Of the three midsize sedans offering all-wheel drive, only the 2019 Subaru Legacy makes it standard. Roomier than a Toyota Camry, the Legacy won’t cramp your style, and standard tech like its EyeSight driver assists, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto further separate this capable car from lesser rivals. The Legacy also earns top marks for safety and resale.
You'll Like The 2019 Subaru Legacy If...
If safety is a paramount concern, the all-wheel-drive 2019 Subaru Legacy passes every test with flying colors. Good fuel economy, a roomy rear seat and an increasingly rare 6-cylinder engine option round out the reasons to buy.
You May Not Like The 2019 Subaru Legacy If...
The 2019 Legacy’s shortcomings are few, but worth mentioning. There is no hybrid or plug-in model and no manual-transmission option. High-end features such as rain-sensing wipers, ventilated front seats and a panoramic moonroof, all features you can find on various competitors, are absent from the Legacy.
Every 2019 Legacy now comes standard with the EyeSight system that includes adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, lane-departure warning and lane-keep assist. The Sport gains blind-spot detection and rear cross-traffic alert, while the base 2.5 gets dual front USB ports, a single-slot CD player and SiriusXM radio.
The 2019 Legacy sedan offers a contemporary, roomy and comfortable cabin for its five passengers. Updates this year include a new 6.5-inch Starlink audio system, overhead shower lighting, and standard EyeSight. Interior colors are offered in gray, black and ivory for both cloth and leather seating. The Starlink touch-screen infotainment systems gain size -- 6.5 inches or 8.0 inches -- and speed thanks to a faster CPU. Your back will appreciate the 10-way-power adjustable driver's seat and its impressive lumbar support that is standard on all but base models, while the rear seat has lots of legroom. At exactly 15 cubic feet, the Legacy's trunk is big.
The Legacy's exterior received a slight makeover last year, most notably in the grille, which now has the Subaru logo and horizontal lines running through the middle. The Legacy remains on the conservative end of the midsize-sedan styling spectrum. It doesn't have the pizazz of a Kia Optima or the recently redesigned Toyota Camry, but boasts its own sense of confidence and strength. We think it will hold up well over the years. The 2.5i Sport model goes for a slightly more aggressive vibe with a trunk spoiler and gloss-black grille. Six-cylinder Legacy 3.6R Limited models include dual-exhaust outlets.
One reason the 2019 Legacy drives so well is its “boxer” engine. Unlike conventional engines whose cylinders line up in a row or V formation, a boxer engine lays its pistons on their side parallel to the ground. This design allows the engine to sit lower, giving the car a lower center of gravity resulting in less body lean in the curves. The Legacy comes standard with a 4-cylinder engine making 175 horsepower, with an optional 6-cylinder good for 256 ponies. A noteworthy Legacy attribute is its standard all-wheel drive featuring Active Torque Vectoring. This system is permanently engaged at all times, meaning all four wheels are constantly at work keeping the car planted on dry pavement, wet pavement or snow-covered pavement. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) is standard on all trims and does an impressive job managing both the engine’s power and its fuel consumption. The Legacy is easy to drive, offers a compliant ride with responsive steering and an exceptionally quiet cabin.
The 2019 Legacy has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $23,430 for a base 2.5i model. At $25,580, the better-equipped and more recommendable 2.5i Premium is a good value. Legacy Sport models start at $27,680, and the 2.5i Limited begins just over $30,000. If you want a 6-cylinder Legacy, it starts at $32,430 and can rise past $34,000 with options. The Legacy's starting price is just below that of front-drive rivals, Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. The Ford Fusion and Nissan Altima are the only other mainstream midsize sedans to offer AWD. Before buying, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their new Subaru. The Legacy also holds its value extremely well. In fact, the 2019 Legacy wins an award for its resale value in KBB’s 2019 Best Resale Value Awards.Can you wait? A redesigned 2020 Subaru Legacy is coming soon!
Even the least expensive Subaru Legacy 2.5i model includes all-wheel drive, EyeSight, 6-way manual-adjust driver's seat, folding rear seats, and a 4-speaker infotainment system with 6.5-inch screen, AM/FM/CD stereo with two USB inputs and Bluetooth connectivity, SiriusXM and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. The 2.5i Premium is more recommendable, adding a 10-way-power driver's seat, dual-zone climate control, 17-inch alloy wheels, heated front seats, heated side mirrors, windshield-wiper de-icer, and upgraded infotainment system with 8-inch display, dual front and rear USB inputs, and a 6-speaker audio system. This trim also offers navigation, high-beam assist, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert and a power moonroof.
Continuing the trim climb, Legacy 2.5i Sport models add push-button start, 2-tone interior, power moonroof, auto-dimming rearview mirror, the PIN-code access system (see Favorite Features) and 18-inch wheels. Legacy Limited models venture into premium territory with leather interior, 12-speaker harman/kardon audio system, power front-passenger seat, heated rear seats, and blind-spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert. The Sport can be equipped with reverse automatic braking and high-beam assist, while the Limited’s options include navigation and steering-responsive headlights.
CARPLAY AND ANDROID AUTO, STANDARD
Standard on every Legacy, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto eliminate the fear of being saddled with an obsolete infotainment system five years down the road. By mirroring your smartphone, the Legacy will always be up to date on the latest apps, music streaming and communications systems.
Subaru owners are known for their active lifestyles, so having a way of entering the car without having to take along the key fob is big plus (think surfers, kayakers, runners, etc.). Simply disable the proximity sensor and lock the keys in the car. Tapping out a 5-digit code unlocks the doors.
Under the Hood
The standard engine in the 2019 Subaru Legacy is a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder that puts out 175 horsepower. The upgrade, available only in top-line Limited models, is a 3.6-liter 6-cylinder with 256 horsepower. Both engines are known as "boxer" configurations, because the pistons are parallel with the ground, and the way they move in and out is similar to a boxer's fists. It's more than just a conversation piece though, as this configuration reduces vibration and lowers the Subaru's center of gravity for a more planted feel. The standard continuously variable automatic transmission uses a special shift algorithm, making it feel more like a regular automatic transmission. All models also include steering-wheel-mounted paddles that allow you to shift through six preset gear ratios.
175 horsepower @ 5,800 rpm
174 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/34 mpg
256 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
247 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/28 mpg
While the 2019 Subaru Legacy sedan may not be most people’s first choice, for many it may be the best choice. That’s because the Legacy offers all the room, features, comfort and safety of cars like the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, but with the added benefit of standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (AWD). Better still, the Legacy’s added hardware doesn’t result in diminished fuel-economy figures regardless of engine choice. With the new Nissan Altima and Ford Fusion the only other midsize sedans offering AWD, the proven Subaru Legacy remains the go-to car for those who regularly deal with winter’s worst. Toss in the Legacy’s excellent crash-test, resale and reliability scores, and it’s hard to make an argument why anyone wouldn’t want this car.