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$8,870 - $14,441
$19,995 - $31,595

Pros & Cons

  • Standard all-wheel drive
  • Spacious seating
  • Unimpressive interior materials




Critics' Rating: 8.3
Performance: 7.7
Interior: 7.8
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.1
Safety: 9.5
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2012 Subaru Legacy Overview

Critics said the 2012 Subaru Legacy’s base four-cylinder engine delivers adequate acceleration, but they preferred the power provided by the available turbocharged four- and six-cylinder engines. The base Legacy is available with a six-speed manual, which is unusual in this class, as well as a continuously variable transmission (CVT). A five-speed automatic comes with six-cylinder models. Reviewers wrote that the CVT performs adequately in the four-cylinder model, but models with the manual transmission don’t have a very precise-feeling clutch or shifter. A four-cylinder 2012 Legacy with a CVT gets an EPA-estimated 23/31 mpg city/highway, which is typical for an affordable midsize car. Test drivers said the Legacy has a smooth ride, though a few noted that some cars, like the Toyota Camry, are more comfortable. Reviewers wrote that the Legacy has responsive, nicely weighted steering and a stable, if slightly heavy, feel during cornering. Those looking for sharper handling should choose a Legacy 2.5GT, which automotive journalists said is a lot of fun on a twisty road. The Subaru Legacy has standard all-wheel drive, which is rare for an affordable midsize car, and critics noted that it gets great traction in inclement weather.

Reviewers wrote that the 2012 Subaru Legacy has a sophisticated and attractive interior design. However, they said the interior materials are mostly hard plastic, and not of the highest quality in the class. Reviewers noted that the Legacy’s generously sized front and back seats provide plenty of head- and legroom. The 2012 Subaru Legacy has 14.7 cubic feet of trunk space, which is decent for the class, and critics appreciated that it’s long and has a handy storage area under the floor. Standard features in the Legacy include steering wheel-mounted audio controls and a four-speaker audio system. Available features include a moonroof, heated seats, leather upholstery, navigation, Bluetooth, a USB port, satellite radio and a Harman/Kardon audio system. Reviewers wrote that the base four-speaker audio system has poor sound quality, and they recommended upgrading to one of the higher-trim stereos like the Harman/Kardon.

Other Cars to Consider

The 2012 Ford Fusion is available with all-wheel drive, and critics said it has crisp handling. The Fusion also has one of the largest trunks in the class, and reviewers appreciated its high-quality cabin materials. The Fusion won both our 2012 Best Affordable Midsize Car for Families award and our 2012 Best Affordable Midsize Car for the Money award.

The 2012 Hyundai Sonata has more standard features than the Legacy, including Bluetooth, a USB port and satellite radio. The Sonata also has a larger trunk than the Legacy, and reviewers said it has comfortable front seats, as well as rear seats with plenty of legroom.

Compare the Legacy, Fusion and Sonata »

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