Subaru Legacy: A Legacy of All-Wheel Drive

Subaru Legacy

Subaru has been doing quite well with its SUVs, however when it comes to its family cars it feels like things haven’t gone according to plan. The Subaru has a niche it’s an affordable fun to drive car, however having a single niche doesn’t mean you’ll be guaranteed survival in the cutthroat auto business. Seemingly, intuitively Subaru have recognized this and have released a somewhat more premium feeling and looking Subaru Legacy.

The History

The first Subaru Legacy was released back in January, 1989 in its domestic market Japan. It went on to be available from Japanese dealerships on February the same year, then later it was available worldwide in 1990. As part of its original plans the Legacy was built to compete with the likes of the Altima, Camry and Accord in the North American market.

Continuing to 1996 the Legacy introduced a variant that featured a raised suspension known as the Legacy Outback. This variant was meant to compete in the SUV segment where it proved successful and in 2000 the Outback become a separate model from the Legacy.

Current Model

Currently, we have reached the sixth generation of the Legacy, which made its debut at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show. With this new generation, as has been the custom at Subaru, all trims have all-wheel drive configuration with horizontally opposed engine layout.

The Variants

The Legacy is available as either a sedan or a hatchback, and comes in a number of trims:

  • 5i
  • 5i Premium
  • 5i Limited
  • 6R Limited

Subaru Legacy

The Powertrain

Powering the Legacy are two engines a four cylinder and six cylinder engine. The first engine is the 2.5L four cylinder, which features a slight improvement to its predecessor with a total output of 173 bhp. As for the 3.6L six cylinder it remains unchanged, and still produces 252 bhp. As for transmission depending on your locale you can receive either the 6-speed manual or CVT.


The interior is definitely a step up from the previous generation, and comes across as premium. Though the cabin isn’t to the same crazy high-end feel of the Golf it still is quite plush. This cabin is quite roomy with all passengers both on the front and the rear getting enough headroom and legroom. As for the car’s standard tech, you can expect a new infotainment system which is handled by a 6.2” touchscreen, Bluetooth and USB connectivity.


The Subaru’s front employs a rather wonderful horse-shoe grille that features three horizontal bars, with the top bar carrying the Subaru marque. It somehow looks playful but aggressive like a big cat, especially with the eye-shaped headlights. Colossally, this is a contemporary design that makes the Legacy distinguishable.

Our Verdict

This is the Legacy, which by the way is Subaru’s flagship car, making its success extremely vital. The Subaru Legacy has a two pronged approach on how it positions itself. First in its lower trims it is sold as a family car, where it competes with the likes of the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. And finally in its performance trims, it is sold as a compact executive car meant to compete with the likes of Alfa Romeo 159 and Audi A4. Now when you are targeting two different segments in any market at the same time it is always going to be tough. Thus, Subaru find themselves in a rather precarious position cater for practicality, and you please your family car buyer, however this isn’t in the mind of a compact executive buyer. For me I think Subaru should have a spinoff luxury brand and sail the high performance Legacy there, this will make it easier for them to focus on each segment.

Marketing aside the Legacy is great to drive and feels more premium than its predecessor with great styling replete both in the cabin and outside. It‘s comfortable with enough practicality. The Legacy is a great car which may have seemed to be on the wane till its recent launch.

Thinking of buying the Legacy, you should start to budget from $ 22,540.

The Legacy is a great car, however is it a one trick pony, whereby it is only dependent on single quirk? Have your say, leave a comment.

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