2022 Subaru Legacy Pros vs Cons. Should You Buy?
2020 brought us the redesigned Subaru Legacy, a mid-size sedan that slates above the compact sedan Impreza and is reminiscent of the Outback crossover SUV. Size-wise, it gives buyers a nice in-between zone. And, of course, Subaru's standard all-wheel drive (AWD) system is a great bonus. 2021 built on the 2020's additions with new adaptive headlights, a seat belt reminder, and rear seat reminder. With that, not too many changes have really been called for, so the 2022 Subaru Legacy will look and feel almost exactly like last year's model.
What's New for 2022?
Only a few feature shifts mark any change for the 2022 Subaru Legacy, and they are all relatively minor ones. Buyers can still take their pick from the base 182-hp flat-4 engine or the perkier turbo-4 and its 260 hp. Since the Legacy was just remodeled for 2022 and given a few key updates for 2021, no major changes have been made by Subaru.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2022 Subaru Legacy – The Pros
1. The Zesty Turbocharged 4-cylinder Engine
If you are looking for some excitement, then the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine (the XT) is your best bet. Unfortunately, the base 2.5-liter flat-four engine can feel a bit cumbersome and does not put in a good showing when it comes to acceleration. But the XT (which comes on the Limited XT and Touring XT) proves to be quite spunky. It generates a power output of 260 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque, which is certainly enough to get this midsize sedan sprinting up to speed on the highway. It can get up to 60 miles per hour in 8.5 seconds, which is what we expect from a turbo engine on a midsize sedan.
2. Standard All-wheel Drive
Since this is a Subaru, the Legacy comes with standard all-wheel drive (AWD). Subaru's AWD system does make it a slightly pricier vehicle than its FWD-equipped direct competitors. However, it is a cost that many buyers can easily justify since it provides so much extra traction on slick road surfaces. Anyone who drives in harsh winters will notice the difference in how the Legacy handles slippery spots as opposed to a FWD sedan. Combined with some generous ground clearance, this does make the Legacy able to do some light off-roading.
3. Secure Steering Capabilities
In addition to some relatively stable handling, the steering system feels precise and capable. The steering wheel is well weighted, creating a comfortable grip for your hands. There is also enough feedback that comes through after you give it your input. When you want to turn, the wheels will turn. Its predictable nature should inspire quite a bit of driver confidence.
4. A Comfortable Cabin
Subaru knows how to craft a cozy cabin, from the seats to the noise cancellation. The Legacy's seats are full of supportive cushioning that does not border on the stiff side. There is also enough bolstering up front to keep you locked into place should you need to make a sharp, sudden turn. The back seat feels comfier than your average flat bench with seats sculpted to fit the spine and thighs of any adult. And the cabin itself is nicely muted from engine noise. In fact, you might have to double-check to make sure you turned the engine on it runs so quietly.
5. Plenty of Space In Both Rows
The 2022 Subaru Legacy's cabin looks more spacious than its size suggests from the outside. Sliding into any of the seats is easy to do thanks to some wide door sill openings and well positioned ride height. Once in, occupants of all sizes will be able to appreciate how much space there is fore and aft. Even in the back seat, taller passengers can fit legs and heads in without it feeling snug.
6. A Tall and Deep Cargo Space
15 cubic feet of cargo space is just about standard for this segment. But Subaru makes the most of it by constructing this one to be both tall and deep in its measurements. This makes it easier to store bulky items that would otherwise have to take up space elsewhere. The rear seats can be folded down flatly with either the push of a seat-mounted button or by using the release lever located inside of the trunk.
7. Many Areas to Store Small Items
The Legacy offers many well sized areas for stashing your small items. From cellphones to house keys to pennies, you can find a place for just about everything. There is a nifty two-tier underarm console located between the front seats, as well as a shelf located in front of the front passenger, large door pockets, and a bin that is placed behind the shifter.
8. Real-world Tests Back the EPA Estimates
The EPA estimates that the 2022 Subaru Legacy gets 30 mpg combined, with 27 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. In combined real-world testing, the Subaru Legacy easily matches that 30 mpg estimate from the EPA. Due to this being an AWD vehicle, these numbers are slightly lower than what you can achieve on FWD-equipped rivals. However, for an AWD midsize sedan, this is pretty much on-the-nose.
9. Aptly Heats Up or Cools Down
The cabin's comfort does not just extend to its seats. The dual-zone climate control system does a thorough job of heating up or cooling down the cabin to get to the targeted temperature fore and aft. Although some of the settings have a bit of a learning curve, the time spent learning is worth it. And there's an even bigger payout from the three-step heated front seats.
10. The LATCH System is Easy to Use
Parents can simply slide their child car safety seats in and attach them using the LATCH system. Its anchors are located behind small, unobtrusive Velcro flaps. You will not need to go digging around to find the anchors like you do in some cars.
Reasons Not to Buy a 2022 Subaru Legacy – The Cons
1. Braking Produces Nosedive
Braking produces some noticeable nosedive. This is especially apparent under hard braking. Getting the brakes to operate smoothly is quite the task, which is only compounded by the fact that engine stop-start is also pretty rough. The car lurches forward with enough force on a restart to feel as though it has just been rear-ended.
2. Too Much Reliance On the Touchscreen
There is a heavy reliance on the touchscreen display when it comes to using the Legacy's functions. Physical controls are few and far between inside of this sedan, which might make some drivers feel out-of-place. Most of the necessary functions are buried in the touchscreen's menus, which are not all that easy to navigate. On top of that, there is no engine stop-start disable button, which would be fantastic since that system is so horribly invasive.
3. The Infotainment System and Apple CarPlay Crash A Lot
Another reason why over-reliance on the touchscreen is a bad thing is the fact that the infotainment system itself is glitchy. The infotainment system and Apple CarPlay smartphone app integration both tend to crash quite frequently, serving as a huge distraction while driving. Drivers will also have to put up with voice controls that struggle to recognize natural speech patterns.
4. Some Driver Aids Are Counterintuitive
Subaru clearly needs to fine-tune their tech on the Legacy. Their Subaru EyeSight bundle of standard driver aids looks like a pretty generous list: forward collision mitigation, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, lane departure warning, and lane keep assist. But some of these features are counterintuitive. Adaptive cruise control reacts way too fast when it comes to traffic changes. Forward collision mitigation is extra sensitive and will pump the brakes while you gradually slow down to a stop. The alerts it issues while doing so are also invasvive.
How It Stacks Up to the Competition:
2022 Subaru Legacy vs. 2022 Honda Accord
Like the 2022 Subaru Legacy, the 2022 Honda Accord offers two engine options - but both of them are strong and fuel-efficient. Honda utilizes high-quality materials throughout the Accord's cabin, making it look more expensive than it really is. There is also more space inside this midsize sedan than what you get inside of its competitors. The driving experience is fun due to the agile, athletic nature of its handling. On top of that, its lengthy list of standard driver aids work just about as they are supposed to. On the downside, the engine generates more noise than the Legacy's, so the cabin is not as quiet. Also, entry and exit are slightly more difficult due to the lower ride height on the Accord. This also means less ground clearance for mild off-roading, and you do not have the option for equipping all-wheel drive.
2022 Subaru Legacy vs. 2022 Kia K5
Rebranded from the Optima, the Kia K5 hit the ground running in 2021 packed with value. The 2022 Kia K5 continues that trend, as well as that of providing occupants with a cozy and quiet ride, even on the highway. The GT trim level is equipped with a powerful turbo engine, although it does not quite live up to some of its potential in terms of performance. Still, the abundance of standard tech features (which seem to work well) gives the Kia K5 an edge over many competitors. The only real pitfall is that the sloping rear roofline cuts down on visibility, forcing the driver to rely on blind spot monitoring and the rear-view camera.
Tech-related issues aside, the 2022 Subaru Legacy is a capable midsize sedan. Being equipped with standard AWD puts the Legacy slightly above the price point of others in its segment, but the benefits can be worth it. The Legacy is all about offering comfort and space, plus quite a bit of power from the optional XT engine.