If there is a main fault with the brand-new 2020 Subaru Legacy, it is that it does not instantly appear like a brand-new automotive. Even all tarted up in range-topping XT Touring guise, the brand new Legacy lacks the outright freshness and curb attraction of rivals just like the HondaAccord, Mazda6 or Nissan Altima. I imply, have you ever seen the brand new Hyundai Sonata?

However spend a while with the 2020 Legacy and you will find quite a lot of substantial enhancements to an already stable competitor, in areas that basically matter. From its compliant experience to its snug inside to its wealth of cabin tech and security methods, that is Subaru’s best and well-executed Legacy by a rustic mile.

Beneficiant lodging

The brand new Legacy does not look dangerous, it is simply form of nameless. However that is to not say there aren’t some good particulars. I just like the brushed steel mirror caps on my totally loaded Touring tester, and the way in which the chrome strip across the aspect home windows curves onto the aspect mirrors. The headlamp housings are extra stylized than earlier than, with commonplace LED important beams and operating lights on all fashions. The physique sides themselves are a bit plain, however the Legacy has a pleasant stance on its optionally available 18-inch wheels (17s are commonplace), and the rear fascia is straightforward and clear, with twin exhaust pipes solely seen on XT (turbocharged) fashions.

Beneath its new pores and skin, the Legacy rides on Subaru’s new world platform — the identical bones that underpin the Ascent, Forester, Impreza and Outback. Even so, the 2020 Legacy is sort of similar to its predecessor in dimension, with just one.5 extra inches of size.

The Legacy may not be a slave to trend, however this conservative design strategy has resulted in numerous area for passengers. With out a closely raked roof or dramatically angled beltline, the Legacy feels completely big inside, with a ton of glass space and skinny pillars leading to a commanding view of the world outdoors. A 6-foot-tall driver can put the entrance seat of their splendid driving place whereas a equally sized passenger rides comfortably within the again. And with 15.1 cubic ft of trunk area, the Legacy affords loads of room for a handful of suitcases, with the added bonus of a bigger aperture than earlier than for simple loading.

Caramel-colored Nappa leather-based is out there on the top-end Touring trim.

Michael Shaffer/Subaru

Comfortable and techy

Apparently, it is contained in the Legacy the place Subaru appears to have flexed some design muscle. I really like the caramel-colored Nappa leather-based on my Touring tester, particularly the way in which it is utilized in giant swaths on the dashboard. Total, the cabin is handsomely styled however nonetheless a lot useful, with deep door pockets that may accommodate large water bottles.

The apparent centerpiece of the Legacy’s cabin is Subaru’s 11.6-inch, portrait-oriented Starlink multimedia show. It is commonplace on all however the base Legacy, that trim making do with a smaller, 7-inch touchscreen set above an association of bodily buttons for the automotive’s local weather controls. On all different fashions, the massive touchscreen is the place you may entry nearly the whole lot, with just a few bits of switchgear and knobs for issues like audio quantity, tuning and temperature.

First seen on the 2020 Outback, this Starlink display screen is basically divided into three sections, with the biggest, center space dedicated to nearly all of infotainment features. Above that, you may entry readouts for issues like ambient climate, visitors or automobile info. On the backside, you may discover the local weather controls. The entire interface may be very easy to work via after a brief studying interval, with fast responses to inputs and a usually easy menu construction. Embedded navigation is out there on larger trim ranges and commonplace on the Legacy Touring, but it surely’s powered by TomTom and lacks the high-resolution maps befitting such a big display screen. Fortunately, each 2020 Legacy comes commonplace with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and I might extremely suggest sticking to these interfaces to your navigation expertise.

The 11.6-inch Starlink infotainment system is brilliant, colourful and tremendous straightforward to make use of.

Michael Shaffer/Subaru

Turbo energy and a compliant experience

There is a new turbocharged engine possibility for the 2020 Legacy, changing the previous, three.6-liter flat-6 from final yr’s automotive. It is the identical 2.Four-liter turbocharged four-cylinder you may discover within the Ascent and Outback, producing 260 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque, mated to a constantly variable transmission and commonplace all-wheel drive. Not solely is that this engine extra highly effective than the outgoing H6 motor, it is extra environment friendly, too. Subaru estimates gasoline economic system scores of 24 miles per gallon metropolis, 32 mpg freeway and 27 mpg mixed for these XT fashions, all of which signify Four-mpg positive aspects over the previous six-cylinder.

This turbo engine does not precisely flip the Legacy right into a sport sedan, however alongside California’s Freeway 33 heading north from Ojai, I discover this powerplant provides noticeable pep to the Legacy’s step, with loads of low-end and midrange energy. Sadly, the Legacy XT displays the identical form of aggressive throttle tip-in we have skilled in our long-term 2019 Subaru Ascent, which means there is a bizarre burst of energy proper off the road that fades away as you choose up pace. It takes somewhat getting used to, however definitely is not a deal-breaker. Fortunately, XT fashions additionally include paddle shifters so you’ll be able to power the transmission into holding its simulated “gears” for longer quantities of time to easy these energy peaks out.

Non-XT fashions use the identical naturally aspirated 2.5-liter H4 you may discover within the Forester and Outback, with 182 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque. The CVT/AWD mixture is once more commonplace on these turbo-less fashions, with respectable gasoline economic system estimates of 27 mpg metropolis, 35 mpg freeway and 30 mpg mixed.

The brand new turbo engine has loads of energy, but it surely does not flip the Legacy right into a sport sedan.

Michael Shaffer/Subaru

Each Legacy makes use of the identical suspension and steering setup, so that they’re dynamically very comparable; the XTs simply have extra punch. There is a new Sport trim for 2020, however do not let the title idiot you. Accessible solely with the two.5-liter engine, there are not any chassis tweaks to talk of, just a few type upgrades and sport drive modes that barely alter the throttle and transmission mapping. Actually, simply go for the Sport trim in order for you a decklid spoiler and model-specific, black-finish, 18-inch wheels.

After a day of driving the 2020 Legacy via Southern California, my largest takeaway is how properly sorted the chassis is — you may really feel pavement imperfections, however they do not jostle you round. By means of metropolis facilities and on the freeway, the Legacy is tremendous snug, from its supple experience to its comfortable entrance seats. Hit a twisty backroad and you may discover roll within the suspension and vagueness to the steering, however once more, this is not a sports activities automotive. For those who’re on the lookout for the driving force’s automotive of the midsize class, I might sooner suggest a Honda Accord 2.0T or Mazda6 Signature, each of which lack all-wheel drive however really feel lighter on their ft with larger ranges of driver engagement.

As a substitute, I may simply see consuming up a whole lot of miles at a time behind the wheel of a Legacy. That this automotive can be significantly quiet inside at freeway speeds solely provides to that completely nice vibe. Plus, each Legacy comes commonplace with Subaru’s EyeSight driver help expertise, with adaptive cruise management, lane-keep help with a lane-centering perform, pedestrian detection and extra. The lane-centering tech has been up to date to now comply with a lead automotive reasonably than ping-ponging you towards the center of the lane, and it really works a deal with alongside California’s congested 101 Freeway. Different driver-assistance methods, together with blind-spot monitoring, lane-change help and rear cross-traffic alert can be found as choices, and commonplace on the top-shelf Touring.

The two.Four-liter turbo-Four affords extra energy and returns higher gasoline economic system than the outgoing flat-6 engine.

Michael Shaffer/Subaru

A secure, stable selection

2020 Subaru Legacy pricing ranges from $22,745 for a base mannequin to $35,895 for a loaded Touring XT, excluding $900 for vacation spot. That places the Lafayette, Indiana-built Legacy in step with just about each different midsize sedan, although it is after all noting that Subaru’s contender is the one one to come back commonplace with all-wheel drive.

It is no secret the seventh-generation Legacy arrives at a time when an rising variety of shoppers are ditching sedans and stepping as much as extra useful crossovers and SUVs. And should you’re a kind of folks, by all means, Subaru will fortunately suggest that you just choose up a brand-new Forester or Outback.

However so far as midsize sedans are involved, the 2020 Subaru Legacy positions itself as an extremely well-rounded providing, packing a ton of tech and oodles of passenger area into a comparatively reasonably priced bundle. It would lack type, but it surely’s brimming with substance.

It seems somewhat plain, however the brand new Legacy is a super-solid midsize sedan.

Michael Shaffer/Subaru

Editors’ observe: Journey prices associated to this characteristic have been lined by the producer. That is frequent within the auto trade, as it’s miles extra economical to ship journalists to vehicles than to ship vehicles to journalists. Whereas Roadshow accepts multiday automobile loans from producers as a way to present scored editorial critiques, all scored automobile critiques are accomplished on our turf and on our phrases.

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