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Subaru Legacy Review

The 2016 Subaru Legacy ranks 15 out of 18 Affordable Midsize Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Subaru Legacy, as well as reliability and safety data.

The 2016 Subaru Legacy has a high-quality interior and an easy-to-use infotainment system, auto writers say, but they note its base engine is underpowered and it has a rough ride on uneven roads.

The 2016 Legacy comes standard with a four-cylinder engine that critics say doesn’t offer a lot of power. A six-cylinder engine is available, and reviewers note it’s a step up but still doesn’t deliver especially quick acceleration. They say the standard automatic transmission responds quickly when power is needed. All-wheel drive comes standard. According to the EPA, the base 2016 Legacy gets 26/36 mpg city/highway, which is good for the class, and great for an all-wheel drive midsize car. Most reviewers find that the Subaru Legacy has controlled handling but doesn’t feel sporty. Over uneven pavement, critics note it has a rough ride. They add that the Legacy has strong brakes.

Auto journalists say the 2016 Subaru Legacy’s interior has a simple, clean design and high-quality materials. Most note the seats are comfortable and spacious in the front and rear, but a few critics mention the seats can feel stiff during a long ride, and that rear-seat headroom is lacking for taller occupants. Cargo space is typical for the class. Standard features include Bluetooth, a USB port, HD Radio, a rearview camera, a 6.2-inch touch-screen infotainment system and smartphone app integration. Available features include a 12-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, a voice-activated infotainment system with a 7-inch touch-screen display, dual-zone automatic climate control, navigation, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert and Subaru's EyeSight system, which provides lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control and pre-collision braking at speeds less than 30 mph. Test drivers think the infotainment system has clear menus, an easy-to-read display and quick responses.

  • "Subaru completely redesigned the Legacy last year. The company maintained the midsize sedan's all-wheel-drive capability and capacious interior while making meaningful improvements in fuel efficiency as well as infotainment and safety technologies. A sleeker, more modern look helps the Legacy turn more heads than before, too." -- Left Lane News
  • "We like the Subaru Legacy, and we're well aware of how well owners like it: Subaru's brand loyalty is among the best in the business. But this is an intensely competitive segment loaded with excellent choices … which hold slight (but significant) advantages over the Legacy in areas such as styling, technology and driver enjoyment." -- Edmunds
  • "Launched with an all-new design last year, the 2016 Subaru Legacy continues to win over midsize buyers. Although the Legacy comes standard with all-wheel drive (AWD), its fuel economy figures are near the top of its class." -- AutoTrader
  • "Although not without its faults, the 2015 Legacy remains the only vehicle in the segment to offer standard all-wheel-drive while still returning up to 36 mpg on the highway (on par with most front-wheel-drive competitors). This unique powertrain story coupled with a higher-quality interior, attractive pricing, and relevant in-vehicle electronics have elevated the Subaru Legacy into a genuine competitive posture with entrenched nameplates like Camry, Accord and Altima." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)

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Other Cars to Consider

The Nissan Altima feels potent when equipped with its base four-cylinder engine, critics report, and they add that the Altima has engaging handling for a midsize car. The Altima gets excellent fuel economy for the class, and reviewers note it has incredibly comfortable front seats.

Auto writers note that the Mazda6 has athletic handling for a midsize car, and it has abundant power for daily driving. The Mazda6 also gets great fuel economy for the class.

Compare the Legacy, Altima and Mazda6 »

Details: 2016 Subaru Legacy

The 2016 Subaru Legacy seats five and comes in 2.5i, 2.5i Premium, 2.5i Limited and 3.6R Limited trims. A 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, all-wheel drive and a continuously variable transmission (automatic) come standard. A 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine is available. The Legacy gets new available features such as lane keep assist and rear cross traffic alert for the 2016 model year, but otherwise hasn’t changed since being redesigned for the 2015 model year. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2015 and 2016 model years.

See 2016 Subaru Legacy specs »

Review Last Updated: 8/31/15

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