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2013 Subaru Legacy Review

The 2013 Subaru Legacy sits in the middle of the competitive midsize car class. Its base engine is underpowered and its infotainment system is awkward. However, the Legacy earns above-average safety and reliability scores.

Pros & Cons

  • Standard all-wheel drive
  • Subpar fuel economy
  • Disappointing four-cylinder engine power

New for 2013

  • Revised suspension
  • New CVT in four-cylinder models
  • EyeSight driver assistance system became available




Critics' Rating: 7.7
Performance: 7.2
Interior: 7.5
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.2
Safety: 9.7
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2013 Subaru Legacy Overview

Is the 2013 Subaru Legacy a Good Used Car?

The 2013 Legacy is a good used car, but not an exciting one. All-wheel drive – equipped as standard, unlike every other vehicle in this class – gives the Legacy reliable handling. Its interior is comfortable, with supportive seats and generous passenger space. Finally, the Subaru offers a number of available active safety features, like lane departure warning and a pre-collision braking system with pedestrian detection. If you’re looking for power, however, search elsewhere. Neither the base four-cylinder nor the available six-cylinder will excite your soul or hustle the car down the road.

Used 2013 Subaru Legacy Performance and Interior

The Legacy’s base four-cylinder engine makes 173 horsepower. It comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission, while a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is available. A 256-horsepower six-cylinder engine mated to a five-speed automatic transmission is also available. The Legacy’s standard AWD improves handling in any weather.

The base engine lacks the grunt needed to hustle the Legacy up to speed. Even the available engine, while better, is no match for the V6s found in some class competitors. The base four-cylinder engine with the CVT earns an EPA-estimated 24 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway. The six-cylinder engine gets just 18/24 mpg city/highway. Both numbers are low for the segment but decent for all-wheel-drive vehicles.

Read more about Legacy performance »

The 2013 Subaru Legacy seats five in two rows. Cloth and manually adjustable seats are standard. Leather seats, as well as heated and power front seats, are available. There are complete sets of LATCH child-seat connectors in the Legacy’s rear outboard seats, as well as a middle-seat tether anchor. Overall, interior space is comfortable, with supportive seats and good shoulder and legroom.

The Legacy’s base audio system is a four-speaker stereo with Bluetooth and a USB port. Available features include dual-zone climate control with rear-seat center vents, a navigation system with voice-activated controls, a six-speaker stereo, a nine-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, HD Radio, and satellite radio. The base audio system is pretty lackluster. The available navigation system isn’t much better, as its controls are confusing to use.

The Legacy’s cargo area is 14.7 cubic feet, which is average for the class. The space is easy to use, however. The trunk opening is large, and the trunk itself has an elongated shape that makes loading large items easy.

Read more about Legacy interior »

Used 2013 Subaru Legacy Prices

The price of a used 2013 Subaru Legacy ranges from about $10,400 for the base trim with the four-cylinder engine and six-speed manual transmission to around $14,000 for the 3.6R Limited trim with a six-cylinder engine and a five-speed automatic transmission. Prices vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

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We Did the Research for You: 41 Reviews Analyzed

We analyzed 41 Subaru Legacy reviews and included information on safety, reliability, fuel economy, and more to give you a comprehensive overview of the 2013 Legacy.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking vehicles for a decade, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry. To ensure our impartiality, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from carmakers or dealers, and an outside team handles our site’s advertising.

How Reliable Is the 2013 Subaru Legacy?

The 2013 Subaru Legacy has a J.D. Power reliability score of 3.5 out of five, which is above average for the auto industry.

See Legacy reliability scores »

How Safe Is the Legacy?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the 2013 Subaru Legacy a Top Safety Pick+. The Legacy received a rating of Acceptable – the second-highest score offered – for its small overlap front crash test on the driver’s side. Otherwise, the IIHS awarded the Legacy the highest rating of Good in the moderate overlap front, side, roof, and rear crash tests. The Legacy earned five out of five stars in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s frontal, side, and rollover crash tests.

The Legacy has no standard active safety features. Available equipment includes a rearview camera. The available EyeSight driver assist system comes with a pre-collision braking system with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, and sway warning. Adaptive cruise control is also available.

See Legacy safety scores »

Is the 2013 Subaru Legacy the Best Model Year to Buy?

The 2013 Subaru Legacy is part of a generation that launched in 2010. The model was redesigned for 2015. You can save money by buying an older Legacy model, but there are some trade-offs. The 2012 Legacy with the base engine and continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is less fuel-efficient than the 2013 model with its base engine (25 mpg combined city/highway vs. 27 mpg combined). The 2013 model also has a more athletic suspension. In the end, it’s best to stick with the 2013 model.

Compare the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Legacy »

Which Used Subaru Legacy Is Right for Me?

The Legacy comes in five trims: 2.5i base, 2.5i Premium, 2.5i Limited, 3.6R, and 3.6R Limited. The 2.5i base model’s minimal features include manually adjusting seats, projector-beam headlights, and keyless entry. The 2.5i Premium adds aluminum-alloy wheels, a power driver’s seat, a six-speaker stereo system, and a leather-trimmed steering wheel and shifter. The 2.5i Limited has a power-adjustable passenger seat, a dual-zone automatic climate control system with rear vents, and a 440-watt stereo system with satellite radio. The 3.6R has features similar to the 2.5i base, but it adds aluminum-alloy wheels. The 3.6R Limited is similar to the 2.5i Limited. All things considered, the 2.5i Premium trim should meet the needs of most consumers.

Even with the Legacy’s above-average reliability rating, you might want to consider a certified pre-owned model for added peace of mind. For its certified pre-owned vehicles, Subaru extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to seven years or 100,000 miles. For a Legacy to become certified pre-owned, it must pass a 152-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Subaru warranty page carefully. The model's original sale date determines whether or not it is eligible for the CPO program. 

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »

Read more about the Subaru certified pre-owned program »

2013 Subaru Legacy and Other Cars to Consider

Which Is Better: 2013 Subaru Legacy or 2013 Honda Accord?

The 2013 Honda Accord’s handling and engines are better than what you’ll find in the Legacy. The front-wheel-drive Accord with a four-cylinder engine and a continuously variable transmission gets better fuel economy than a similarly equipped Legacy (30 mpg combined vs. 27 mpg combined). The Accord’s interior also has a cleaner design and more upscale materials. Add in a projected lower ownership cost, and the Honda Accord is the better choice.

Which Is Better: 2013 Subaru Legacy or 2013 Ford Fusion?

The 2013 Ford Fusion has available all-wheel drive and livelier, sportier handling than the Legacy. However, the Fusion’s EcoBoost engine is less fuel-efficient than the Legacy’s base four-cylinder, and the Fusion gets the lowest possible reliability rating from J.D. Power. Stick with the Subaru.

Compare the Legacy, Accord, and Fusion »

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