

Legacy and Child Car Seats

There are two full sets of LATCH connectors for installing car seats.

Legacy Interior Quality

The Legacy's interior is a home run. Following the redesign, the interior now ranks among the best in the class. It's no longer plagued by bland, boring styling. Instead, it looks stylish and modern. There are plenty of top-notch materials, bringing the Legacy up to the level of more-upscale midsize sedans.

Legacy Cargo Space

Among nonhybrid midsize cars, the Legacy's trunk is one of the smallest. It has 15.1 cubic feet of space, though, which is still enough room for the family's vacation luggage or your haul after a shopping spree.

Legacy Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard features include the Starlink infotainment system, a 7-inch touch screen, four speakers, satellite radio, Bluetooth, two USB ports, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.

Available features include a moonroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, wireless device charging, a six-speaker audio system, a 12-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, an 11.6-inch touch screen, two additional USB ports, and navigation.

Subaru's infotainment system is user-friendly, and you can control some functions via the touch screen or by using physical buttons and knobs. But the available 11.6-inch touch screen is the real star of the show. It's huge and easy to see, and it responds quickly to inputs.

Read more about interior »

Legacy Performance

Legacy Engine: Two Capable Options

Most Legacy trims feature a 182-horsepower four-cylinder engine, while the top trims – the Limited XT and Touring XT – feature a 260-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder. Both get the job done for driving around town or on the highway, but the turbo-four is noticeably punchier and helps the Legacy accelerate more quickly. Still, the Legacy doesn't feel fast with either powertrain.

Legacy Gas Mileage: About Average

This Subaru has typical fuel economy for the class, earning 27 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway with its base engine. That's a little more impressive when you consider that all-wheel-drive cars are generally a little less fuel-efficient than two-wheel-drive cars. With the turbocharged engine, ratings drop to 24 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway.

Legacy Ride and Handling: Plenty to Like

When it comes to ride quality, the Legacy is exactly what you want. Its suspension soaks up road imperfections without bothering occupants, creating a cushioned feel. The Legacy feels composed on winding roads, but it's definitely a step behind rivals like the Honda Accord and Mazda6 when it comes to handling agility.

Read more about performance »

Legacy Reliability

Is the Subaru Legacy Reliable?

J.D. Power gives the 2020 Subaru Legacy a predicted reliability rating of two out of five, which is the lowest rating a car can earn.

Subaru Legacy Warranty

Subaru covers the Legacy with a three-year/36,000-mile limited warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

How Much Does It Cost to Insure a Subaru Legacy?

The cost of insuring a Subaru Legacy will depend on a variety of factors, including your deductible, the level of coverage that you want, and the type of insurance that you choose. Your age, gender, location, credit score, and driving record can also have an impact on your insurance rates. Check out our car insurance guide to find the best policy for you.

Legacy Safety

Legacy Crash Test Results

Neither the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety nor the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has crash tested the 2020 Subaru Legacy.

Legacy Safety Features

Standard driver assistance features include adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, sway warning, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and a rearview camera. Some of these features are part of Subaru's EyeSight suite of driver assistance technology.

Available active safety features include driver drowsiness monitoring, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, reverse automatic braking, and a 180-degree front vision camera.

Read more about safety »

Legacy Dimensions and Weight

The Legacy is 15.9 feet long and has a curb weight that ranges from 3,499 to 3,790 pounds.

Where Is the Subaru Legacy Built?

Subaru builds the 2020 Legacy in Indiana.

Which Subaru Legacy Model Is Right for Me?

The Legacy comes in six trims: base, Premium, Sport, Limited, Limited XT, and Touring XT. There are several good options, depending on how much you want to spend. Even the base trim comes well-equipped, so you may be happy to stick with it or go up one step to the Premium, which has a much larger touch screen and a few other goodies.

If you have a higher budget and want more amenities, consider one of the Limited trims. Both come with upscale touches like leather upholstery and heated rear seats, and they have several driver assistance features that are optional or unavailable in lower trims. The Limited XT is also the lowest trim with the turbocharged engine, which has 78 more horsepower than the base engine.

Subaru Legacy

The base Legacy trim carries a starting price of $22,745. It comes with a 182-horsepower four-cylinder engine, a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), and all-wheel drive.

Standard features include cloth upholstery and the Starlink infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen, a four-speaker audio system, satellite radio, Bluetooth, two USB ports, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.

Standard driver assistance features include adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, sway warning, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and a rearview camera. Some of these features are part of Subaru's EyeSight suite of driver assistance technology.

Subaru Legacy Premium

The Legacy Premium starts at $24,995. In addition to the base trim's features, the Premium comes with a power-adjustable driver's seat, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, an 11.6-inch touch screen, two additional USB ports, HD Radio, and a six-speaker audio system.

Subaru Legacy Sport

The Legacy Sport starts at $26,945. Standard features include keyless entry, push-button start, and everything that comes standard in the lower trims. It also has some unique styling elements, including 18-inch alloy wheels and two-tone interior upholstery.

Subaru Legacy Limited

The Legacy Limited has a starting price of $29,745. The Limited comes standard with leather upholstery, a power-adjustable passenger seat, heated rear seats, a 12-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and reverse automatic braking.

There's also a Legacy Limited XT trim, which starts at $34,195. This trim comes standard with the 260-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Besides the powertrain upgrade, the Limited XT also adds a moonroof, a heated steering wheel, driver drowsiness monitoring, and navigation.

Subaru Legacy Touring XT

The range-topping Legacy Touring XT has a starting price of $35,895. This is the only other trim that has the turbo-four engine. The Touring XT comes with Nappa leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, and a 180-degree front vision camera.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Subaru dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Subaru deals page.

See 2020 Subaru Legacy specs and trims »

The Final Call

Freshly redesigned, the 2020 Subaru Legacy makes a splash in the marketplace. It should appeal to many midsize sedan shoppers thanks to its well-built interior, plentiful passenger space, and easy-to-use tech features. It's far from the sportiest car in the class, but if you're willing to look past that, the Legacy is certainly worth checking out.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "Subaru has done a fine job updating its mid-size sedan. It is vastly improved, both in driving satisfaction and cabin comfort. The turbocharged engine is the one to get, however, as much for its more refined nature as its added oomph. Even with it, the Legacy is no sports sedan, but it doesn't need to be. Subaru has done everything else right by making it a comfortable, capable, and confident cruiser with a spacious cabin, improved fuel economy, and handsome styling." -- Car and Driver
  • "With the combination of standard all-wheel drive, a long list of safety features, and an impressive new interior, the 2020 Subaru Legacy looks to be off to a good start." -- Edmunds
  • "As manufacturers turn their attention to building more crossover SUVs, the number of competitors in the formerly thriving segment is declining. That Subaru continues to offer a 4-door sedan with standard all-wheel drive gives it a unique position in the market. The Japanese automaker could be satisfied with that alone, but with the all-new Legacy, it has really upped its game with a state-of-the-art infotainment system and making massive improvements on the interior with high-quality materials." -- Kelley Blue Book


Expert Advice

Last Updated: October 8, 2020

Low Sales: Despite a full redesign for the 2020 model year, shoppers don’t seem to have taken much interest in the Legacy; dealerships have moved 32.5 percent fewer Legacy models so far this year compared to the same period in 2019. The Legacy currently places in the lower third of the midsize car segment in terms of sales. Segment sales leaders, the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord, are currently outselling the Legacy more than 7 to 1.

Research more buying advice »
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2020 Subaru Legacy

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