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2011 Subaru Legacy

Overview
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2011 Subaru Legacy Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 6.2

Thanks to a full redesign in 2010, the larger and more stylish Subaru Legacy is a more viable alternative than ever to category stalwarts like the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. Judging by 2010's sales figures, it appears the redesign has paid off: Both the Legacy and its wagon counterpart, the Outback, have caught on big with the public. Combining good fuel economy, top safety ratings and the sure-footed traction provided by its standard Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive, the Legacy is an extremely attractive family sedan, especially when one considers the base model's sub-$21,000 starting price.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you need a roomy, comfortable sedan with the best possible ability to navigate through winter's worst, the new Legacy is well worth a look. Wide front seats, incredibly useful lumbar support and a cavernous trunk are among the Legacy's most laudable offerings, as are a long list of standard creature comforts.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you're looking for a smooth-as-silk six-cylinder sedan, the Legacy's boxer engine is nowhere near as refined as the traditional engines found in the Accord or Camry. Four-cylinder models feel a bit sluggish under hard acceleration and fans of the turbocharged GT will have to be happy with a manual transmission, because that's the only choice.

What's New for 2011

For 2011, all Legacy models are equipped with folding side mirrors, while XM satellite radio is now standard with the available harman/kardon audio system. The 2.5 GT Limited becomes the sole turbocharged model and gains a power moonroof and fog lights as standard equipment.

Driving the Legacy

Driving Impressions Although choosing from among three engines will change the rate at which you can reach 60 miles per hour, the 2011 Subaru Legacy 2.5i, GT and R all share the...

same suspension set-up, so ride, handling and interior noise levels are pretty consistent across the board. Ride quality is among the best in this class, with a quiet cabin, responsive steering and brake feel and minimal body roll and lean. The 2.5-liter engine's 170 horsepower provides adequate acceleration and passing power, but is nothing spectacular. The optional CVT works well and features a set of paddle shifters that allow for manual gear changes. Fuel economy with the CVT is actually better than with the six-speed manual, estimated at 23 city and 31 highway. The 3.6R is much better at moving the heavy Legacy, and while its performance feels fine in motion, we did observe a slight amount of vibration at idle. The real meat and potatoes for the Legacy can be found in the GT trim, which is powered by a 265-horsepower turbocharged engine. Improvements to the turbo eliminate lag and provide a nice flat torque curve conducive to performance driving. Unfortunately, there is no automatic transmission option for the GT, a strange decision that will force many buyers into the 3.6R or off to look elsewhere.

Voice-Activated Navigation System
Available only on Limited trims, Subaru's voice-activated navigation system offers a big eight-inch view screen, a rear backup camera and Bluetooth hands-free phone and streaming music capability. The system also includes a harman-kardon 440-watt sound system, single-disc CD/DVD player, USB auxiliary audio input, XM Satellite Radio and iPod control capability.

Electronic Parking Brake with Hill-Holder Function
The traditional parking brake handle is replaced by a push/pull switch mounted on the dash. The electronic brake system includes a hill-hold feature that keeps the car from rolling forward or backward on inclines greater than five degrees.

2011 Subaru Legacy Details
2011 Subaru Legacy photo Interior

The newest Legacy touts an interior that is elegant, spacious and above all, functional. The front seats are supremely comfortable, with the driver's-side lumbar support among the best we've tested, and there's plenty of legroom for tall passengers both front and rear. A thick-grip three-spoke steering wheel has controls for the cruise/audio features, as well as Bluetooth on cars so equipped. The instrument cluster features gauges that are large and legible, but the radio and heating control buttons are rather small and hard to read at night. Subaru has replaced the traditional hand brake with a dash-mounted electronic parking brake freeing up additional storage space in the center console area. The rear seats are divided into a 60/40-split configuration and fold flat to create an enormous cargo area. Of special note is the optional navigation system, which offers a large screen, voice activation and the ability to stream music through a Bluetooth-enabled device. Other nice touches include sun-visor extensions for both driver and passenger and a remote trunk release cutoff switch in the lockable glove box.

Exterior

The Legacy's exterior is stylish and sleek, but breaks no new ground in areas of excitement or innovation. Aside from its larger wheels and subtle hood scoop, there isn't much to distinguish the hot-rod GT model from the 2.5i Limited, a bit of a mystery from the company that knows how to turn a boring Impreza into a stunning WRX STI. Still, looks aside, the Legacy has much to offer. Large rear doors provide ease of entry, and the previous generation's frameless windows are now a thing of the past, a change that contributes to the current Legacy's low interior noise levels. Owners of 2009 and earlier models will think the new car is vastly larger, and they would be partially correct. While the newest Legacy's wheelbase is up three inches compared with the 2009 model, it features shorter overhangs, and the car's overall length has increased by a mere 1.4 inches. All but the base models feature handsome alloy wheels and a sophisticated double-wishbone rear suspension helps improve ride quality and create a large, flat trunk floor.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2011 Legacy 2.5i Sedan features a six-speed manual transmission, 16-inch wheels, four-wheel ABS disc brakes, steering wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls, AM/FM stereo with auxiliary-input jack and single CD player, manual air conditioning, power windows and locks, height-adjustable driver's seat, front side and side-curtain airbags, keyless entry, tilt/telescoping steering wheel and Vehicle Dynamic Control with traction control. The Premium trim adds a 10-way power driver's seat, 16-inch alloy wheels, driver's auto up/down power window and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Limited trims gain a four-way power passenger seat, wood trim, 17-inch wheels, the All-Weather Package (heated mirrors, seats and windshield wiper de-icers), CVT automatic transmission, dual-zone automatic climate control, harman/kardon 440-watt premium sound system with six-disc CD changer and leather seating. The GT adds 18-inch wheels, a 265-horsepower turbocharged engine, hood scoop, power moonroof, fog lights and dual chrome exhaust tips.

Optional Equipment

Options are clustered according to trim. Base models offer only the CVT automatic, while Premium trims offer the harman/kardon 440-watt audio system, the All Weather Package and a power moonroof. Limited trims offer voice-activated GPS navigation with backup camera and Bluetooth capability for both phone and streaming music. Dealer-installed options include auto-dimming rear view mirror, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity and a Media Hub for connecting and controlling portable MP3 devices.

Under the Hood

Subaru offers three horizontally-opposed boxer engines in the 2011 Legacy. The 2.5-liter four-cylinder delivers 170 horsepower, which may not be best in class but does generate enough muscle to provide satisfactory performance. Equipping this engine with the CVT automatic will produce the best fuel economy, but the six-speed manual is a better choice from a performance standpoint. A turbocharged version of the same engine bumps output to 265 horsepower and is recommended for enthusiast drivers. The best choice for the Legacy is the six-cylinder, which offers much better acceleration and passing power than the four while delivering slightly worse fuel economy (18/25 vs. 23/31).

2.5-liter Boxer-4
170 horsepower @ 5600 rpm
170 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/27 (manual), 23/31 (automatic)

2.5-liter Boxer-4 turbocharged
265 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
258 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2000-5200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/25

3.6-liter Boxer-6
256 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
247 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/25

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2011 Subaru Legacy Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.9
Out of 10

Based on 227 Ratings for the 2010 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.2/10
    Quality
    9.1/10
  • Reliability
    9.4/10
    Performance
    9.0/10
  • Comfort
    9.0/10
    Styling
    9.0/10

Best new car I have ever bought.

By on Thursday, December 18, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 39,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "I'm bad, but love to pass other cars stuck in snow"

Cons: "Some sun glare on Data display."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"1st item: I do not understand why anyone would buy a 1/2 traction car when Subaru has 4 wheel drive on their cars. It not only is far superior in snow and ice, but is also better on dry, sandy, or bad roads as well.The braking is better as well as acceleration. My gasoline milage is consistently above 32-33 MPG. Absolutely no repairs in 30,000 miles. 2nd item: I love this car?"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

UNLESS YOUR RICH, YOU CAN'T GET A BETTER CAR

By on Monday, December 01, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "THE SAFEST CAR IN THE WORLD!"

Cons: "NONE"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"THIS CAR BEATS ALL OTHER CAR MAKERS HANDS DOWN. THE ONLY THING YOU WILL FIND IN ANOTHER CAR WILL BE BETTER GAS MILAGE. BUT THE DIFFERENCE ISN'T THAT MUCH. THIS CAR IS HAS ALL WHEEL DRIVE. YES OTHER CAR MAKERS DO TOO, BUT SUBURU INVENTED IT, AND HAS THE BEST ALL WHEEL DRIVE AVAILABLE. THIS CAR IS INCREDIBLE ON THE SNOW AND ICE. IT'S LIKE A TANK, AND GOES THROUGH EVERYTHING. IN THE WINTER, I ONLY DRIVE THE SUBURU. ALSO, THE BOXER ENGINE GOES U N D E R THE CAR IN THE EVENT OF A COLLISION. NOT THROUGH THE FRONT WINDSHIELD LIKE THE REST. THE WINDSHIELD ON THE SUBURU, IS MADE TO FLY A W A Y FROM YOU IN THE EVENT OF A COLLISION. THE DOORS ARE REINFORCED WITH 3 LAYERS OF STEEL, AND DESIGNED SO YOU D O N' T NEED THE JAWS OF LIFE TO GET YOU OUT. I'M NOT EVEN TALKING ABOUT ALL THE AIR BAGS IT COMES WITH, EITHER. FRONT,SIDE, TOP, AND KNEE. THE REAR OF THE CAR IS COLLAPASIBLE UPON IMPACT, KEEPING YOU UNHARMED. YES, YOU CAN GET A CHEAPER CAR, BUT THIS ONE IS WORTH SPENDING A FEW MORE DOLLARS. IN THE EVENT OF AN ACCIDENT, YOU HAVE A VERY GOOD CHANCE OF SURVIVING. WITH THE OTHER CARS YOU HAVE A VERY GOOD CHANCE OF DYING. SUBURU DOESN'T FOOL AROUND. CHECK IT OUT FOR YOURSELF, AND YOU WILL SEE THEY HAVE A VERY LOW DEATH/INJURY RATE FROM ACCIDENTS. THE OTHER CARS ARE J U N K COMPARED TO A SUBURU. I WENT TO ABOUT 10 DEALERSHIPS, AND WALKED OUT OF THEM ALL, BUT WHEN I WENT TO SUBURU, THEY GOT MY MONEY IN 15 MINUTES, ONCE I SAW HOW MUCH S U P E R I O R THIER CAR IS. I FORBID MY WIFE TO DRIVE A N Y T H I N G ELSE, AND WILL ONLY BUY SUBURU FOR THE REST OF OUR LIVES. THANK GOD FOR SUBURU!!!! JOHN G. CT"

4 people out of 12 found this review helpful

4 subaru family

By on Friday, November 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 75,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Beautiful on the outside, all wheel drive"

Cons: "Poor gas milage, interior not wearing well"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"Original owners. The outside has very nice styling. Wish it had better gas milage and better interior quality. With only 75,000 miles...very disappointed with Subaru’s interior. Quality of fabrics and carpet are poor. Husband wore a hole in the carpet at the gas peddle. Seats are showing wear and there is NO stain resistance. Light colored interior shows dirt and its hard to clean. I’ve been driving a Toyota prius for 6 years with double the miles and it still looks new...compared to this car looking like we need seat covers as constant attempts to clean spots leaves water marks and stains. I inherited this from my husband and am totally disappointed with the the condition at half the miles of my Prius especially since I am much more of a slob then him. For a car only 3 years old it should be in much better shape. Goal is to pay this off...park in the drive for winter and go buy another Prius. Subaru needs to improve the quality of their interiors."

4 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Good car with AWD

By on Thursday, October 30, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,900

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Good value, fun to drive, safe"

Cons: "GPS is disfunctional, Consumes engine oil"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"Our Subaru Legacy is a good car, but has some quirks that may drive some people crazy. Quirk #1 is the archaic GPS system. It is standard with the exceptional Eyesight system. In the first year of ownership it prevented one accident when I accelerated at a green stoplight. A car ran the red light and into the intersection. I stopped in time as the car warned me and started stopping it before I could hit the brake - and I missed the car by inches. The car next to me was not as lucky as they took the full force head on (no Eyesight) as they could not stop in time. We looked but this person sped around a blind corner so fast there was no way to see him in time. Eyesight saved me costly repairs on a six month old car. However, the GPS system is horrible to use and inpossible to make work correctly. We struggle with it to get where we want to go. Quirk #2: Engine oil. Our H6 engine does leak oil, but it showing signs of consuming oil from the start of ownership. We tend to need to add a quart of oil between oil changes. Not a good thing at all. This may be fixed by the dealership but we are not holding our breath on that."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

best vehicle ever ,owned, I am79yr.old

By on Thursday, October 23, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,600

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"this Subaru is the limited legacy,fully equip, even puddle lights. Nav. back up cameria tow hitch, I have ordered around $1,000 worth of extra things, car is garage kept,deetailed everyweek looks brand NEW, reason for selling buying new Subaru SUV we really LOVE this car and was blessed to never had a problem with it. Thanks and may God bless who ever buys this Subaru."

12 people out of 19 found this review helpful

Best vehicle i've ever owned. Subaru all the way!!

By on Saturday, September 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "fun to drive, great sound, safety"

Cons: "avg. gas milage, more Hp!!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Bought my 2010 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Limited used last year (2013) and it has been an amazing car so far. I have never had an issue with anything. It has had all scheduled maintenance completed only at my local Subaru dealership. Drive terrain is impeccable and very much comparable to other sedans that i have driven in the past. My favorite thing about it is the comfortable heated seats that make long trips and memories just wonderful. I have added things to it like factory installed XM satellite radio, puddle lights (snake lights), and wind deflectors. My Subaru legacy has never left me stranded and has lots and lots of miles ahead of it! Being a little biased, but you seriously can't go wrong with a Subaru. Here in the south, there isn't much use for the standard AWD but it does keep us safe in bad weather, PERIOD. I will never buy another brand again. Subaru customer for life."

23 people out of 39 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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