2020 Subaru Legacy

2020 Subaru Legacy Review: Putting The Sleepers To Sleep

by Michael Butler

The Subaru Legacy has to be one of the most forgettable sedans on sale in America, and that's exactly why we like it, especially now that it has been redesigned complete with a 2.4-liter turbocharged boxer engine. The redesign might not be noticeable at first, but after taking a closer look, you'll notice small improvements that, as a whole, make a big difference between the 2020 and 2019 model. A stiffer chassis, exterior design updates, lower road noise, and a new infotainment system are but a few of the improvements made to the new car. We love the fact that it drives beautifully, offers good interior and trunk space, and is one of the safest cars on American roads, all without being noticed by a single person whilst driving down the road. Give us one in gray with a turbo motor and watch as we sail under cop radars every day of the week.

Read in this review:

2020 Subaru Legacy Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2019 Legacy?

The 2020 Subaru Legacy comes fresh off of a redesign that sees it gain a new platform, engine option, trim level, exterior refresh, and interior overhaul. The exterior of the 2020 Legacy looks sharper thanks to a set of slimline headlights and taillights, and new flared wheel arches give it a more planted stance. According to Subaru, the new platform offers 70% more torsional rigidity, and the rear suspension mountings are twice as stiff as the outgoing model. The all-new turbocharged boxer engine available in the Legacy pushes out 260 hp and gives the Legacy some much-needed zest. Inside the cabin, the redesign has been more conservative, but the new optional 11.6-inch touchscreen display is a welcome addition and lifts the front half of the cabin to a modern standard.

Pros and Cons

  • It still has standard all-wheel-drive
  • It has just been redesigned
  • Optional 11.6-inch infotainment display
  • New turbocharged engine
  • Standard driver assistance features
  • We're not fans of the CVT transmission
  • Still can't shake its dad's-choice image
  • The base engine can feel underpowered

2020 Subaru Legacy Trims

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
2.5i
2.5-liter Flat 4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
$22,745
2.5i Premium
2.5-liter Flat 4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
$24,995
2.5i Sport
2.5-liter Flat 4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
$26,945
2.5i Limited
2.5-liter Flat 4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
$29,745
2.4T Limited XT
2.4-liter Turbo Flat 4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
$34,195

Legacy Exterior

To the untrained eye, the 2020 and 2019 Subaru Legacy will look very much alike, but those in the know will be able to spot some small differences inside and out, which help the

Legacy look and feel relevant in the new decade. In the front, the thinner looking headlights sharpen up the Legacy's face, the same goes for the rear, and the fenders, front and rear, get a bit more flare. Standard across the range are auto on/off LED headlights with high beam assist. Climbing up the range, the Legacy Premium offers body-colored side mirrors with integrated turn signals, 17-inch alloy wheels, a window de-icer, LED fog lights, and an optional power moonroof. Legacy Sport models get a gloss black grille, Crystal Black Silica side mirrors, a trunk spoiler, 18-inch wheels, a standard moonroof and LED foglights. Limited and Limited XT models gain LED steering responsive headlights and an auto tilt-down driver's side mirror. Top of the range Touring XT cars benefit from aggressive dual exit exhaust pipes, power-folding side mirrors and chrome door handles.

2020 Subaru Legacy Front View Subaru
2020 Subaru Legacy Rear View Subaru
2020 Subaru Legacy Front View Driving Subaru
See All 2020 Subaru Legacy Exterior Photos

Dimensions

Despite the redesign and slightly tweaked exterior, the 2020 Subaru Legacy retains its dimensions, give or take a few inches here and there. Total length comes in at 190.6 inches, which is 1.8 inches longer than the outgoing model. The body width of 72.4 inches remains the same, and the height of 59.1 inches is only 0.1 inches taller than before. The front track measurement is 62.2 inches, the same as the 2019 model, but its 63.4-inch rear track is 0.6 inches wider. The new Legacy rolls on the same 108.3-inch wheelbase as the 2019 model. In terms of curb weight, the 2020 Legacy starts at 3,499 pounds in base trim, growing to 3,523 lbs for the mid-range Sport, and finally topping out at 3,790 lbs for the XT Touring.

  • Length 190.6 in
  • Wheelbase 108.3 in
  • Height 59.1 in
  • Max Width 72.4 in
  • Front Width 62.2 in
  • Rear Width 63.4 in

Exterior Colors

Subaru has traditionally promoted the Legacy as its more mature sedan offering, leaving the Impreza to impress the younger market, and guess what? Nothing has changed. Subaru's choice of exterior color options perfectly reflects its strategy: the base model is available in five colors, none of which would make a traffic cop blink in the slightest. New owners get to choose between Abyss Blue Pearl, Crystal Black Silica, Ice Silver Metallic, Magnetite Gray Metallic, and Crystal White Pearl. The top of the range Limited XT adds Crimson Red Pearl and Tungsten Metallic to the palette. If we were buying a new 2020 Subaru Legacy, what's go for one in Magnetite Gray Metallic; it looks sportier than the other colors, without shouting about it.

  • Abyss Blue Pearl
  • Crystal Black Silica
  • Crystal White Pearl
  • Ice Silver Metallic
  • Magnetite Gray Metallic
  • Crimson Red Pearl
  • Tungsten Metallic

Legacy Performance

Subaru has made the clever decision to offer the 2020 Legacy with two engine choices; the familiar 2.5-liter boxer engine remains in place but is joined by an all-new 2.4-liter turbocharged unit, which dramatically increases power and performance. Non-turbo cars won't struggle to ferry around four passengers and their luggage, and provides enough low-down poke in city driving to get you through gaps and past those pesky Hyundai Azeras and Buick Lucernes. The 2.5-liter car will get to sixty in around eight seconds, and will happily cruise at highway speeds. The new turbocharged variant adds a bit of spice to an otherwise mild meal and offers superior performance across the board. The zero to sixty time drops to the low six-second range, and carrying large loads bothers the turbo model far less than its naturally aspirated sibling.

2020 Subaru Legacy Front View Driving 1 Subaru
2020 Subaru Legacy Rear View Driving Subaru
2020 Subaru Legacy Engine Bay Subaru

Engine and Transmission

Subura offers new buyers two engines and a single transmission option when buying a new 2020 Legacy. Base, Premium, and Sport model are powered by a naturally-aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder boxer engine, which produces 182 hp at 5,800 rpm, and 176 lb-ft of torque at 4,400 rpm. Power is sent to all four wheels via a Lineartronic continuously variable transmission with adaptive control and eight-speed manual mode with paddle shifters. This engine has good low-down torque despite not being turbocharged, and if you're not in a hurry, should do just fine. The new turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder boxer engine available on Limited XT models, and standard-issue on Touring XT models, produces a healthy 260 hp at 5,600 rpm. The secret to its great performance lies in its torque figure of 277 lb-ft, which is available between 2,000 and 4,800 rpm, giving the driver a wide torque band. The CVT transmission is one of the better ones we've tested, and the simulated shifts are convincing, but we found that it can get a bit unrefined at lower speeds.

  • Engines
    2.4-liter Turbo Flat 4 Gas, 2.5-liter Flat 4 Gas
  • Transmission
    Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
  • Drivetrain
    AWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

The new decade brings with it a new platform, which Subaru claims to be 70% more rigid torsionally, and twice as stiff in the rear suspension mounting area. The result of this stiffening is a car that's more eager to dive its nose into a corner and it also feels more responsive to steering inputs. While the Legacy might not be as focused as Subaru's more sporty WRX or STI, its DNA still shines through the modest bodywork, and we are grateful that Subaru has stuck with its standard symmetrical all-wheel-drive system, which gives the driver a certain level of assurance and confidence. Steering the Legacy is a rather disconnected affair, more so than in the Honda Accord, which highlights the Legacy's focus on comfort over all-out performance. Out on the open road, the Legacy soaks up bumps in its stride, and thicker window glass, door seals, and aerodynamic tricks have resulted in a car that whispers down the road.

Legacy Gas Mileage

We are thoroughly impressed with the 2020 Subaru Legacy's fuel consumption figures, especially when you consider the fact that it's powered by a large capacity naturally aspirated four-pot engine in lower-trim cars. The EPA rates the 2.5-liter base engine at 27/35/30 mpg city/highway/combined, narrowly missing out on the Subaru Impreza sedan base model, which is powered by a 2.0-liter boxer four and five-speed manual transmission and returns 28/36/31 mpg. The base model Honda Accord with its 1.5-liter turbocharged four-pot and CVT transmission will do one better at 30/38/33 mpg. The turbocharged Legacy will see those numbers drop to 24/32/27 mpg, which is still impressive for a 260 hp all-wheel-drive car. With a fuel capacity of 18.5 gallons, the Legacy should see between 500 and 555 miles per tank.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    18.5 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 27/35 mpg
* 2020 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Sedan

Legacy Interior

The Subaru Legacy shares its interior with the rugged Outback, but in no way does it feel utilitarian or agricultural; in fact, the interior update for 2020 has turned it into a seriously comfy and refined space, and does an excellent job of keeping road and wind noise to a minimum thanks to extra glazing on the windows and improved door seals. The base model is offered with a six-way manually adjustable driver's seat (power seats are standard from Premium models and upward), manually-adjustable air conditioning, an electronic parking brake, a three-spoke steering wheel with integrated controls and paddle shifters, as well as manually adjustable tilt/telescoping steering column. You also get sun visors with illuminated vanity mirrors. Higher up in the range premium features such as keyless entry with push-button start, an auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink as well as dual-zone automatic climate control become available.

2020 Subaru Legacy Dashboard Subaru
2020 Subaru Legacy Steering Wheel Subaru
2020 Subaru Legacy Glove Box Subaru
See All 2020 Subaru Legacy Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

Potential buyers will be looking closely at the seating and interior space offered by cars in this class, and the 2020 Subaru Legacy shouldn't have anything to worry about: the redesigned car retains its impressive levels of interior space. It should prove to be roomy enough, even when fully loaded with five adults. The 2020 Legacy offers 39.4 inches of headroom in the front (37.3 inches with moonroof), and 37.2 in the rear; more than enough for the average adult. The all-important legroom measurement is equally good at 42.8/39.5 front/rear. The Honda Accord manages to beat the Legacy in terms of rear legroom, but only by 0.9 inches, and the Legacy offers 0.5 inches more space in the front. The seats in the 2020 Legacy are plump, supportive, and are beautifully comfortable around town and on the open road.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater
  • Front Leg Room 42.8 in
  • Front Head Room 39.4 in
  • Rear Leg Room 39.5 in
  • Rear Head Room 37.2 in

Interior Colors and Materials

The interior design might resemble that of the previous year model, but Subaru has spent some time refining the cabin of the redesigned Legacy: there's a tangible improvement in the cabin, mostly thanks to the extensive use of soft-touch plastics. The base model is fitted with good quality cloth seats that should stand up to years and years of abuse by your grandkids. Moving up to the Legacy Sport sees the cloth upholstery replaced with sport cloth and red contrast stitching, and Limited and Touring models get standard leather seats. Subaru has done a good job of overhauling the interior of the 2020 Legacy; it might not be immediately noticeable, but we appreciate the attention to detail as well as the fit and finish.

Legacy Trunk and Cargo Space

The 2020 Subaru Legacy retains the previous year model's 15.1 cubic feet of trunk space, which is not quite class-leading but is up there with the best of them. The space is made more usable thanks to a square and wide opening trunk lid with a low liftover. Compared to the Impreza Sedan's 12.3 cubic feet of space, the Legacy feels like an SUV, but the 2020 Honda Accord does one better with an impressive 16.7 cubic feet. Thankfully, the 2020 Legacy has 60/40-split flat-folding rear seatbacks, which, when folded down, offers ample space, and you should be able to fit a disassembled mountain bike or two in the back. An underfloor storage tray adds some extra space for smaller items. Small-item storage in the cabin is good: occupants get a total of eight cup and bottle holders as well as a center console storage bin and glovebox.

2020 Subaru Legacy Glove Box 1 Subaru
2020 Subaru Legacy Rear Passenger Seats Subaru
2020 Subaru Legacy Trunk Space Subaru
  • Trunk Volume
    15.1 ft³

Legacy Infotainment and Features

Features

In base trim, the Legacy isn't the most feature-rich car in its class but does come with a number of driver assistance features such as power-adjustable seats and automatic climate control that should more than make up for its lack of creature comforts. In base form, the 2020 Subaru Legacy is offered with standard LED headlights, an electronic parking brake, a manually adjustable CFC-free manual air conditioning system and driver assistance features such as high beam assist, adaptive cruise control and lane-departure warning. Moving up in the range, you'll get a standard ten-way power-adjustable driver's seat and dual-zone climate control in the Premium and Sport model, while Limited and Touring models add the same feature to the passenger seat. A heated steering wheel is standard on the top model, as is a leather-upholstered interior. Convenience and safety features such as keyless access with push-button start and an auto-dimming rearview compass mirror with HomeLink are standard features on Sport models and upward. Specialized driver assistance features such as reverse automatic braking and driver attention assist are only available on Limited and Touring models.

Infotainment

The Legacy makes use of its Starlink infotainment software in the 2020 Legacy, and we also see the return of their seven-inch touchscreen display, but this time it comes in dual-screen configuration on base model cars: one displaying infotainment information while the other shows climate control and other data. Premium cars and upward get a new 11.6-inch display, which takes the Legacy's interior from bland to Black Mirror. Services such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Pandora, and Aha are standard across the range, as is Yelp, iHeartRadio, Magellan navigation, and SiriusXM satellite radio. The basics are also covered with an AM/FM stereo, Bluetooth streaming, and dual front seat USB input ports all as standard. Premium models and up get two USB ports in the rear. The base model gets a four-speaker sound system that doesn't exactly impress, but the six-speaker system found in the Premium and Sport does a more convincing job. Limited and Touring models get Harman Kardon premium sound with 12 speakers. Despite the larger displays, the Starlink system feels clumsy and slow to react to input.

Legacy Problems and Reliability

With a score of 81 on the J.D. Power reliability rating scoreboard, the Legacy can be considered to be a pretty reliable car. The 2020 car has been recalled once in relation to a missing or loose bolt that may cause the brake pedal mounting area to deform, leading to reduced braking performance. 2019 Subaru Legacy cars were recalled for improperly applied spot welds, which could reduce the structural integrity of the car. Subaru will cover its 2020 Legacy with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty, which includes a five-year warranty for corrosion, a five-year/60,000-mile warranty for the drivetrain, and three years worth of roadside assistance.

Warranty

  • Basic:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    5 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles

Legacy Safety

Subaru builds some of the safest cars on the American market, and the 2020 Legacy is no different. While the NHTSA is yet to test the 2020 year model, the 2019 version scored a full five out of five stars. The IIHS has managed to get their hands on a 2020 model, where the 2019 title of Top Safety Pick+ carries over - this is the IIHS' highest accolade. Additionally, the Legacy was given top scores of Good for all evaluations undertaken by the authority. One of the 2020 Legacy's strongest selling points will be the fact that active driver safety features, which tend to be reserved for the options list on some rivals, can be found as standard across the range. The team over at Subaru must have enjoyed the news that the Honda Accord only managed to scoop a Top Safety Pick Award for 2019.

Key Safety Features

Winning a Top Safety Pick Plus award is no small feat: Subaru has packed the 2020 Legacy with as many standard safety features as would make economic sense, so even in base form, you'll be driving one of the safest cars around. The base model is fitted with ten airbags, traction control, LED headlights and daytime running lights, as well as a rear-vision camera, brake assist, ABS, vehicle dynamics control, and high beam assist. Standard driver assistance features include adaptive cruise control, emergency forward braking, lane departure, and sway warning, and lane keep assist. More advanced systems such as blind-spot monitoring with lane-change assist and rear cross-traffic assist are optional on Premium and Sport models, and come standard on Limited and Touring models.

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2020 Subaru Legacy a good car?

The latest redesign couldn't have come at a better time for the Subaru Legacy: the outgoing Legacy was starting to show its age on the outside as well as under the skin, and despite being one of the few sedans in its class to offer AWD, sales were starting to tail off. The new Legacy looks sharper thanks to a few choice touches, but more importantly, it feels great to drive. An improved chassis with improved overall stiffness has made the Legacy feel better on the road, and added insulation has made it more refined too. Subaru has also thought it good to add an all-new turbocharged engine to the lineup: the new 2.4-liter turbocharged boxer four-cylinder engine packs a strong punch with 260 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque, and while it doesn't feel like a storming performer, it does have enough power to keep the mildly sporty driver content. We love the fact that it's ultra-safe, comfortable, and capable of flying under the radar 24/7.

🚘What's the Price of the 2020 Subaru Legacy?

The comfortable and capable Legacy starts off at a bargain price of only $22,745 for the Base model, $1,275 less than an entry-level 2020 Honda Accord. Next in line is the Premium, which adds that 11.6-inch display, and $2,250 to the asking price for a total of $24,995. The Sport model, which features cross-stitched seats and LED fog lights, will set you back $26,945. Third from the top sits the Legacy Limited, which costs $29,745 and adds a leather interior. The Limited XT shares most of its features with the Limited, but more importantly, it gets the new 2.4-liter turbocharged engine as standard and will cost you $34,195. The new Touring XT is only available with the turbocharged power plant, gets heated and ventilated Nappa leather seats, and goes for $35,895. These prices don't include registration, taxes, and a destination fee of $900.

2020 Subaru Legacy Models

There's a trim level for every budget and taste: Subaru offers the 2020 Legacy in six different trim levels, with the top of the range Touring XT being the latest addition to the Legacy lineup. The base model, starting at $22,745, features a naturally-aspirated 2.5-liter boxer engine and symmetrical AWD. It gets standard LED headlights, dual seven-inch infotainment displays with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, as well as adaptive cruise control auto-forward emergency braking and lane-keep assist. The $24,995 Premium adds an 11.6-inch infotainment touchscreen display, a ten-way power-adjustable driver's seat, and more. The Sport model distinguishes itself by its 18-inch alloys finished in black, two-tone interior with cross-stitching, and trunk spoiler, amongst other features. The Limited costs $29,745 and gets a leather-trimmed upholstery and a 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system as well as a number of convenience features such as keyless access with push-button start. Limited XT models start at $34,195 and benefit from the turbocharged 2.4-liter engine, a power moonroof as well as driver attention mitigation. The Touring XT goes for $35,895 and includes Nappa-leather upholstery, a 180-degree front-view camera, and chrome door handles.

See All 2020 Subaru Legacy Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

Base model cars are only available with an optional wheel package for $350 that adds a set of 17-inch alloy wheels, but accessories such as a $599 Rockford Fosgate sound system can be added. Premium trim cars are available with two convenience packages, which combine safety and comfort features such as LED foglights and blind-spot detection for $1,000, or you can add a power moonroof and a navigation system and pay $2,595. Go for the Limited model, and you can add a power moonroof, 11.6-inch multimedia navigation system, a heated steering wheel as well as driver distraction mitigation for $2,045.

🚗What Subaru Legacy Model Should I Buy?

If all you're looking for is a capable, safe and reliable four-door sedan then the base model with its 2.5-liter boxer motor, manual air conditioning, and standard adaptive cruise control will do the trick. But, if you're looking for something a bit more unique, then there's a wide range of options left on the table. The redesigned Legacy drives so well on the open road that it would be a shame not to go for a model with the new turbocharged engine. If it were up to us, we'd get the top of the range Legacy Touring, which features heated and ventilated front seats in Nappa leather, as well as conveniences such as a 180-degree front view monitor, power moonroof and driver attention assistance. We'll have ours in Magnetite Gray with the optional wireless charger.

2020 Subaru Legacy Comparisons

Honda Accord Honda
Subaru Impreza Sedan Subaru
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Subaru Legacy182 hp27/35 mpg$22,745
Honda Accord 192 hp30/38 mpg$24,270
Subaru Impreza Sedan 152 hp23/31 mpg$18,695

2020 Subaru Legacy vs Honda Accord

The Honda Accord has been a favorite for years, and with good reason, it has always managed to balance value for money with comfort, safety, and practicality, and some models are even fun to drive. The 2020 Honda Accord is one of the most accomplished yet and features a range of impressive turbo gasoline engines that offer both performance and economy. The base model starts off at $24,020, over a grand more than the Legacy, and is powered by a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-pot engine producing an impressive 192 hp and 192 lb-ft of torque at only 1,900 rpm. The more powerful 2.0-liter unit produces 252 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy ranges from 22/32/26 mpg city/highway/combined to 30/38/33 mpg. The Accord misses out on the AWD system found in the Legacy and sends its power exclusively to the front wheels. The Accord is a pleasure to drive and feels dynamically superior to the Legacy when pushing through the corners. The interior is also a more modern place to sit in. Both cars share more or less the same interior space, but the Accord offers more trunk space. The Legacy is the safest car, but not by much. Get the Accord if you're still up for an exciting driving experience.

See Honda Accord Review

2020 Subaru Legacy vs Subaru Impreza Sedan

The Subaru Impreza has always enjoyed the gaze of the younger market, perhaps because of the urban legend that there used to be Imprezas out in the wild that could make turbo noises and drive really fast over dirt trails. Whatever the case may be, the 2020 Subaru Impreza is more of a mild-mannered people mover than a rally car, and slots in beneath the Legacy price and size-wise. Power is provided by an uninspiring 2.0-liter boxer four-pot, which kicks out 152 hp and 145 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to all four corners via a CVT transmission, and the car will return a Legacy-matching 27/36/30 mpg city/highway/combined. The Impreza does what the Legacy does but on a smaller, less impressive scale. Both cars share the same Star Link infotainment software, AWD system, and other bits, but the price difference and overall experience are tangible: the Impreza is smaller, less practical, and not as refined, but costs over $3,000 more. If you're a traveling salesman who never wants to get pulled over by cops or chicks, get the Impreza Sedan.

See Subaru Impreza Sedan Review

Subaru Legacy Popular Comparisons

2020 Subaru Legacy Video Reviews

Check out some informative Subaru Legacy video reviews below.

$22,745 - $35,895
Price Range (MSRP)
Subaru Legacy