This year at the Chicago Auto Show, Subaru treated us with the reveal of the fully redesigned 2020 Legacy sedan. The seventh generation of Subaru’s rally-inspired all-wheel drive four-door is the first sedan built on the contemporary Subaru Global Platform, plus it boasts two new engines, standard active safety, and a big ‘ol touch screen infotainment system.
The Subaru Global Platform underpinning the new Legacy promises quite the improvement over its predecessor. Structural rigidity is up, thanks to a focus on high-tensile steel and the use of a new structural adhesive throughout the body structure. The steps taken by Subaru engineers to stiffen up the Legacy’s chassis, combined with a more sophisticated rear suspension design, promise to deliver better steering response, an improved ride, and more responsive handling.
A stiffer platform also pays dividends in safety. Subaru expects the new Legacy to receive a Top Safety Pick+ upon completion of Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) testing later this year. Beyond crashworthiness, the Legacy also comes standard with Subaru’s EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, with the addition of Lane Centering for 2020. The suite of active safety features includes adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, and pre-collision throttle management. Subaru’s DriverFocus Distraction Mitigation, first seen on the new Forester in 2018, is optional on the Legacy Limited and standard on the new Legacy XT.
The XT is a new trim level for the redesigned 2020 Legacy, replacing the fourth generation’s Legacy 3.6R Limited. Replacing that car’s 256-horsepower flat-six engine is a 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, producing 260-hp and 277 lb-ft of torque. When we had a chance to drive this new turbo motor in the three-row Ascent last fall, it impressed us with ample torque low in the rev range and strong acceleration. It’s not hard to imagine having a whole lot of fun with the same engine powering a car about a thousand pounds lighter. Subaru estimates the Legacy XT will hit 60mph from a stop in as little as 6.1 seconds.
Entry-level models receive a new engine as well: a 2.5-liter boxer four-cylinder that debuted in the all-new Forester last year. The non-turbo engine is the fuel efficiency all-star of the lineup, delivering up to an estimated 35 mpg on the highway. All seventh-generation Legacy models pair their engines with Subaru’s Lineartronic CVT. Manual transmission enthusiasts may mourn the loss of a row-your-own option, though Subaru’s CVT is one of the best of its kind and available paddle shifters give drivers that extra degree of control.
An all-new multimedia display is perhaps the most obvious change to Subaru’s midsize four-door. At 11.6-inches, it’s the largest infotainment screen ever fitted to a Subaru, offering touch controls for audio, HVAC, and vehicle settings. The display is integrated into the sedan’s dashboard, emulating similar systems designed for Volvo and Tesla. By nestling the screen within the dashboard, the Legacy avoids the “stuck-on tablet” look that plagues cars like the new Ford Explorer.
While Subaru has not yet provided pricing for the new Legacy, we expect entry level models to start around $25,000, with the top-trim Touring XT in the $35,000 range. The all-new 2020 Subaru Legacy will hit dealership floors in Fall 2019.
It will be available in the Rhode Island and Southern Massachusetts areas at Anchor Subaru in North Smithfield, and in Connecticut it will be available at Premier Subaru in Branford and Premier Subaru in Watertown