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The midsize sedan market is one of the most crowded there is, but the Subaru Legacy still finds a way to be known and stand out among competitors.

The most notable Subaru Legacy is the 2015 release as it became the frontrunner of the sixth-generation model launch that included plenty of key upgrades and features. Subaru also included the critical active torque-vectoring feature as a standard in every model to improve braking and all-wheel drive.

The Subaru Legacy originated as the flagship vehicle for this well-known brand and provides plenty of features across the different models worth mentioning. The Legacy has won numerous awards over the years, highlighting the accomplishments of this vehicle model. While the 2015 Legacy is the best overall, both the 2019 and 2009 models provide excellent capabilities too.

Our experts have spent hours researching and testing these vehicles to get a better idea of how they perform under specific conditions. The research is compiled into this guide for you to read and help you choose the best Subaru Legacy for you.

Table of Contents

Best Year Subaru Legacy

The Subaru Legacy was released in 1990 and has seen great changes over the years to become one of the most versatile vehicles. The Legacy has seen many different iterations and has been popular worldwide.

After it received a series of improvements, it became one of the most reliable cars on the market. By adding more features, safety features, and luxury options, Subaru managed to transform this car into an ever-changing type of vehicle that is now becoming popular with all age groups.

With its unique design, Subaru managed to create an attractive car that stands out from other vehicles on the market. This legacy saw many iterations over time but still managed to showcase its unique design which is what makes it so famous today.

Despite the many options available, there are three specific years worth mentioning as the best Subaru Legacy versions for a variety of reasons.

2015 Subaru Legacy - Best Overall

The 2015 Subaru Legacy is widely considered to be the best model and year as it became the first release of the sixth generation of this long-standing vehicle. It has received high rankings in both safety and reliability and ranks as one of the best sedans in its class.

The 2015 Legacy features a 2.5-liter flat-four engine with a flat-six upgrade option available for those interested in adding more performance and power. It comes with an all-wheel-drive and a standard automatic transmission.

The 2015 model marked the transformation of the Legacy and brought it to new levels as the most innovative sixth-generation edition. It included new technology upgrades like EyeSight and Active Driving Assistance too.

The 2015 Legacy is compact but offers a refined feeling on the road. It is known to be safe with excellent durability and long-lasting ability. The Legacy comes with an impressive array of features, including an optional safety package and all-season tires.

One of the most notable changes in the 2015 Legacy was the brake-based active torque vectoring adjustment. This created a more refined feeling from the entire braking system to add accuracy and precision for better short-distance stoppages.

If you are a fan of the Subaru Legacy models, we consider 2015 to be the best year Subaru Legacy due to the incredible upgrades across the board made by the development team to create a safer and better-performing vehicle.  

2019 Subaru Legacy - Best For Safety

The 2019 Subaru Legacy is a class leader in safety with amazing features in both design and construction. Subaru has made it their go-to model for safety and we consider it one of the best Legacy models ever and certainly the best for safety.

On the 2019 Legacy, EyeSight became the standard safety feature that Subaru added to all models, which makes it a very easy and comfortable experience. It provides an upgrade across the board for every model to help you to make better decisions on the road, navigate traffic better, and maintain your speed.

The car's interior is surrounded by a design that has its own unique look with an emphasis on cargo space and comfort. You can tell this because it also has an AWD system that allows you to drive over even the roughest terrain with ease. This means you can take this car everywhere without having to worry about driving bumps or bumps in the road.

Because this vehicle has excellent handling and performance, Subaru also made it a focus to add blind-spot monitoring as another new safety feature to this vehicle. It also included a rear cross-traffic alert feature to be standard on each model.

The 175-hp 2.5-liter engine does not scream power, but this vehicle is designed for comfort, safety, and reliability first. However, this four-cylinder did see improvements in fuel efficiency with over 34 miles per gallon on the highway.

2009 Subaru Legacy GT Spec. B - Best For Speed

It may seem like a surprise that an older Subaru Legacy was the best option built for speed, but this limited edition version was the exception. It included a unique design like no other previous Legacy before that gave it power and precision.

This model was available between 2006 to 2009 and only about 500 per year were produced, making it an extremely rare sleeper car. But it lived up to the high with a 6-speed transmission and 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 265 horsepower.

It was reported this car could go from 0-60 in only 4.7 seconds. However, straight-line speed was not even the most impressive aspect of this car. It was the speed it could provide on the roads with a stiffer suspension design.

This was a sports sedan model and canchanged the way the Legacy was viewed for some time. However, due to the rarity of only about 2,000 models being released the image never quite stuck with the vehicle as the change was made pretty quickly back to the traditional Legacy design.

It was not a great option when it comes to fuel efficiency either with the numbers around 20 miles per gallon average, compared to near and more conservative model designs.  

Subaru Legacy History

The first-generation Subaru Legacy was released in 1989 as a direct competitor to some of the most popular compact sedans like the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. This new vehicle used the fiat-4 engine series as a way to provide driving power while remaining quiet.

Through the years, the design continued to change and improve with the first GT releases in 1990 as a part of the second-generation models. The GTs used turbocharged engines and provided more sporty driving capabilities on the road.

The Subaru Legacy is known as the flagship car of this brand, standing as one of the longest-lasting vehicles still being released today along with plenty of features to offer.

Beginning in 2020, all production of the Subaru Legacy had been moved to the United States and completely removed from Japan. The vehicle has become so popular with over 150,000 being sold each year.

Subaru Legacy Features

Subaru Legacy is a compact car manufactured in 1991. The sedan comes in new modern designs with some upgraded features that make this consistently rank as one of the top options in its class.

Some of the key features worth discussing are the EyeSight driving, Bilstein Suspension System, and Facial Recognition capabilities.

Subaru EyeSight

Subaru EyeSight is an advanced system with all types of features included to turn Subaru’s into more advanced vehicles on the road. The basics of the feature include dual color cameras that can actively scan the road and provide drivers the support they need. But there is so much more to this technology than that.

EyeSight also creates one of the most advanced cruise control systems with adaptive capabilities like presetting distances and centering your vehicle in your lane automatically. It is extremely intuitive and works well.

This is an advanced driving assistance technology that can keep you driving in your lane and help you avoid accidents. The pre-collision throttle management can detect objects in front of you on the road that could hit you. It will then alert you and help you stop the vehicle faster.

This upgrade was installed into Subaru vehicles to continue to increase the safety ratings of the Legacy models while enhancing the overall driver experience too.

Bilstein Suspension System

The Subaru Legacy is a stylish vehicle that looks good not just on paper but on the road as well. It’s not just about looks though. Its performance and handling are top-notch as well giving this vehicle a top-class image that it deserves to have.

The Bilstein Suspension System has been successfully used in Subaru vehicles for decades. They have included this in the vehicle design to improve driving safety and performance on the road.

It is one of the most reliable and controlled shock absorber systems available in any vehicle and it promises to provide the best driving comfort. This is all found in a Subaru Legacy.

Facial Recognition

Subaru introduced a facial recognition software in the Legacy that will detect if the driver is focused on another task. The software will alert the driver if they are distracted by any other activity, such as talking on a phone or eating.

There are cameras in the vehicle to help with monitoring the driver this way. The objective is to alert a driver when they are distracted or tired. It can even send an alert if a driver falls asleep to avoid more accidents.

This feature is another example of what Subaru and the entire line of Legacy models are able to provide with safety as a number one priority.

How Long Will A Subaru Legacy Last?

The average Subaru Legacy has a lifespan of 200,000 to 300,000 miles. And the car’s engine is another crucial factor in its reliability. The engines are among the most complex systems in automobiles.

They perform automatic transmissions, power steering and suspension, fuel injection systems, and many other functions that utilize hundreds of parts. It's difficult for any single part to withstand thousands of miles on the road without breaking down or falling over time.

The majority of these engines are built by Subaru using cast-iron block technology. The company operates plants in Japan which makes this an important part of its business strategy to keep costs low while maintaining high-quality standards for each engine produced.

To keep it going for so long, the car has to have the proper maintenance. It has to have a reasonably sized engine and transmission as well as a decent power train for it to work properly.

If you intend to get the most out of your Subaru Legacy, you should properly take care of it with regular visits to the mechanic. This includes regularly upgrading the tires, rotating the tires, and changing the oil on time too.

How Does The Subaru Legacy Compare To Competitor Options?

The primary competitor to the Subaru Legacy is the Honda Accord. They are both similar sizes and they compete together as international vehicles in the small to mid-sized sedan market.

The Subaru Legacy tends to offer much more than a Honda Accord when it comes to both performance and safety, but we will let you decide for yourself which is the superior vehicle choice.  

Honda Accord

The Honda Accord does not provide the same all-wheel driving capabilities as the Subaru Legacy does. It has a slightly worse traction control system and you will notice a drop in winter performance between the two.

However, you can expect better gas mileage with the Honda Accord. It has a slightly smaller gas tank with more fuel efficiency for long-distance driving and highway performance. This is typical because of the weaker engine though.

The physical design of both vehicles is quite similar. There are different packages available to include features like leather seats, touchscreen navigation systems, and more. They also both have LED headlights with automatic settings for nighttime driving.

However, despite these few advantages, the Legacy is still the superior choice. It can provide too many advanced safety and performance technologies that Honda does not have. The most notable of these features is EyeSight.

Best Year Subaru Legacy

About The Author

Charles Redding

Charles Redding

I've spent many years selling cars, working with auto detailers, mechanics, dealership service teams, quoting and researching car insurance, modding my own cars, and much more.

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