Making its first public appearance in New York, the 2013 Subaru Legacy gets a comprehensive mid-cycle refresh that nets it a more contemporary look, a more fuel-efficient four-cylinder engine and a variety of new tech touches to bolster its appeal with potential buyers. The most obvious changes to the refreshed Legacy are seen up front where Subaru's flagship sedan sports tidier styling in its redrawn fascia and bolder grille and headlamp treatments.
Less visible but equally important, the 2013 Legacy 2.5i also benefits from a new 2.5-liter Boxer engine. Dubbed the "FB," it makes 173 horsepower and 174 lb-ft of torque compared to the 170/170 stats of the current 2.5-liter. This new engine can be backed with either the standard six-speed manual gearbox or second generation Lineartronic CVT (continuously variable automatic transmission) that's optional on the 2.5i but standard on the upline 2.5i Premium and Limited models (The Legacy 2.5GT has been dropped for 2013). In addition to its improved low-end torque characteristics, the new 2.5-liter also is more fuel efficient when mated to the CVT, which features steering-wheel-mounted shifter paddles and a manual mode with six "virtual" gear ratios. While still unofficial, Subaru is projecting 24/32/27 mpg city/highway/combined EPA numbers for the 2013 Legacy 2.5i with CVT versus the present 23/31/26 mpg figures.
The 256-horse/3.6-liter flat-six and five-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission in the 2013 Subaru Outback 3.6R/3.6R Limited models carry over unchanged, and all versions of the 2013 Legacy will continue to be fitted with one of three different engine/transmission-specific versions of the automaker's Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system. Across-the-board chassis revamps also will ensure this new Legacy delivers a smoother, quieter ride with better control and greater agility.
Inside, the 2013 Subaru Legacy benefits from upgraded interior fabrics and improved standard audio packages that include Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio streaming capabilities plus iPod/USB ports. The leather-lined 3.6R also offers a new optional navigation system that combines all of the features in the available harman/kardon audio package with an SD-card based GPS navi setup that features a 7.0-inch touch screen display, voice activation, a rear-vision camera and available XM NavTraffic. However the key add to the options roster of all 2013 Legacy models is the new Subaru EyeSight driver-assist system which we previously profiled in detail. This relatively low-cost but highly effective system integrates data from a pair of forward-looking cameras mounted behind the Legacy's windshield with the Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre-Collision Braking and Vehicle Lane Departure Warning systems to help enhance overall safety.
The new 2013 Subaru Legacy lineup will be arriving in showrooms this summer. Pricing will be released closer to the on-sale date.