Wednesday, June 26, 2013

First Drive: 2013 Subaru Legacy 3.6R Limited

The Subaru Legacy has been in production since 1989 and is currently on its fifth generation. When it first came out, the Legacy was a front-engine, front-wheel drive, four door compact sedan or five door wagon. Starting in 1994, the Legacy wagon became the Subaru Outback. Starting in 1995, the Legacy was sold as a mid-size sedan with all-wheel drive available as an option. In 1996, the Subaru Legacy was only available with all-wheel drive in North America. Starting in 1998 with the third generation model, all Subaru Legacy were all-wheel drive. I have seen the Legacy on the Houston roads. I have seen some at various Houston car events. I had a chance to take a 2012 Legacy for a test drive at the 2012 Houston Auto Show, but I passed up the opportunity in order to test drive the Subaru Impreza. Subaru did not have a ride and drive booth at the 2013 Houston Auto Show. During one Friday in April of 2013, I decided to test drive five cars that day. The final car I test drove was the Subaru Legacy. The version I drove came with a H6 engine and the interior was the Limited trim level. The Legacy Limited H6 came with a five-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. The Legacy is available with a 2.5L H4 engine that can be paired with either a six-speed manual transmission or a lineartronic CVT transmission.

The Legacy has a slightly sporty styling. The Legacy has a long hood with a short rear end. It also has wheel arches that slightly extend out. Subaru has greatly improved the styling of the Legacy over the years, considering how bland the styling of the first generation Legacy was.  The version I drove came with the limited trim level, which includes leather seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, wood trim, a navigation system, and a moonroof. Safety features include a pre-collision system, Subaru's EyeSight driver assistance system, lane departure warning system, and adaptive cruise control. I was comfortable behind the wheel of the Legacy. I had a good amount of leg room and head room. The seat was very comfortable.

The Subaru Legacy 3.6R Limited is powered by a 3.6L H6 engine that produces 256 hp and 247 lb-ft of torque. It goes from 0 to 60 mph in 6.3 seconds and reaches a top speed of 135 mph. The Legacy gets good power out of the H6 engine. The Legacy has good acceleration for a mid-size sedan. The Legacy has good grip. It felt very stable on the high due to the all-wheel drive system. The Legacy has a smooth ride to it. It was quiet behind the wheel of the Legacy. The Legacy is one of the most fun Japanese mid-size sedans I have driven. Prices for the base Legacy 2.5i start at $20,295. Prices for the Legacy 3.6R Limited start at $28,895. The price for the Legacy I test drove is $33,867. That is slightly less money compared to the prices of its fellow six-cylinder Japanese mid-size sedans. Both the V6 Honda Accord and the V6 Toyota Camry both start around $30,000.

Overall, the Subaru Legacy is one of the better mid-size sedans I have driven. It has good balance, stability, power, and performance. It is very comfortable inside the car. Not to mention that this is a fun car to drive as far as mid-size Japanese sedans go. I prefer the Subaru Legacy over most mid-size sedans. There are various trim levels, transmissions, and engines to chose from with the Legacy. If you want a turbocharged H4 engine, you can get one with that engine. If you want a basic mid-size sedan with an H4 engine, you can get one for under $21,000. With its great drive quality, performance, and options, anyone who is looking to get a mid-size sedan should take a Subaru Legacy out for a test drive. This is a good car.

Photo was taken by a camera phone.
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