By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.0
The 2014 Subaru Legacy sedan is in a category of its own. Wrapped in styling that's pleasant, if unexciting, its doors open up to a remarkably spacious interior with a very roomy back seat and a commodious trunk. It's powered by a proven and rugged 4-cylinder engine that, matched with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) delivers noteworthy fuel economy. It also has high safety ratings, competitive pricing and commendable resale value. But what really sets the Legacy apart is its standard All-Wheel Drive (AWD), which gives it the capability to deal with just about any turn of the weather. If you're looking for an all-around sedan that makes a lot of sense, it's difficult to beat the Legacy, particularly for those who live in harsher climates.
If your sedan wish list includes a roomy interior, big trunk, excellent fuel economy, impressive safety ratings, high resale value, an affordable price, and the capability of all-wheel drive, why would you look anywhere but at the Subaru Legacy?
While the 2014 Legacy scores very high on the value and practicality scales, it's not going to satisfy the driving enthusiasts. If you take the longer, curvy roads just for the joy of it, you'll probably want to look elsewhere.
For 2014, 2.5i Premium models include the All-Weather Package as standard, and Premium models now also have a standard audio system with a 4.3-inch screen, six speakers and SiriusXM Satellite Radio. The EyeSight driver-assist system, using stereo camera technology, is now available on both the Limited and Premium trim lines.
Driving Impressions While the 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder engines in the 2014 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 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 the 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).
SYMMETRICAL ALL-WHEEL DRIVE
How can the Legacy's favorite feature not be the highly-capable Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive? For many owners, who live in places where winter can dish out some real weather, this will be the primary reason they buy a Legacy in the first place.
EYESIGHT DRIVER ASSIST SYSTEM
Available on the Limited and Premium trim levels, 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 2014 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.Exterior
Other than wheels, foglights and, on all but the base model, color-keyed mirrors, there is little to distinguish the various trim levels of the 2014 Legacy. Unlike its Outback cousin, the Legacy sits low to the ground – a design that permits it to appear similar to any other family sedan but also somewhat limits its ability to engage in deeper snow. However, features such as the available windshield wiper de-icer (included in the All-Weather Package) solidify the Legacy's winter-warrior credentials.
Features on the 2014 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, All-Weather Package (heated front seats, heated side mirrors, windshield wiper de-icer), a 10-way power driver's seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel and an audio system with 4.3-inch touch screen, six speakers and SiriusXM Satellite Radio. The 2.5i and 3.6R Limited trims add a power passenger seat, dual-zone climate control, 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.
The Subaru Legacy options are clustered according to trim levels. The base 2.5i offers only the CVT automatic, while the Premium trim can be equipped with the 440-watt harman/kardon audio system, a power moonroof and rearview camera package that's compatible with the audio system's display screen. Limited trims offer voice-activated navigation with rearview camera and a power moonroof. Both Limited and Premium trims are available with the EyeSight driver-assist system. 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.
The Legacy's 2.5-liter boxer engine delivers 173 horsepower, good low-end torque, and relatively smooth and quiet operation. Matching 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 viscous coupling center differential that splits torque in a constant 50/50 front-to-rear distribution. 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
For 2014, Subaru has kept the pricing for most versions of the Legacy unchanged from 2013. The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starts around $21,000 for the 2.5i with the manual transmission, with the Premium model adding about $2,600 to that. The 2.5 Limited starts under $27,000. The base 6-cylinder 3.6R has an MSRP of just over $26,000, rising to nearly $30,000 in Limited trim. Sliding between the Premium and Limited grades is the 2.5i Sport, which begins just north of $25,000. A similarly priced Honda Accord or Toyota Camry can't match the Legacy's standard content list nor do they offer the option of all-wheel drive. Before heading to the dealership, be sure to check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price, which shows what others in your area are paying for the 2014 Subaru Legacy. Over a 5-year period, the Legacy is expected to retain excellent resale values, with the 3.6R models besting the 2.5i by a few percentage points.
By Disappointed (PA) on Monday, November 18, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 500overall rating 4 of 10rating details
Pros: "The con trumps all the pros !"
Cons: "BAD RIDE !!!!!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Only had this 2014 legacy 2.5i Premium a couple weeks, little over 500 mi. worst ride I every had in a car. So disappointed! Traded a 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix, 136,000. Had it's issues,but still rode and handled great! There are a lot of good things about this legacy, but can't enjoy them because of the ride. I can,t afford to get rid of it so soon, but can't stand to drive it! I guess it's take a lose or be miserable?"
By CK009 (NY) on Monday, October 28, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,050overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Gas mileage (avg about 27-28), sport wheels"
Cons: "paint chips easy"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Great gas mileage, AWD, great design, comfortable, sun roof, awesome wheels, all weather package, sport mode with paddles, and good sound system. Overall, I love my subaru legacy sport. Wish I had the back up cam. Only problem I have had so far with my legacy is paint chip problems. The ice metallic silver chips very easy! I bought a Lebra to cover the front, which, I believe adds a more sporty appearance. If you live in the northeast, its an amazing vehicle to have in the winter. I look forward to driving in the winter ;)"
1 person out of 2 found this review helpful
By Chuck (NV) on Friday, September 13, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 38,800overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "runs great"
Cons: "engine loud and metalic sounding"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"Boomer still working... owned 50 cars over 45 year. a basic small sedan price right and built well. 2011 AWD does exacgtly what I want and expected. Only second Subie still have my 2009 Tribeca."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By gibi (NE) on Friday, September 06, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 38,000overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Have had few new cars in the past.Bought this in 2011.Been in the shop 7 times for surging and stopping while going up a hill.Dealer cant find a problem.Customer service states they will mark as a complaint.That doesnt fix anything or any helpful resolutions.The interor is noisy and irritating unless the road is smooth as glass.Had to off secondary road and back on interstate,the wife said the whirring and noise was making her sick.I would not recommend this to vehicle to anyone,if you are looking.LOOK ELSEWARE.Looking to trade off."
2 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By Maggie may (NY) on Thursday, September 05, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,342overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Luxury features and great handling"
Cons: "Wish it sat up a little higher."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I chose this as my first ever brand new car, purchased in January 2010. It is the perfect combination of luxury and reliability. Living in upstate New York, having AWD was an important consideration for me. Having all the "bells and whistles" - every available option - sealed the deal for me - and I use every one of them! My favorites include the navigation system, Bluetooth phone, heated leather seats. Even the back seats are roomy and comfortable. We just took our second road trip of the summer, and this car handles like a dream. Great acceleration on the highway and good gas mileage for a six cylinder. Average mpg for me is 21 mpg in good weather, drops slightly in winter driving. Highway mpg on our last trip reached 28! Since we also own a 2005 Subaru Outback, LL Bean edition, our next car will probably be another Subaru!"
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By Marv (MN) on Thursday, August 29, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Power, traction, handling, CVR tran is great."
Cons: "Slow adjusting seats."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"The handling and traction of this car is incredible. After putting up with standard front drive cars for years I finally have a car that is made for Minnesota winter driving."
2 people out of 3 found this review helpful