2020 Subaru Legacy

Performance


#6 out of 10 in Midsize Cars

MSRP
$22,745
U.S. News Best Price Program

2020 Subaru Legacy Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 7.0

The 2020 Subaru Legacy gets a redesign for 2020, and it gains an available turbocharged engine in place of last year's six-cylinder engine. The turbo-four feels more energetic than the base engine, but neither powertrain will have you mistaking the Legacy for a sports car. The same can be said of this Subaru's handling, which is composed and stable but not exactly nimble. The Legacy provides a comfortable ride even over rough roads, though, and it gets solid gas mileage ratings, especially considering it comes standard with all-wheel drive.

  • The base engine moves the Legacy adequately at best, and it sounds labored when pushed hard. The turbo engine is quieter and accelerates the sedan more confidently, particularly in passing maneuvers where the turbo's extra thrust is at the ready." -- Car and Driver
  • "How does it drive? In a word, or two words, really well. There's a solidity and sophistication to this new Legacy that was absent from its predecessor. … The Legacy is far from a sport sedan, but the changes have helped to reduced body roll considerably while maintaining a fairly soft ride over most surfaces. Subaru has struck a comfortable balance here." -- Edmunds
  • Between its heavily boosted steering and cushy suspension – and despite the addition of brake-based torque vectoring at the rear – this is more of a coast cruiser, not a canyon carver like the Mazda6 or the ever-nimble Honda Accord." -- Autoblog

Acceleration and Power

The Legacy comes standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 182 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque. XT models come equipped with a turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder that produces 260 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque. A continuously variable automatic transmission comes standard, no matter which engine you pick.

The base engine will get you around just fine, but models with this engine don't feel in a hurry to accelerate. The turbo-four engine certainly gets the Legacy moving more quickly, but it still doesn’t make this Subaru all that exhilarating.

According to EPA estimates, the Legacy gets 27 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway with its base engine. Those are decent ratings for a midsize sedan. Fuel economy is a little worse with the turbo-four: 24 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway.

  • Honestly, there isn’t anything here that should surprise anyone. The naturally aspirated engine is more than capable of hauling around the Sport’s 3,523 pounds. It doesn’t go anywhere particularly quickly but is adequate to keep up with traffic and accelerate freely. If you’re more interested in MPGs and safety than 0-60 times, the Sport will treat you just fine." -- Jalopnik
  • The 2.5-liter engine provides adequate, if not invigorating, acceleration, aided by the smooth, responsive CVT. The transmission mimics the shift points of a traditional automatic, which mitigates the high-rpm droning sound that many CVTs exhibit." -- Consumer Guide
  • …This turbo engine doesn't exactly turn the Legacy into a sport sedan, but … I find this powerplant adds noticeable pep to the Legacy's step, with plenty of low-end and midrange power." -- CNET

Handling and Braking

The Legacy is an easy car to drive, making it an ideal cruising vehicle for long road trips. It rides smoothly, and the suspension absorbs most road imperfections effectively. This isn't a sports car, though. It lacks the agile feel you get from some class rivals, but the Legacy nonetheless feels composed on winding roads. All-wheel drive comes standard.

  • "Other impressive bits: The ride is smooth and comfortable but also communicative, though it does have a tendency to float like a ’72 Buick over high-speed bumps. Body roll is kept well in check, and the Legacy is surprisingly good in the curves; even with the body set bouncing by a big mid-corner bump, it doesn’t lose its composure or grip. Thank you, all-wheel-drive. The Legacy isn’t quite as buttoned down as say a Honda Accord, but it is good." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "… Subaru says the 2020 model is the best-handling Legacy ever, and it probably is, but it still lacks the crisp steering and overall agility of the Honda Accord. And while it matches the Accord's ride comfort, it lacks the Honda's playfulness. That didn't stop us from having some fun during a drive … on State Route 33, a curvy, undulating ribbon of tarmac that's a genuine test of a car's chassis and powertrain. … Subaru has done a fine job updating its mid-size sedan. It is vastly improved, both in driving satisfaction and cabin comfort." -- Car and Driver
  • "After a day of driving the 2020 Legacy through Southern California, my biggest takeaway is how nicely sorted the chassis is -- you'll feel pavement imperfections, but they don't jostle you around. Through city centers and on the highway, the Legacy is super comfortable, from its supple ride to its cushy front seats. Hit a twisty backroad and you'll notice roll in the suspension and vagueness to the steering, but again, this isn't a sports car. If you're looking for the driver's car of the midsize class, I'd sooner recommend a Honda Accord 2.0T or Mazda6 Signature, both of which lack all-wheel drive but feel lighter on their feet with higher levels of driver engagement. Instead, I could easily see eating up hundreds of miles at a time behind the wheel of a Legacy." -- CNET
U.S. News Best Price Program

2020 Subaru Legacy

MSRP: $22,745 - $35,895

  • Lower Monthly Payments
  • Get the Real Price Online
  • See What Others Paid

More than 150,000 car shoppers have purchased or leased a car through the U.S. News Best Price Program. Our pricing beats the national average 86% of the time with shoppers receiving average savings of $3,402 off MSRP across vehicles.
Learn More »

Find the Best Price

Enter your zip code to get local pricing.

Get Dealer Quotes

To get dealer quotes, enter your zip code.

Search Used Listings

To search used listings, enter your zip code.

Change Location

Enter your zip code to see listings near you.

Please enter a valid zipcode

Best Price Program

Interested in a New?

Use the U.S. News Best Price Program to find great deals and get upfront pricing on the.

Dismiss