2020 Subaru Legacy vs Honda AccordCompare Cars
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While crossover SUVs are selling in record numbers, many American drivers still enjoy being behind the wheel of a sedan. The 2020 Honda Accord and the 2020 Subaru Legacy are two of the best cars in the segment. They both bring unique qualities to the table.
Despite not receiving any notable updates for the 2020 model year, the Honda Accord continues to receive great reviews. Drivers appreciate the Accord’s solid all-around performance. Upper trims offer a luxurious driving experience.
The new Subaru Legacy has been fully redesigned this year. Car shoppers will appreciate its more attractive styling and improved driving dynamics. As expected, a handful of new features have arrived. In this head-to-head battle, we’ll find out which one of these midsize family sedans is the better option.
Let’s first take a look at the Honda Accord’s available powertrains. The Accord’s standard turbo four-cylinder engine is popular. It’s rated by Honda to pump out 192 horsepower. While an automatic CVT is standard, drivers who love shifting gears can take advantage of the Accord Sport’s optional manual transmission for no extra cost.
Folks who prefer more oomph under the hood should go for the Accord’s larger turbo four-cylinder engine. Output rises to a more entertaining 252 horsepower. This engine can be mated with either a 10-speed automatic or a six-speed manual gearbox.
The Subaru Legacy gives car shoppers two new Boxer four-cylinder engines to pick from. Its non-turbocharged engine develops a sufficient 182 horsepower. Stepping up to the turbocharged engine increases production to 260 horsepower. Subaru does not offer the Legacy with a manual gearbox, which means every trim receives an automatic CVT.
When it comes to acceleration, the 2020 Honda Accord is a few ticks quicker than the 2020 Subaru Legacy. This is especially true for Accord models equipped with an upgraded engine. A swift 0-60 mph time of 5.5 seconds makes the Accord Touring feel like a sports sedan. However, most drivers will also find the turbocharged Legacy to be quite quick and responsive.
One clear advantage the Accord holds over the Legacy is its available manual transmission. It ranks among the best stick shifts on the entire market. Drivers love its smooth and easy operation. Although the Legacy’s automatic CVT has a manual shift mode, there’s no substitute for a real manual gearbox.
In terms of fuel economy, the Honda Accord is a notch ahead of the Subaru Legacy. According to the EPA’s estimates, it tops out at 30 mpg town/38 mpg freeway. Trims equipped with a more powerful engine can return up to 34 mpg. While the Legacy isn’t quite as economical, it still manages to deliver up to 27 mpg town/34 mpg highway.
From a standpoint of overall driving fun, the Accord yet again comes out on top. Adaptive suspension dampers make the Accord Touring even more engaging. However, the new Legacy has become a far more entertaining car to drive. Every trim comes standard with Active Torque Vectoring for sharper handling.
These cars are neck and neck in terms of ride comfort. Families can look forward to experiencing a relaxing road trip. The Subaru Legacy feels cushioned over all types of pavement. Although the Accord’s available 19-inch wheels are sporty, they do result in a stiffer ride.
There’s no debate over which car delivers the best performance in wintry weather conditions. The Legacy’s standard AWD system helps it to confidently navigate snowy streets. While the Accord is only available with front-wheel drive, it will deliver a fair performance in the light snow.
The Honda Accord is deemed to be a slightly more reliable car. It scored a 2.5 out of 5.0 rating in J.D. Power’s dependability test, which is still below average. A 2.0 out of 5.0 reliability rating puts the Subaru Legacy a notch behind the Accord.
Subaru owners enjoy a 60,000-mile powertrain warranty. This is 10,000 more miles of powertrain coverage than what Honda provides. Both cars have a 36,000-mile basic warranty.
Like the 2020 Subaru Legacy, the 2020 Honda Accord receives high marks in passenger comfort. This is great news for drivers who want their family and friends to enjoy a relaxing ride. Up to five people can travel together.
Many people in the market for a family car consider legroom to be a big concern. Both of these cars have a backseat that can comfortably accommodate adults. While the Legacy offers 39.5 inches of rear legroom, the Accord provides 40.4 inches of rear legroom.
When it comes to front legroom, the advantage shifts to the Subaru Legacy. It provides an extra 0.5 inches of space to stretch out. There’s also noticeably more headroom in the front of the Legacy. Taller drivers may appreciate this extra room.
Trunk space is another factor for drivers in the market for a new family sedan. The Accord provides 16.7 cubic feet of storage space in its trunk. By comparison, there’s 15.1 cubic feet of cargo space in the Legacy’s trunk. This means the Accord’s trunk can squeeze in an extra travel bag.
In the eyes of many automotive journalists, the 2020 Subaru Legacy ranks among the class leaders in outward visibility. Drivers can easily spot oncoming vehicles. While the Accord also provides good outward visibility, its thick windshield pillars can block the driver’s view from certain angles.
Both the Accord and the Legacy are quiet on the inside. Families will feel shielded from the outside world. In regard to overall interior quality, these cars are a close match. However, only the Legacy offers the luxuriousness of Nappa leather upholstery.
Many drivers will be interested in which car has the best high-tech features. The win goes to the 2020 Subaru Legacy. Subaru’s Starlink infotainment system works extremely well. Its optional 11.6-inch touchscreen is exceptional. Not only is the Accord’s available 8.0-inch display much smaller, but it also does not provide a split-screen function. Luckily, both interfaces are quick and simple to use.
While on the road, many drivers enjoy listening to music. The Accord’s available 10-speaker stereo is very good. However, most people will find the Legacy’s 12-speaker Harman Kardon unit to sound even better.
Everyone in the market for a new family car should put a serious emphasis on passenger safety. The new 2020 Subaru Legacy received a five-star rating in every crash test performed by the NHTSA. It also took home Top Safety Pick+ honors from the NHTSA.
The 2020 Honda Accord’s crash scores are just as impressive, which enabled it to earn a five-star overall safety rating. While the Accord inspires confidence, it wasn’t able to match Legacy's best-in-class IIHS safety rating. Not only does the IIHS give the Legacy a better rating in front crash prevention, but it also praises the Legacy for its outstanding headlights.
Fortunately, these cars come standard with advanced safety technologies. Some of the common features include adaptive cruise control, active lane assist, and forward collision intervention.
Only the Honda Accord provides Road Departure Mitigation, which intervenes to help stop you from driving off the pavement. However, the Subaru Legacy has an even greater number of exclusive safety features. Subaru’s DriverFocus technology is among the most cutting-edge driver monitoring systems in the business. It scans the driver’s eyes to detect their level of attentiveness. Honda’s driver attention system isn’t as advanced.
Rear automatic emergency braking is another feature not available on the Accord. When backing up, it will help drivers to react to unseen obstacles. While the Accord’s adaptive cruise control system works well, the Legacy’s advanced cruise control system further reduces driver stress with its lane centering technology. A front-view parking camera is also exclusively available on the Legacy.
As mentioned earlier, the Subaru Legacy offers the best visibility at night. Subaru’s LED Steering Responsive Headlights do a great job of illuminating the street. Honda does not offer the Accord with curve-adapting headlights.
Which Has the Best Value?
These sedans give you a lot of value for the money. The base Legacy starts at an estimated $22,745. Meanwhile, Honda has priced the base Accord at $23,870. By choosing the new Legacy, buyers stand to keep an extra $1,100.
While both cars are well equipped, the Legacy’s list of standard equipment is more rewarding. Unlike the Accord, it comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for hassle-free smartphone connectivity. Standard satellite radio also gives the Legacy an advantage.
Drivers seeking the most luxury will be comparing the Legacy Touring XT and the Accord Touring. While the Legacy Touring has an MSRP of $35,895, the Accord Touring starts at $36,100. Both prove to be great alternatives to a high-end luxury model.
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Which Model to Choose?
Before making a pick, car shoppers should thoroughly analyze the highs and lows of each model. Price is always a factor for drivers who don’t want to overspend, The 2020 Subaru Legacy slightly edges out the 2020 Honda Accord in the value department. Not only is the Legacy less expensive, but it also comes standard with advanced smartphone support and satellite radio.
Some drivers will be focused on choosing the most stylish ride. While the redesigned Legacy looks more modern than before, it still has a rather reserved appearance. Some drivers will be drawn to the Accord’s bolder exterior.
When it comes to overall driving fun, the Honda Accord wins this category. Drivers will find the Accord to be quicker and more sporty. A higher fuel economy rating also helps the Accord to come out on top. Keep in mind that the Subaru Legacy is far from boring to drive. It’s handling has improved drastically. Some drivers also consider the Legacy to have the best ride quality.
Folks in need of an all-weather sedan should pick the Subaru Legacy. Its standard Symmetrical AWD system will help prevent slippage on snowy streets. All-wheel drive isn’t even on the Accord’s list of options.
Both of these cars are spacious and comfortable. While the Legacy has a higher passenger volume, there’s a bit more legroom in the back of the Accord. Drivers seeking the best in-vehicle technologies will favor the Legacy. Subaru’s new 11.6-inch touch display is a true gem. Honda’s 8.0-inch touchscreen does not offer as many perks.
From a standpoint of safety, the 2020 Subaru Legacy comes out ahead of the competition. Although both cars offer great impact protection, the Legacy has a higher IIHS headlight rating. Drivers can also take advantage of the Legacy’s exclusive safety innovations, especially Subaru’s DriverFocus system and reverse automatic emergency braking.
At the end of the day, neither car has any big shortcomings. If you seek a family car that has the heart of a sports sedan, go for the 2020 Honda Accord. On the other hand, the 2020 Subaru Legacy’s amazing comfort and standard AWD system make it just as appealing.