Legacy buyers have a choice of two engines – a 2.0-litre diesel with a six speed manual gearbox or a 2.5-litre petrol with continuously variable transmission (CVT). We reckon it's a no-brainer – the diesel is much more flexible, although it's still rather unresponsive at low revs.
The Legacy is a big car and although it's effortless to drive, it feels unwieldy compared with many rivals. The Legacy's standard four-wheel-drive system provides excellent traction, but the steering is unresponsive at speed. The suspension puts comfort before handling prowess, so it's generally forgiving, but the downside is that there's a fair degree of body lean through corners so it’s not that agile.
Both the petrol and diesel engines have the 'boxer' layout (where cylinders lie flat in two opposing pairs) that's a Subaru characteristic and this contributes to their distinctive thrum. The petrol's CVT gearbox can make it rather boomy when revved and the diesel is clattery at low speed, but both engines are quiet on the motorway. Wind and suspension noise are audible but inoffensive, but road noise intrudes at higher speeds.
Although it comes loaded with kit, the Legacy isn't cheap, especially when compared with rivals such as the Mazda 6 Estate. You're unlikely to get a big discount on the list price, too, and we don't expect resale values to be particularly strong. Running costs are higher than average, because both the petrol and diesel engines are comparatively thirsty and emit more CO2 than many rivals.
The Legacy's cabin isn't the last word in style, with rather dour materials and design. It feels solidly constructed and built to last, however, and there's no reason to suggest that the Legacy will do anything to dent Subaru's reputation for good long-term reliability. What’s more, all Subarus come with a stunning three-year aftercare package.
The Legacy achieved a maximum five stars in Euro NCAP crash tests, scoring 79% for passenger protection and 58% for pedestrian protection. Six airbags and a stability control system come as standard, but there's no driver knee 'bag. Deadlocks, an alarm, etched windows and locking wheelnuts help to deter thieves.
Even the cheapest Legacy comes with an electrically adjustable driver's seat, so it's easy to set just the right driving position. Visibility is good and the dashboard puts everything within easy reach, but the silver-on-silver switches and small digital readouts can be tricky to read at a glance. You soon get used to the electronic handbrake being next to the steering wheel.
The Legacy’s cabin is very spacious. No one's likely to struggle for headroom and there's masses of legroom in the front and rear seats. Access is good and the boot is large and well shaped. The rear seatbacks fold easily to leave a flat load area and 1677 litres of space.
Even the cheapest Legacy comes with plenty of goodies. Entry-level S trim includes dual-zone climate control, automatic headlights and wipers, electric driver's seat adjustment, Bluetooth and an electric sunroof. SE trim adds larger alloys, sportier trim and suspension, and leather trim. SE NavPlus adds a keyless entry/starter system, rear-view camera and satellite-navigation.
Order a brochure, find your nearest dealer or book a test drive