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2012 Subaru Legacy

$6,129 — $16,373 USED
Sedan
5 Seats
21-27 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 7 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?

The Good

  • Responsive steering
  • Roomy backseat
  • Good gas mileage for an AWD car
  • Available turbocharged drivetrain
  • Well-equipped base model
  • Wintry-weather suitability

The Bad

  • Middling cabin materials
  • Significant body roll in base model
  • Road noise
  • Crosswind susceptibility
2012 Subaru Legacy exterior side view

What to Know

about the 2012 Subaru Legacy
  • Larger, restyled interior
  • Three engine choices
  • Standard AWD
  • Manual or automatic
  • Newly available stereos

Our Take

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

Vehicle Overview

A sister of the Outback wagon, the Legacy comes only as a sedan. It grew for 2010, adding much-needed space to the backseat, yet its mileage improved. It competes with cars like the Chevrolet Malibu, Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima and Toyota Camry. Choices abound with the Legacy, which comes in many trim levels and offers three engine types and three transmissions.

New for 2012
For 2012, all Premium models have a new CD stereo with Bluetooth streaming audio and hands-free phone connectivity as well as iPod compatibility. A newly optional Harman Kardon stereo features a 4.3-inch screen, song tagging capability and satellite radio. Limited models now have standard fog lights.

Exterior
The Legacy's headlight shape strays into Nissan/Infiniti territory, but the grille has Subaru's familiar wing-shaped crossbar and constellation symbol. Exterior features include:

  • Standard 16-inch wheels
  • Available 17- and 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Functional hood scoop on 2.5 GT
  • Projector beam headlights
  • Available fog lamps

Interior
Interior materials include metallic-looking trim on the steering wheel and other surfaces. Upholstery choices include cloth and leather. Interior features include:

  • Standard tilt/telescoping steering wheel with audio and cruise-control buttons
  • Standard keyless entry
  • Standard 60/40-split folding rear seats
  • Available heated front seats
  • Available Bluetooth audio streaming capability
  • Available dual-zone climate control

Under the Hood
Three eng...

Vehicle Overview

A sister of the Outback wagon, the Legacy comes only as a sedan. It grew for 2010, adding much-needed space to the backseat, yet its mileage improved. It competes with cars like the Chevrolet Malibu, Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima and Toyota Camry. Choices abound with the Legacy, which comes in many trim levels and offers three engine types and three transmissions.

New for 2012
For 2012, all Premium models have a new CD stereo with Bluetooth streaming audio and hands-free phone connectivity as well as iPod compatibility. A newly optional Harman Kardon stereo features a 4.3-inch screen, song tagging capability and satellite radio. Limited models now have standard fog lights.

Exterior
The Legacy's headlight shape strays into Nissan/Infiniti territory, but the grille has Subaru's familiar wing-shaped crossbar and constellation symbol. Exterior features include:

  • Standard 16-inch wheels
  • Available 17- and 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Functional hood scoop on 2.5 GT
  • Projector beam headlights
  • Available fog lamps

Interior
Interior materials include metallic-looking trim on the steering wheel and other surfaces. Upholstery choices include cloth and leather. Interior features include:

  • Standard tilt/telescoping steering wheel with audio and cruise-control buttons
  • Standard keyless entry
  • Standard 60/40-split folding rear seats
  • Available heated front seats
  • Available Bluetooth audio streaming capability
  • Available dual-zone climate control

Under the Hood
Three engines — a 2.5-liter four-cylinder, a turbocharged 2.5-liter and a 3.6-liter six-cylinder — make 170 horsepower, 265 hp and 256 hp, respectively. The GT has higher output across the board, but it requires premium gas. Mechanical features include:

  • 170-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder
  • 265-hp, turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder
  • 256-hp, 3.6-liter six-cylinder
  • Six-speed manual transmission
  • Continuously variable automatic transmission with manual mode
  • Five-speed automatic (3.6-liter six-cylinder)
  • Standard all-wheel drive

Safety
Standard safety features include:

  • Four-wheel antilock brakes with brake assist
  • Electronic stability system
  • Side-impact airbags
  • Side curtain airbags for front and rear seats


Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.6
40 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.5)
Performance
(4.3)
Interior Design
(4.3)
Comfort
(4.7)
Reliability
(4.8)
Value For The Money
(4.7)

Read reviews that mention:

(5.0)

Great car

by Celestial46 from Grottoes, Va on October 23, 2018

I recently traded for a newer car with less miles, but this was a very good car. I?m sure I will regret having sold my Subaru... Read full review

(5.0)

I LOVE MY NEW TO ME CAR

by BaileyP from Lebanon, IN on August 24, 2018

I had been searching for a car for 3 months and this was finally what I wanted and needed. I wanted something roomy in case I moved or wanted to drive with friends somewhere, something with great gas ... Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2012 Subaru Legacy currently has 8 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2012 Subaru Legacy 2.5i

IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor.

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
good
Overall Rear
good
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
good

Moderate overlap front

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Left Leg/Foot
good
Overall Front
good
Restraints
good
Right Leg/Foot
good
Structure/safety cage
good

Other

Roof Strength
good

Side

Driver Head Protection
good
Driver Head and Neck
good
Driver Pelvis/Leg
good
Driver Torso
good
Overall Side
good
Rear Passenger Head Protection
good
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
good
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
good
Rear Passenger Torso
good
Structure/safety cage
good

Small Overlap Front - Driver Side

Overall Evaluation
acceptable
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers.

Warranty

New car and certified pre-owned programs by Subaru

New Car Program Benefits

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    36 months / 36,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    60 months / 60,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    36 months / 36,000 miles

Certified Pre-Owned Program Benefits

  • Maximum Age/Mileage

    5 years/80,000 miles

  • Basic Warranty Terms

    Coverage available for purchase

  • Powertrain

    7 years/100,000

  • Dealer Certification Required

    152-point inspection

  • Roadside Assistance

    Yes

  • View All CPO Program Details

Latest 2012 Legacy Stories

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Legacy received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker