If you hover around with the muck, guck and general demerits of winter driving, including the 2017 Subaru Legacy and its standard all-wheel drive to your test drive list becomes necessary. And even when you don’t, there are enough additional benefits to make it a great choice.
Standard all-wheel drive in a segment where it’s rare to even be an option; excellent outward visibility; high-tech safety features work well and are widely available throughout the lineup; top crash test scores.
Slower acceleration than almost every other competitor in the class; stiffer ride except Legacy
The new Legacy Sport trim level debuts for 2017 features unique styling elements and interior options. Also available is the Reverse Automatic Braking, which is an addition to the Eye Sight Driver Assist Technology package.
The 2017 Subaru Legacy gets more attention that it typically does from most car shoppers. It’s overshadowed in the midsize sedan segment by ultra-popular rivals like the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry and Ford Fusion. The Legacy sedan also faces competition inside Subaru’s sales by the company’s array of crossovers that are inclusive of the mechanically related Outback. However, the Legacy deserves a recognition especially for those living where weather is a determinant.
The Legacy gets its excellent all-weather capability to its standard all-wheel drive system, a feature that differentiates it clearly from its competitors. The Ford Fusion and Chrysler 200 both give all-wheel drive as well, more powerful and less efficient engines. With the Legacy, it’s included with both available engines and on every trim, plus its fuel economy competes favorably to the class best.
Apart from its all-weather distinction, the Legacy stands out with its options of EyeSight accident avoidance tech available on all but the base trim.
Standard equipment on the 2.5i includes 17-inch steel wheels, all-wheel drive, automatic headlights, air-conditioning, a rearview camera, cloth upholstery, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a 60/40 split- folding back seat, Bluetooth phone and audio, a 6.2-inch “Subaru Starlink” touchscreen interface, a variety of entertainment and information smartphone integration apps, and a four-speaker sound system with a USB port, an auxiliary audio jack, a CD player, HD and satellite radios and an iPod interface. 17-inch alloy wheels are optional.
The 2.5i Premium iimcludes those alloy wheels togather with an All-Weather package (heated front seats, heated mirrors and a windshield wiper de-icer), dual-zone automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a 7-inch Starlink touchscreen, additional smartphone app services, an emergency communications system, an additional USB port, and a six-speaker sound system. A sunroof comes optional.
The 2.5i Sport has mostly aesthetic flourishes inside and out, but also includes an 18-inch wheels, foglights, a sunroof, keyless ignition and entry and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.
The 2.5i Limited has a different 18-inch wheels and reverts to the Premium’s styling, but also has an upgraded suspension for improved pleasure, a blind-spot warning system, rear cross- traffic alert, an eight-way power driver seat (comes with a memory functions and two-way power lumbar), a four-way power passenger seat, heated rear seats, leather upholstery, and a 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system.
The 3.6R Limited differs only with its six-cylinder engine, steering wheel shift paddles that can call up simulated shifts and xenon headlights.
All but the base 2.5i can be equipped with a navigation system and the EyeSight Driver Assist Technology package (see Safety section). The two are bundled together on the Limited trims.
The 2017 Legacy is available with two engines, specified as 2.5i and 3.6R. Both come standard with all-wheel drive and a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).
The 2.5i’s 2.5-liter horizontally opposed (“boxer”) four-cylinder gives 175 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque. During a track test, the Legacy moved from zero to 60 mph in 9.4 seconds, making it one of the slowest in the midsize sedan class. The segment average is more than a second quicker. Estimated fuel economy is kept at 29 mpg combined 25 mpg city/34 mpg highway. That’s a good one given that all-wheel drive always results in a significant fuel consumption.
The 3.6R has a 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine gives 256 hp and 247 lb-ft of torque. This sees relatively low for an optional engine in this category and acceleration is not surprisingly unimpressive as a result (but is better than the 2.5i)estimated fuel economy is 23 mpg combined 20 mpg city/28 mpg highway.
The 2017 Subaru Legacy lands standard with stability and traction control, antilock disc brakes, a rearview camera, front side airbags, side curtain airbags and seat cushion airbags that deploy from the seat bottom to help keep passengers in place in a frontal collision.
On the Premium and Limited trim levels, the Legacy has Starlink Connected Services, which are inclusive of emergency assistance and automatic collision notification. This can be enhanced with the optional Safety Plus and Security Plus upgrade, which includes remote vehicle access, remote vehicle locating and stolen vehicle recovery.
The Eye Sight Driver Assist Technology package, optional on all except the base 2.5i, includes forward collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic braking, reverse automatic braking, and lane departure signal with automatic intervention.
In a brake test, a Legacy 2.5i Premium halted from 60 mph in a short 114 feet, a better than average performance for this type
Subaru’s high taste in car design is reflected in the Legacy’s simple and straightforward interior features. Materials quality has been upgraded compared to earlier versions of the Legacy, with more cushioning at common touch points like the armrests and center console. The optional touchscreen navigation system has crisp graphics and is easy to use courtesy smartphone like tech and large icons.
There is plenty of front headspace, and the front seats are comfortable on longer drives. In back, the Legacy offers slightly less headroom and legroom than the Honda Accord and Ford Fusion, and its 15-cubic-foot trunk follows the competition as well. The car is sufficiently spacious.
One noteworthy thing about this car is its excellent outward visibility. Very big feat in an age of high door lines and bulky pillars that comes from modern safety standards. Firm, supportive seats and a slightly higher driving position make the Legacy Subaru’s most comfortable sedan.
Both the four and the six cylinder engines are quiet and smooth, but acceleration is slow. On the other hand, the Legacy’s standard all-wheel-drive system gives it plenty of capability in bad weather. The standard continuously variable transmission also does an excellent job of getting the most out of either engine. Although it can essentially mimic a broad range of gearing for maximum mileage, this CVT is also programmed to give noticeable “shifts” to make it feel more like a traditional transmission.
The Limited has an upgraded suspension that should provide a more comfortable ride than those of the other trims which are thought to be a bit firmer than the class leaders. Around turns, the Legacy is precise and easy to drive, but a significant amount of body roll prevents it from feeling truly sporty.
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