The 2014 Subaru Legacysedan 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.
You'll Like This Car If...
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?
You May Not Like This Car If...
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 the Legacy
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.
2014 Subaru Legacy Details
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.
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.
Under the Hood
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.
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.
"Purchased this 2014 Subaru Legacy after driving a Subaru Forester and found it was amazing in the snow. I previously owned a Honda Accord which was extremely reliable but not comfortable. I looked at and drove the Camry, Sonata, Accord, Altima and Legacy. Overall it was the AWD that sold me dealing with winters/rain in the Northeast. The Premium comes with heated mirrors, wipers and seats which is a must in the winter. The cloth seats are much more comfortable to me then the leather, which are hot in summer and cold in the winter. The first snowstorm we got I realized how amzaing the AWD is when cars and trucks were getting stuck and I had no issues at all. There were SUV's getting stuck going up a hill, and I literally just drove right around them with no problem. The seats are extremely comfortable(much better than the Accord), the CVT is smooth, and the car offers great visability with lots of glass. I get around 25-27 mixed driving MPG(I only got 26 MPG in my Accord), and get up to 33 MPG on highway. This is my first Subaru but the AWD system has sold me on their product."
"Bought this car for my 16 year old who has to drive a distance to high school. It has been a great winter car, and overall mileage even with awd has been 27 over three years. When we road trip it's our car of choice for comfort, rear legroom, mileage, trunk space and stereo. On the highway mileage north of 30 mpg even loaded down. Not one issue over three years. We love this sedan. A perfect starter car."