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2019 Subaru Legacy Trim Levels with Comparisons & Configurations.

2019 Subaru Legacy Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons: 2.5i vs 2.5i Premium vs 2.5i Sport, 2.5i Limited & 3.6R Limited

What 2019 Subaru Legacy Trim Level Should you Buy? What is the Difference Between Trims?

Sedans might be a segment that is dwindling in popularity, but the 2019 Subaru Legacy shows us that sedans still have a place in the automobile market. If you live in a place where the weather can turn sour on the drop of a dime, having the security that the Legacy's standard all-wheel drive provides can sure feel comforting. But there really is more to this vehicle than just its awesome drivetrain.

This model year, you can take your pick between five well-equipped trim levels: the 2.5i, the 2.5i Premium, the 2.5i Sport, the 2.5i Limited, and the 3.6R Limited. Each of these vehicles is loaded with the latest in greatest in safety technology. Plenty of driver aids (for example, forward collision mitigation and adaptive cruise control) come standard on every trim level.

Unfortunately, the Subaru Legacy does have one glaring flaw on almost all of its trim levels. The 2.5-L 4-cylinder engine that comes on all the 2.5i-named models is somewhat under-powered. Trying to get up to speed on the highway takes some time, as this sedan takes about 9.5 seconds to get from 0 to 60 mph. If this engine does not sound ideal for you, you will have to either upgrade to the most expensive trim level in the line-up (the 3.6R Limited) or buy a totally different vehicle.

But what sets these trim levels apart from one another? Which one gives you the best overall deal? Let us break down each trim level and compare them. By the end of this review, you should have a clearer idea as to which, if any, 2019 Subaru Legacy trim level is the right fit for you.

Price Tip
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Compare the 2019 Subaru Legacy 2.5i vs 2.5i Premium Trims. What is the difference?

The 2.5i is the 2019 Subaru Legacy's base trim. Its name is, perhaps rather obviously, derived from it's engine, a 2.5-L 4-cylinder that produces 175 hp and 174 lb-ft of torque. This engine gets matched up with a Lineartronic CVT transmission. This transmission has a hill-holder feature, adaptive control, and a 6-speed manual shifter mode that comes with paddle shifters. Symmetrical all-wheel drive is equipped as a standard drivetrain across the line-up and, actually, across the whole slew of Subaru vehicles.

The 2.5i rides atop 17-inch steel wheels but can be upgraded to 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels (which come standard on the 2.5i Premium). All season tires come with the vehicle. Additionally, the 2.5i has projector beam halogen headlights, black folding side mirrors, and windshield wipers that have two different speeds. The 2.5i Premium gets body-colored folding side mirrors (with the option of having integrated turn signals) that are heated, de-icer for the windshield wipers, and one stainless steel exhaust pipe.

On the inside, the 2.5i is given cloth upholstery on its seats, and the driver seat is 6-way manually adjustable. On the 2.5i Premium, you get a 10-way power adjustable driver seat. The rear seat in all trims is a 60/40 split that folds flat. The cabin is adorned in silver trim that is given a knurled treatment. Also, you will find that analog instrumentation is standard on this base trim level. The 2.5i Premium, on the other hand, upgrades you to electroluminescent analog instrumentation. It also equips a leather-wrapped shifter and steering wheel.

As far as convenience features go, both trim levels come fairly well-equipped. Both the 2.5i and 2.5i Premium have an electronic parking brake, electronic cruise control, controls integrated onto the three-spoke steering wheel, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel that can be manually adjusted, illuminated vanity mirrors on the sun visors up front, center and overhead consoles, and a trunk underfloor storage tray. The 2.5i Premium is also given an auto-dimming rear-view mirror with HomeLink and a compass, two front and two rear USB ports, and auto up/down front windows. While the 2.5i comes with a manually-adjustable air conditioning system, the 2.5i Premium gets a dual-zone climate control system. Finally, with regard to infotainment, the 2.5 gets the standard STARLINK system with a 6.5-inch touchscreen display while the 2.5i Premium gets an 8-inch screen. It also gains two speakers over the four found in the 2.5i.

Of course, both vehicles are packed with a number of standard safety features. They both have EyeSight Driver Assist (which includes a lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control), a high-resolution rear-view camera, an advanced frontal airbag system, keyless entry, and an anti-theft security system. The 2.5i Premium trim adds STARLINK Safety and Security and options for equipping a blind-spot monitoring system and high-beam assist.

Compare the 2019 Legacy 2.5i Premium vs 2.5i Sport Trims. What is the difference?

Although the 2.5i Premium seems pretty well-equipped, the Sport gives a bit more spunk. While the powertrain and drivetrain remain the same, the 2.5i Sport gets bigger 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels. It also gains LED fog lights, a satin silver finish on the heated side mirrors, a chrome-trimmed rocker spoiler, and a trunk spoiler. In other words, the 2.5i Sport does not look drastically different from the lower trim levels, but it has a few nice features that distinguish it on the outside.

On the inside, the 2.5i Sport shares the Premium's 10-way power adjustable driver seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, and heated front seats. The only significant difference is that the 2.5i Sport comes with gloss black and silver-metallic accents. Otherwise, you will find most of the same interior features on these two trim levels.

As far as comfort and convenience features go, the 2.5i Premium and 2.5i Sport have most of the same ones. The Sport, however, comes with a keyless entry system with a pin-code access feature and push-button start. Like the Premium, it has the STARLINK infotainment system with an 8-inch touchscreen display and six-speaker sound system. Also, both trim levels have the option of getting STARLINK with built-in navigation.

The two trim levels also have most of the same standard safety features. Blind-spot monitoring does become standard on the 2.5i Sport. Also, reverse automatic braking and high beam assist are both optional features that you can add. Reverse automatic braking is not optional on the lower trim levels.

Compare the Legacy 2.5i Sport vs 2.5i Limited Trims. What is the difference?

The 2.5i Limited marks an upgrade toward more luxurious features. Of course, that does increase the starting MSRP by about $2,500. This is quite the price jump, but if you crave those extra creature comforts, it makes for an attractive purchase.

On the outside, the 2.5i Limited gets 18-inch wheels that are upgraded to a nice gray tone, a change from the standard black on the Sport. You can opt to equip LED steering-responsive headlights, too. Otherwise, the 2.5i Limited looks pretty similar to the lower trim levels in the 2019 line-up.

The inside of the 2.5i Limited trim has a few more noteworthy upgrades. Both the driver and front passenger seats are power-adjustable, and the rear seats are heated thanks to the inclusion of the All Weather Package. Also, it is the 2.5i Limited that boosts you up to leather upholstery, which is nicely accented by silver metallic trim with a wood-grain patterned matte finish. Like the 2.5i Sport, the Limited comes with the 8.0-inch STARLINK system, but it upgrades the sound system to the Harman Kardon premium system. This sound system has 12 speakers and a powerful GreenEdge amplifier. Also, regarding safety features, you basically get the same ones that come on the 2.5i Sport.

Compare the Legacy 2.5i Limited vs 3.6R Limited Trims. What is the difference?

Last, but certainly not least, is the 3.6R Limited trim level. It sits at the top of the line-up for a few pretty good reasons. The first is that it is obviously powered by a stronger engine. The 3.6-L gets 256 hp and 247 lb-ft of torque, marking a vast improvement over the 2.5-L's meager capabilities. As you can imagine, the 3.6R Limited has a snappier acceleration speed thanks to this engine. But, of course, you have to compromise on the gas. Whereas the 2.5-L gets 25 mpg city/34 mpg highway, the 3.6-L takes these numbers down to 20 mpg city/28 mpg highway. Also, it should be mentioned that this trim level gets bigger brakes.

The body has quite a few of the same features as the 2.5i Limited. These include the 18-inch wheels, body-colored folding side mirrors with integrated turn signals, and de-icer for the windshield wipers. One notable difference is that the 3.6R Limited has two stainless steel exhaust pipes. The cabins of these two trim levels are also pretty similar in appearance, containing the same infotainment system, leather seats, trim, and Harman Kardon sound system. Essentially, you are really just paying for the upgraded engine.

Buying Tip: To avoid overpaying on a new car, shop prices online first. Get up front pricing before you walk into a dealership. We recommend the following free services; Rydeshopper,   Edmunds,   CarsDirect,   NADAguides  &  Motortrend. These free services will offer you the lowest prices and supply you with multiple competing price quotes. You will know the best price before you visit the dealer.

Final Thoughts

While the 3.6R Limited clearly has the stronger powertrain, it might not really be worth the additional cost you have to pay since that is really the only noteworthy upgrade. Sticking to the middle of the trim road is probably going to be ideal for most Legacy buyers. The 2.5i Sport offers just enough features to justify the price tag.

Of course, if you are not going to be satisfied with the under-powered 2.5-L engine or the 4- or 6-speaker sound system, you might enjoy driving the 3.6R Limited. Just be ready to spend more on the cost of the vehicle and at the fuel pump.

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