Mid-size sedans may be losing sales to SUVs, but Subaru aims to be one of the survivors with an all-new 2020 Legacy all-wheel-drive sedan that will make its global debut Feb. 7 at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show. Teaser photos ahead of the show reveal an exterior that is not a radical departure, but also an interior that breaks new ground with an oversize vertical media display and upscale trim.
Even if you're looking for a new SUV, you'll want to pay attention to the new sedan because these same features are likely to show up in some form with Subaru's popular Outback, which at its core is just a Legacy wagon.
The big portrait-orientation touchscreen is in the vein of similar such buzz-generating displays from Tesla, Volvo and Ram trucks. The devil will be in the details, but it appears from the photo that while the display is striking, Subaru has retained well-organized separate controls for climate functions, which appear to have their own display screen, as well as physical volume and tuning knobs. There also appears to be a small, separate upper display, which fans know is a Subaru thing — though it's unclear what its purpose would be along with the big screen.
The system looks like a big step forward for Subaru, which in recent years has lagged behind in sophisticated multimedia systems and an upscale layout of remaining knobs and switches. The dash design also shows nicely stitched dashboard trim and a futuristic shape for the shift knob.
A separate exterior teaser was revealed on Subaru's global media site. It shows the sedan keeping a similar overall look even though it moves to the automaker's new global platform that already underpins the latest Impreza compact sedan as well as its Crosstrek, Forester and Ascent SUVs. We've found that the new and stiffer platform brought real advances in ride, handling and cabin quiet as older models moved to it. If you want more views of the exterior, you can check out spy photos posted here.
Subaru provided no more details regarding features or powertrains. A base boxer four-cylinder engine and continuously variable automatic are no doubt on the way, along with Subaru's trademark standard all-wheel drive. More interesting might be whether a new turbocharged four-cylinder replaces the aging six-cylinder as an upgrade option for more power.
Subaru last refreshed the Legacy for the 2018 model year with more upscale trim and it made significant feature upgrades with an update for the 2019 model, including making standard the EyeSight suite of safety and driver assist technology.
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