2020 Subaru Legacy gains 260-horsepower turbo engine, massive touchscreen

The Subaru Legacy sedan has always played second fiddle to its Outback wagon sibling. Where the Outback has successfully co-opted car buyers’ love of SUVs to generate more sales, the Legacy has had to fight against the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry for a slice of the ever-shrinking sedan pie. But the redesigned 2020 Subaru Legacy, which debuts at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show, makes a strong case for itself.

It may not look that different but the 2020 Legacy is totally new inside and out. The sedan migrates to the Subaru Global Platform that debuted with the current-generation Impreza, and is also used by the Forester, Crosstrek, and Ascent. So far, we’ve been impressed with Subarus based on this platform, which bodes well for the new Legacy. Expect the 2020 Legacy to spawn a new Outback as well, as that vehicle is essentially a Legacy wagon on stilts.

Subaru didn’t change its traditional powertrain recipe, keeping the Legacy’s boxer engines and standard all-wheel drive. The base 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine is pulled from the Forester and makes 182 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque. Equipped with this engine, Subaru claims the Legacy will do 0 to 60 mph in 8.4 seconds, and achieve Environmental Protection Agency-rated fuel economy of 27 mpg city and 35 mpg highway.

The 2020 Legacy will also be available with a turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, which makes 260 hp and 277 lb.-ft. of torque. Subaru claims 0 to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds, and 24 mpg/32 mpg city/highway. The first turbocharged engine offered in Subaru’s midsize sedan since 2012, it brings back memories of the old Legacy GT performance models. But unlike those cars, the 2020 Legacy won’t be available with a manual transmission. A CVT is the only option for both engines.

The Legacy alsogets more tech in the cabin. The available 11.6-inch touchscreen is the largest ever offered in a Subaru. Its portrait orientation apes tablets, and it includes a split-screen function that can show two types of information at once, such as navigation and audio. The large size of the screen also enables a new Front View Monitor feature that shows a 180-degree view around the front of the car. The Legacy also gets a built-in Wi-Fi hot spot for the first time, while Apple CarPlay and Android Auto carry over as standard features.

As before, the Legacy is available with Subaru’s EyeSight camera-based driver-assist system. In addition to the previously available adaptive cruise control, the system adds a lane-center function for 2020. The Legacy also gets the driver-attention monitor that debuted in the Forester. It uses a driver-facing camera and facial-recognition software to detect signs of distraction or fatigue.

The 2020 Subaru Legacy goes on sale this fall. Pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date.


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