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 shortie on Saturday, June 28, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 77,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "great on gas, lots of room, big trunk"
Cons: "dislike the dash display, hate the bluetooth thing"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"I was looking for a newer car that was great on gas. I found this car at a local dealership and to be honest it wasnt my first choice. But Im glad I got it! Its great on gas! I know the reviews say 18city/27hwy But I get around 34 on the hwy which is great compared to what I was driving. Now I read some other reviews on the car about the interior not having enough room. I think there is pleanty of room especially in the back seat for car seats. The trunk is huge and the front seats are fine. (now Im only 5'4" so im kinda short) Overall I like the car its good on gas and looks good too."
13 people out of 22 found this review helpful
By fred on Saturday, May 31, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 59,000overall rating 4 of 10rating details
Pros: "reliable, fuel efficiency, great in snow"
Cons: "absent driver seat ergonomics, land-barge handling"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"I'm a tall guy. I fit in the drivers seat but it is shear agony to put in the usual 2+ hours of driving I do per day. There is no support in the seats. In addition, there is a distinct angle to the seats,and this forces me into the worst posture imaginable... since the seats sit so low in the car, that my legs are splayed out to the side and I cant use them to help me use proper posture. Simple things like trying to turn my head to back up kills my back and neck, and I live in almost non-stop back spasm from the poor posture these seats force me into. I've rented several cars from other makers and they not give me this problem. In addition, the rounded contours of the the car make it difficult to see exactly where the edges of the car are. Makes it near impossible to park in busy and cramped city streets. Oddly, my old Forester was much more agile than this land barge, although those seats were murder too. I cannot wait to get rid of this car. Sad to say that as much as I love the way Subies drive, and love their overall reliability, I may well have to switch to another maker with better built seats and driver comfort features."
9 people out of 18 found this review helpful
By Kevin on Saturday, May 24, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,200overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "visibility, AWD, comfortable seats, handling"
Cons: "Horrible OEM tires, harsh ride"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"Love it overall BUT the OEM tires are hard as rocks..Bridgestone Turanza el400-02..terrible! My last Subaru had OEM Yokohamas...fabulous! Thinking of putting new tires on already..just for ride quality. 2013 revisions made stiffer suspension which may not be that bad if the tires had more give! Other than that, seats are awesome...good heating/AC...great handling/steering response..handsome looks overall. Great visibility!"
4 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By Ali on Saturday, May 17, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 57,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "AWD. great on regular gas. Harman Kardon sound."
Cons: "CVT lacks of performance on city driving."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I owned this car since 43k miles. Great gas mileage and great comfortable car. Great in snow and rides like a dream. The CVT might feel rough on city driving but you can always use paddle shifters for faster shifts and it does work great. Over all, this is the limited trim 2.5i; Which comes with heated leather seats. Harman Kardon stereo which is phenomenon. There is a Harman Kardon Sub in the back along with 6 speakers. Limited trim comes with 18 inch premium wheels which looks great with this package. Once you drive an AWD, you can't drive any other FWD car. Great Handling of AWD put you in control in both Wet and dry roads. SIMPLY AMAZING! WORTH EVERY PENNY!"
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By KB on Wednesday, May 07, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "performance, safety, all wheel drive, MPGs, space"
Cons: "Could use an extra cup holder in the back"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"We are a family of 5 and needed a Sedan that would fit all of us, including our teenagers. We chose the Legacy for several reasons including the interior legroom, all wheel drive, handling & safety rating and how much car we got for the price. Not to mention, this car is fun to drive but get's great gas mileage. We drove 900 miles to Florida on 2 tanks of gas. I will definitely buy this out from the lease or get a new one."
2 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By Spoolie on Thursday, March 20, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Solid, feels "planted", good highway cruiser"
Cons: "Subaru sound systems not the best"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Just turned in a 2011 Premium lease 31,000 miles wihout a hiccup - just a headlamp replaced free under warranty. It was a very comfortable car for trips, and if you stayed around 60 mph, would get 35 mpg. Freeway cruising was always 30+. About the only brand that offers heated seats in cloth - leather is a bother in the winter/summer, and slippery in most cars. Just took delivery on a 2014 Premium lease. This is a much tighter car, handles sharper, transmission much improved, seats more supportive. It seems like a big upgrade for only $10/month more than the 2011. Lease deal good - waived disposition fee and first payment on Subaru. Liked the 2011 Legacy so much, bought an Impreza Sport last fall - nice car for around town,great in the snow, but the Legacy is definitely built for the highway."
10 people out of 16 found this review helpful