I'll keep my review of the 2020 Subaru Legacy short because most of you Subaru fans gravitate to the sportier WRX/STI sedans, or the rear-wheel-drive BRZ coupe. When it comes to the Legacy, it's often left out of the equation. Its main purpose is to commute to and from the office and haul families around.
I did some digging and could only find two modified Legacy builds featured in Super Street history, both of which were wagons: former staffer Mike Sabounchi's project 1998 Legacy GT Wagon with a turbo 2.0L engine swap, and 384whp JDM-themed 2005 Legacy GT Wagon built by Roger Malla, which was published in Import Tuner magazine 2010.
The new 2020 Legacy, while still not going to entice you away from a WRX, has some interesting talking points, which is why I asked Subaru to let me take a peek recently. Debuted at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show, the family-ready mid-size sedan doesn't get enthusiasts or onlookers too excited, but that's the point. It's lowkey, pedestrian, and aside from nifty LED headlights that move in the direction you're going (equipped on the Touring XT model I tested), you're not likely to look twice at the new Legacy even if it cruised right past you. But with all that said (and I don't mean to bash it too badly; it's just not for a single guy, like me), there are four cool things about the 2020 all-wheel-drive Legacy Touring XT which I'll highlight:
Interior. Call me old school but I've known Subaru interiors to be rather average or sub-par when it comes to feeling quiet, cozy and comfortable (I'll be honest, I haven't spent too much time in models outside of the WRX). But the Legacy cabin is 'qualitay' with little road noise and soft caramel Nappa leather seats. Even the detailing in the floor mats are something you're more likely to see in a Lexus. Whether in the front or back, it's also very spacious, making it the ideal cozy touring car for long distances.
Multimedia. While I was oohing and ahhing at the interior, the next thing that caught my attention was the massive touchscreen in the dash, much like what you'd spot in a Tesla. The 11.6" tablet controls everything from the climate, radio, driver assistance features and more. It's high tech, pretty awesome and something I didn't expect from Subaru. I can't forget about the crisp 'n clear 12-speaker Harmon Kardon audio system, either.
Performance. I didn't get a chance to really test the Legacy's handling dynamics because frankly, this isn't a car you're meant to push in the corners. However, if you need to overtake someone or accelerate to catch the next offramp, the turbocharged 2.4-liter will get you there (Note: base model Legacy comes with a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter flat-four with 182hp and 176 lb-ft of torque). The Boxer engine is carried over from the Ascent and Outback and features 260hp and 277 lb-ft. Torque is available at 2,000rpm, which is useful but the eight-speed CVT isn't anything to write home about.
Our friends at MotorTrend gathered some real word data, logging a 1/4-mile time of 14.8 seconds at 94.5mph and a 0-60mph of 6.1 seconds. When compared to the front-wheel-drive Accord 2.0T and Camry V-6, the Legacy's 0-60mph acceleration fell slightly behind by .4 and .3 seconds, respectively. But like I hinted at earlier, this isn't a vehicle you're going to need to worry about tenths of a second.
Future. Two months ago, MotorTrend confirmed the next Toyota 86 will be turbocharged, which means the Subaru BRZ will most likely follow suit (since it's a direct-injected Boxer-four in the 86 anyways!). While certain components and tuning are bound to change, this turbocharged flat-four in question is the 2.4-liter found in the current Subaru Ascent, Outback and Legacy Touring XT.
I can only imagine that once we ditch the CVT for a six-speed manual and drop 1,000 lbs (Legacy Touring XT weighs approximately 3,800 lbs while the 2020 Toyota 86 has a curb weight of 2,800 lbs), then we'll get the boosted rear-wheel-drive coupe that we wanted almost a decade ago when the Scion FR-S and BRZ first entered the enthusiast community. The 2.4L turbo-four will have an increase of roughly 55hp and 122lb-ft from the current FA20-powered 86 and BRZ. We're pretty stoked but we'll just have to wait another year or so to see official specs and photos.