By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.1
For 2013, Subaru's Legacy sedan continues to win consumers with its pleasant styling, roomy rear seat and unbeatable all-wheel-drive (AWD) setup. Despite the AWD's added weight and power demands, the 4-cylinder Legacy manages very respectable fuel economy ratings of 24-mpg city and 34-mpg highway, when equipped with continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Add to this class-leading safety and resale ratings, and it becomes nearly impossible to argue against buying a Legacy. One deterrent might reside with the Legacy's rather basic audio systems, which while equipped with Bluetooth phone connectivity and streaming audio, are a far cry from the latest in high-tech infotainment. If you're seeking touch-screen radios that not only allow voice control of the iPod, but popular apps as well, you'll be happier in a sedan from Ford, GM or Hyundai.
If you're looking for a sedan as well regarded for its safety as its comfort, the 2013 Subaru Legacy deserves a long look. A huge back seat and cavernous trunk are definite pluses, but it's the Legacy's sure-footed standard AWD, impressive crash test ratings and excellent fuel economy that we love.
If you're looking for a sportier sedan, even the 6-cylinder Legacy isn't as much fun to drive as a turbocharged Hyundai Sonata or VW Passat. The 2.5i's rubbery manual transmission won't impress enthusiast drivers, and the lack of a touch-screen infotainment system may turn off younger buyers.
For 2013, the Legacy sedan gets a minor facelift, a stiffer suspension and upgraded radios with Bluetooth. The Limited can be equipped with Subaru's EyeSight driver assist (Pre-Collision Braking, Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Departure Warning), as well as a new navigation system. Lastly, a new 2.5i Sport trim level supplants last year's 2.5GT variant.
Driving Impressions While the 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder engines in the 2013 Subaru Legacy offer differing acceleration, the Legacy 2.5i, and 3.6R share the same suspension, meaning the ride and handling are fairly...consistent regardless of model. We found the Legacy's ride to be exceptionally smooth and its cabin sufficiently quiet. The boxer engine's low center of gravity coupled with all-wheel drive make for stable handling with a slightly sporty edge. The newly improved 2.5-liter engine's 173 horsepower provides adequate though unspectacular acceleration and passing, though its optional CVT works better than most and features a set of paddle shifters that allow manual-style gear changes. Fuel economy with the CVT is actually quite a bit better than with manual, and you'll get a more sophisticated AWD setup to boot. The 3.6R is, as expected, better at moving the Legacy, but with a sizeable penalty in fuel economy (18/25 vs. 24/32).
NEW VOICE ACTIVATED NAVIGATION UNIT
Available only on Limited trims, Subaru's new voice-activated navigation system includes a 7-inch high-resolution screen, rearview camera and Bluetooth hands-free phone and streaming music capability. The system also includes a 440-watt harman/kardon sound system, single-disc CD player, HD radio, USB auxiliary audio input, XM Satellite with NavTraffic and iPod integration.
EYESIGHT DRIVER ASSIST SYSTEM
Available on the Limited trim, the Subaru's EyeSight system includes Pre-Collision Braking, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure and Sway warning, and a pedestrian-detection system.
The spacious interior in the 2013 Subaru Legacy is elegant in both its design and function. The front seats are superbly comfortable and, on all but the base model, include one of the best driver-seat lumbar supports we've tested. Legroom and headroom are excellent front and rear, and split-folding rear seats expand the cargo space from large to huge. The thick tilt/telescoping steering wheel includes controls for audio and cruise, as well as Bluetooth. Gauges are stylish, legible and include a trip computer and fuel-economy gauge; Limited trims have an electroluminescent cluster with a proper temperature gauge.
For 2013, the Subaru Legacy's styling gets a bit sportier, touting a newly designed grille, wheels and front bumper. Other than wheels, foglights and, on all but the base model, color-keyed mirrors, there is little to distinguish the five trim levels. Unlike its Outback cousin, the Legacy sits low to the ground-a design that permits it to appear like any other family sedan but also somewhat limits its ability to engage in deep snow. However, features like the available windshield wiper de-icer solidify the Legacy's winter warrior credentials.
Features on the 2013 Legacy 2.5i sedan include all-wheel drive, a 6-speed manual transmission, 16-inch wheels, USB/iPod control and Bluetooth phone connectivity and audio streaming. A 6-cylinder 3.6R version is similar, though with a 5-speed automatic and 17-inch alloy wheels. The 2.5i Premium models include the CVT transmission, a 10-way power driver's seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel and 6-speaker audio. The 2.5i and 3.6R Limited trims add a power passenger seat, dual-zone climate control, the All-Weather Package (heated front seats, mirrors and windshield wiper de-icers), leather seats, a 440-watt harman/kardon premium sound system, rear A/C vents, and an electroluminescent gauge cluster with 3.5-inch LCD information display.
2013 Subaru Legacy options are clustered according to trim. The base 2.5i offers only the CVT automatic, while the Premium trim can be equipped with the All-Weather Package, 440-watt harman/kardon audio system, a power moonroof and rearview camera package. Limited trims offer voice-activated navigation with rearview camera, as well as the EyeSight system and a power moonroof. Subaru dealers also offer a relatively wide array of accessories including an auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink, rear-seat DVD entertainment system, a remote starter, all-weather floor mats, puddle lights and a roof rack system with numerous attachment options.
For 2013, the Legacy's 2.5-liter boxer engine is upgraded with Dual Active Valve Control driven by a timing chain (as opposed to a rubber belt). The result is a few more horsepower and better low-end torque response, as well as quieter operation. Equipping this engine with the literally seamless CVT automatic will produce the best fuel economy (24/32 mpg city/highway), but the 6-speed manual is a better choice if saving money is a bigger priority. The most refined engine choice for the Legacy is the 3.6-liter 6-cylinder, which offers strong acceleration and passing power, but with a bit less fuel efficiency. Manual-equipped cars feature a mechanical viscous coupling center differential that splits torque in a constant 50/50 front-to-rear configuration. Legacys equipped with an automatic transmission use a more sophisticated electronic setup that, on the 3.6R, can even vary the torque split according to need.
173 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
174 lb-ft of torque @ 4,100 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/28 mpg (manual), 24/32 mpg (automatic)
256 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
247 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/25 mpg
By Doc on Sunday, January 18, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 46,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Performance, ride, purchase cost"
Cons: "Doors feel hollow. I dislike the Subaru logo"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I traded in a 2006 Infiniti M35x for this Subaru Legacy. I loved my M35x but it was nearly 10 years old and had over 100K miles on it. I wanted to sell it while it still held resale value. Unfortunately I couldn't find a new comparable Infiniti M series for less than $35K, so I chose the Legacy Limited with the 6 cylinder engine. For about half the price of an Infinit M, it is a great ride... The 6 cylinder engine is quicker than the Infiniti's engine... just not as "stately" in ride. If money was not an object, both in gas and purchase price, I would probably be driving a new Infiniti M45. But since I am cursed to be middle-class until my last breath, I will make do with an excellent alternative - the Subaru Legacy Limited."
4 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By C.C.Crowe on Tuesday, January 13, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,500overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Pros: "Sporty ride, spacious back seat, large trunk"
Cons: "Transmission dynamics and reliability"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5
"Great interior design, comfortable, practical, fast enough to be fun without being scary to drive, great handling in snow and bad weather conditions. Very good stereo (if you get the premium Harmann system). You can comfortably fit a baby and 2 adults in the back seat and fit a truckload of groceries in the trunk. The finishing details seem to have been done by a 5 year old though, fit and finish of the interior and sunroof is sub-par. Fuel economy is OK when driven conservatively, had to replace a windshield and side mirror after a -8 F deep freeze night because these shattered as soon as I turned the engine on, also the transmission after 15K miles because it just stopped shifting and started slipping bad. Service has been excellent though, I may have had the one in 1 million bad transmissions?"
3 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By Jess on Tuesday, January 13, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 41,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "safe, weatherization package, gas mileage, & looks"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I live in Hamburg, NY (south of Buffalo, NY) and we have had some crazy snow this year!!! On Friday there was a foot of snow on the road and the car was fantastic! I made it home safe, while other cars were stuck not in the ditch, but just stuck on the road! I am so fortunate to be able to afford such a safe and efficient car. If you can pay a little more for this car you will not regret it! This is my 3rd Subaru, my mom, sister, and husband all have Subaru and we will NEVER get another brand!"
6 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By Jim Jimbob on Thursday, December 18, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 39,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
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?"
12 people out of 24 found this review helpful
By pon on Monday, December 01, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "THE SAFEST CAR IN THE WORLD!"
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"
13 people out of 24 found this review helpful
By jordan on Friday, November 21, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 75,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
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."
8 people out of 18 found this review helpful