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MSRP: $22,545 - 31,545

Rankings & Research

The 2019 Subaru Legacy ranked #15 in Midsize Cars. Currently the Subaru Legacy has a score of 7.9 out of 10 which is based on our evaluation of 34 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 8.3
Performance: 7.6
Interior: 8.2
Safety: 10.0
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2019 Subaru Legacy Review

Despite its roomy, upscale cabin and standard all-wheel drive, a very poor predicted reliability rating drives the 2019 Subaru Legacy to the bottom half of our midsize car rankings. This Subaru also has poor acceleration with its base engine and uninspiring handling, and that just doesn't cut it in such a competitive class.

Pros & Cons

  • Generous passenger space
  • High-grade cabin
  • Standard all-wheel drive
  • Underpowered base engine
  • Dull handling
  • Terrible predicted reliability rating

Is the Subaru Legacy a Good Car?

The 2019 Subaru Legacy is a so-so midsize car. It features a refined interior and spacious seating for five people. It’s also one of the few vehicles in the class to not only offer all-wheel drive but to have it standard. However, that’s the highlight in terms of performance. Although the Legacy has a relaxed ride, it's slow to accelerate and many competitors are more fun to drive. This Subaru received the lowest possible predicted reliability rating.

Should I Buy the Subaru Legacy?

The Subaru Legacy is a solid car that boasts a comfortable ride, a roomy and modern interior, and standard AWD. However, some rivals match most of those attributes and come with additional standard safety features, a larger trunk, or more energetic rides than the Legacy. Unless you really want standard AWD, it’s best to consider higher-ranked classmates like the Hyundai Sonata, Ford Fusion, or Mazda6.

Compare the Legacy, Sonata, and Fusion »

Should I Buy a New or Used Subaru Legacy?

The 2019 Subaru Legacy is part of a generation that debuted for the 2015 model year. While the 2016 and 2017 Legacy saw only minor changes, like available lane keep assist for 2016 and an available Sport trim for 2017, the 2018 model year brought a notable number of changes. The 2018 Legacy gained updated styling, a larger infotainment display screen (6.5 inches in 2018 versus 6.2 inches in 2017), and improved driving dynamics. The 2019 Legacy comes standard with EyeSight, an advanced safety system that includes pre-collision braking, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, and adaptive cruise control. If you can foot the bill, the 2018 and 2019 models are worth the extra expense. If not, stick with one of the older models to save money.

To research other models in this generation, read our reviews of the 2017 and 2018 Subaru Legacy. If you decide an older model is right for you, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 Legacy »

We Did the Research for You: 25 Reviews Analyzed

To give you a complete overview of the Subaru Legacy – and make your car-shopping experience easier – we analyzed 25 Subaru Legacy reviews along with fuel economy estimates, performance specs, and more. This review uses applicable research and data from all model years of the Legacy's current generation, which runs from 2015 to 2019.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our crew has more than 75 years of combined experience in the auto industry. To ensure our objectivity, we do not accept expensive gifts from carmakers, and an external company manages the ads on our site.

How Much Does the Subaru Legacy Cost?

The 2019 Subaru Legacy starts at around $22,545, which is below average for the class. The top-of-the-line 3.6R Limited trim is $31,545. All-wheel drive and a continuously variable automatic transmission are standard.

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 Mazda6?

The Mazda6 has one of the best interiors in the class, along with athletic handling, a supple ride, and more-powerful engines than the Legacy. It also has a slightly lower base price. The Legacy has more interior space, however, as well as more standard active safety features and modern technology like standard Apple CarPlay. If you need the extra space or if those features are important to you, you may want to stick with the Legacy, but the Mazda6 is the better car overall.

Which Is Better: Subaru Legacy or Toyota Camry?

The Toyota Camry has an energetic, fuel-efficient base engine, a stronger available six-cylinder engine, and engaging driving dynamics that help it deliver a much more enjoyable ride than the Legacy. It also trounces the Legacy when it comes to predicted reliability. Beyond that, both the Camry and the Legacy have a generous list of standard features, upscale interiors, and user-friendly infotainment systems. The Legacy has more trunk space, but that’s not enough to recommend it over the far-superior Camry.

Compare the Legacy, Mazda6, and Camry »

Legacy Interior

How Many People Does the Legacy Seat?

The Legacy accommodates five people on two spacious rows of cushioned, supportive seats. There’s good visibility all-around thanks to narrow roof pillars and a large rear window.

Legacy and Car Seats

There are two sets of LATCH car-seat connectors in the rear outboard seats of the Legacy. The middle seat has an upper tether, and it can borrow a lower anchor from the outer seat positions when they are not in use. The Legacy's LATCH system was given a Good+ rating for ease-of-use from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. This is the highest rating possible.

Legacy Interior Quality

The Legacy's cabin is nicely constructed with soft-touch materials throughout. Shoppers interested in a simple, clean-looking interior will like the Legacy's contemporary design. Cloth upholstery and a six-way manually adjustable driver's seat are standard. Leather-trimmed upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel are available.

Legacy Cargo Space

There's 15 cubic feet of trunk space in the Legacy, which is good for the class. The trunk opening is wide, and split-folding rear seats allow you to carry some larger items. This Subaru features several small-item storage compartments as well.

Legacy Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The 2019 Legacy comes standard with the Starlink infotainment system, which includes a 6.5-inch touch screen, four speakers, satellite radio, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, HD Radio, and Bluetooth. Available features include an 8-inch touch screen, a six- or 12-speaker audio system, dual USB ports, and navigation. The standard infotainment system features large buttons, clear graphics, and user-friendly controls.

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto?

Read more about interior »

Legacy Performance

Legacy Engine: Weak Base Engine

The Legacy comes with a meager 175-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that doesn't have a lot of power and provides sluggish acceleration. For an engine that won’t struggle when you merge onto the highway, step up to the available 256-horsepower 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine. Unfortunately, the six-cylinder is only available in the highest Legacy trim. All models come with a continuously variable automatic transmission that provides quick throttle responses.

Legacy Gas Mileage: Good for AWD

The Legacy delivers an EPA-estimated 25 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway, which are good ratings considering it comes standard with all-wheel drive. Opting for the six-cylinder will get you 20/28 mpg city/highway.

Legacy Ride and Handling: Respectable

This Subaru comes standard with all-wheel drive, which is a rarity in this class. With AWD, the Legacy can maintain good traction on both dry and slippery roads. This sedan delivers a nice ride and fairly poised handling, but there's noticeable body roll during sharp maneuvers. Several other midsize cars, like the Mazda6, have more engaging rides and are more stable through turns.

Read more about performance »

Legacy Reliability

Is the Subaru Legacy Reliable?

The 2019 Subaru Legacy has a poor predicted reliability rating of two out of five from J.D. Power.

Subaru Legacy Warranty

The Legacy comes with a three-year/36,000-mile limited warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty, which are typical warranty terms for the midsize car class.

Read more about reliability »

Legacy Safety

Legacy Crash Test Results

The 2019 Legacy has outstanding safety scores. It was named a 2019 Top Safety Pick+, the highest award offered by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The Legacy aced all six crash tests, also earning the best possible scores for headlight performance and front crash prevention features. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Legacy an overall safety rating of five out of five stars, with five stars in each of the frontal, side crash, and rollover tests. 

Legacy Safety Features

The Legacy comes standard with a rearview camera and Subaru's EyeSight safety system, which includes adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, lane departure warning, and lane keep assist. Available advanced safety features include blind spot monitoring, lane change assist, rear cross traffic alert, high-beam assist, reverse automatic braking, and fog lights.

Read more about safety »

Which Subaru Legacy Model Is Right for Me?

The Subaru Legacy comes in five trims, and all-wheel drive is standard in all of them. The base 2.5i trim comes standard with enough features – including Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and the EyeSight safety suite – to satisfy most drivers. Unfortunately, all trims except the range-topping 3.6R Limited only offer a timid four-cylinder engine. Therefore, those interested in the six-cylinder must opt for the highest trim. If you can handle the extra cost, however, you'll also get nearly every available feature the Legacy offers.

Subaru Legacy 2.5i

The Subaru Legacy 2.5i starts at $22,545 and comes with cloth seats, a six-way manually adjustable driver's seat, and a Starlink infotainment system with a 6.5-inch touch screen, four-speakers, HD Radio, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, and satellite radio.

Subaru 2.5i Premium

Starting at $24,695, the Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium comes with a 10-way power-adjustable driver's seat, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, dual USB ports, an 8-inch touch screen, and a six-speaker audio system. Two packages are available: a safety package and a technology and safety package. The safety package ($850) includes blind spot monitoring, lane change assist, rear cross traffic alert, high-beam assist, fog lights, and turn signal mirrors. The technology package ($2,595) adds navigation and a moonroof to all the features in the safety package.

Subaru 2.5i Sport

The Subaru 2.5i Sport runs $26,795. It comes with fog lights, blind spot monitoring, lane change assist, rear cross traffic alert, and push-button start. One optional technology package is available. It costs $2,145 and comes with navigation, a moonroof, high-beam assist, and reverse automatic braking.

Subaru 2.5i Limited

The Subaru 2.5i Limited will cost you $29,245. It comes with leather-trimmed upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, and a Harman Kardon premium audio system. An optional technology package is available for $2,150. It comes with all the same features as the technology package offered with the 2.5i Sport trim, plus LED steering responsive headlights.

Subaru 3.6R Limited

The only thing that differentiates the top-of-the-line Subaru 3.6R Limited ($31,545) from the previous trim level is its six-cylinder engine (unavailable in all other trims). The same technology package that's offered with the 2.5i Limited trim is available.

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 2019 Subaru Legacy specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2019 Subaru Legacy hits the mark in terms of interior space and materials quality, but its lackluster performance and poor predicted reliability rating sinks it to near the bottom of our midsize car rankings. The Legacy has a comfortable ride and standard all-wheel drive (an uncommon feature in the class), but many rivals have athletic handling and better composure through sharp turns. The Legacy is a decent vehicle, but there are many options out there that are more well-rounded overall.

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

  • "In addition to its standard all-wheel drive, the 2018 Subaru Legacy midsize sedan is a standout for its long-term value and feature set." -- Kelley Blue Book (2018)
  • We like the Subaru Legacy, and we're well aware of how well owners like it: Subaru's brand loyalty is among the best in the business. But this is an intensely competitive segment loaded with excellent choices … which hold slight (but significant) advantages over the Legacy in areas such as styling, technology and driver enjoyment." -- Edmunds (2016)
  • "The Legacy is priced in line with such popular front-drive models as the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. And while the Legacy's handsome styling isn't groundbreaking, we feel it falls right in line with popular sedans such as the Ford Fusion and Hyundai Sonata." -- Autotrader (2017)


Expert Advice

Last Updated: June 21, 2019

Low Sales: The Subaru Legacy places in the lower half of midsize car segment in terms of sales so far in 2019. Subaru dealerships have moved 21.9% fewer Legacy models this year compared to the same span in 2018. The class sales leading Toyota Camry is currently outselling the Legacy about 10 to 1.

Research more buying advice »
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