2019 Subaru Legacy Introduction

If a Subaru is tempting, but the Impreza sedan isn’t quite sizable enough, Subaru has a larger alternative that might fill the bill. Occupying a spot in the lineup for almost three decades, the midsize Legacy was last redesigned for a sixth generation, as a 2015 model.

With the 2019 Legacy, Subaru has focused on safety to make its four-door sedan even more compelling. Previously optional, the company’s EyeSight group of driver-assist technology is now standard on all Legacy models. A 6.5-inch touchscreen goes into base models. The Sport edition adds blind-spot monitoring and lane-changer assist, with rear cross-traffic alert. Upper trim levels get an auto-dimming compass mirror. Each Legacy is manufactured in Indiana.

Subaru offers the Legacy sedan in base, Premium, Sport, and Limited trim levels. Most versions contain a 2.5-liter flat (horizontally-opposed) four-cylinder engine that makes 175 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque. Limited trim is available with the four-cylinder or a flat 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine, developing 256 horsepower and 247 pound-feet.

Both engines mate with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and standard all-wheel drive – which has been a long-time Subaru hallmark. A manual mode is incorporate into the CVT, with paddle shifters than can select from a series of simulated gear ratios when accelerating assertively.

Making its “EyeSight” driver-assist package standard on all Legacy models has raised its stature on the safety front. All Legacy sedans now include automatic emergency braking, active lane control, and adaptive cruise control. Blind-spot monitoring is standard on Limited trim and optional for all but the base Legacy. Some advanced safety features remain absent, but those are typically found only on more costly vehicles.

Federal and independent testers have given the Legacy admirable crash-test ratings. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives the 2019 Legacy five-star ratings across the board: overall and for frontal and side impacts, as well as for rollover resistance. The latter is a calculated figure, not derived from a test, and few vehicles are awarded five stars.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has deemed the 2018 Legacy a Top Safety Pick+, earning “Good” scores in each crash-test. Frontal crash prevention has been rated “Superior,” provided that specified safety equipment is installed. Halogen headlights in lower trim levels were deemed “Marginal,” but LED headlights on the Limited edition were rated “Good.”

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