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2018 Subaru Legacy Review

The 2018 Subaru Legacy has standard all-wheel drive and an expansive cabin, but its uninspiring engines and poor predicted reliability rating drag it toward the bottom of the competitive midsize car class.

Pros & Cons

  • Standard all-wheel drive
  • Expansive cabin
  • Comfortable seating
  • Great safety scores
  • Rock-bottom predicted reliability rating
  • Unremarkable engines
  • Noticeable body roll

New for 2018

  • Retuned driving dynamics
  • Updated styling
  • Larger standard touch screen




Critics' Rating: 8.3
Performance: 7.7
Interior: 8.2
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.8
Safety: 10.0
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2018 Subaru Legacy Overview

Is the 2018 Subaru Legacy a Good Used Car?

The Subaru Legacy is a decent used midsize car, but there are much better vehicles in this highly competitive segment.

The 2018 Legacy has many strengths:

  • Ample passenger space
  • Comfortable seats
  • Comes standard with all-wheel drive
  • Easy-to-use infotainment system
  • Superb safety score

It also has a few notable weaknesses:

  • Abysmal predicted reliability rating
  • Underpowered engines
  • Too much body roll through curves
Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve analyzed 33 Subaru Legacy reviews, as well as performance specs, interior dimensions, fuel economy ratings, and more, to give you all the information you need to make a smart car-buying decision.

U.S. News & World Report has been reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined automotive industry experience. To remain impartial, we do not accept extravagant gifts from automakers, and an outside source handles our advertising.

How Much Is the 2018 Subaru Legacy?

Based on listings for the 2018 Subaru Legacy on our site, the average price is $22,900, which is above average for the class. Prices range from $19,000 to $28,500 and vary depending on the vehicle’s condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2018 Subaru Legacy Cost to Own?

The 2018 Legacy’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be around $22,060, or $4,412 per year. That’s about average for a midsize car.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Legacy?

The price of a new 2019 Legacy starts at $22,545. The new Legacy gains standard pre-collision braking, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control. These features were available in older models as part of the EyeSight Driver Assist package. That means you may find a used 2018 Legacy equipped with them, and the 2018 model will likely cost less than a new model.

Read about the new Subaru Legacy »

The 2018 Legacy belongs to a generation that started with the 2015 model year. After relatively minor changes for 2016 and 2017, Subaru refreshed the Legacy for 2018, making it a more well-rounded choice than older models. For 2018, Subaru improved the Legacy's driving dynamics, retuned the suspension system, updated the styling, and enlarged the standard touch screen from 6.2 to 6.5 inches.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 Subaru Legacy »

See the Best New Car Deals »

See the Best New Car Lease Deals »

How Reliable Is the 2018 Subaru Legacy?

The 2018 Subaru Legacy has an awful predicted reliability rating of two out of five from J.D. Power. Two is the lowest rating J.D. Power gives out.

Read more about Legacy reliability »

2018 Subaru Legacy Recalls

At the time of writing, there are two recalls for the 2018 Subaru Legacy:

  • Rearview camera image may not display when backing up
  • Fuel range display may be incorrect

Before buying any used vehicle, make sure all recalls have been addressed.

See more information on Subaru Legacy safety recalls »

Which Used Subaru Legacy Trim Is Right for Me?

The 2018 Subaru Legacy comes in five trims: 2.5i, 2.5i Premium, 2.5i Sport, 2.5i Limited, and 3.6R Limited. Trims marked with 2.5 come with the base four-cylinder engine, while the top-of-the-line 3.6R gets a six cylinder. The 2.5i trims come with a lengthy list of features, and the 3.6R gets additional technology, comfort, and safety amenities.

  • Subaru Legacy 2.5i: The base 2.5i trim comes with cloth upholstery, a rearview camera, and a Starlink infotainment system with a 6.5-inch touch screen, four speakers, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, and a USB port.
  • Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium: The 2.5i Premium trim includes dual-zone automatic climate control, dual USB ports, an 8-inch touch screen, two additional speakers, a 10-way power-adjustable driver's seat, heated front seats, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
  • Subaru Legacy 2.5i Sport: The 2.5i Sport trim features push-button start, blind spot monitoring, lane change assist, rear cross traffic alert, and fog lights.
  • Subaru Legacy 2.5i Limited: The 2.5i Limited trim gains leather-trimmed upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, and a Harman Kardon premium audio system.
  • Subaru Legacy 3.6R Limited: The 3.6R Limited is nearly identical to the 2.5i Limited, but it’s the only trim that comes with the 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine.

See 2018 Subaru Legacy trims and specs »

What Does Subaru's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Subaru offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles five years old or less and with fewer than 80,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. For its certified pre-owned vehicles, Subaru extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to seven years from the original sale date or 100,000 miles. Subaru provides no additional coverage for CPO vehicles, so buyers receive the remainder of the original three-year/36,000-mile new-car warranty. However, buyers can purchase additional coverage. Every CPO Subaru must pass a 152-point inspection. Additional benefits like owner loyalty discounts, a one-year Starlink Safety Plus trial subscription, towing, and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Subaru warranty page carefully.

Subaru’s CPO program isn’t particularly robust, according to our analysis. Among affordable automakers, Toyota, Mazda, Honda, and many others have better programs.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the Legacy?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the Subaru Legacy a 2018 Top Safety Pick+. The sedan earned the highest rating of Good in all six crash crashworthiness tests, and properly equipped models received the top rating of Superior for front crash prevention. Headlight ratings depend on the trim. The 2.5i and 3.6R Limited trims equipped with the EyeSight Driver Assist package earned a top rating of Good for how well the headlights illuminate the road ahead. The 3.6R Limited trim without the safety package received the second-highest rating of Acceptable. All other models received the second-lowest rating of Marginal.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2018 Legacy an overall safety rating of five out of five stars. It received five stars in frontal and side crash tests and in the rollover evaluation.

Standard advanced safety features:

  • rearview camera

Available advanced safety features:

  • lane keep assist
  • lane change assist
  • adaptive cruise control
  • blind spot monitoring
  • rear cross traffic alert
  • pre-collision braking
  • reverse automatic braking

See Subaru Legacy safety scores »

2018 Subaru Legacy Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2018 Subaru Legacy or 2018 Mazda6?

The 2018 Mazda6 is a better midsize car than the Legacy. The Mazda6 provides an engaging, comfortable ride, and it features an available turbocharged engine that's more powerful than anything you’ll find in the Legacy. Inside, the Mazda boasts a premium-looking interior with soft-touch materials throughout. However, the Mazda isn't an ideal choice if passenger space is a priority. The rear seats are cramped.

Which Is Better: 2018 Subaru Legacy or 2018 Honda Accord?

The 2018 Honda Accord is one of the most well-rounded midsize cars you can purchase. It offers engaging handling and plenty of power. It also features top-notch interior materials and plenty of room for adults in both rows of seats. The Legacy has a lower average list price and comes standard with all-wheel drive (AWD is not available in the Honda), but the Accord is the clear winner here.

Compare the Legacy, Mazda6, and Accord »

2018 Subaru Legacy Performance

How Does the 2018 Subaru Legacy Drive?

Performance isn’t the 2018 Legacy's strong suit. Its standard four-cylinder engine is mated to a responsive continuously variable automatic transmission, and the combination provides languid acceleration. A six-cylinder engine is available, but only in the top 3.6R trim. While it’s good for highway driving and passing maneuvers, it pales in comparison to more potent engines available in the midsize car class.

The Legacy's standard all-wheel drive provides good road grip, and its ride is comfortable over smooth surfaces. However, there is noticeable body lean around corners, and the ride can get a little rough when the road turns bumpy.

  • Base engine: 175-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder
  • Available engine: 256-horsepower 3.6-liter six-cylinder
  • Drivetrain: all-wheel drive
  • Transmission: continuously variable automatic (CVT)
Does the 2018 Subaru Legacy Get Good Gas Mileage?

The 2018 Legacy gets good gas mileage figures for an all-wheel-drive vehicle.

  • Four-cylinder: 25/34 mpg city/highway
  • Six-cylinder: 20/28 mpg

Read more about Subaru Legacy performance »

2018 Subaru Legacy Interior

How Many People Does the 2018 Subaru Legacy Seat?

The 2018 Subaru Legacy seats up to five people in two rows. This sedan's seats are comfortable and provide a lot of support. There's plenty of space in both the front and the rear, and visibility is good in all directions.

Standard seating features:

  • cloth upholstery

Available seating features:

  • leather-trimmed upholstery
  • 10-way power-adjustable driver's seat
  • power-adjustable passenger seat
  • heated front seats
  • leather-wrapped steering wheel
How Many Child Car Seats Fit in the 2018 Subaru Legacy?

The 2018 Legacy has two complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors on the rear outboard seats. The rear middle seat has an upper tether, and you can borrow the lower anchors from a side seat. For ease of use, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the system the highest rating of Good.

2018 Subaru Legacy Features

The standard Starlink infotainment system is user-friendly. It features crisp graphics, large buttons, and responsive menus that are easy to read.

  • Standard infotainment features: a 6.5-inch touch-screen infotainment system with four speakers, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, and a USB port
  • Available infotainment features: dual USB ports, an 8-inch touch screen, and a Harman Kardon premium audio system
  • Other available features: dual-zone automatic climate control and push-button start

See 2018 Subaru Legacy specs »

Read more about Subaru Legacy interior »

2018 Subaru Legacy Dimensions

Subaru Legacy Cargo Space

There's 15 cubic feet of trunk space in the 2018 Legacy, which is slightly above average for the midsize car class. Small-item storage space is abundant, and split-folding rear seats are standard.

These cargo dimensions are for comparative purposes. There is no substitute for visually examining the storage area in any car you’re considering.

2018 Subaru Legacy Length and Weight
  • Length: 15 feet, 9 inches
  • Curb weight: 3,500 to 3,750 pounds

Where Was the 2018 Subaru Legacy Built?

Subaru built the 2018 Legacy in Indiana.

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