2018 Subaru Legacy

Safety 1st

This was another surprise rental as I didn’t know we had any Subaru’s in the fleet at all until this arrived.   I figured I’d better snag it before it vanished on a 1-way rental never to be seen again.

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This is covered in Twilight Blue Metallic paint and a fabric interior.   I feel like I’ve seen this color on other Subies in the past and that’s perfectly ok.  This shade of blue hides dirt very well.  I can attest to that personally since our 2-month old(!) car wash is already having issues and the blow dryers are currently inoperable.  Ferrari Red has been around for decades and why not make this Subaru Blue?

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The front fascia looks great although the 6-starred Subaru logo seems a little oversized for the grille.  Just remember how far the Legacy has come in the past 30 years!

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The taillights remind me of a Toyota Camry / Infiniti Q70 mix.  The bumper looks designed for dual exhaust, but only 1 pipe on this trim level.

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The driver’s cockpit was very well done and the seats were awesome from headrests to thigh support.  I had a passenger for a brief time and she said they were the most comfortable seats yet in a rental.  She test drove an Outback and Forrester before buying her 2nd Lexus RX, but was disappointed in the limited power from the engine.

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The 2.5 liter 4-cylinder was one of the slowest cars I’ve rented, if not THE slowest.  Not a label a carmaker would want after driving the much less expensive Nissan Sentra just a few weeks ago.  The 0-60 time listed is about 9 seconds and it felt every bit of that 9 seconds or more.  For a point of reference, the 1979 Buick Century, 2015 Chevy Trax, 1993 Infiniti J30, and 2009 Nissan Cube all are in the 9.0 to 9.2 second range in the 0-60mph sprint.

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The 7-speed automatic was silky smooth in both upshifting and downshifting.  Pictured below the parking brake is 1 of only 2 blank buttons in the entire car.  That’s rather impressive considering this is one of the lower trimmed Legacy’s available.  The steering wheel paddle shifters were fun only briefly since the underpowered engine couldn’t support any sort of spirited driving.

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I had some friends visiting from Las Vegas and we all immediately noticed how abnormally huge the trunk was for a car of this class.  This space could easily swallow luggage for 4 for a long weekend trip.

20181012_182452The backseat was surprisingly spacious also.  I had the driver’s seat in my usual position (almost all the way back) and it was still roomy for four 6′ tall passengers.  Comfort being more than adequate, I wonder what a hilly terrain road trip would be like for a 3500lb car with 200 lbs of bags, and 800 lbs of passengers for the not-so-capable 175hp engine.

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As with most late model steering wheels, the Legacy is covered with 13 buttons and the up and down volume switch as well as the resume and set cruise control switch.  I always like to view the fuel economy display and it took a minute to figure out the two recessed buttons below the phone connect/disconnect control the center dash display.  Subaru has the right idea about the trip odometer, it’s easy to see in plain sight right below the temperature gauge!

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Volvo could take a lesson from Subaru about the simplistic way to defeat the “Big Brother” safety features with simple buttons on the lower left dash.  (From L to R) The traction control, blind-spot detection, lane departure warning, and EyeSight, respectively.  The lane change assist on/off button is on the steering wheel that displays status on the center dash below the distance to empty.  Another first on a car I’ve ever driven is when traffic ahead is moving and you aren’t, the dash lights and alarm let you know.  A subtle hint to put down the phone and pay attention again.20181013_152401

Things of note:
Sticker price new about $24,000 as shown.
Most dealers don’t budge on the sticker price.
30 mpg on my local trip is in line with the EPA stated 25CITY/34HWY.
Starting in 2019, the 7-speed automatic goes away and it’s CVT or nothing.  Bummer.
The rear view camera is the clearest I’ve come across to date.

Buy it? Rent it? Avoid it?
No way I’d buy the underpowered 4-cyl Legacy that would struggle to go up a mountainous highway when fully loaded with bags and people.  At the same time, if I lived in an area that required driving in all types of weather, the flawless AWD would warrant a serious look if equipped with the optional 256hp 6-cyl, but all of them sticker well over $32,000.  I would rent a Legacy again if I was driving solo, but would look for more horsepower options if I was hauling anything more than myself and a bag or two.  Well maintained Subaru’s are famous for longevity and have unbelievably high resale value.  I’d recommend it to others if they aren’t into acceleration and performance.

Subaru if you’re listening . . .
Every other vehicle in this class would leave a Legacy in the dust by 2 seconds or more.  Even a de-tuned version of the V6 would be better than the standard 4-cylinder.

AND. . .

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picture from Toyota of New Bern.  New Bern, NC

*N*E*V*E*R* go back to this.  The 1979 version looks like a buck-toothed caveman.

On a scale from 1-100: (1-party like it’s 1979 / 100- party like it snows year round )
Buy it now – 15
Buy it later at half the current price – 20
F.E.D. (Fun, Efficiency & Desirability) – 50
Oooh and ahhh factor – 55
Recommended – 70

In your opinion, what’s the best looking Subaru?

 

 

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “2018 Subaru Legacy

  1. Subaru is such a niche brand – people who own them, love them. That photo of the old red Legacy wagon brings back memories. Remember the Justy? The new Legacy is a nice looking car, and you can’t argue with Subaru’s go-anywhere reputation and solid workmanship. They are on a pretty good roll.

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    1. No doubt – I see them as a cult vehicle similar to that of Jeep. I remember the Justy, but can’t think of anyone I know that ever owned one. I know of a girl in college who had one, but never talked to her about it. My favorite was the SVX with the one-of-a-kind split front windows.

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