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2016 Subaru Legacy

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2016 Subaru Legacy Expert Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 8.4

In the world of family sedans, Subaru’s Legacy has gone from being a niche player to a genuine contender. Every bit as roomy, comfortable and efficient as a Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, the Subaru Legacy sedan for 2016 bests the competition by offering all-wheel drive (AWD) as standard equipment. An appealing design wrapped around a voluminous interior peppered with the latest infotainment and driver-assist technology, Subaru’s Legacy sedan for 2016 is the consummate family 4-door. The Legacy’s 4-cylinder engine is both peppy and fuel efficient, but there is a smooth and powerful 6-cylinder for those who prefer potent passing power to miserly fuel consumption. And, the AWD Legacy costs less than a front-drive Accord or Camry, with a starting price around $22,500.

You'll Like This Car If...

Those who live in snow-frequented states know the value of AWD, and the 2016 Subaru Legacy certainly isn’t the only sedan to offer it. But, good luck trying to match the Legacy’s interior dimensions, fuel economy, standard features, excellent reliability ratings and price. Hint: It can’t be done.

You May Not Like This Car If...

As good as it is, the 2016 Subaru Legacy has no answer to the Toyota Camry or Ford Fusion hybrids, nor can it challenge the Volkswagen Passat TDI diesel. New designs such as the Chevrolet Malibu and Chrysler 200 shine brightly when compared to the conservatively styled Legacy sedan.

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 8.4
  • 7.9
  • 8.1
  • 7.4
  • 8.6
  • N/A
How It Ranks

#22

out of 41

Fuel Economy

#18

out of 41

Horsepower
View all rankings
2016 Subaru Legacy Low/wide front photo What's New for 2016

For 2016, a new Starlink safety and security package is added to the Premium and Limited trims, while the EyeSight system gains Lane Keep Assist. Steering feel has been enhanced for all models and a new auto on/off feature operates both the headlights and windshield wipers.

Driving the Legacy
2016 Subaru Legacy Front angle view photo
Driving Impressions

Because the 2016 Subaru Legacy sedan’s boxer engine sits deep in the engine bay, the car itself has a lower center of gravity and therefore improved stability in the turns....

... The standard 2.5-liter 4-cylinder performs on par with other 4-cylinder cars in this class, but the continuously variable transmission (CVT) makes it feel more responsive than its 175-horsepower rating suggests. Still, if you desire power for rapid acceleration and confident passing, it’s the 6-cylinder’s robust 256 horsepower that is required. However, opting for the larger engine negates the smaller engine’s impressive 36 mpg. In the turns, the Legacy’s suspension allows more lean than in a Ford Fusion or Mazda6, but it never feels out of control or unstable. In fact, the Legacy delivers the kind of smooth ride most buyers are looking for. If you want all-out performance, perhaps Subaru’s WRX is a better choice.

ALL-WHEEL DRIVE AND UP TO 36 MPG
Subaru’s 2016 Legacy family sedan uses every trick in the book to eke out maximum fuel economy, including active grille shutters that close for better aerodynamics and an advanced CVT transmission. With an EPA estimated 36 mpg highway, the Legacy is the most fuel-efficient AWD midsize sedan on the market.

LEAD VEHICLE ALERT
You’re sitting at stoplight, filling the time by searching for that errant French fry that fell between the seats. Then the light turns green, and you miss it. But Lead Vehicle Alert doesn’t. It senses when the car ahead of you has moved and alerts you to do the same.

2016 Subaru Legacy Details
2016 Subaru Legacy Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

The 2016 Legacy sedan's 5-passenger cabin feels contemporary, useful and entertaining. A handsome center stack includes a 6.2-inch touch-screen infotainment system with standard rearview camera. Passenger space is generous front and rear, and the Legacy’s trunk capacity sits at an impressive 15.0 cubic feet. Most controls are intuitive, and the upgraded command screen features multi-touch-and-swipe technology, like a tablet. Phone-pairing is easy. The driver's seat has good lumbar support, but even at its lowest setting may be too much for some people. Rear-seat legroom is generous and on Limited trims, the rear seats are heated.

Exterior
2016 Subaru Legacy photo

In the past few years, the midsize-sedan segment has started to look like a beauty pageant, with automakers vying to one-up each other with style and pizazz. In this contest, the Subaru Legacy earns the title of Miss Congeniality – or perhaps Mr. Conservative. In that, Subaru's latest Legacy remains handsome but not flashy. If there's a trend it follows, it's that of a big, trapezoidal grille. In back, 6-cylinder models are distinguished by dual stainless-steel exhaust outlets. All Subaru Legacy models for 2016 have good visibility thanks to thoughtful details like a small window below the A-pillar.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2016 Legacy from Subaru comes in four trims: 2.5i, 2.5i Premium, 2.5i Limited and 3.6R Limited. The entry-level 2.5i is a well-equipped sedan with CVT automatic transmission with paddle shifters, a 6.2-inch infotainment system with AM/FM/CD/HD Radio, Bluetooth streaming and USB/auxiliary inputs, rearview camera and 17-inch wheels. Premium models add a 10-way-power driver's seat, heated front seats, upgraded infotainment with a 7-inch screen and two USB ports, dual-zone climate control, and faux-wood trim. Limited trims have a 576-watt harman/kardon audio system, blind-spot and lane-departure warning, and leather. Top-line 3.6R models come with the 6-cylinder engine and HID headlights.

Optional Equipment

Most of the Legacy's options are bundled into packages and include a power moonroof, navigation, a rear-vehicle detection system with cross-traffic alert, keyless access and push-button start. Subaru's EyeSight driver-assist system offers adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, lane-departure warning, Lane Keep Assist and Lead Vehicle Alert. One particularly interesting option, called PIN Code Access, allows you to leave the keys in the parked car and lock and unlock the vehicle with a code via a button near the trunk. The feature is aimed at runners, swimmers and others who don't want to carry keys with them.

Under the Hood
2016 Subaru Legacy Engine photo

Two engine choices are available in the 2016 Subaru Legacy sedan: a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder or 3.6-liter 6-cylinder. Both engines have a horizontal or "boxer" configuration. It's called the latter because with engine's horizontal position, the pistons move sideways in and out, similar to a boxer's fists. This configuration reduces vehicle vibration and lowers the Subaru's center of gravity for a stable feel. All Legacy models now use the CVT, which has been refined to feel more like a regular automatic transmission. Fuel economy has been improved in both engines for this new model year, and both can run on regular 87-octane gasoline.

2.5-liter boxer-4
175 horsepower @ 5,800 rpm
174 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 26/36 mpg

3.6-liter boxer-6
256 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
247 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/29 mpg

Subaru’s 2016 Legacy AWD sedan has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $22,500 for a base 2.5i model. At the other end of the spectrum is the 3.6R Limited model that starts at $30,750 and can reach the mid-$30K mark with options. The Legacy's prices are in line with competitors such as the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima and Ford Fusion. The Legacy's real value differentiator is the fact that all models come with all-wheel drive. Only two other rivals even offer it – the Ford Fusion and Chrysler 200 – and equipping them with the feature costs significantly more. An AWD Fusion begins around $27,000, while an AWD Chrysler 200 begins at nearly $30,000. Before buying your 2016 Legacy sedan, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying. In the long-run, the Legacy has a history of high resale value.

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