Subaru Legacy: Which Should You Buy, 2020 or 2021?
Most significant changes: Adaptive LED headlights, backseat reminder and passenger seat belt reminder now standard
Price change: $175 more on base, Premium, Sport and Limited trims; $275 more on Limited XT and Touring XT; destination charge is $25 more at $925
On sale: October
Which should you buy, 2020 or 2021? Price increases are minimal, so it makes sense to buy a 2021 model for the higher resale value and additional standard features.
The Subaru Legacy is built from the same design as the Outback wagon and comes with the same engines, transmission, all-wheel-drive system and other key components. As a mid-size sedan, the Legacy plays a supporting role to the Outback, a quasi-SUV that outsells its counterpart by more than five times.
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Both were redesigned for 2020, so changes for 2021 are minor. Adaptive LED headlights that swivel in the direction of turns are standard on all models; the adaptive feature wasn’t available on the base, Premium or Sport models for 2020. All models also add as standard a reminder to check the rear seat before leaving the car and reminder chimes for passengers to buckle their seat belts.
Prices are $175 higher for 2021 on the base sedan, Premium, Sport and Limited, and $275 higher on the Limited XT and Touring XT. At $925, the destination is $25 higher. Prices for option packages are unchanged.
The Legacy line starts at a reasonable $23,820 (prices include destination) for the base model, and that includes the EyeSight suite of active safety features, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Prices accelerate past $30,000 as you move up to the Limited and more expensive models, topping out at $37,070 for the Touring XT.
Engine and Transmission
All models except the Limited XT and Touring XT come with a 182-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder with horizontally opposed cylinders. The Limited XT and Touring XT have a turbocharged 260-hp, 2.4 liter horizontally opposed engine. All models come with AWD and a continuously variable automatic transmission.
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The Legacy offers a roomy interior, a healthy helping of standard safety features, a comfortable ride and a well-designed multimedia system with an 11.-6-inch screen on upper trim levels.
The base 2.5-liter engine and CVT combine for sluggish, noisy acceleration and fuel economy that falls short of other mid-size sedans. In comparison, most mid-size sedans provide brisker acceleration and quieter, more refined performance. But if you can live with those shortcomings, it’s a practical (if somewhat boring) choice for a family sedan.
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