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 T-Rick on Thursday, March 06, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,100overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "AWD, value, reliability"
Cons: "Put dual exhaust on the 4-cylinder Legacy's again."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"After numerous new cars, this will be the one that sits in my driveway for a very long time. The value of getting an AWD Legacy loaded with options right under 30K, getting over 30 mpg combined city/highway rivals any other vehicle in this class. The handling and stability when driving in sunshine, rain or snow/ice is superior to any other vehicle, bar none. In the market for a new car, go see your Subaru dealer and take a test drive. I guarantee, with little exception, you will drive away with the Subaru."
By cms on Wednesday, March 05, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 24,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "safety and dependability. sporty"
Cons: "rough on bumpy roads.....expensive satellite radio"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5
"I feel the road bumps more than I expected. I hear the 2014 has improved on this . Light Colored fabric seats get dirty quickly. I often have to get interior detailed. Plan on putting on seat covers. Listing on car said satellite "ready"....service dept quoted over $400 to install satellite radio. For my other non Subaru vehicles the satellite costs less than $50 and way less than $400 to install. To get off Subaru satellite installed other places said I would have to replace my Subaru radio first??!! Car sits too low..bottom panels on front and rear and sides of car frame catch on everything. Car handles really well on curves..very responsive steering. handles like a sports car. I get 25.5 mpg on mixed city and lesser amt of highway driving. My next car will probably be a Forester or Outback. Love the Subaru safety and dependability ratings but I think I need to be in one of their vehicles that sits high and has better suspension."
By L squared on Friday, February 28, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 72,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Comfort, handling, many cup holders, bluetooth"
Cons: "Speakers rattle"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"My 2012 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium handles so well in all weather, including rain, slush, and snow. The driver's seat is very comfortable. I drive about 1,000 miles per week, and other cars made my back hurt, but not this Subaru. I feel great! The kids (teenagers) even say the back seat is comfortable. The only things I wish for are faster automatic acceleration and better speakers. Maybe I'll get that with the 2014 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium I just ordered. LOVE this car."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By Tom on Tuesday, February 25, 2014
I don't own this caroverall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Drives great in any conditions, especially snow"
Cons: "power chargers don't work when ignition is off"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I love this car. Drives great in any conditions, including snow and slush. Very comfortable interior. Great bluetooth phone and sound system. The only drawbacks are: power chargers don't work when ignition is off; and when in auto-transmission there is slight delay when you hit the accelerator. When using the manual paddle shifters it pops just fine."
By Michelle on Wednesday, January 08, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,500overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Pros: "The cons overshadow any pros"
Cons: "Car randomly does not start"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I bought a new 2014 Subaru Legacy 2.5i 4 Cyl, 2.5 L Automatic about 2 months ago. The car randomly does not start. Will crank but not start for about 20-30 minutes. This has happened three times so far at different times of the day, different temperatures, completely random. I drove it to the dealer the second time and they told me they contacted Subaru and others have had this issue. They did a "relearn" for the idle. I had it towed to the dealer the third time. They said it seemed like the engine was flooded and repeatedly asked me if I pressed the gas pedal while starting the car, which I did not. The service department is now denying that others have had this issue and are not finding any solutions. It's only a matter of time before I'm stranded by this car again. I bought a Subaru because I needed a reliable car...DISAPPOINTING."
7 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By rubberducky1465 on Monday, December 30, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 74,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "good gas mileage, full size car, awd"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I went from a Prius to an AWD vehicle after moving back to the snow belt in 2011. I always dream t of having a subaru and decided to buy the legacy. I have absolutely no complaints. I am on the road a lot for work and this car gets 33-35 mpg easily; winter about 30mpg with winter tires. I am planning on driving this car to the ground with the mileage I put on it each year. However, subaru has sold me to be a buyer for life. My next vehicle will be either the outback or the forester. I would like a bigger vehicle. But that will happen in a few years."