With Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, Mazda6 and more, competition is vicious in the midsize sedan segment. One competent vehicle that has not received as much attention in the field is the Subaru Legacy, which displays incredible nimbleness, remarkable handling and response. Partial credit, of course, goes to the standard symmetrical all-wheel-drive system that Subaru equips in all its vehicles.
For 2020, the seventh-generation Legacy has been totally redesigned inside out. A 2.4-liter horizontally-opposed, turbo four-cylinder engine produces a healthy 260 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 277 pounds-feet of torque at 4,800 rpm. Power routed through the revamped continuous variable transmission with eight-speed manual-shift capabilities contributes to a potent performance while ensuring fuel savings. The revised independent MacPherson strut front and a double wishbone rear suspension results in a delightfully supple ride. Steering response with the rack-and-pinion power assist is sharp, precise and perfectly weighted. Zero to 60 is achieved in 6.1 seconds — not bad for a car weighing 3,779 pounds.
Ensconced on the unitized body structure is a frameless hexagonal grille and lower air intake with centered Subaru star cluster insignia, flanked by C-shaped LED headlights. Outdoor-loving folks will appreciate the mounting brackets atop the roof to haul a canoe or surf board. A twin cockpit with electroluminescent analog gauge displays for speedometer, tachometer, fuel and coolant temperature give the cabin a rich feel. An all-new and mammoth 11.6-inch tablet-style touch screen to control navigation, audio and phone along with circular control knobs is easy to use.
Drivers of different heights in the family will appreciate the three-spoke tilt/telescopic steering column. Trunk capacity of 15.1 cubic feet matches rival offerings and 1.4 inches of additional cargo floor length is welcome. Other standard comforts are dual auto a/c, 10-way adjustable power driver and eight-way passenger seats, 60/40 fold rear seat, rear-seat a/c outlets, overhead sunglass holder and power moon roof.
Safety features include dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag for both rows, driver knee airbag, four-wheel antilock brakes with electronic brake distribution and brake assist, vehicle dynamic control, stability and traction system, rearview camera, blind-spot detection with lane change assist and rear cross traffic alert, reverse auto brakes, tire pressure monitoring system and daytime running lights. The standard Eyesight assist monitor, which features lane departure warning and active cruise control, ensures that the driver maintains a straight path while the DriverFocus distraction mitigation system sounds a warning if its camera and facial recognition software finds tiredness signs or driver diversion.
A standard all-wheel drive to maintain stability in untoward road/weather conditions, first-rate and spacious cabin and, best of all, admirable gas mileage (going nearly 480 miles on a tank) makes the Legacy a great everyday sedan.
LEGACY LIMITED XT
Wheelbase: 108.3 inches
Length: 190.6 inches
Height: 59.1 inches
Width: 72.4 inches
Fuel capacity: 18.5 gallons
City: 24 mpg
Highway: 32 mpg
Base price: $34,195
Web site: www.subaru.com
Nitish S. Rele operates motoringtampabay.com and Khaas Baat, and was an automotive editor/columnist for the Tampa Tribune. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.