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2024 Subaru Legacy Pros vs Cons, & How it Stacks Up to Competitors

2024 Subaru Legacy Pros, Cons, and Competitor Comparison
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By Norman Ruckpaul
Reviewed & fact checked by
James Murdoch
Updated: April 23, 2024

On the hunt for a midsize sedan tough enough to handle your adventures? The 2024 Subaru Legacy could be your ride. Its standard all-wheel drive lets you conquer rain, snow or dirt while keeping things comfortable inside. But is this Subaru really all it's cracked up to be? We'll dig into what makes the Legacy stand out over the competition, and where it falls short. Does it have the goods to satisfy your thirst for adventure? Or will it leave you bored in the slow lane? Let's compare its pros built for adventure against some practical drawbacks to see if this sedan can really rally over rivals and fuel that rugged spirit.

What We like About the Legacy - 9 Pros to Consider

What Makes the this car Stand Out? The 2024 Subaru Legacy is different from most sedans. It comes with all-wheel drive and a CVT continuously variable automatic transmission as standard. Other features that make it special include a smooth, comfortable ride, lots of room inside, an optional turbocharged engine, and it's reliable and well-built among others. Below we will go over the top nine pros of the Legacy.

1. Standard All-Wheel Drive

For those needing all weather capability and traction, especially in areas with frequent rain/snow, the Legacy comes with Subaru's Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. Competitors like Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Kia K5 and Hyundai Sonata all have two-wheel drive as their standard equipment. The Accord only comes in front-wheel drive.

The Legacy's Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system evenly sends power to all four wheels for improved traction and stability no matter the conditions. Its flat, boxer engine layout keeps weight balanced low in the chassis. The variable transfer clutch and active torque distribution automatically shift power between front and rear axles, optimizing traction and control on demand. This AWD boosts cornering grip and handling on varied surfaces.

2. Available Turbocharged Engine Power

The legacy come with two engine choices. The Legacy’s base 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine delivers 182 horsepower. It may not be as powerful as some competitors’ engines, but it should provide adequate performance for most drivers. Sonata's 2.5-leter gets 191 horsepower but it's optional. The accord delivers 192, Camry's all-wheel drive gets 202, and the K5 get 180 horsepower with its 1.6L - 290 with its 2.5-leter.

For drivers who value performance and want a more spirited driving experience, the available turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine offers increased horsepower and torque. It delivers 260 horsepower and 277 torque. The turbo engine is a nice option to have if you fit this driving style.

3. Comfortable, Quite Ride

According to consumer reports, When it comes to ride quality, the Legacy hits a home run. This Subaru smooths out bumps and potholes like a champ thanks to its dialed-in suspension. It cushions you from all those road imperfections, so even rough roads feel serene. The cabin keeps things quiet too, locking out wind and road noise for a peaceful cruise.

Inside, the front seats strike a perfect balance between supportive and comfortable. Rear passengers aren't left out either, with plenty of space and cushy seats to stretch out.

In contrast, Consumer Reports states that the Camry, although comfortable, has more interior noise because the engine can become loud at higher rpms. And the Accord, although quite, lacks to comfort on longer trips do to the seats having the necessary lack of support.

(Reference Source: Consumer Reports)

Manually adjustable front seats are standard on the base trim. A power adjustable drivers seat comes with the Premium and Sport Trims, and power adjustable seats for both driver and passenger are on the Limited and Touring XT models. (Touring XT models have Nappa leather seats)

Heated front seats and a Leather-wrapped steering wheel are standard on all Legacy models above the base trim. A Heated steering wheel come with the Sport and Touring XT trims.

Finally, automatic climate control come with the base and dual-zone climate control come with all other trim levels.

4. Spacious Interior and Seating

Inside, the 2024 Legacy gives passengers plenty of space to stretch out. Rear seats offer nearly 40 inches of legroom - enough for adults to ride comfortably, not just kids. This Subaru makes for a roomy family sedan, though its trunk space falls a bit short of others in its class. Overall, the Legacy's got an interior focused on comfort with space to spare so folks can ride in back without feeling squeezed. Whether it's carpooling kids to school or piling in for a weekend road trip, the Legacy's interior room lets passengers spread out and ride in comfort.

5. Good Fuel Economy vs Rivals

The Legacy gets good gas mileage for its class. That makes it a nice choice if you want to save money on gas. The Legacy's fuel stats help make it one of the top midsize options.

The chart below compares Legacy's fuel economy to its close rivals. We listed AWD models to compare apples to apples. As you can see, it is respectable. It edges out the Camry, sonata, and the K5. The Accord come with front-wheel drive so it has a slight advantage. When comparing the four-wheel drive versions, legacy is a clear winner.

The EPA's annual fuel costs for the legacy is estimated to be $1,700 based on annual driving of 15,000 miles. Camry, Sonata, and K5 is $1,700 and the two wheel drive Accord is estimated to be $1,600. The more powerful turbocharged engine gets 21 MPG city/31 MPG hwy. Its annual fuel cost is estimated to be $1,950. (The cost of extra horsepower)

Fuel Economy (City, Highway MPG)
Vehicle City MPG Highway MPG
Subaru Legacy 27 35
Honda Accord 29 37
Hyundai Sonata 25 34
Toyota Camry 25 34
Kia K5 25 33

(Reference Source: EPA)

6. Strong Safety Ratings and Features

The Legacy delivers on the car safety front. This Subaru has earned top marks in crash tests and comes loaded with advanced features to give you peace of mind behind the wheel.

When put through its paces by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Legacy scored a "TOP SAFETY PICK" with the highest possible - in frontal, side, and rear crash tests. It also received the highest rating of "5 Stars" from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). (Reference Sources: IIHS, NHTSA)

Legacy's Rivals also did good in these test. The Camry also received "TOP SAFETY PICK". The Accord received the slightly better "TOP SAFETY PICK+" The K5 and the Sonata received good ratings but fell short of the top safety ratings.

The Subaru Legacy sedan packs good driver assistance features with Subaru's Eyesight Driver Assist System and High Beam Assist on all trims. The Eyesight System comes with the following:

  • Advanced Adaptive Cruise Control - automatically maintain a safe distance from the car in front of you.

  • Lane Departure Warning - if drifting into another lane the system will warn you and even steer you back into your lane.

  • Pre-Collision Braking - will alert you of danger ahead with forward collision warning and apply breaks if needed with automatic emergency braking.

  • Automatic Emergency Steering - it will automatically steer you around obstacles if front of you.

  • Pre-Collision Throttle Management - It will reduce engine power and slow down, giving you time to respond.

On the upper trims (Limited, Sport, Touring XT) you have a few more active safety features:

  • Blind-Spot Detection

  • Lane Change Assist

  • Rear Cross-Traffic Alert

  • Reverse Automatic Braking

On the Sport and Touring XT you will get the DriverFocus Distraction Mitigation System. It will alert you if you get distracted or tired and it can store up to five different drive preferences for seat position, climate and mirror settings.

Bottom line - with its stellar crash test results, advanced driver assists via Eyesight, and array of standard safety features, the Legacy has proved to be safe in test results.

7. Good Infotainment, Sound System and Connectivity

The Legacy keeps you plugged in and entertained with its solid infotainment and audio setup.

First up, it has a prominent touchscreen ranging from 7 (on base) to 11 inches depending on the trim. This lets you tap and swipe to access all kinds of handy features - navigation, audio, climate controls, the works.

Speaking of phones, the Legacy makes it easy to sync your device up for hands-free calling, music streaming, and using your favorite apps via Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay or Android Auto integration. It's also got multiple USB ports and aux inputs to keep devices juiced up and connected. After the base model, the Legacy come with 4G LTE Wi-Fi capability.

The audio system provides decent sound for daily drives. The base trim has a four speaker audio system. Higher trims upgrade the speaker count and overall quality for enhanced sound. The Premium come with six speakers and the other higher trims come with Harman KardonĀ® premium audio system

Everything is laid out in user-friendly menus on the touchscreen too - no digging through complicated settings to change the temperature or switch playlists.

Overall, the Legacy's infotainment tech keeps you informed and entertained on the road and delivers a solid package.

8. Good Resale Value

Depreciation - it's that pesky thing that makes cars lose value over time. And it takes a major bite out of your ride's resale value.

When you first buy a new car, it drops in value right off the lot. No one will pay full price for used, even if barely used. Expect your car to lose around 30% of original value in the first year alone.

Over the next few years, depreciation keeps nibbling away at what your car's worth. Most cars lose about 60% of original value after just 5 years. Luxury cars fall even faster.

The end result - when you go to sell or trade in, your car's value has taken a big depreciation hit. That $30k car you bought new might only fetch $12k after 5 years. Ouch.

The good news - some cars hold value better thanks to strong demand and quality. As you can see from the figures below, The Legacy holds its value well. Although it is slightly lower than the Accord and Camry, it maintains it value over the K5 and Sonata - especially over longer terms.

Depreciation Value (%)
Vehicle 1 Year 3 Year 5 Year
Subaru Legacy 22% 33% 45%
Honda Accord 19% 28% 38%
Toyota Camry 19% 28% 35%
Hyundai Sonata 23% 37% 53%
Kia K5 28% 37% 48%

(Reference Sources: Edmunds True Cost to Own)

9. Good Starting Price with Varied Trim Options

The Legacy has a lower starting price and offers more trim options than some of its key competitors. The starting price is $26,015 (Includes $1,120 destination fee) and is reasonably equipped with good standard features. (As mentioned above in the safety, infotainment and driver assist sections.) Compared to the competition, its starting price for the base is lower than the Accord's starting price of $28,990, K5's 28,145, Sonata's $28,650 and Camry's $27,515.

In addition, it has five trims to choose from with a price difference of $13,270 between the base and the top Touring XT trim level. That makes it easier for you to find one equipped the way you want without making big compromises compared to vehicles with few trims. (The Accord and Sonata have two trims to choose from in the non-hybrid version.)

The Legacy gives you a good range of trims - here are some of the key features that each have:

Base - Starting at $26,015 - The Base trim starts things off with the 2.5L four-cylinder engine, all-wheel drive and Subaru's Eyesight safety tech. It's got the essentials covered.

Premium - Starting at $28,285 - Moving up to the Premium trim nets extras like heated mirrors, dual-zone climate control, leather-wrapped steering wheel and a bigger 11.6” touchscreen with phone integration. You can also add unnamed optional packages for more goodies.

Limited - Starting at $33,035 - Next up is the Limited trim which piles on more upgrades like an auto-dim mirror, driver's seat memory settings, leather seats, and a 12-speaker Harman Kardon audio system. It also adds rear automatic braking and keyless entry. Optional extras here include a heated steering wheel and navigation.

Sport - Starting at $35,585 - The Sport trim builds on the Limited with performance tweaks like a sport-tuned suspension, unique exterior styling, and red interior stitching. It also swaps for a turbocharged engine and adds driver monitoring.

Touring XT - Starting at $39,285 - Finally, we have the top Touring XT trim. It shares the Sport's turbo engine and includes all the features from lower trims plus exclusive extras like ventilated front seats, navigation and a front-view camera.

What We Question - 3 Cons to Consider

The Legacy isn't flawless. Here are 4 of its biggest cons in our opinion:

1. Legacy Rated Lower than Rivals by Expert Reviewers.

Although the legacy is rated in the top ten best overall midsize sedans, it was rated lower than it's key rivals by most of the expert review websites.

The Accord, Camry, K5 and Sonata all rated higher than the Legacy in the midsize sedan segment (All four are in the top 5). Here is how the Legacy stacked up in terms of ratings:

  • KBB rated it #7

  • Car and Driver rated it #7

  • Edmunds rated it at #8

  • Motor Trend rated it #5

All four websites had the same common dislikes that led to the lower ratings by experts:

  • Base engine feels underpowered - Not ideal for those wanting strong acceleration or hauling/towing ability. Results in sluggish performance and struggle on hills.

  • Infotainment system issues - Frustrating for people wanting the latest tech and connectivity. Causes distraction and annoyance trying to use a laggy or confusing system.

  • Dull driving experience - Unsatisfying for driving enthusiasts seeking an engaging ride. Leads to boredom and lack of driving enjoyment over time. (Non Turbo versions)

  • Exterior design not as appealing - A drawback for buyers wanting eye-catching looks and curb appeal. Causes the car to fade into the background visually.

2. Driving Experience Rated as Average by Consumers.

J.D power rates driving experience based on consumer feedback by people that actually own the Legacy. They get feedback about performance, comfort, safety and technology to come up with a score out of 100. They rated the Driving Experience at 80/100. Although that is a good score, it is lower than its key rivals. In contrast, Legacy's rivals scored as follows:

  • K5 - 91/100

  • Sonata - 85/100

  • Camry - 81/100

It did edge out the Accord that received a rating of 78/100. It should also be pointed out that J.D. Power did rate the Legacy at "#3 Best Midsize Car" - just under the K5 and Camry.

(Reference Source: J.D. Power)

3. The Start/Stop is Clunky

According to Consumer Reports, the Legacy's stop-start system can feel pretty rough because of how it shuts off the engine suddenly when you stop at lights. For many drivers, the abrupt way it conks out the engine feels jarring, even uncomfortable.

What makes matters worse is you have to go through a bunch of taps on the central touchscreen just to turn it off. Compared to a simple button to deactivate it, using the touchscreen seems like a cumbersome, time-wasting hassle.

(Reference Source: Consumer Reports)

Comparing the Legacy to Top Competitors

How does the Legacy measure up against its main rivals like the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Hyundai Sonata, and Kia K5? We’ll scrutinize their differences across performance, interior quality, and safety features among others. Here's an analysis of who we think should consider the Legacy versus its key competitors:

We think he Legacy is best suited for:

  • Drivers who need all-wheel drive capability, especially in areas with frequent inclement weather. The standard AWD gives it an edge over the FWD-only Accord, Camry, Sonata and K5.

  • People looking for good fuel economy in a midsize sedan. It beats all the competitors here.

  • Buyers who prioritize a spacious interior and cargo room. The Legacy has an edge for interior roominess.

  • Shoppers wanting strong standard safety scores and tech. The Legacy matches or beats rivals here.

We think the Accord, Camry, Sonata or K5 are better picks for:

  • Drivers wanting more powerful and responsive engine options. The competitors offer stronger base engines and sportier turbo options.

  • People looking for more interior refinement and luxury vibes. The Accord, Camry, Sonata and K5 have nicer cabins.

  • Buyers who care more about stylish exterior design over AWD capability. The competitors look more modern and upscale.

  • Owners planning to drive mostly in dry, warm climates where AWD is less essential. The FWD rivals will satisfy more in these conditions.

So in summary, the AWD, fuel economy, interior room and safety strengths make the Legacy a practical choice where those virtues matter most. But competitors edge it out for power, interior luxury and eye-catching style.

The Bottom Line

Is the 2024 Legacy the midsize sedan for you? If having a capable adventure-mobile with AWD to battle the elements matters most, then yeah, the Legacy's worth a look. Its roomy interior, solid mpg, and standard safety tech check some key boxes. But if you want a swanky interior, crazy power, or don't need AWD where you live, competitors may fit the bill instead. The perfect ride depends on what you need and want. The Legacy probably won't dazzle, but for practical drivers needing a reliable, safe sedan ready for family adventures, this Subaru brings some good stuff to the table. It may just click with the right buyer.

Note: This article is based on research and expert reviews. We are not affiliated with Subaru or any other automaker and do not receive any compensation for our reviews. This information is based on our opinions and the opinions of the expert reviewers we have referenced.