The 2020 Subaru Legacy ushers in the sedan’s seventh generation.
A new Touring trim will feature genuine Nappa leather, a first for Subaru.
The 2020 Legacy has a stronger, more rigid platform versus the 2019 model.
You can say this for Subaru: their timing is perfect. America just suffered through another polar vortex. The Midwest was turned into a beef locker and the Pacific Northwest got hit with the worst snowstorm in 70 years. But Subaru knew all this when they rolled out a new model at the Chicago Auto Show recently. In this case, that new model was the 2020 Subaru Legacy, a car billed for its all weather prowess.
You don’t see many Subies in places like Arizona. You see one every other week, and you think, “how can they stay afloat if this is all the cars they can sell?” Then you go to places less hospitable. Places like Bellingham, Washington or Boston and you see them all over the place. When the weather gets sloppy – rain, snow, ice, slush, mud, crud, and all sorts of swill – a Subaru is a very good choice.
Which is why taking a closer look at the 2020 Legacy is worth our time.
As you’d expect, the new Legacy gets a Boxer engine and an all-wheel drive chassis that grips like a kitten on wall-to-wall carpet. However, this time around, the Legacy’s plant, a 2.4-liter four, is turbocharged for the first time since 2012. It cranks out 260 horsepower and 277 lb-ft. of torque, which is healthy, if not earth-shattering. Downstream from the engine is a Lineartronic CVT with a manual mode and steering wheel shift paddles.
Put the power to the ground through all four skins and you hit 60 mph in 6.1 seconds. Nice! There is a non-turbo engine available; a 2.5-liter Boxer that puts out 182 horsepower and 176 lb-ft. of torque, but you’ll want the one with the blower.
[bctt tweet=”As you’d expect, the new @subaru_usa Legacy gets a Boxer engine and an all-wheel drive chassis that grips like a kitten on wall-to-wall carpet.” username=”Automoblog”]
The nitty-gritty on the suspension works like this. There’s MacPherson struts with a new internal rebound spring, aluminum lower L-arms, and a new 23mm hollow stabilizer bar up front. A double-wishbone subframe, coil springs, and a 19mm hollow stabilizer bar hold up the rear. Subaru says the 2020 Legacy’s platform is 70 percent stiffer in both torsional and front-suspension rigidity, and 100 percent stiffer in both front lateral flexural and rear subframe rigidity versus the prior platform. Crash protection also improves according to Subaru, as the new body absorbs over 40 percent more energy during front/side crashes.
All-season tires are standard and mounted on 17- or 18-inch alloy wheels and, duh, four-wheel ventilated disc brakes haul things to a stop.
Tech Features: A Laundry List
To say that the 2020 Subaru Legacy has tech features is like saying Jimi Hendrix was an okay guitar player. Right up front and in the middle, is a new, tablet-style 11.6-inch full HD multimedia display. It’s the central command for the multimedia and HVAC settings and the Near Field Communication features. Voice-activated navigation powered by TomTom (remember them?) is available. By contrast, the Base model gets a dual seven-inch display that splits the multimedia and HVAC controls.
Subaru’s Starlink system allows the driver to control entertainment and other vehicle settings through the touchscreen. The system supports Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and is Bluetooth capable. Available in-car Wi-Fi connectivity, a first in the Legacy, gets you hooked up to the interwebs.
And that’s just the touchscreen and all the stuff it does.
Elsewhere in the rather attractive cabin, you’ll find a new multi-layer instrument panel, 10-way power front seats with lumbar support, and heated front/rear seats. The heated steering wheel will be perfect for the next polar vortex. There are four USB ports (two front, two rear) plus one auxiliary input jack in front, and two12-volt DC power sockets (one in the center console, one in the glove box). Also available: a 12-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, with Clari-Fi audio restoration tech and GreenEdge speakers.
Cargo Capacity: Load Up Your Luggage
Subaru says there’s more front shoulder room, more front and rear hip room, and more rear legroom. According to Subaru, the trunk at 15.1 cubic feet of cargo capacity can comfortably hold four full-size roller bags. There are mounting brackets on the roof for quick installation of a rack, box or tray. So dealing with stuff like surfboards, canoes, and other outdoor gear is a snap.
Pricing & Availability
The 2020 Subaru Legacy will hit dealers this fall. Trim levels include Base, Premium, Sport, Limited, Limited XT, and Touring XT. Pricing for the 2020 Legacy is reasonable across all trim levels, with the Base starting around $23,000.
Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in paperback or Kindle format. Follow his work on Twitter: @TonyBorroz.