2017 Subaru Legacy

Change Year or Vehicle
$21,995–$31,640 MSRP range

Key Specs

of the 2017 Subaru Legacy base trim shown

  • Body Type:
  • Combined MPG:
    23-29 Combined MPG
  • Engine:
    175-hp, 2.5-liter H-4 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain:
    All-wheel Drive
  • Transmission:
    6-speed CVT w/OD and auto-manual
  • View more specs

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Performance of four-cylinder drivetrain
  • Visibility
  • Tons of headroom
  • Security of all-wheel drive

The Bad

  • Some unimpressive cabin materials
  • Touch-sensitive controls for multimedia system
  • Six-cylinder drivetrain lacks thrills
  • CVT noise
2017 Subaru Legacy exterior side view

Notable Features of the 2017 Subaru Legacy

  • New Sport trim level
  • Rear automatic braking now available
  • Five-seat midsize sedan
  • All-wheel drive standard
  • Four- or six-cylinder engine
  • CVT automatic transmission

2017 Subaru Legacy Road Test

https://www.cstatic-images.com/stock/64x64/28/img122744801-1457635889028.jpg
Jennifer Geiger
The Verdict:

When life's hamster wheel of school drop-offs, long work days and endless grocery runs is at full velocity, I forget what I'm driving. The 2016 Subaru Legacy only deepens that rut; while it's practical and safe, it's also charmless and forgettable.

Versus The Competition:

Like its middle-of-the-road placement in Cars.com's 2016 Midsize Sedan Challenge, the Legacy is midpack among the more refined Chevrolet Malibu and more spirited Kia Optima, though its road manners are more pleasant than other competitors, like the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. Compare them all here

Editor's note: This review was written in June 2016 about the 2016 Subaru Legacy. For 2017, Subaru added two new features to its optional EyeSight safety system: rear automatic braking and automatic high-beam headlights. A new trim level, the Legacy Sport, is also available this year. Little else of substance has changed with this year's model. To see what's new for 2017, click here, or check out a side-by-side comparison of the two model years. 

The Legacy was redesigned for 2015, so changes for 2016 are minor. The steering system was revised and lane departure prevention was added to the available EyeSight safety system. Compare 2015 and 2016 models here.

Exterior & Styling

“Form follows function” seems to be Subaru’s styling edict, and the Legacy is no exception. Its upright stance, tall windows and blocky roofline make for great visibility but yawn-worthy style. Half the sedans in our Challenge were silver, and the Legacy receded into that collective background with its dull face and stocky silhouette. It's bland compared with the Malibu's sleek profile and handsome face, and the Optima's sportier, more aggressive angles.

How It Drives

The Legacy is about as exciting to drive as it is to look at. The standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine moves the car anemically from a stop, and the continuously variable automatic transmission's ever-present groan sounds like it's helping move mountains, not ...

Editor's note: This review was written in June 2016 about the 2016 Subaru Legacy. For 2017, Subaru added two new features to its optional EyeSight safety system: rear automatic braking and automatic high-beam headlights. A new trim level, the Legacy Sport, is also available this year. Little else of substance has changed with this year's model. To see what's new for 2017, click here, or check out a side-by-side comparison of the two model years. 

The Legacy was redesigned for 2015, so changes for 2016 are minor. The steering system was revised and lane departure prevention was added to the available EyeSight safety system. Compare 2015 and 2016 models here.

Exterior & Styling

“Form follows function” seems to be Subaru’s styling edict, and the Legacy is no exception. Its upright stance, tall windows and blocky roofline make for great visibility but yawn-worthy style. Half the sedans in our Challenge were silver, and the Legacy receded into that collective background with its dull face and stocky silhouette. It's bland compared with the Malibu's sleek profile and handsome face, and the Optima's sportier, more aggressive angles.

How It Drives

The Legacy is about as exciting to drive as it is to look at. The standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine moves the car anemically from a stop, and the continuously variable automatic transmission's ever-present groan sounds like it's helping move mountains, not drive over them. Subaru added simulated shift points to make the CVT respond more like a traditional automatic, and though the setup is better than previous generations, it still feels and sounds artificial.

Once enough power spools up, the Legacy is pleasant on the highway, with a well-damped ride and good bump absorption. Steering feel is also comfortable, with nicely weighted, natural feedback. The Legacy’s handling, however, is ponderous; it leans in corners like a much taller vehicle. It lacks the agile, more engaging handling of the Optima or the Malibu's composed, planted feel.

Standard all-wheel drive — a rare amenity among non-premium sedans — gives the Legacy a leg up against its front-wheel-drive competition, and the system’s added weight doesn't appear to weigh down the Subaru’s fuel economy. The EPA rates the Legacy's four-cylinder 26/36/30 mpg city/highway/combined. In base trims with automatic transmissions, both the Malibu and Accord do slightly better, at 27/37/31 mpg, but the Legacy's fuel economy is a touch higher than the Optima’s and Camry's. A more powerful 3.6-liter six-cylinder is available, but it sinks the Legacy’s fuel economy to 20/29/23 mpg.

Interior

The cabin is serviceable in both look and materials, with a simple design blanketed by plenty of durable plastic surfaces – and many of them are padded. The interior’s one embellishment fails to jazz things up: The pop of fake metal trim on the dash looks … like fake metal trim.

Front-seat comfort is good, with wide, supportive seats and plenty of headroom and legroom. A nice upright seating position, tall side windows and narrow pillars combine to give the cabin an expansive, airy feel and provide excellent visibility in every direction.

In back, a sizable center floor hump eats into passenger space. Two adults will have plenty of headroom and legroom on comfortable seats, but most competitors offer a bit more space.

Ergonomics & Electronics

Subaru's old multimedia system was a relic from another decade. The Legacy uses the new version, and while it’s better, it isn't quite up to the competition, with dated graphics and a busy interface. The standard setup is a 6.2-inch touch-screen flanked by touch-sensitive panels, as well as volume and tuning knobs. I tested a midlevel 2.5i Premium model with the optional 7-inch screen with navigation. The screen's reaction time is quick, but I found the touch panels' responsiveness to be hit or miss, and they felt awkward to use because they provided no physical feedback.

Many competitors offer more modern-looking, straightforward systems with more features. Using the Optima's straightforward touch-screen multimedia system was a snap, and connecting my phone to the Android Auto system was seamless. The Legacy, meanwhile, does not offer the Android Auto or Apple CarPlay smartphone integration systems.

Cargo & Storage

In-cabin storage is generous thanks to a large bin under the center armrest, plus several smaller cubbies. A large bin below the climate controls is wide enough to fit a pair of smartphones, and it also houses the USB ports.

There's ample trunk space, and the opening itself is usefully large. The Legacy's trunk offers 15 cubic feet. That’s a touch short of many competitors, but it has one nicety that others don't: The trunk hinges are struts that don't dip into the cargo area.

Safety

The Legacy earned the highest possible crash-test ratings from both the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

A backup camera is standard; Subaru's EyeSight safety system is optional on Premium and Limited trims but unavailable on the base Legacy. On Premium trims, it includes forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, as well as lane departure warning and prevention systems. The Limited trim adds blind spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert systems; these are optional on the Premium. Click here for a full list of safety features.

The Legacy has ample room for two child-safety seats, and exposed Latch anchors take the sting out of car seat installation. Click here for the Legacy’s Car Seat Check.

Value in Its Class

The 2016 Legacy starts at $22,540 including destination – around the same price as the Malibu and a little less than the Accord, Camry and Optima.

The Legacy makes a strong value statement, and its safety ratings and equipment impress, but it's practical to a fault; its inoffensive road manners are matched by forgettable styling and a bland cabin.


Latest 2017 Legacy Stories

What Drivers Are Saying

Exterior Styling
(4.7)
Performance
(4.7)
Interior Design
(4.8)
Comfort
(4.9)
Reliability
(4.9)
Value For The Money
(4.9)

Latest Reviews

(5.0)

best car I have ever owned

by old foggy from The Dalles, Oregon on April 10, 2018

I consider it a luxury sedan. It has latest technology for safety.and listening pleasure and the ride is so quiet you can carry on a conversation at normal speaking volume. Read full review

(5.0)

Best Bang for your buck

by S1inder on March 28, 2018

This car meets all the needs of my family and then some we didn't even know we needed. The safety, creature comforts, and value of this car blew my mind. We purchased it used, currently has 7k miles ... Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2017 Subaru Legacy currently has 2 recalls

IIHS Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2017 Subaru Legacy 2.5i

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

Child Seat Anchors (Latch)

Ease of Use
acceptable

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

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Headlights
good
Hip/thigh
good
Lower leg/foot
good
Restraints and dummy kinematics
good
Small overlap front
good
Structure and safety cage
good
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers.

Manufacturer Warranty

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    36 months / 36,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    60 months / 60,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    36 months / 36,000 miles

CPO Program & Warranty

Certified Pre-Owned by Subaru

Program Benefits

24-hour roadside assistance and Carfax vehicle history report

  • Limited Warranty

    7 years / 100,000 miles

    Powertrain: 7 years/100,000 miles from original date of first use. Roadside assistance: 1 year from date of purchase
  • Eligibility

    Under 6 years / 85,000 miles

    Vehicles receive a 152 point inspection and reconditioning.

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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