2013 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Limited
Base price: $25,895
As tested: $30,605
MPG: 24 city/32 highway
- Full-time four-wheel drive
- EyeSight driver assist feature
By Michael Hagerty
GM, Ford, and Chrysler have traditionally formed the “Big Three.” Nowadays, the term could also apply to Japanese family sedans Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, and Nissan Altima. Every other make seems to be lurking in the shadows, which is a shame, especially in the case of the Subaru Legacy.
The biggest sedan Subaru makes has gone through the same refining and mainstreaming as the rest of the Subaru line. And the Legacy has a lot more going for it, including a base price (for the base model) between $1,000 and $2,000 lower than the Camry, Accord, and Altima.
You give up a couple of miles per gallon in both city and highway estimates, but you gain standard full-time four-wheel drive, giving this family sedan wet-weather capability otherwise associated with small SUVs and crossovers.
Our tester was the top-of-the line Limited 2.5i 4-cylinder model. It’s about $5,600 more than the base model and includes 17-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth, a 440-watt Harmon/Kardon nine-speaker audio system, and power, heated, leather-trimmed seats. There’s also a 6-cylinder version of the Limited for more bucks and fewer miles per gallon.
Options? There’s one. For $3,940, you can purchase a package that includes a moonroof, a navigation system, and EyeSight driver assist, which is also the car’s one flaw.
EyeSight bundles a system that monitors the distance between the car and obstacles in front of it. It maintains a safe following distance when cruise control is on, it brakes if you’re about to rear-end someone in traffic, and it alerts you if you stray out of your lane.
The competition puts sensors for such systems low on the car, usually peeking out from behind the grille. Subaru put theirs inside the car, high on the windshield, so it gets the full blast of the sun’s rays. Drive straight into the sun (as in east at sunrise and west at sunset), and all you’ll get is a warning that the system doesn’t work. Meaning at the moment when your vision is most challenged, the technology can’t assist you.
The fact is, Subaru hasn’t ever been a whiz-bang tech type of company. Their strong suit is go-anywhere ruggedness and reliability. And for that, the Legacy is a fine choice. Just skip the EyeSight system. You can get the moonroof as a separate option or the moonroof/navigation combined, and your price tag will be from $1,300 to almost $3,000 less.