Drivers who are looking to buy a well-equipped sedan that is built for enduring harsh winter months will have a hard time turning their attention away from the new 2019 Subaru Legacy. Despite its somewhat lackluster engine, this midsize sedan comes standard with all-wheel drive and is loaded with a lot of helpful safety and infotainment features that make it worth dropping money on.
What's New for 2019?
Not too many changes have been made to the 2019 Subaru Legacy for the model year. The most noteworthy change is that the 2.5i (the Legacy's base trim) now comes equipped with a 6.5-inch touchscreen display. In addition to that, the only other alteration worth mentioning is that the EyeSight driver assist feature now comes standard on every trim level, which is indeed a welcome change.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2019 Subaru Legacy – The Pros
1. Standard EyeSight Driver Assist
Subaru's EyeSight driver assist system is a bundle of helpful driver aids that allow the driver to stay safer on the road. The system includes features such as lane departure with sway warning, adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, and pre-collision management. In previous years, EyeSight was just optional on the Legacy. Now that it comes standard, the 2019 Subaru Legacy can compete with other vehicles that offer similar standard driver aids.
2. Superb Visibility
Thanks to its slender roof pillars in the front and rear, the view out of both windshields is nothing short of impressive. Even though you get extra help from driver aids (like blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert on the Sport trim level and higher), they typically are not necessary. The side windows are also pretty wide in their construction, making it easy to glance toward the vehicle's blind spots when needed.
3. Standard All-wheel Drive
As is the tradition with all Subaru vehicles, all-wheel drive comes standard on the 2019 Subaru Legacy. This gives an extra degree of stability and security to the Legacy as it travels over difficult roadways. It certainly makes getting around in the winter a lot less nerve-wrecking for drivers who crave that extra sense of safety from their vehicles. On most of its competitors, front-wheel drive is the standard with all-wheel drive sometimes being an option.
4. Steering Feels Natural
Steering on the new Subaru Legacy has a natural and effortless feel to it since it is so well weighted out. Drivers get just the right amount of feedback from the steering wheel on how the tires are performing. Also, taking the Legacy around tight corners is simple since this midsize sedan is rather agile around turns despite the body roll. Overall, drivers should feel confident steering the Legacy along narrow, winding roadways without putting much labor into it.
5. Comfortable Seating
One thing that everyone who rides in the 2019 Subaru Legacy should be able to appreciate is the level of comfort that they will get from its seats. The cloth upholstery on the seats is incredibly soft. There is nothing that feels cheap about this material either. The seats themselves feel well-bolstered, and there is plenty of lumbar and lateral support to keep everyone comfortable during long car rides.
6. A Quiet Ride
In addition to the cabin being comfortable just to sit in, the ride quality you get from the Subaru Legacy is also rather peaceful. The only time you will notice the engine getting loud is when you take it up to very high RPMs. Even then, the CVT does an excellent job of not pegging when you do rev the engine to accelerate. Additionally, you will notice little in the way of outside noise. The cabin is well-insulated from the wind, and there is not much noise that comes in from the tires.
7. Plenty of Cargo Space
While the 15 cubic feet of cargo space that the Subaru Legacy offers does not seem like a lot compared to other vehicles in this class, the way that the cargo area is designed works well at maximizing this amount of space. You can easily stack six carry-on pieces of luggage in the trunk, and fitting a week or two's worth of groceries in the rear is definitely not a problem. There is a release button, which can be found in the trunk, for the split 60/40 rear seats. While these seats do not fold totally flat, they provide a wide pass-through area in the middle.
8. Many High-Tech Features
There is no shortage of high-tech features on the new Subaru Legacy. The infotainment touchscreen display holds most of the tech feature's controls and is relatively easy to use, even for those non-tech savvy drivers. The screen has menus and buttons that are large and simple to read, and the graphics are bright and clear.
9. Excellent Safety Ratings
Subaru is one of those manufacturers that seems to take pride in producing safe and reliable vehicles. There is little surprise that the 2019 Subaru Legacy has received some high safety ratings, but they are definitely worth mentioning. The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) has awarded the Subaru Legacy all "good" marks across the board for 2019. This means that the Legacy performed well on all tests: side impact, roof strength, rear crash protection and head restraint, IIHS small overlap front, and the moderate overlap front test. Additionally, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) awarded the Legacy an overall score of five out of five stars. It gave the vehicle five stars on each of its tests and noted that there was only a 10.10 percent chance of a rollover and no dynamic tip.
10. A Good Fuel Economy
Despite not having a hybrid option available like some of its competitors do, the Subaru Legacy keeps pace with its fuel economy. The 2.5-L engine gets a respectable 29 combined mpg (25 mpg city/34 mpg highway) while the 3.6-L gets predictably less (a combined 23 mpg with 20 mpg city/28 mpg highway). With the 3.6-L, the trade-off is that you get more power. However, if fuel efficiency is what you're going for, your best bet is to stick with the 2.5-L.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2019 Subaru Legacy – The Cons
1. The Engine Is Not Very Powerful
The biggest drawback when it comes to driving the 2019 Subaru Legacy is that the engine is not very powerful. The standard 2.5-L 4-cylinder engine (which gets 175 hp and 174 lb-ft of torque) is underwhelming and is noticeably more so when you take the car out onto the highway. In fact, the Legacy has an acceleration speed of 9.5 seconds going from 0 to 60 mph, which is one of the slowest speeds in its class. There is a 3.6-L V6 that comes on the line-topping 3.6R Limited and gets more power (256 hp and 246 lb-ft of torque). However, it might be hard to justify spending the extra money just for better acceleration.
2. The Brakes Are Soft
Although the brakes on the Subaru Legacy are easy enough to modulate and do allow the vehicle to come to a safe stop, they might feel too soft and squishy for some drivers. A little bit more firmness might inspire more driver confidence in how the brakes are performing when they are applied. They just don't feel very strong on most road surfaces.
3. Excessive Body Roll Around Turns
The one thing that serious car enthusiasts will take notice of on the 2019 Subaru Legacy is that there is a good amount of body roll that occurs while rounding through turns. The more difficult the turn, the more pronounced it will be. Still, steering and handling are solid enough to keep the vehicle in check.
4. The Styling Might Seem Simplistic
The Subaru Legacy does not put on airs. It design is relatively straightforward and simple. Unfortunately, some drivers might not think this vehicle is the best-looking one out there and end up passing it over. Most of the cabins are composed of basic gray and beige hues, and the 17-inch steel wheels on the lower trim levels do look somewhat cheap.
How it stacks up to the competition:
2019 Subaru Legacy vs. 2019 Honda Accord
The 2019 Subaru Legacy has some serious competition from the 2019 Honda Accord. The Accord doesn't have the most natural-feeling steering, but it is able to get up to speed more quickly than the Legacy. Also, the Accord bests the Legacy in the amount of cargo space it offers and its return on fuel. The biggest difference is that all-wheel drive does not come standard on the Accord.
2019 Subaru Legacy vs. 2019 Toyota Camry
The 2019 Toyota Camry is the Legacy's other big competitor for the model year. The Camry has a more powerful 2.5-L engine and, like the Accord, manages to pull a better acceleration rate. However, handling and steering just don't feel as smooth and effortless in the Camry, and the technology is nowhere near as refined.
The 2019 Subaru Legacy could use a boost of power to its base engine and a few stylized upgrades to the interior. However, the Legacy is remarkably safe to drive and offers drivers peace of mind during hazardous weather conditions. Of course, it offers many high-tech infotainment and safety features that make it worth the price tag.
• Why buy a 2018 Subaru Legacy? w/ pros vs cons