The 2018 Subaru Legacy is a refresh of the current-generation model. It features new front and rear styling, a smoother and quieter ride and standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The updated model made its debut at the Chicago Auto Show and goes on sale this summer.
The Subaru Legacy continues to improve in sales each year, even as sales of popular models such as the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima and Ford Fusion fall. Indeed, Legacy sales rose last year by 8 percent last year, defying a market trend.
All-Wheel Drive and Top Safety Ratings
Two factors play a big role in drawing consumers to the Legacy and each will likely continue to play a significant function going forward.
First, the Legacy is the only model in the segment with standard all-wheel drive. The Ford Fusion offers this feature on one trim, providing a handling advantage on slippery roads.
Second, Subaru routinely locks up top safety scores and awards from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Safety is a Subaru strong suit and the Legacy is just one example of this desirable attribute.
Two Boxer Engine Choices
The current-generation Legacy continues with the horizontally opposed engines that have long defined the model line.
A 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine is standard, making 175 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque. Also available is a 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine with 256 horsepower and 247 pound-feet of torque. Both engines are paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT).
All trims benefit from a smoother and quieter ride thanks to retuned dampers and new sound-deadening insulation. Steering changes provide firmer and more direct brake pedal feel for a more engaging drive.
Refreshed Exterior and Interior
The exterior changes include wider and lower grille openings and a new front bumper to accentuate the grille. Redesigned headlamps, a broader hexagonal grille and an updated lighting design are also apparent. The look is at once sporty as it is refined. From the rear, the changes are less aggressive, but includes a new tailpipe design integrated into the lower fascia for an upscale look.
As before, Subaru claims the Legacy offers the most interior room in the segment. Although the proportions are unchanged, the layout is improved with new premium materials and an available 8-inch color display. High-end models benefit from stitched dashboard, seat and door panels, as well as high-gloss trim and silver-color bezels for select controls. A third interior color choice, gray, rolls out as well.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
On the technology front, an updated Subaru Starlink Multimedia System is introduced, featuring iPod Control, Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. The available TomTom navigation system now includes three years of free map updates and for the first time a pair of USB power ports are located on the back of the center console for rear passenger use.
Other tech changes include a larger standard color screen — 6.5 inches versus the previous 6.2 inches, a faster CPU system and an updated touch-screen display featuring a more smartphone-like look and operation. The key here is to reduce driver distraction by delivering a system that is familiar and easy to use without the driver taking his or her eyes from the road. New apps are also available, including a parking app that features real-time availability and rates.
Updated Safety Features
Subaru’s safety reliability also receives a boost for 2018. An available reverse automatic braking system rolls out, which detects objects in a vehicle’s path, displays that information on the touch screen and delivers audible warnings to the driver.
The available steering responsive headlights, which are available on models like the 2017 Subaru Forester, bend slightly when you turn the steering wheel, effectively broadening your range of vision. Incline start assist and the electronic hill holder system are also standard across the model line.