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Midsize sedans are great family cars. For several consecutive years, the Toyota Camry has remained the segment’s best-selling model. While the Subaru Legacy may not be quite as popular, it has many great qualities.
For 2020, Toyota has made some significant updates to the Camry lineup. Driving enthusiasts will be especially interested in its all-new TRD trim. Meanwhile, the availability of all-wheel drive now makes the Camry more suitable for the Snowbelt.
The redesigned Subaru Legacy has improved in several big areas. It drives better and packs more style. Some hot new features also arrive this year. Let’s take a look at how the 2020 Toyota Camry fares against the all-new 2020 Subaru Legacy.
Potential Camry buyers will have access to two different engines, Toyota’s base four-cylinder engine puts out 203 horsepower. Folks who prefer maximum performance over saving fuel will want the optional V6 engine. It bumps up production to a best-in-class 301 horsepower. Both of these engines use the same eight-speed automatic gearbox.
The Legacy also has two available engines. While the standard four-cylinder engine puts out 182 horsepower, Subaru rates its new turbo four-cylinder to develop 260 horsepower. Power is sent to the ground through an automatic CVT with manual mode.
When test driving these two sedans, car shoppers will notice that the 2020 Toyota Camry is just a bit stronger. Its extra horsepower pays off. While the V6 Camry hits 60 mph in 5.8 seconds, the turbocharged Legacy reaches this speed in 6.1 seconds. During normal everyday driving, both cars are responsive.
In terms of fuel economy, the Camry is just as frugal as some of today’s hybrids. It can confidently deliver up to an EPA-estimated 41 mpg. Meanwhile, swapping out the base four-cylinder for the V6 engine lowers its highway to 33 mpg. While the Legacy can’t match the Camry’s overall efficiency, its highway rating of 35 mpg is great for a car that comes equipped with a full-time AWD system. Legacy trims equipped with a turbo powertrain top out at 32 mpg.
As mentioned earlier, the Camry finally offers an all-wheel-drive system. However, it’s only available with the Camry’s less powerful base engine. On the other hand, every Legacy model receives a full-time AWD system.
Drivers can expect the 2020 Subaru Legacy to handle with a lot more poise than before. Subaru stiffened the car’s structure for enhanced body control. Every trim also comes standard with Active Torque Vectoring, which brings an even more stable feel.
While the new Legacy is a balanced driving machine, it fails to offer a sports-tuned suspension. The availability of a sports-tuned suspension gives the Camry an edge in the handling department. Toyota designed the all-new Camry TRD model to perform like a serious performance car. It comes equipped with a track-ready suspension and upgraded Bridgestone performance tires.
When it comes to overall driving excitement, the Toyota Camry moves ahead of the Subaru Legacy. While the standard Camry models are only minimally more fun to drive, Subaru doesn’t have a Legacy model to rival the Camry TRD. Aside from being more athletic, the Camry TRD also receives a great-sounding exhaust system.
The Subaru Legacy offers the best ride. Although the Toyota Camry rides well, it doesn’t feel as plush as the new Legacy. Roadtrippers will love the Legacy’s comfort-tuned suspension.
During day-to-day driving, there’s not a big difference in the braking performance of these cars. However, only the Camry TRD comes equipped with a sport braking system. It's less likely to overheat during hard braking.
From a standpoint of long-term reliability, the Camry easily comes out on top. It received a 3.5 out of 5.0 rating in predicted dependability. J.D. Power gives the Legacy a low 2.0 rating, which may concern some car shoppers. Keep in mind that these cars have an identical 60,000-mile powertrain warranty.
Like the 2020 Toyota Camry, the 2020 Subaru Legacy is built with the comfort of families in mind. Everyday practicality is clearly a big emphasis. While both cars can hold up to five people, there’s more room inside of the new Legacy. While the Legacy has 105.5 cubic feet of total passenger space, the Camry has 99.9 cubic feet of total passenger space.
There’s an additional 1.5 inches of legroom in the Legacy’s backseat. This fact may win over drivers who have long-legged family members and friends. An extra 0.7 inches of legroom in the front also gives the Legacy an edge.
Whether a person chooses the Camry or the Legacy, they will have an average amount of trunk space. These cars provide an identical 15.1 cubic feet of cargo room. Some of the other sedans in this class have a bigger trunk.
These cars are a close match in terms of seat comfort. Many testers recommend the Toyota SE’s sport seats for enhanced support. While the Camry’s backseat isn’t stiff, it could be a bit more cushioned. The Legacy has cushy seats in both rows. Remember, only the Legacy offers front-seat cooling.
When behind the wheel of the Subaru Legacy, every driver will enjoy excellent outward visibility. Subaru did a fantastic job of eliminating distracting blind spots. While the Camry also offers good visibility, it does not provide an expansive view of the road like the new Legacy.
The Legacy has the quietness of a luxury car. This is a testament to the car’s improved insulation. At times, passengers will notice a bit of noise entering the Camry’s cabin.
Before buying a new ride, technology lovers will be especially interested in the performance of the infotainment system. The Camry’s Entune multimedia system receives high marks for its overall ease of use. However, Subaru’s Starlink infotainment system is still better. Not only does Starlink have built-in radio apps, but it also offers a stunning 11.6-inch display with split-screen functionality.
Music fans will be looking to upgrade to a better stereo system. The Subaru Legacy’s available 12-speaker Harman Kardon is powerful and free of distortion. Although the Camry’s available nine-speaker JBL system packs a good amount of bass, it’s overall sound quality is a step below.
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The new 2020 Subaru Legacy is one of the safest cars on the streets of America. Aside from receiving a perfect score in each of the NHTSA’s safety tests, it's listed as an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ as well.
The 2020 Toyota Camry also received a five-star score in every impact test. While the Camry was named a Top Safety Pick, evaluators found the Legacy’s forward collision system to be more effective at avoiding pedestrians.
Both cars come standard with a driver-assist safety package, which brings in-demand technologies like automated emergency braking and lane-keeping technology. Upper trims offer blind-spot warning and reverse automatic braking. While the Camera offers an optional around-view camera, the Legacy can be equipped with a front camera for easier parking.
Although the Camry has enough safety innovations to satisfy most drivers, a few special driving aids are offered on the Legacy. By monitoring the driver’s eye movements, Subaru’s DriverFocus system can determine when they aren’t paying attention to the road. Legacy buyers also have access to LED Steering Responsive Headlights, which adapt to curves.
Which Has the Best Value?
Prices for the base 2020 Subaru Legacy begin at less than $22,800. Meanwhile, Toyota lists the base Camry with a starting MSRP of $24,295. Legacy buyers will be able to save around $1,500.
Although the Camry may cost more money, it does not have many more standard features. Both of these cars receive a standard 7.0-inch touch display, which allows drivers to link their phones through either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. However, only the Camry comes standard with Wi-Fi connectivity. The Camry’s six-speaker stereo is also a notch ahead of the Legacy’s four-speaker unit.
The Camry XSE and the Legacy XT Touring are geared towards drivers who demand more luxury. While the Legacy XT starts at $35,895, Toyota has given the Camry XLE a starting MSRP of $29,325. Car shoppers can save big by choosing the Camry XLE. However, upgrading to a V6 engine increases the Camry XLE's total costs by more than $5,100.
The Legacy XT Touring offers an elevated level of luxuriousness. It comes loaded with ventilated front seats and Nappa leather upholstery. These premium upgrades are not offered on any Camry trim. An extra-large infotainment display also gives the Legacy XT Touring an advantage.
Which Model to Choose?
It’s hard to go wrong choosing either car. Nevertheless, one model may better accommodate your specific needs. If a driver is simply concerned about price, the base 2020 Subaru Legacy will be the best option. However, drivers will miss out on the Camry’s standard Wi-Fi hot spot.
With all-wheel drive now being offered, the Camry has become a better winter vehicle. Unfortunately, Toyota does not offer all-wheel drive with the Camry’s potent V6 engine. All Legacy trims enjoy a full-time AWD system.
The 2020 Toyota Camry looks more exciting than the 2020 Subaru Legacy. Its sport trims are extremely athletic, especially the all-new Camry TRD. Some of its racy treatments include a mesh grille, painted brake calipers, and a lowered ride height. A contrasting black roof is also only available on the Camry. With that said, Subaru has given the new Legacy a chic look. No longer does the Legacy look boring and uninteresting.
While the Camry isn’t significantly quicker than the Legacy, it does offer tighter handling. A higher fuel economy rating also enables the Camry to save drivers a bit of cash. However, some people will prefer the Legacy’s more cushy ride.
Both of these cars offer some attractive technologies. However, a new 11.6-inch touch display makes Subaru’s Starlink infotainment system more rewarding. Because of this display’s split-screen functions, it allows drivers to perform more than one task at once.
In terms of overall comfort, the new Subaru Legacy edges out the Toyota Camry. Its seats really allow passengers to unwind. Furthermore, Toyota fails to offer the Camry with ventilated seat cushions. A larger passenger area gives the Legacy another advantage.
These cars are unbelievably safe. Superior crash protection helps families to avoid injury during a collision. However, some drivers will want the Legacy’s available DriverFocus system.
Car shoppers must take a close look at what they desire the most. If one wants to experience the handling and sound of a serious performance car, the all-new Camry TRD will meet their expectations. It’s easy to see the Camry is America’s most popular family sedan. A long history of great reliability also helps make the new Camry an appealing choice.
On the other hand, families will love the Legacy’s pure comfort, When behind the wheel of the Legacy, everyone can experience stress-free driving. Outstanding technologies add to the Legacy’s appeal.