It is hard to drive anywhere in Colorado without seeing at least a handful of subbies. They have built a reputation for being the go-anywhere, all-wheel drive, reliable and fun brand all while staying fairly affordable. I recently had a week with the 2013 Subaru Legacy 3.6R Limited which sees a vast assortment of styling updates to the Legacy as well as a new EyeSight driver assistance system.
The new Legacy is notably more attractive looking in the front end. The car look slightly lowered and has an aggressive-looking fascia with bug-eye integrated fog lights. Inside the cabin are a set of very comfortable leather-trimmed seats, though for the price-tag I would like to see a bit less hard plastic throughout the interior. The center stack is orderly and easy to navigate, but the navigation system left a bit to be desired. The interface and display feel a bit dated for 2013. The back seats are surprisingly extensive and put much of the competition to shame for comfort and passenger room.
My Legacy was fitted with Subaru’s, new for this year, EyeSight system (part of a $3,940 options package). EyeSight uses a stereoscopic camera that is mounted behind the rear view mirror to analyze the vehicle surroundings. The system provides a host of safety features including; lane departure, adaptive cruise control, active braking and collision warnings. The system in total replicates features found in much more expensive luxury vehicles. I found the EyeSight system to be a bit sensitive during inner city driving where the lanes narrowed, the system sometimes bordered on beeping to the extent that alert exhaustion caused me to take the warnings less seriously. I am still not sold on this type of system in the first place, I find well placed mirrors and keeping your attention on the car your driving to be superior, but the EyeSight system is very capable and on par with its more expensive counter parts.
On the road the Legacy drives and feels very responsive for a midsize family sedan. The horizontally-opposed 3.6L V6 engine is responsive and provides great power for acceleration. Although the Legacy is fitted with a five-speed automatic transmission, while most of the competition is at 6 or more, shifts are smooth, timely and I didn’t find the car reaching at any point. The Legacy’s suspension is quite firm without being jarring and allows for a good balance of aggressive corning in the twisties without sacrificing comfort in the city.
To properly test a subbie I feel one is obligated to tear through some rough weather. Luckily, mother nature obliged with a few inches of snow, fog, ice and bone-chilling temperatures. The Legacy was predictable on slick roads and handled the weather with ease. The steering and brakes communicate with the drive very well which makes avoiding losing traction very easy. If the snow gets too high or the road too rough the Legacy might pay for its lowered, more aggressive stance. With a ground clearance of just under six inches you might find yourself snow-plowing when mother nature does her worst.
Despite my typical reasonably aggressive driving, I slightly bested the EPA’s fuel economy estimates, averaging 26 mpg during my week with the Legacy. Just south of the estimated 27 mpg combined for the 2.5L 4-cylinder variant which I am sure is far less fun.
The Legacy comes in at a base price just north of $20k and our fully loaded vehicle came in at $33,676. Overall, I found the Legacy to be a truly fantastic vehicle for year round driving. The vehicle dynamics and power will provide enough fun for enthusiasts that need a more practical people carrier, while keeping the ride comfortable enough for everyone else and gas mileage is great for a V6 with this much fun-factor pumping through it.