3/4 Front Glamour 2014 Subaru Legacy

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Expert's Rating

4.8Excellent

MPG 22 City / 30 Highway
Pros
  • Standard all-wheel drive
  • Sporty handling
  • Spacious cabin
  • Optional EyeSight safety system
Cons
  • Weak acceleration with four-cylinder engine
  • Mediocre fuel efficiency with six-cylinder engine
, Automotive Editor -
With standard all-wheel drive and an optional EyeSight system, the Legacy is the gold standard of active safety in a family sedan.

Introduction

A long-running staple of the Subaru lineup, the Legacy remains the midsize segment's only sedan with standard all-wheel drive -- a feature that isn't even an option on most competitors.

Aside from extra traction, the Legacy offers a distinctive personality and interesting features in a class populated with formulaic family sedans. This niche status is the essence of its appeal. You won't find many in rental fleets or neighborhood driveways.



For buyers concerned with fuel efficiency, the Legacy offers a base 173-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. The engine can be paired with a six-speed manual or continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). The CVT delivers better mileage at 27 mpg in combined city and highway driving -- about the same as competitors without all-wheel drive.

For improved acceleration, Subaru specifies a 3.6-liter V6 for upscale Limited models. With 256 horsepower, the V6 provides good performance in everyday driving, although fuel economy slips to 20 mpg combined. That's acceptable efficiency for an all-wheel drive sedan, but trails front-drive V6 rivals. Neither the manual or CVT are available here; a conventional five-speed automatic is the only transmission available. But you do get all the trappings of the Limited trim level, including leather seating, wood trim, a Harmon Kardon audio system, and rear climate controls.

Despite its alternative character, the Legacy wears fairly conservative sedan styling, clean and fluid with a touch of muscle. It's an appropriate look that's neither quirky nor boring. Inside, the Legacy offers comfort enough for five, purposeful controls, and an uncluttered dashboard. Buyers used to a certain level of luxury might find the standard interior too stark for their tastes, and should look into the Limited models, which impart a premium feel.

The Legacy's most impressive optional feature is the EyeSight system, which offers safety technology usually reserved for much more expensive cars. The system includes adaptive cruise control, lane departure and sway warning, automatic pre-collision braking and throttle management, and lead vehicle start alert.

Which Style To Buy?

2014 Subaru Legacy
Starting price
$20,010
Shopper Popularity
18%

2014 Subaru Legacy 2.5i

Recommended for: Buyers who want an all-wheel drive sedan at an easy price.

As its name implies, the 2.5i is powered by a 2.5-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder, matched to a five-speed manual or continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Subaru's proven all-wheel drive system is standard across the board.

The 2.5i is equipped with 16-inch painted steel wheels, automatic headlamps, power windows and locks, a height-adjustable driver seat, a split-folding rear seat, Bluetooth compatibility, and a four-speaker sound system with CD player, iPod/USB connectivity and an auxiliary audio jack. A new option package for CVT-equipped models adds
17-inch alloy wheels and log lamps.

2014 Subaru Legacy
Starting price
$22,799
Shopper Popularity
26%

2014 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium

Recommended for: Buyers who want enhanced trim and a large selection of features.

The 2.5i Premium carries a new audio system with an LCD color display, HD and satellite radio, Bluetooth audio streaming, a roof-mounted antenna and six speakers. The standard All Weather Package includes a windshield wiper de-icer, and heated front seats and sideview mirrors.

A rearview camera is available as part of the Moonroof Package, which also includes an auto-dimming rearview mirror and Homelink. Buyers can also opt for a navigation system and Subaru's sophisticated Eyesight suite of safety technology.

All Premium models feature 17-inch alloy wheels, body-color sideview mirrors, a power driver seat, and a leather-wrapped steering.

2014 Subaru Legacy
Starting price
$25,152
Shopper Popularity
42%

2014 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Limited

Most Popular
Recommended for: Buyers who don't want to sacrifice luxury for four-cylinder efficiency.

The Limited features a substantially upgraded interior with leather seats, wood trim, dual-zone climate control with rear air conditioning, a power passenger seat, enhanced gauges and a Harman Kardon sound system. Major options are shared with the Premium: a navigation system, the Moonroof Package, and EyeSight.

2014 Subaru Legacy
Starting price
$27,906
Shopper Popularity
6%

2014 Subaru Legacy 3.6R Limited

Recommended for: Buyers who need V6 performance to go with their luxury.

The 3.6R Limited offers the same luxury and convenience features as the 2.5i Limited, but carries it own power team: a 3.6-liter V6 with 256 horsepower and a conventional five-speed automatic transmission. The V6 provides peppy acceleration for a midsize size sedan with all-wheel drive --- while using just slightly more gas.

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